Issuu on Google+

Irish Student Newspaper of the Year 2009

THE YEAR IN PHOTOS

The

Power List

Our photographers’ view of the year that was

2009

PULL-OUT SUPPLEMENT 32-PAGE MAGAZINE INSIDE

6 pages of the best ideas for this summer

TRINITY NEWS IN NEW DELHI In a national first for student media in Ireland, Trinity News travelled to India to report firsthand on education and development there Tuesday 21 April 2009

TRAVEL SPECIAL

www.trinitynews.ie

PAGE 18 Issue 10, Volume 55

Ents back away Students vote Yes and Yes from MCD lawsuit By Brian Barry

22%

43%

70%

57%

Constitution Yes: 870 No: 275 Spoils: 96

Coke Yes: 709 No: 534 Spoils: 11

COCA-COLA PRODUCTS are back on the shelves of Students’ Union shops again following a majority ‘Yes’ vote in last week’s referendum. The referendum asked the student body to decide whether the SU should

end a ban on selling the company’s products. A motion to amend the SU Constitution also passed. The biggest change in the new constitution is the change to the role of the Deputy President, which will now be known as the Communications Officer. The job of deputising will fall to the Education Officer. Approximately 8% of the student body voted but despite the low turnout SU Education Officer Hugh Sullivan claimed that the student body were properly informed. He did accept, however, that the timing of the referendums was not ideal. He told Trinity News “The constitutional referendum did have a short amount of time in which it had to be run and given the fact that people were on holiday etc, as much information as possible was given out.” Rob Kearns, head of the ‘Yes’ campaign in favour of lifting the ban on Coca-Cola products, also said that the short time frame affected the profile of

the referendum. Information for voters on the CocaCola referndum was provided by both ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaign groups around campus, partly funded by the SU. Kearns explained that the motivation for the ‘yes’ campaign was to allow students the freedom to make their own decision, rather than have the SU dictate their choice on the matter. Information on the new constitution was limited to email attachments of full length copies of the existing and proposed constitutions sent out in the SU’s weekly email. A short-hand synopsis of the proposed amendments to the Constitution was available at polling stations. Class representatives were also kept updated on the matter at SU Council meetings. 96 ballot papers were spoiled in the Constitution referendum, perhaps suggesting that some voters were dissatisfied with the level of information provided to them on the new constitution. 11 votes were spoiled

in the Coca-Cola policy referendum. The role of TSM convenor has been abolished as, according to Sullivan, TSM students have adequate representation from their class representatives, faculty convenors and the SU Education Officer. Sullivan described the position as “a relic from the old college structure”. The new constitution also upgrades the role of Technical Officer to a paid staff position. Sullivan explained the need to finance this role: “It’s no secret that the SU has difficulties keeping the website, Ents website and Record websites working. A clerical staff member will be appointed as tech officer”. Mr. Sullivan said payment will be limited to five hours per week at the union rate. The new constitution was drafted by a committee of SU officers and ordinary members. Sullivan said the it “will make the Union a more professionally organised body and will hopefully make things a bit better for everyone”.

New look for New Square

SU ENTS Officer Nick Longworth has admitted that he contemplated taking legal action against MCD following the release of the headline Trinity Ball act, The Script. Longworth has hit back at critics saying he had no choice but to accept the act that the company chose. Many students expressed anger at Longworth after the headliner was released. One student summed up the widespread frustration, asking if the line-up was Longworth’s idea of an April Fool’s joke on the morning after the final line up was announced on March 30th. Longworth has admitted that he too is disappointed with this year’s headliner and says that MCD coming up with The Script “wasn’t really on after building so

much hype”. Speaking to Trinity News, Longworth explained that he had met with MCD in February to discuss the possible acts to play at the annual Ball. Having been presented with a number of proposed headliners, Longworth said there had been an oral agreement reached as to who would play. Following a number of rumours that circulated College, Longworth confirmed that MGMT had been a possibility but were “unavailable”, as were The Prodigy and Lady Gaga, due to touring conflicts. Trinity News has learnt that “Groove Armada” were the act originally scheduled to headline the Ball but Longworth would only confirm that continued on page 2

STUDENT PAPER OF THE YEAR AS AWARDS for Irish student media go, these are the big ones. They also happen to be the only ones. The National Student Media Awards 2009 were held in the Mansion House on April 2nd. The whole event, from free alcohol to shiny victory paperweights, was organised by the generous souls at oxygen.ie, which we may or may not be obliged to say is the best website since Pirate Bay, while being considerably less exposed to the Swedish justice system. Speaking of which, not all our readers may be aware that Sweden requires compulsory military service of its citizens. The penalty for dodging this duty is unknown, but when our half-Swedish editor, Martin McKenna, picked up the gongs for Editor of the Year and Newspaper of the Year, he was notably keen to draw attention away from himself. His strategy of heaping praise on his wonderful staff, without whom all this would have been impossible and all the rest of it, was lost on some of that uncharacteristically presentable rabble by that stage of proceedings. TN2 editor Hugh McCafferty, for one, could certainly have benefited from a hearty pint of water (and a shave, but that’s a different story), although at least Caroline O’Leary managed not to fall off the stage this year. We await 2010 with interest. Conor James McKinney

By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor TRINITY COLLEGE has outlined plans to modernise and refurbish the New Square residences on campus. New Square residential rooms are located in houses 33-38 and 40. The redevelopment will modernise the rooms, some of which are out of date in comparison to other rooms on campus. The works would be similar to those carried out in Front Square and Botany Bay which were renovated in recent years. The project plans to “provide improvements to the accessibility, lighting, power and IT facilities together with improved kitchen and bathroom accommodation”. Many rooms in New Square currently have limited cooking facilities, no plug sockets in the bedrooms and no wireless internet available. Although the project is in the early stages, it is not clear what will happen if building works coincide with college term time when students would be living in New Sqaure. The Communications Office has said that “a realistic programme will be developed” and “the project will be monitored closely to ensure that it remains on programme.” However, a similar renovation project on the Rubrics residences last summer ran late into Michaelmas Term 2008. The students who were supposed to move into the Rubrics had to be housed elsewhere. Many were paying the rent for a single room in the Rubrics while sharing rooms in other parts of college without compensation. The problem of huge numbers of students being rehoused could be partially avoided by completing the project in stages. A note in the Sites and Facilities Committee minutes on February 10th implies that the rennovations may be done in blocks of houses with houses 33-37 being noted for the first stage.

By Lisa Byrne Deputy College News Editor

Piranha withdraws controversial article By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor FOLLOWING MONTHS of contention over an article published in Piranha! magaine, the Publications Committee has been fined €1,500 for not implementing a suggestion put forward by the Capitations Committee earlier this year. The fine arose over discussion about an article published in Piranha! magazine late last year which caused controversy among college heads. The satirical magazine published an article on how to commit a massacre in Trinity but was asked to withdraw it by College who cited security concerns as the reason. A motion was put to the Students’ Union to withdraw their support of this fine but it was defeated.

Piranha! editor Andrew Booth has decided, this week, to apologise and withdraw the original article. The issue has been ongoing for several months but Publications - who are responsible for granting funding to Piranha!, Trinity News, Miscellany, Trinity Film Review and Icarus - only became involved when the Senior Dean, Mike Jones called a meeting with members of the Publications Committee in January. In a formal complaint to the Committee, Professor Jones described the Piranha! article as “distasteful” and “highly irresponsible”. He asked Publications to “impose sanctions on Piranha! which are sufficiently severe to make it clear that this type of article should not be published in a student magazine.” Professor Jones’s

own opinion was that “any remaining funding for this academic year should be withdrawn.” The Publications Committee agreed to launch an investigation but before this was completed, the Capitations Committee voted to request that Publications cut all of Piranha!’s funding regardless of the outcome of the enquiry. Speaking at the time, Publications’ Treasurer Conor Sullivan said “as far as I am aware the Capitations Committee cannot force Publications to withdraw funding from a particular publication.” However, the Capitations Committee is responsible for assigning Publications’ grant each year and can withdraw funding from the Committee itself. The Publications’ investigation concluded that Piranha!’s funding should be cut by 50% - a total amount

of €750 - which would have rendered the magazine almost incapable of producing another issue. In response, the Capitations Committee voted to fine the Publications committee €1,500 for failing to implement Capitations’ own suggestion of cutting all funding. The Publications Committee commented that Capitations had imposed the fine “despite the fact that Publications had already agreed, at very short notice, to investigate College’s complaint.” They continued, “We agreed with College’s complaint and imposed a sanction which we felt was appropriate and just. It was also quite severe.” The Publications Committee have complained that Capitations “made their decision without giving Pirhana! the opportunity to respond to the charges made against them.”

Reacting to the fine, Gearoid O’Rourke, former editor of Trinity News proposed a motion titled “Motion on Students’ Union Support for Freedom of Speech” at the Students’ Union Council in March. The motion proposed that the Students’ Union “not support the banning or sanctioning of a student publication prior to investigation by the appropriate body.” The SU, who hold three seats on the Capitations Committee, had voted in favour of imposing the fine on the Publications Committee. The motion was voted on and defeated by 5 votes. Andrew Booth has now apologised for publishing the offending article. The €1,500 fine will be taken out of Publications’ budget this year.


2

COLLEGE NEWS “I didn’t want to be known as the guy who killed the Trinity Ball” Ents Officer Nick Longworth explaining why he decided not to pursue legal action against organisers MCD.

“Unrealistic and pointless”. A Supreme Court ruling on the appeal by Dartry Road resident Mr James Kenny against Halls planning permission granted to Trinity. “Have a go hero”. The response of some people who witnessed History Society Auditor Eoin Devlin’s dramatic citizen’s arrest in the Arts Building.

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

THIS FORTNIGHT THEY SAID...

“Couldn’t get the points?” Security guard - badge 107 - on finding a DCU student at a late night party in rooms.

Compiled by Lisa Byrne

» the percentage voting turnout at the student referendums.

10.8 » the percentage of students for whom College can provide accommodation.

€50,000 » Nick Longworth’s estimate of the amount The Script are being paid to headline this year’s Ball.

78 » the number of goals scored so far by the Trinity soccer team as they continue to dominate their division in the Leinster Senior League.

16th » of April, the date set for the Trinity Ball next year.

1 » the number of points by which the Rugby team beat Division Two rivals Lansdowne in their 13-12 victory last week.

CLARIFICATION An article published in Trinity News on 14th October 2008 incorrectly stated that Dr Gerald Morgan was accused of sexual harassment. Dr Morgan wishes to make it clear that he was never accused of sexual harassment.

INFORMATION

Photographs: College News: National News: International News: News Features: Features: Opinion: World Review: Travel: Business: Science: College Sport: TN2 Editor: Film: Music: Fashion: Books: Theatre: Art: Food and Drink:

“I had an accident and I couldn’t walk properly for some time” French musician Vitalic explains why he cancelled his gig at Trinity Ball 2008.

Martin McKenna Anna Stein Stuart Martin Lia Prendergast Tom Lowe Jennifer Finn Kara Furr Kiera Healy Ruth Mahony Sarah-Kate Geraghty Rachel Kennedy Deirdre Robertson Una Geary Kasia Mychajlowycz Deirdre Lennon Emily Monk Aoife Crowley Aaron Mulvihill Derek Larney Grace Walsh Luke Maishman Conor James McKinney Hugh McCafferty Michael Armstrong Catriona Gray Patrice Murphy Jean Morley Kathy Clarke Caroline O’Leary Melanie O’Reilly

All Trinity News staff can be contacted at firstname.lastname@trinitynews.ie. Trinity News is funded by a grant from DU Publications Committee. This publication claims no special rights or privileges. Serious complaints should be addressed to: The Editor, Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. Appeals may be directed to the Press Council of Ireland. Trinity News is a full participating member of the Press Council of Ireland and supports the Office of the Press Ombudsman. This scheme, in addition to defending the freedom of the press, offers readers a quick, fair and free method of dealing with complaints that they may have in relation to articles that appear on our pages. To contact the Office of the Press Ombudsman go to www.pressombudsman.ie

“Sir, if prose is a river, poetry is a fountain” Acclaimed poet Michael Longley describing his art. “A boy was writing to his mother, just writing by hand, and when they found the letter, it stopped with just a scrawl across the page, where the plane had gone into the mountain. Irish Film director John T Davis on the inspiration for his new documentary “Tailwind”.

Longworth expresses dismay continued from page 1

8

Editor: Deputy Editor: Website: Business Manager: Copy Editors:

“It’s no secret that the SU has difficulties keeping the website, Ents website and Record websites working” SU Education Officer Hugh Sullivan explaining the reasons behind the creation of the paid position of Technical Officer.

Compiled by Lisa Byrne

NUMEROLOGY

“A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell...unless it will make a really good book.” Author and self-confessed master of seduction Neil Strauss at the Phil on March 31st.

“That’s embarrassing!” Overheard after a hockey match as a Suttonian player attempted to apologise to the Trinity player he had hit - only to be told that the Trinity player had been hospitalised.

“yes, they were an option”. However, shortly after, Longworth received word that there was to be a change in the line up. Longworth was informed that The Script would headline, a change he wasn’t “particularly happy” about. Longworth was unaware of the reason for the change, but he believes the original headliner “pulled out”. Longworth felt he had only two options. The first was legal action against the firm for failing to provide an adequate headliner but Longworth decided against this. The contract between the firm and the College states that it is the “artist’s discretion” to play the Ball and so if a band chooses to pull out before a written agreement is reached, they are entitled to do so. Longworth is also quick to point out that The Script are a multi-platinum selling band who appear

third in the line up for Oxegen, thereby proving that MCD provided a band of high calibre. He does admit that while they have experienced great success abroad, they aren’t as successful here in their home country. Longworth commented that the Ents Office was approached only months ago by Sony to hold the Scripts’ official album launch outside the old Library. However as it was August, the College was absent of students and Mr. Longworth decided to devote his time to the preparations for the then forthcoming Fresher’s Week. This free concert is in contrast with the €50,000 that he estimates the Script are being paid to perform at the Ball. Longworth’s other option was to go to the Capitations Committee and ask them to put pressure on the events company to produce another headliner. However he believed that the SU did not have enough votes on the committee and would not have received enough

support for such a measure. Longworth admits that one reason he decided not to take action against the events company is that it could have resulted in the cancellation of the Ball and he would become known as “the guy who killed the Trinity Ball”. The Ball was most recently nearly cancelled in 2005, the same year that MCD first became involved. Spiralling insurance costs and falling profits threatened its continued existence and the College decided its only option would be to bring in an events company which could reduce their costs. The Ents Officer at the time, Niall Morris, together with the Capitations Committee, interviewed two production companies; MCD proved victorious and gained a contract that does not expire until 2012. The renewal of the company’s contract with College came under heavy fire in 2007, after Trinity News revealed that the contract was signed with little

consultation with members of the Capitations Committee. Students have directed some of their anger at the company on Facebook, with one student claiming he’ll be the “first on a list to ensure MCD don’t get rights after 2011”. Students will be further disappointed to hear that there will be no Silent Disco at the Ball this year. MCD have claimed that the absence of sponsorship is to blame, however many have queried the cost of paying The Japanese Popstars to play in its place. Although Longworth has defended the events company’s production as “flawless”, MCD apologised last year after safety concerns were raised over the set up and take down of the Ball. The firm apologised for their “lack of satisfactory management” and failing to complete the removal (of debris) in time”. College authorities have confirmed that the date of the Trinity Ball will be brought forward to April 16th next year due to semesterisation.

Lawsuit against Halls defeated By Thomas Raftery A LONG campaign against the planning permission of Trinity Hall has come to an end following a Supreme Court decision. Mr James Kenny, a resident of Dartry, Dublin has held a long campaign against the planning and redevelopment process of Trinity Hall. Mr Kenny, who resides opposite Trinity Hall on Dartry Road, has been at the centre of litigation regarding his belief that the process by which Trinity College obtained planning permission for the redevelopment of its student accommodation was flawed. A three-judge court has rejected Mr Kenny’s most recent appeal concerning the planning permission for the redevelopment that was sought and granted over a decade ago. Mr Justice Nial Fennelly of the Supreme Court noted that “planning laws are not intended to make life impossible for developers or local authorities”. Trinity Hall lies between Temple Road and Palmerston Park and houses over a thousand students, most of which are first years. The 95 million Euro

redevelopment of what was previously Cunningham House has seen 180 new apartments, and a dining hall with a capacity for 400 students built. Dartry Residences Association, of which Mr Kenny is an active member, appealed Dublin City Council’s planning permission in 2000. An Bord Pleanala upheld the permission subject to 19 conditions. It is these conditions that Mr Kenny later accused Halls of not “Unrealistic and pointless.” A Supreme Court ruling on the claims against Trinity Halls. upholding. Mr Kenny has cited a number of minor details concerning the construction of the redevelopment on which to base his objections. One floor was omitted from the original drawings, 16 beds were included in one building where they were not in the blueprints, and boiler facilities were installed on the roof space of two buildings despite not appearing on the architects plan. Mr Kenny contested the validity

of the planning permission given these deviations from the original specifications for the build. Mr Kenny then brought Judicial review proceedings which were promptly rejected by a High Court. It was his appeal against this decision that was dismissed by the Supreme Court on March 5th 2009. The judge said that he wanted to mention some “simple matters of common sense” when asking questions of a development of this scale. He went on to explain to Mr Kenny that there would inevitably be some variation from some, or even many, of the plans and drawings in every development. He noted that it is improbable that any development would be able to maintain “literal compliance” with its plans. “Planning laws are not intended to make life impossible for developers, or for those executing works such as architects, engineers and contractors, or for the planning authorities in supervising them,” the judge said. Mr Fennelly added that he was happy that where there were material departures they had been dealt with via

sociology 5.)6%23)49/&,)-%2)#+

— MA in Sociology — (Applied Social Research) 1 year full time / 2 years part time

–Serious about social research?– • State of the art quantitative and qualitative research methods • Theoretically informed analysis of contemporary social issues • Careers in research in private, voluntary or public sector • Excellent foundation for a PhD in Sociology • 2 days per week on campus (full-time)

— More info — www.ul.ie/sociology/ ma.html e-mail: brendan.halpin@ul.ie or anne.mccarthy@ul.ie Phone: +353 61 202445 Applications: www. graduatestudies.ul.ie

normal council procedures. Regarding Mr Kenny’s objections as to the increased number of beds and omission of a floor, the judge described the claim as “unrealistic and pointless”. Mr Kenny’s last objection, that the proximity of underground works threatened nearby trees, was said to represent a “very minor, not to say trivial” discrepancy. Mr Fennelly concluded by saying that the court would not quash the entire decision based on such an “inconsequential discrepancy”. Despite his tenacity and determination to oppose the development, Mr Kenny failed to promptly apply for judicial review proceedings in 2002 when part of the redevelopment was finished. The Judge agreed with the High Court that Trinity had been prejudiced by Mr Kenny’s delays in bringing his proceedings. The latest dismissal of Mr Kenny’s objections is the last of a ‘multiplicity’ of other proceedings which he has brought over this matter. Mr Justice Fennelly said this was not the first “and may not be the last” case in which Mr Kenny contested the planning permission for Trinity Hall.


COLLEGE NEWS

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

3

Report highlights lack of accommodation By Meadhbh McHugh & Clara Andrews A RECENT report has outlined plans to dramatically increase the amount of accommodation that Trinity offers to students. Trinity currently offers 1,800 places of residential accommodation, catering for just 10.8% of the overall student population. A report titled Progress Report for Site & Facilities Committee and Executive Officers regarding Student Accommodation Provision was released on 25th January this year outlining plans to significantly increase this number. The report, written by Chief Operating Officer Christopher Lyons, Director of Buildings Paul Mangan and representatives from the Accommodation Office, found that

the number of accommodation places available in Trinity was “not sufficient” to meet student needs. Trinity must deliver on its services, the most influential of those accommodation” It was also noted that Trinity accommodation caters to a very small percentage of students compared to other universities. This lack of accommodation may affect international applications to study in Trinity. While Trinity is an inner-city university, and faces inherent difficulties with regard to campus accommodation, other inner-city universities have overcome these, for example, the

London School of Economics, which offers accommodation to nearly 42% of students. In order to combat the problems that this report has found, Trinity has proposed a project which, if successful, could provide an additional 1,000 beds for Trinity students within the next few years. The aim of the project is to offer a bed to every person coming to Trinity for the first time, whether as a first year undergraduate, a postgraduate or an Erasmus student. Student welfare officer Orlaith Foley commented, “For Trinity to remain competitive internationally, it must deliver on its services, the most fundamental of those accommodation.” The project is currently in the early stages and according to the

Communications Office and it could be six months before any firm propoal emerges. Conditions of the accommodation would include that it must be within 2km of college or on a major transport route, making it accessible for students to travel from. When asked, the Communications Office said that they were “not aware of any suitable residential accommodation located in any of the peripheral properties.” In addition, the conversion of any external property for accommodation would be “uneconomic”. According to the schedule provided in the Progress Report, work could begin on the proposed student residences as early as September 2009 In a 2009 study by the Texas Tech University, on-campus accommodation

was found to benefit students academically, for several reasons, including the close proximity to classes and availability of learning communities. The Student Accommodation Progress Report found that campus accommodation also benefits students by giving them a sense of belonging and increased social interaction. It was also acknowledged that the Student Counselling Service consistently deals with problems of isolation, loneliness and adjustment to college life. An increase in availability of accommodation, the report said, could greatly benefit such students, with research showing that campus accommodation has a positive impact on student wellbeing. SU President Cathal Reilly, who has been involved in the preliminary stages of

€2000 taken from class rep

Neil Strauss gives lesson in seduction By Meadhbh McHugh NEIL STRAUSS is short, bald and a master of seduction. A paradoxical combination one may think, until one reads the New York Times bestseller and now cult-classic The Game: Inside the Underground World of Pick-up Artists. Penned by Strauss, The Game is an exposé of the seduction community as it chronicles Strauss’ journey from an AFC (Average Frustrated chump) to a MPUA (Master Pick up Artist) within the space of a year of fanatical effort. Neill Strauss arrived at the University Philosophical Society on the afternoon of 31st March to promote his new book Emergency. However, it was the lure of The Game that drew in the crowds of a majority male audience; with alphamale Game players out in abundance along with the equivalent of Irish AFCs and a spattering of curious females thrown in for good measure. Strauss arrived punctually, fashionably dressed, with a dazzling American-white smile, a charming, good-humoured, affable demeanour and a stunning brunette among his entourage in the front row. Strauss told the audience he likes to set himself challenges and is currently attempting thirty days without thinking or speaking deprecatingly about himself or others, promising a euro to any audience member who checks him on this during his address- which they do. Previous personal challenges included 30 days going to bed at 9pm every night and a failed attempt to go 30 days without an orgasm. He is currently in Europe to promote his new book Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life, for which he spent three years undercover amongst survivalists, tax-dodgers, billionaire businessmen, and the government itself, and was hailed by Rolling Stone as an “escape plan” for the current world crisis. In this climate of crisis which he describes as a ‘generational panic-attack, especially in

the States,” Strauss believes you “don’t have to be a victim, you don’t have to accept your lot.” He says there are three types of people; “those who have it, those who don’t and those who learn it.” Strauss is in the latter category, and promotes an independent study programme for life, stating “essentially school and life have nothing to do with each other.” Ultimately, he said, both books - The Game and Emergency - are about overcoming fears. Strauss opened questions up to the floor and evident fans quizzed him on various aspects of The Game and the strategies of seduction it espouses. He answered questions on ‘peacocking’, a tactic that involves wearing something flamboyant to get attention, how to pick up on an ‘IOI’ (Indicator of Interest), and the use of ‘canned material’ (prescripted) over natural conversation. He advised men to go out on their own or with a group of women rather than in large groups of men as ‘women first notice other women.’ Strauss acknowledges the disparity between regulations of The Game and those of relationships, stating the ‘rules are opposite, everything you don’t do in the Game, you do in a relationship. Attraction is easy, compared with relationships.’ Questioned on cultural differences, he claimed the basics, whether of attraction in The Game or survival in Emergency, are universal; ‘It all comes down to the same thing.’ For the future he hopes to publish more books, expressing a keen love of literature, reading and writing. At his most philosophical he espoused a thought for life: ‘the trap of life is falling into others expectations. Always do what you want to do. If you chase money, you lose it and then it’s gone. If you chase happiness, things that can fulfil you, none of that can be taken away.’ When asked about the most famous woman he has had relations with, Strauss answered,‘A gentleman doesn’t kiss and tell...unless it will make a really good book.’

these new developments, acknowledges the great need for more college accommodation. He commented, “living in college residential accommodation makes it far easier to settle into college life, socially and academically”. He is encouraged by the prospects of offering this to every first-time Trinity student believing ‘It will happen’. In a recent iGraduate study, students voted a guarantee of accommodation as being ‘very important’ and it was found to be extremely influential on their application decisions. This latest report suggests that many students in Trinity do not apply for accommodation because their expectations of acceptance are low. It noted that in 2008, 40% of applications,a total of 1161 students, were not allocated a room in Trinity residences.

By Deirdre Robertson College News Editor

Neil Strauss, author of The Game at the Philosophical Society. Photo: Dominique English

Abortion Aftercare Freetext aftercare to 50444 or visit www.abortionaftercare.ie for a list of agencies that provide post-abortion medical check-ups and counselling services. Free. Non-judgemental. Supportive.

A STUDENTS Union Class Representative has had to apologise to his year following the theft of a large amount of money that was due to pay for class hoodies. Brian Crowley, one of the Senior Sophister Business, Economics and Social Science class reps was responsible for the sum of money that SS BESS students had given him to pay for class hoodies. The hoodies, with the slogan “Simply the BESST” on the back had been planned over the course of a few months. Mr. Crowley had taken the money home to cross check it with the list of students who had ordered them but it was stolen during his bus journey. The exact details of the incident are as yet unclear as the Gardai have been informed but are still investigating. At time of press on Sunday, a full incident report was to be made available from the Front Office in House 6 on Monday. In an email to the SS BESS class on Friday 17th April , Mr. Crowley and his co-class rep Hilary Allen apologised for losing the sum of money which some people have speculated was close to €2,000. This figure could not be confirmed but it is known that the hoodies cost €18 each. At the start of March, 58 people had paid and 42 more had ordered and were due to pay . It is not clear how many had paid or how much of the money Mr Crowley was carrying at the time of the theft. Ms Allen and Mr Crowley commented that they were working with the SU to find a means of reimbursing the students with at least part of the money. Their alternative suggestion was to raise the cost of the hoodies through sponsorship. Mr. Crowley commented that the incident was far from resolved and did not wish to comment on the situation for the time being. The incident has caused some anger from BESS students who commented on the Irish forum website www.boards.ie. The original post included a copy of the class email which Mr. Crowley and Ms. Allen sent to the class including angry comments on the situations. The list of posts have since been removed from the website.


4

COLLEGE NEWS

SHORT CUTS

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Society achievements recognised By Kate Deirdre Palmer

RUSSIAN SOCIETY

RUSSIAN SOCIETY JOINS CSC BREAK OUT the balalaikas, and get ready for a whole new level of faux-Cyrillic on campus posters. Trinity’s latest society, the Russian Society, has received approval from CSC and will launch at the end of April. Trinity is the only Irish university to offer undergraduate courses in Russian. Added to that, there is a substantial Russian-speaking community on campus. The Russian Society will host their inaugural reception at 7pm on April 23 in the Robert Emmet Theatre with guest speakers from the Russian Embassy, IBEC and Enterprise Ireland, as well as academics from Trinity’s own ranks including Senior Russian Lecturer Dr. Sarah Smyth and economist Dr. Constantin Gurdgiev. The organisers are planning events for next year, and say they are keen to promote the culture of the home of Dostoyevsky and Tchaikovsky. For the less high-brow among us, a few other possible events easily come to mind... Vodka tasting, anyone? Aaron Mulvihill CITIZENS ARREST

STUDENT TACKLES CAMPUS THIEF HISTORY SOCIETY auditor Eoin Devlin has been branded a ‘have a go hero’ by those who witnessed his recent citizen’s arrest in the Arts Block. JS History and Economics student Devlin, who had himself fallen foul of the pick pocket, pursued a thief through the Arts Block before rugby tackling him to the ground. Devlin had been seated at a stall in the Arts Block selling tickets for the Apollo Ball. However having returned from a break he noticed his bag had gone missing from behind the table. Upon further enquiry in the security office, Devlin found his bag had been recovered outside the arts block in the Nassau Street entrance however some personal belongings had been removed. Having returned to the stall and on increased alert, Devlin and the History Society minutes secretary witnessed a man attempt to take a handbag from a student. On witnessing this, Devlin gave chase, hauling the man to the ground at the Arts Block entrance. The pick pocket was subsequently arrested by Gardai from Pearse Street Garda station. Devlin’s iPod was returned the next day. Seamus Donnelly DUMSS

THE 2009 Society of the Year Awards ceremony took place this term in what was the highlight of recognition for Trinity society achievements, organised by the Central Societies Committee. Held at the four-star Hilton Hotel and presented by CSC chair Sophie Davies and then Honorary Treasurer Joseph O’Gorman, the event once again saw an unprecedented triumph for the DU Orchestral Society, now three-times winners of the coveted award for Best Overall Society. The DU Philosophical Society’s performance of the Trials of Oscar Wilde and Junior Freshman Marc Atkinson’s involvement with the DU Players also went on to gain national recognition at the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Awards in Athlone. Despite previous victories in 2005 and 2007, the Orchestral Society attributed their win, along with the title of Best Small Society, to recent publicity campaigns including the creation of a new website and use of the popular networking site Facebook. Orchestral involvement at Trinity has dramatically increased with the creation of dozens of chamber groups this year, providing all new members with an outlet to perform. Collaboration with the Irish Association of Youth

Students at the CSC awards at which The Phil and Trinity Arts Festival won event of the year. Photo: Courtesy of CSC Orchestras has raised the society’s profile on a national level. They are now the third society to have won the award three times, along with DU Players and St. Vincent de Paul. “Pressure’s on for Orchestral in 2011”, commented CSC chair Sophie Davies. Among the category award-winners was the Philosophical Society for its performance of the Trials of Oscar Wilde, attaining Best Event jointly with the 2009 Trinity Arts Festival. Hailed by The Irish Times as a dramatic re-

enactment of a flamboyant writer’s downfall, the mock trial was adapted by Marianne Cassidy and Davey Kelleher from the original 1895 transcripts and encouraged audience members to act as jurors during the production. Organiser David Adamson was hugely impressed with the student response to the production, attendees of which were given a carnation upon entry (Wilde’s favourite flower- he was said to never leave the house without one), Adamson remarked that it is

reassuring that students will queue around the building for something like this, and not just for nightclubsî. The performance, which was later commissioned by the Ennis Literary Festival, went on to represent Trinity at the BICS national awards ceremony for Best Event, emerging victorious along with Marc Atkinson’s recognition as Best Society Fresher in DU Players. Ian Kinane, the English student who played Oscar Wilde, hopes the event’s national success might encourage a

repeat performance in 2010, He escribed the atmosphere in the GMB that day as “a tension in the air...the energy in that room was so high”, whilst recalling the daunting task of impersonating such a renowned Trinity College alumnus: “I remember being nervous of conflicting with people’s perceptions of the Oscar Wilde they know- or at least the Wilde they think they know!” A similar atmosphere of media attention and student hype surrounded the fourth annual Trinity Arts Festival, in which an appearance from Irish artist David Ballagh and various artistic workshops attracted attention from Dublin’s 98 FM and Phantom 105.2, along with a sizeable proportion of Trinity students. Despite the University’s historical preference for academia, event organiser Sorcha Richardson remarked how so many people at the events commented how much they had enjoyed the lineup, complimenting the CSC for their support in responding to the artistic venture. The CSC itself plays an important role in promoting the interests of all 103 societies in Trinity, The standing ovation given to CSC staff Lucy O’Connell and Emma Matthews at the awards, both highly commended for their positive attitude towards student societies, indicated the organisation’s popularity.

Former SU President Trinity to join Flight of the heads EU youth drive Earls commemorations Naomi O’Leary interviewed fomer SU President Andrew Byrne, the head of new youth movement Generation Yes, a political group that is opening branches around the country to promote engagement with the EU. Sum up, in a sentence, the aims of Generation Yes. Generation Yes is about engaging young people in a debate about the country’s future and in particular how we engage with the EU. Barack Obama is following Generation Yes on Twitter. What are the other signs that the movement is creating a stir? Our Facebook group swelled to 500 members in its first 3 days, and we’re expecting a similar number at our launch this Friday. It’s in the Odeon on Harcourt Street at 19:30 this Friday the 24th. There’s a cliché that young people are apathetic and uninterested in politics, but Generation Yes points to failures in the political system in addressing the younger generation’s concerns. Where does the fault lie? Are young people marginalised or just preoccupied with other things? I think if we’re being honest, it’s a bit of both. We are marginalised, but we can probably make more effort ourselves. One thing that really bothers me is that when there is a referendum, it’s held in the middle of the week. This means that anyone travelling up to college from the country is unable to vote - it’s extremely complicated to switch voting constituency. We should be pushing for weekend voting over two days. On the other hand, in the last referendum young people had the lowest turn out, and the highest NO vote. You could interpret this negatively and say that young people aren’t interested and hate Europe. But our youth are among the most pro-EU in the union. That’s why there’s a need for a campaign that targets young people, and really explains which the Lisbon treaty and EU engagement is a good thing. Has the economic situation prompted more

political engagement by young people? There is an increased awareness of how politics shapes our lives. It was our generation that was largely behind the protests against the War on Iraq. Now, there’s a lot of frustration out there. People are worried whether there’ll be a job for them when they leave college. Other member states are worried about Ireland as a stable member of the EU. Our rating has been downgraded internationally. There’s a sense of powerlessness among our youth in the face of all this. But the Lisbon Treaty is something we can do. Many believe that the 2008 Lisbon referendum was obscured by misinformation and rumour. But, misinformed or not, is it right to ask a public to reconsider an issue they have already voted on? Some people say it’s not democratic, but I don’t accept that in this context. The government exists to do the people’s bidding. People were right to voice their concerns about abortion and neutrality, and the government must address those concerns. But this year we will see a new deal on the table. But are the people demanding this new deal, or is this new deal being presented from on high, as it were? No-one is going to be forced to vote one way or another. The Generation Yes website refers to “global challenges”. What role do you see for the EU internationally, both now and in the future? It makes sense for the EU to do some things and member states to do other things. One example of this is climate change, as it demands coordinated action. The EU is the world leader in climate change, something that makes me very proud to be a European. Energy is another important issue. Bulgaria and the Ukraine, for example, had their gas and oil turned off by Russia, and people were freezing to death in the winter. Russia stands to gain from a divided Europe on energy, and it’s something that can only be resolved if we negotiate together. These issues are life and death.

By Aoife Moore TRINITY COLLEGE is due to to host one of three special conferences which will mark the 400th anniversary of the Ulster Plantations and encourage cross border co-operation in Ireland. The conferences are being held in conjunction with the Universities of Derry and London to mark the significant events that took place in the years following 1598, and ultimately led to the historic Flight of the Earls. The conferences are just part of a series of events that are taking place between 2008 and 2010 to mark the occasion. In addition to the conferences, exhibitions, school projects and books are being organised to help spread awareness both sides of the border of the event which was to change to cultural and political landscape of Northern Ireland for future generations. The commemoration events focus on cross border co-operation in the context of peace and co-operation on the island. The Conferences are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the British Academy in the UK and the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. (IRCHSS) Dr. Mícheál O’Siocru, a lecturer in History at Trinity, is co-ordinating the events in Dublin, and has played a significant role in the organisation of the Conferences, along with Prof. Jane Ohlmeyer, also a lecturer in Trinity. According to Dr. O’Siocru, the three cities. Dublin, Derry and London - were chosen to host the series of conferences because of the role they played in the Plantations themselves in the 17th century. The Plantation was planned from London whilst Derry was a key city of the Plantations and Dublin, because it was a centre of British control at the time. The Plantations of Ulster took place from about 1598 to 1609. It involved the settlement of an estimated 20,000 planters, almost half of them Scottish, settling in the north of Ireland, specifically the counties of Derry, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Armagh and parts of Donegal.

The aim of the Plantations was ultimately to pacify and civilize Ireland. The Ulster Plantations was the more successful of previous plantations, as the land was confiscated from Irish owners and given in large portions to the settlers. According to Dr. O Siocru, the Plantations have had a lasting impact on the country as a whole and “continues to impact Ireland today.” “The Plantations”, he added, “are not just historically significant, but politically and socially important too.” The Plantations led to a number of Irish rebellions including the notorious 1641 rebellion which is still used as propaganda in some groups in Norther Ireland today and an increasing rise in the level of Anglo-Irish and Gaelic conflicts. Many of the settlers were Protestant which also led to sectarian attacks in the area, and strengthened the Church of Ireland influence in the country. The Conferences also coincide with the 1641 Depositions Project, which is currently in its 2nd year of running here in Trinity. The Project aims to translate and digitize the eye witness accounts of the Protestant settlers in the immediate aftermath of the Plantations. The Project aims to add this resource to the Trinity College Library collection. The Conferences are essentially academically focused but are open to members of the public with an interest in Irish history and this period. The conferences will take place in Goldsmiths, London (June 25-26), Derry (July 3-5) and finally here in Trinity College, Dublin (October 23-25).

DUMSS GETS NEW LEASE OF LIFE 25 YEARS since official recognition by CSC, the Dublin University Management Science Society has been given a new lease of life. DUMSS has secured funds and forged links with three high-profile firms. Events during the year included CV workshops and graduate recruitment presentations, along with a basketball and soccer league, subsidised trips to Belfast and Cork, bowling, karaoke and poker nights. DUMSS was shortlisted for “Best Small Society” and also one of the six societies nominated for “Best Overall Society” at the CSC awards. DUMSS’s final event this year will be a Q&A-style panel discussion: “The Science of Management Consultancy in a Recession” in the Science Gallery at 6.30pm, chaired by Sean O’Rourke, from RTE’s News at One. Derek Morrin

YOUR VIEW ARE THE STUDENT REFERENDUMS ACTUALLY RELEVANT TO STUDENT LIFE?

JIM O’CONNELL

CONOR SULLIVAN

SS EUROPEAN STUDIES

SS MOLECULAR MEDICINE

JS BESS

Not really because I think most people in the SU didn’t even read the new constitution let alone students. The coke referendum was a lot better publicised so at least students knew what they were voting on.

The coke referendum was relevant but I hadn’t even heard about the other one until I got to the polling station.

No. Students don’t care about the coke one because they can just go outside and buy it. If the SU want to be relevant they should fight for important issues like more accommodation for students and the student centre rather than just making a stand on principle.

KRISTIN NILSSON

AARON MULVIHILL

JS CMM I think they’re very relevant. I think the coke one was particularlly important as it shows students expressing a choice.


NATIONAL NEWS

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

SHORT CUTS RUGBY

UCD IN GRAND SLAM GLORY FIVE UCD students and alumni were members of the triumphant squad that won the Six Nations Rugby Grand Slam for Ireland for the first time since 1948. Rob Kearney, a third year Arts student, scored 2 tries and one conversion in the campaign. Gordon D’arcy, a second year in the same faculty scored a try against France which brought his career score for Ireland to 25 points. James Heaslip, student of a Masters of Management degree at the college’s Smurfit Graduate Business School was a valuable member of the Grand Slam winning Irish squad, scoring two tries in this year’s 6 Nations. Captaining the victorious team was former UCD student, Brian O’ Driscoll who graduated in Sports Management in 1998. O’ Driscoll was joined on the team by fellow UCD graduate Paddy Wallace. Lillian O’Sullivan NURSING

UCD MUMPS OUTBREAK THE UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems has been accused of taking inadequate precautions to protect students against the recent outbreak of mumps on campus, and to prevent an outbreak in hospitals. Nursing students on clinical placement since the beginning of January were given late warnings to receive the MMR vaccine. The School did not acknowledge any mistake on their part as it was believed the students may have received the MMR vaccination during their admission process. A spokeswoman for the School of Nursing said students would be more at risk if they were brought to campus to be immunized. However Dr. Tighe, Director of the Student Health Service, explained that “being on campus or not… is not the issue because [the virus] is in the community”. While all students are currently being offered free vaccinations, those going into clinical work are being prioritized. The mumps outbreak has affected students from other colleges this past year, most notably at NUI Galway where HSE officials were brought to the campus to alleviate the situation. Aine Pennello UNREST

BELFAST ST. PATRICKS RIOTS PROMINENT NORTHERN Irish politicians have called on universities to discipline students involved in disturbances in the Holy Lands area of Belfast during St. Patrick’s Day. This incident marks the apogee of tensions in the student district, with other residents in the area incensed at the riotous and drunken behaviour of their neighbours. The recent problems began when the PSNI moved to subdue revelers whose parties had spilled onto the streets. Whilst some observers have suggested a disproportionate reaction from the police force exacerbated the situation, PSNI spokesmen have stated they consider their response fully appropriate. Two officers were injured during the disturbance, while a number of vehicles were also damaged during the clashes between students and police. Officers were pelted with bottles, fireworks and other missiles. Although much of the public criticism has been aimed at students from Queens and the University of Ulster, only one of the nineteen people detained has been confirmed as a registered student. Fearghus Roulston

5

‘Crude, nude, and lewd’ NUIG RAG Week By John Fitzsimons “THE FUTURE of RAG week in Galway was looking increasingly uncertain this week, as NUIG and GMIT authorities issued an open letter expressing their concern at the level of public disorder that took place during last year’s festivities.” These words from the Galway Independent were written in August 2008. Nevertheless, RAG week 2009 went ahead in Galway city on the 23rd February and naturally, public disorder ensued. Of course a certain amount of public disorder is probably no surprise to students who have taken part in RAG weeks around the country. However, the extent of the chaos in Galway this year was quite unprecedented; 40 students arrested and 31 taken to A&E according to NUIG’s newspaper SIN. Branded as “disgraceful” by the NUIG President, Professor Jim Browne,

witnesses saw students urinating in public, jumping half-naked from bridges into the River Corrib, and projectile vomiting on the streets; all in the middle of the afternoon. One student was branded a “sexual offender” by Professor Browne, after he stripped off his clothes in Eyre Square in front of children. Galway Bay Fm reported that the public response to the week’s events was about “95% negative”. It even attracted attention on national airwaves - Galway residents angrily aired their grievances on Joe Duffy’s Liveline. Notably, this was the second year in a row that the Liveline switches lit up during Galway RAG week. Listeners described the “mayhem” on the streets as they complained about students throwing stones at the windows of residential houses, egging passers-by, lighting fires outside Supermacs and in one case, smashing up a car before setting fire to its seats. Furthermore,

one caller claimed that the water works in Eyre Square were turned off for hygiene reasons as a number of students had urinated in the “water features.” NUIG college authorities reacted quickly and decisively to the debacle. Following Professor Browne’s declaration that the week had “damaged Public response to the week’s events was about “95% negative” the reputation of students and the university in the eyes of its neighbours, taxpayers and parents”, NUIG senior management announced in a statement that the event “will no longer form part of the university calendar”. Professor Browne tempered this withdrawal however, by acknowledging that the university would be willing to associate

itself with a “charity week or fortnight” instead. Despite these comments from the college authorities, NUIG Student’s Union president Muireann O’ Dwyer was adamant that RAG week would continue in future years; with or without college support. She went on to outline that the majority of students had not been engaged in the public disorder, commenting that students “don’t need to be tarred with this brush and don’t need to be punished.” It must also be acknowledged that the SU presidents of both NUIG and GMIT issued a co-signed letter to all alcohol vendors in Galway in advance of RAG week, asking for restraint. Nevertheless, many premises refused to co-operate, with some offlicences offering special lager deals of 24 bottles for fifteen euro. In further defence of students, GMIT Student Union president Patrick Bonner explained how there are often

many non-students at the centre of the RAG week trouble. Other students also cited similar public order offences seen during Galway race week that do not cause such a furore. Writing for SIN, journalist Deborah Taylor commented that the only difference between race week and RAG week is that race week has folks that are “dressed in suits”. Despite all the complaints about the trouble caused, a record-breaking €32,000 was raised for charity. The benefactors included Galway Rape Crisis Centre, the Belarussian Orphanage Project and L’Arche, a charity which supports people with intellectual disabilities. Interestingly, NUIG has reported an 8.5% increase in first preference CAO applications, resulting in a need to hold a second open day on the 25th of April. Whether this increase is because of infamous RAG week events, or in spite of them, has yet to be established.

the construction of power plants, design of energy systems for buildings, energy engineering consultancy and many more.” The burgeoning career prospects stemming from a degree in Energy Engineering have been reflected in the popularity of the course. At 535 points, the entry requirements last year were the highest of any engineering programme in the country. The first three years of the programme include foundation subjects in physics, chemistry and mathematics, as well as in civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. The main energy engineering component will be in fourth year, when students will undertake an energy research project in addition to an energy design project. The course aims to impart practical professional skills to students with the inclusion of modules in statistics and communication skills, as well as a fivemonth paid work placement between third and fourth year. In its pilot year, students’ reactions to the B.E. in Energy Engineering are of particular interest. Rory Geary, who hails from Tralee, Co. Kerry, said that the course was not quite as he had expected, “I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more on energy in particular.” Class representative Paddy Walsh echoed these sentiments, saying there was not a huge difference between first year in energy engineering and

first year in the other more traditional engineering disciplines. However, he added that he liked the small size of the course, “It was much smaller than the civil class, and we all got to know each other really well.” He said that he chose energy engineering because it was “something different, something innovative.” Mr. Walsh described the mood in the class concerning the looming examinations as quite anxious, “The course has been very difficult and the exams will be hard enough to pass.”

UCC launches Irelands’ first energy degree As the inaugural year of Ireland’s first level eight Bachelor’s degree in Energy Engineering draws to a close in UCC, National News Editor Una Geary reviews the course, career prospects and students’ responses. UCC Campus. Photo: Brian Nagus

I

N THE words of President Barack “votes for Earth” in terms of the UN Obama, “It begins with energy.” Climate Change Conference due to be One of the greatest paradoxes held in Copenhagen in December 2009. of modern life lies in the fact The phenomenal participation rate sent that current habits of energy a message to world leaders about the consumption are now threatening real public desire for urgent action on human survival. climate change. Our dependence on fossil fuels In tune with the zeitgeist, University has increased year on year since the College Cork has led the way for Irish Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. academic institutions by introducing Due to our reckless and short-sighted the first level eight, four-year Bachelor’s rates of consumption, we are now facing degree programme in Energy the depletion of natural resources and the potentially disastrous fallout from “Our energy climate change. Scientists have zeroed problem has in on escalating atmospheric levels of become an carbon dioxide, attributable in large energy crisis,” part to human consumption of fossil said Obama fuels, as a prominent underlying cause of climate change. Carbon dioxide Engineering. The course was officially levels are higher now than at any point launched in 2007 by Mr. Eamon Ryan, in the past 750,000 years. As President Minister for Communications, Energy Obama noted, “our energy problem has and Natural Resources. Teaching become an energy crisis.” commenced in the 2008/09 academic The quest for renewable and year. Mr. Ryan praised the new initiative; sustainable energy sources has hurtled “UCC’s new undergraduate degree from a sideline scientific issue to the top programme in energy engineering is of the world political agenda. This has an exciting new development that will been due in no small part to increasing place the university in an important pressure from the public. position in energy engineering not only The world’s largest demonstration in Ireland but internationally.” of public concern over climate change Energy engineering refers to the recently took place on March 28th. sourcing, designing, converting and Earth Hour 2009 saw hundreds of supplying of energy to meet our needs for millions of people from 88 countries electricity, transportation and heating switch off their lights for one hour. The and cooling. UCC has a considerable aim of this year’s campaign was 1 billion track record in energy research that

began over 25 years ago. Since 2004, over 15 million euro has been secured in research funding. In addition to an impressive research reputation, UCC offers a one-year taught Master’s programme in Sustainable Energy. Demand for this course increasingly outstrips the number of places available. Building on this solid research and teaching base, the university decided to develop an undergraduate programme in energy engineering. In so doing, it joined the prestigious ranks of Stanford University, Penn. State University and the University of New South Wales. Other Irish universities are likely to follow suit. A Bachelor of Science in Energy is due to commence in 2009 in the University of Limerick. Graduates of the new programme are likely to face a friendlier jobs market than most in the current economic downturn. The field of sustainable energy is one of the few in which governments have prioritised rather than cut spending. Investment in renewable energy is seen as an opportunity to simultaneously create ‘green’ jobs and cut fuel bills. Dr. Richard Kavanagh, Dean of UCC’s Engineering Faculty and coordinator of the B.E. in Energy Engineering, outlined the range of energy engineering careers that exist beyond the abundant postgraduate research opportunities, “Careers for energy engineers include the design of renewable energy devices,

FOCUS ON EARTH HOUR » Earth Hour began in 2007 in Sydney when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. » It was conceived of by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Sydney Morning Herald. » 4,000 cities participated in Earth Hour 2009, ten times more than in 2008. » In Ireland, the equivalent of 700,000 lights went off for the hour. » The United Nations Headquarters in New York City participated for the first time in 2009.

Bleak employment prospects for graduates By Kate O’Regan Deputy National News Editor TAX HIKES and pension levies may have little resonance with Irish students raised in an era of free fees and a country saturated with jobs. However truth has come knocking, as evidenced by a survey revealing that one in five post graduate and final year students expect to emigrate due to the failing job market at home. Unil recently, the most pressing financial concern for students was how to finance their social life, or the J1 trip to the states for the summer. Living the sheltered academic life, most students counted on remaining in blissful ignorance of the financial distress affecting those who have taxes to pay and jobs in jeopardy. However the recent survey suggests that final-year students are waking up to the reality of entering a virtually non-existant job-market. In an alarming show of low morale, almost half of those expecting to graduate this year express little hope of finding employment in Ireland.

You could be forgiven for thinking that this is a statistic from the economic wasteland of Ireland in the 1980s. A time when the steady flow of young people out of the country in search of jobs threatened to depopulate the country to such an extent that Ireland would eventually have to close down altogether. But this is the bleak reality of Ireland in 2009. The grim reaper of recession has returned to haunt our shores. The survey was published a week before the government’s much feared emergency budget, which was announced on April 8th. By making cuts to social welfare payments and increasing taxes, the government hopes to raise 3.25 billion euro and steer Ireland out of the choppy waters of recession. However, in the face of all this economic doom and gloom an emphasis has been placed on revolutionising Ireland’s approach to enterprise and innovation. To this end, the government and university officials have been investing great hope in the potential of Irish students.

The recent announcement of a research partnership between UCD and TCD will go some way in alleviating the daunting prospects for graduates. It compliments Ireland’s national Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, which was announced by the government in 2006, with the aim of doubling the number of PhD graduates by the end of 2010. In his address to a gathering at the US embassy in Dublin at the beginning of April, the President of Stanford University John Hennessy, insisted that Ireland has the capacity to develop a research-intensive knowledge-based economy. To do this, Ireland must nurture a technologically advanced community of innovators and young start-up companies. Prof Hennessy used the example of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto California, home to such success stories as Google and Facebook, to illustrate the importance of an “innovative ecosystem”. It seems that PhD students graduating from the UCD-TCD alliance, will benefit from an alternative system

to the traditional, mentored traineeship of current PhDs. The new system will emphasize practical business skills and focus on encouraging innovation. These far-sighted advances in the structure and funding of PhDs will be welcome news for those intending to stay in education. However the recent survey carried out by Labour Senator Alan Kelly suggests that the future is not so bright for those students expecting to find employment after graduating this year. The survey, which was carried out in conjunction with UCCs Student’s Union and included interviews with 339 students from UCC, Cork Institute of Technology, University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology, highlighted the struggles facing Irish students once they leave the bastion of college life. It revealed that nine in ten final year students have not found jobs or work placements for next year. As a result, 20% expect to emigrate after they graduate, with 50% feeling they have little chance of finding a job in Ireland. With pessimistic forecasts predicting

SURVEY SAYS... » 90% have no prospective jobs or workplaces » 63% are pessimistic about their economic future » 50% feel they have little chance of finding a job » 50% intend to stay in education » 15% of PhD students will stay in Academia » By 2010 number of PhD students will double to 1000 per year » 20% of graduates expect to emigrate

the economic turmoil will last for up to five years, many Irish students are left with no alternative except emigration. These recent statistics suggest that a more fitting alternative for Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan’s conclusion to his post-budget speech of “We will overcome” is “We will escape.”


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global Campus

6

KOREA

FEE PROTESTS END IN ARREST A PEACEFUL protest led by Korean university students on Friday, April 10th, was cut short by riot police, who disrupted proceedings and arrested just under half the participants. The students held a press conference outside the Cheong Wa Dae (the office and residence of the President of South Korea) in Seoul, petitioning the government to decrease tuition fees and to take more effective action to combat the poor employment prospects faced by college graduates. The event was organised by the Korean University Students’ Association (KUSA). High tuition fees are a serious issue in South Korea, and their rates have been steadily increasing annually in the last few years. In the past, student protestors focused their efforts on preventing further increases, but now they are asking the government to set aside a substantial budget so that fees can be cut by around 50%. Unemployment is also a significant problem, which the government hopes to solve by creating more internship programs and introducing salary cuts for new employees. However KUSA representatives have been critical of these measures, claiming that the internship programs are inadequate while the salary cuts will only make things worse for those who do secure jobs. After the press conference, 20 of the students took part in a symbolic display of head-shaving, demonstrating their resolve and determination. It was during this that law enforcement chose to intervene, arresting 49 of the students. Police treated the protest as an illegal demonstration, but failed to comment when asked on what legal grounds they were detaining the students who were all released within 36 hours. KUSA members have vowed to continue fighting for their cause, with further campaigning expected in the future. Conor Sneyd NOTRE DAME, USA

OBAMA VISIT CAUSES CHAOS AN ORDER of priests who founded the Univeristy of Notre Dame have protested the boards’ decision to invite President Obama to speak. The priests object to Obama’s visit on the basis that he supports abortion rights andy embryonic cell reserach.They have asked the board to reconsider their invitation, claiming that the the Presidents visit is risking the ‘true soul’ of the University. The University is planning to award Presient Obama an honorary degree on May 17.However thousands of students have participated in protests against his visit, and are supporting the priests. The priests claim that a distance has been created between the church and the University, which is on the offical register of catholic institutions. But the American Life League (ALL) quickly wants to change this status. The League is demanding that the Univeristy be removed from the list, a move that will cut it off from a large amount of funding. President of the ALL, Judie Brown says the students attitudes showed ‘apathy, if not hostility, toward the faith’. Illinois Senator Pat McGovern has criticised the protests, saying that universities should be places where people can express ideas and participate in ‘robust debate’. Despite the pressure, the University is refusing to cancel President Obama’s visit. Cecilia Prinster, President of the Notre dame Alum Society, stated that ‘“Although we disagree with Mr. Obama on some core issues, we must not condemn”. Cairiona Murphy CAMBRIDGE UNIVERISTY,USA

OUTCRY OVER ANNUAL BALL THE PRESTIGIOUS Cambridge University has recently found itself in the centre point of an emerging controversy, after their Emmanuel College released details of the forthcoming ball in June with the proposed theme; ‘The British Empire’. It has sparked major criticism as many associate the word Empire with colonialism, slavery and suppression. Additionally the organisers have been accused of portraying an image of condoning such activities. The organisers stated through the advertising of the event that ‘they will party as if its 1899’. The ball was to display many former colonies through the theme, such as Australia, the West Indies and India, with the black tie event charging up to £139 for the evening. This new development does not help the University of Cambridge who have been criticised as being an institution predominantly of wealthy aristocrats. There seems to be an evident lack of knowledge for an event such as this as one student pointed out that the last year of the 19th century saw the start of the Boer War and the first use of concentration camps. The University has since succumbed to the evident pressure, with the theme title the ‘British Empire’ being axed and replaced with the ‘19th century’. Claire Acton

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Texan students to carry guns By Jennifer Doyle Staff Writer STUDENTS IN the U.S may soon face the harsh reality that the person sitting beside them in a lecture has a weapon under their jacket. The Students for Concealed Campus Carry movement aims to make it legal for holders of state-issued concealed handgun licenses, who are over twenty-one, to carry their weapon on to college campuses. Describing itself as ‘a national, non-partisan, grassroots organization’, Concealed Campus boasts upwards of 37 000 members and claims to have a following in every state. Membership is diverse - teachers, parents, students, professors and concerned citizens all pledge their support to the organization that is funded by private donation. Despite its large membership base, the organization is relatively new. It was set up as a response to the shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho killed thirty-three people. The shocking event raised huge concern over student safety. However, prior to Virginia Tech, there were only two such noteworthy

events-the attack of Charles Whitman at the University of Texas in 1966, where sixteen people where shot, and the attacks at Columbine High school in 1999. Therefore, it would seem that the reason many people join is the second amendment-the right to bear arms. Concealed Campus is quite a prolific movement. One has only to look at their posters to be reached by their message. Indeed, their propaganda is extremely effective and it is little wonder that so many have joined. Slogans such as ‘Notebooks didn’t stop the fire at VT. Return fire would have’ are intended to convince students and college employees that they are possibly in danger unless they or their fellows are permitted to carry handguns onto campuses. Currently, there are identical bills in the Texas Senate and House that would allow for concealed carry on campus if both were accepted. It looks increasingly likely that this will become reality as on Monday, March 31, the bill had 71 votes; it needs only 76 to pass. Filed by Rep. Joe Driver and Sen. Jeff Wentworth on February 26, the bill will apply universally to all third level institutions in

Texas, both public and private. However, many private colleges are against the bill and are lobbying representatives to have it amended so that each institution can decide individually if concealed weapons will be allowed on campus. At least two private colleges are in active opposition to the bill. Don Mills, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs at Texas Christian University had cited public safety as his main opposition, saying that in an incident, multiple weapons at the scene will blur the lines between victim and perpetrators and that there is always the possibility that weapons will be stolen. Noticeably, neither of these concerns are raised on the Concealed Campus website. Tim Summerlin, President of Schreiner University has expressed similar concern saying ‘We and the campus police and security personnel overwhelmingly believe it poses risk-to permit concealed weapons on campus.’ Another is John Wood, a graduate student at the University of Texas, who was a first-hand witness to Virginia Tech in which his girlfriend and friends were killed. One would think that following such an experience he would be an advocate of carrying concealed weapons but instead he

believes it won’t solve anything and is one of the leaders of the opposition to the bill. There are also those who see the bill as an exercise of democracy. The Student Government Association has yet to take an official stance on the matter but president Jeff Kline is encouraging students to be active citizens and lobby their legislators either for or against. It seems the Students for Concealed Campus Carry are slowly achieving their aims but they don’t see change as coming fast enough. This month they are holding their third national collegiate Empty Holder Protest. Beginning the week of April 20, students all over the U.S will wear empty holders in protest against those laws and regulations which prevent them from protecting themselves with firearms should an incident like Virginia Tech occur on their campus. The timing of the protest is symbolicthey hold the protest the week following the anniversary of the VT massacre. This year the aim of the protest is to bring the facts of concealed campus to parents, staff and students and to dispel any myths abounding that allowing concealed weapons on campus will cause more evil than good.

A land of ‘Ghosts’ Kasia Mychajlowycz travels to the West Bank to witness the “humiliation” of local students By Kasia Mychajlowycz International News Editor FOR THE thousands of Palestinians in the Occupied Territory of the West Bank, Israeli checkpoints are a physical barrier to getting an education. For them and all Palestinians, traveling between towns, cities, and often neighborhoods means passing through a myriad of permanent and ‘flying’ checkpointswhich can pop up anywhere- and facing humiliation, harassment, beatings, and the possibility of being turned away and not getting to class. At An-Najah University in the city of Nablus, The Right to Education campaign is collecting the accounts of abuse its students have faced at the checkpoints. One story, from Haneen, a woman in her third year of the Accounting degree at An-Najah, describes trying to get back to her family after exams: “As we walked, we came across an Israeli army patrol. They stopped and surrounded us… Scared by the guns, we obeyed the command of the officer to hand over our IDs and get onto our knees. After ten minutes, he ordered us to get into the van for prisoners, and while most of us agreed, my cousin refused. The solder said that if we didn’t get into the van right away, he would kill her. The soldiers kept their guns pointed at us, the entire time then they took us to a hill and ordered us to climb it when we got to the top, the officer pointed to a rock and told us to sit on it. They began questioning us and we were stuck there for three hours. After all this, the officer told us to go back through the hills to Nablus.” A few students I spoke to recounted similar stories, though most refused to be named for this article. Getting students to recount their experiences has been a problem for the campaign. “This is ordinary, boring for them. When a student says his friend was beaten at a checkpoint, and I ask them what did he do, he’ll say ‘I just laughed’,” said Pennie Quinton,

the campaign co-coordinator. Most would rather forget it, and with the occupation entering its 62nd year, the situation seems hopeless to many Palestinians. Checkpoints inside the West Bank are primarily there to restrict the movement of Palestinians on land where Israeli settlements have been built, near the Israeli-only bypass highways that connect them. The settlement movement began almost immediately after the creation of the state of Israel, but has accelerated greatly since the beginning of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians in the early 1990s. 42% of the West Bank territory has been taken over by the settlements and the roads that connect them, and is increasing. According to the UN, between September 2007 and May 2008, delays were up to 90 minutes at checkpoints into and around Nablus during rush hour. There is always the possibility of being turned away. In February 2009, males between 16-35 from Tubas, Nablus, Jenin or Tulkarm were prohibited from traveling south and into Nablus for 25 days. There are no warnings or formal or written rules available to Palestinians, and this is due largely to the decentralized system of the Israeli Army (Israeli Defense Forces), according to Israeli economist Shir Hever, of the Alternative Information Centre in Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem. “It is not the regular State that you know,” he explained in a lecture about the economics of the Occupation in Beit Sahour. “Soldiers are expected not just to act like in a regular army, but to fight for the idea of the state of Israel.” They are encouraged to act without permission partly to circumvent the problem of Israel, a democratic state, violating international law. At Al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, however, the recognition that the occupation of land and the restriction of movement could be bested by technology has proven a great success. The University’s 62,000 students,

A child at a checkpoint in Hebron last week. Photo: Russell Wood attending classes on campuses in Ramallah, Beit Jala near Bethlehem, and Hebron, also have the option of e-learning, which includes online course material, lectures via streaming video, and web chat between staff and students. At present, the only time a student must enter the campus is to take their exams, providing flexibility for students who cannot cross checkpoints, or who are house-bound due to curfews imposed by the Israeli army. In September 2002, Israel imposed a curfew in Nablus, which lasted for 112 days, and the universities were closed. Dr. Ibrahim Al-Sha’er, Director of Al-Quds’ Bethlehem Education Region and its Beit Jala campus, explained that this has opened up the possibility of the third-level education not only to your typical university student, but to the whole community, especially married women with children. 75% of students at the University are women reflecting, he said, a culture that prioritizes education. “The Palestinians have to study,” he said. “If you take someone’s land, then he has nothing but his qualifications. Women sell their gold and jewellery to send their sons and daughters to study here.” Tuition at the university is one third of the other private Palestinian universities. During my tour of the Bethlehem campus, I met students Azziza and Nizar, who in the style of Palestinian hospitality, insisted on buying me a coffee, As we chatted about football (“All the women love Beckham, but they don’t like Palestinian boys,” lamented Nizar) and all-night studying, the same hardships I had heard from other students made their way into the conversation. Nizar’s

best friend, who I met and talked to briefly through Nizar’s translating, spent 2 years in ‘administrative detention’ in an Israeli prison, without charge or trial. “He is my best friend,” said Nizar. “And they put him in the prison.” Azziza organizes traditional Palestinian dance performances to keep her culture alive, she told me, showing me a picture of her in black pants and shirt with a red sash and headscarf on her phone. Both Nizar and Azziza study social work, and Azziza works for UNRWA, the UN body responsible for Palestinian refugees, though both said fiwvnding paid work is extremely difficult. I asked her what to expect in Hebron that afternoon, since I had heard that the 300-700 settlers who have occupied the old city (which is home to 130,000 Palestinians) were particularly hostile. “I don’t like going there,” she said, citing the violence of the settlers but also another big concern for her. “People there live too much in the past!” Indeed, headscarves and full-length coats are common in Hebron, while in Beit Jala they are rare, and usually match brand-name T-shirts on top of skinny jeans. With the destruction of homes, the enclosure of land, and the cutting of olive trees- a main source of income for many Palestinian families- the prospect of a future in the West Bank, and the dream of Palestinian statehood, both seem far off. Azziza wants to stay in the West Bank, and continue her social work in the refugee camps, and maybe find someone to practice her German with, which she spent ten years studying. Nazir wants to leave. “I hate it here, I hate my life here,” he said just before I left. “People are ghosts.”

Student killed in political riots By Caitriona Murphy Deputy International News Editor EXTREME VIOLENCE has broken out at several universities in Bangladesh as a result of leadership disputes of a student political party. On April 3rd ten students were taken to hospital after clashes at Jahangirnagar University, in which several campus buildings were badly damaged. The riot broke out between two groups of the Bangladesh Chhatra League, who were vying for leadership of the student group. This incident follows a more severe attack at the Dhaka Medical College on the 31st of March in which one student was killed. The student in question was thrown out of a second floor window after BCL members began rioting. A further thirty students were also injured and the college was shut down indefinitely. Clashes have also broken out at Dhaka University and Jagannath University between the BCL and rival student parties on campus. The BCL is a student wing of the ruling Awami League, and is the oldest and largest of it’s kind. However the partly has suffered from a lack of organisation in the last few years and

has not held a single general meeting in three years. Additionally, no new committees have been elected on many educational campuses and the lack of leadership has led students to launch attacks for supremacy. Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasain, has ordered a massive crackdown on the violent student activities and has withdrawn from her role as ‘guardian’ of the BCL, a place she occupies as leader of the Awima League. The move has provoked outcry from BCL leaders and at a meeting held following the violence, 111 members threatened to resign unless Hasain reconsiders her decision to abandon the party. However Hasina’s threats have failed to prevent further violence amongst the students and the Awima League has come under heavy criticism for it’s inability to control it’s own student party. BCL leaders have been blamed for the violence with many students accusing the president, Mahmud Hasan Ripon and general secretary Mahfuzul Haider Chowdhury Roton of failing to manage the party. The leaders of the clashes have demanded that Ripon and Roton resign from their positions, which

Police disrupt a riot at Dhaka University expired on April 4th of last year, and replace them with fresh members. The events have revealed further allegations against the BCL that leaders have been slowly trying to take control of University facilities, demanding special treatment and tolls. Leaders have been collecting tolls at

food shops, cafes, photocopiers and many other shops that the University students use on a regular basis. A failure to hand over the toll has resulted in shops being vandalised by the BCL. Many campus sources have claimed that the extortion goes much further, extending into control of dormitories and development projects, and that many BCL actions have been supported by university administrators. However Sajjad Saqib Badsha, the general secretary of the Dhaka University BCL claims that any such activity would be regarded as criminal. 'We will take stern action if somebody is found doing such things using the name of our organisation,” Badsha said. Students claim that BCL leaders have been forcing students on university waiting lists to pay 20,000-100,000 Tk (roughly €200-1000) to gain admission. These admissions, called by BCL members ‘ political admissions’, have been mainly attending Dhaka University and Eden College. In Eden College, BCL leaders kept the principal confined in his office for three hours until he agreed to allow fifty ‘ political admissions’ into the college. BCL leaders strongly deny all allegations.


NEWS FEATURE

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

To fee or not to fee

FEES SO FAR THE MINISTER has not given a clear indication of when the final proposal for system of fees will be introduced, though it is thought to be post June elections One part of this plan is thought to involve a system of deferred payment rather than imposing a graduate tax, where students will pay fees when their income reaches a certain level The state is paying €350 million to fund 3rd level per year Fees for arts and business courses may be pitched at around €5,000, whereas those wishing to pursue medicine or science courses will pay more.

Undoubtedly the most controversial decision of the year, leading to an outcry from parents and students alike, Deirdre Lennon looks at the latest update on the fees situation, and what alternatives are there.

T

The scene outside Trinity on October 24, the first fees protest this year. Photo: Cian Clarke

HE YEAR 2008-9 proved to be a pivotal one where college finances were concerned, and as the economy effectively collapsed, six out of seven universities were officially declared in debt and the government stated that it would reverse the decision made by the rainbow coalition in 1996 to reinstate fees for college courses. Despite the multitudes of protests that have taken place in the last months over this issue, where students have more than had their voices heard, it has made little difference to the fact that students will be facing fee payments in some form. Having heard update after update of rumblings regarding the prospect of their return, and faced with the increase in the registration fee from €900 to €1,500, it was only a matter of time before proper details would emerge regarding what payment for fees themselves would entail. It became official last month that students would have to pay from 2010 onwards, and that these charges would not apply to those already studying but to those entering 3rd level in September. Although no final plans have been outlined, it was reported less than two weeks ago that Minister for Education Batt O’Keefe will issue a document in the next month setting out the options for a system of contribution for those who are able to pay. Then, last week, reports indicated that O’Keefe would delay the decision even further until after the local and European elections in June, perhaps to avoid backlash from the contingent of almost 170,000 higher education participants eligible to vote, who may vote against Fianna Fáil due to the introduction of fees. The final plan is evidently undecided, and the Minster is refusing to reveal anything concrete until he presents his fellow TDs with the

7

initial proposals, perhaps with a view to establishing the reaction to the options he will outline, and ultimately, hoping for an endorsement. This will give O’Keefe’s colleagues and fellow ministers a chance to comment before any formal decisions are reached. This continuous deferral indicates apprehension on the part of the Minister and his cabinet colleagues to settle on one method of payment over another. A major component of the proposal is rumoured to include a system of loans rather than a graduate tax, whereby a deferred payment will be put in place for students and their families, as opposed to relying on parents to pay upfront at the commencement of a course. Those who enter 3rd level in 2010 and are required to pay fees will not do so until they graduate in 2013, if this plan is proposed. O’Keefe is thought to support this notion of an upfront payment for very high earners, while those on low incomes will be excluded from the same level of charges. Those who pay upfront may be eligible for a 20% discount, to ensure that funding for higher education is available in the short term. Fees are expected to be set at around €5,000 for arts and business degrees, whereas those wishing to study subjects such as medicine or science based ones will be likely to pay greater amounts. It is feared that parents of students will opt for a more narrowly focused degree if they are ultimately forced to engage in this system of loans, to ensure that a job is attainable post graduation. Those in opposition, and indeed, the TDs from the Green Party who are in power alongside Fianna Fáil, have been staunchly against fees since it was

announced that they were returning. Fine Gael, as the main rival party in government drafted a document detailing a somewhat radical reform of education in Ireland. What exactly is Fine Gael proposing, and is it a viable alternative, or just an overly idealistic document designed to make the opposition appear as a more favourable party to govern? The focus from the party lies in the Green Paper published by the spokesperson for education, Brian Hayes, in March, where he outlines what his party could offer in relation to alternatives to fees, or, if fees are introduced, to ensure that the cutbacks that take place are as minimal as possible. The concept of a Graduate PRSI contribution scheme is proposed in this Green Paper, whereby those entering college pay 30% of their degree after they graduate and go into the workforce. Fine Gael state that this would raise €500m a year for the 3rd level sector alone. Noel Rock, a local election candidate for Fine Gael and DCU student disagrees with graduate tax, declaring that it would be a disincentive for students still in school to consider going to college. He told Trinity News that a lot of students would see more merit in going straight into employment rather than face the prospect of paying after graduation. “I can’t see how it would go any further on levelling the playing field. Why go to college when one can work to make money.” Rock believes that a more useful mechanism would be to push the idea of philanthropy and change the rules regarding it, as the Green Paper outlines, so that funding could be increased and thus alleviate the pressure on both the exchequer and the average student. It would be useful, Rock thinks, to offer tax breaks for those investing in higher education, and create a university development authority to regulate this. Indeed, the 3rd level sector cannot sustain itself at the rate it is spending without further investments of capital, but it remains to be seen whether it is possible to ensure that funding from the reintroduction of fees will allow for improvements to be made. Higher education has relied excessively on the exchequer funding in the last decade since fees were abolished, due to the fact that it was able to sustain this in a time of prosperity. Sources say that investment in higher level education stood at €350 million per year. Now, the government is stating that it is necessary to look to other sources of

income to fund 3rd level, as government policy will inevitably be altered to charge students for their degrees by introducing the loan system. Rock said: “we have a minister who’s proud to announce cuts in education, and is relishing the thought of making students and their families pay.” He believes that the loan system will deter working class students from entering 3rd level, and that there will be socio-economic discrepancies between students who can and cannot pay. A major drawback for the deferred payment lies in the fact that many families of middle-income will be reluctant to enter into debt, and impose burdens on graduates who are only beginning to earn money. It is not known what proportion students

“We have a minister who’s proud to announce cuts in education, and is relishing the thought of making students and their families pay.” will have to pay, if the loans system is introduced, and it is presumed that it would not be the full cost, as this would be a major disincentive. Reports have indicated that provisions will be made for working class families, to avoid this happening. This system is considered to have failed in England, leaving students with debts to pay off. Another flaw lies in the fact that a student who enters 3rd level and agrees to pay fees after graduation might not be able to pay in the following years of the degree, despite initially expecting to be. Alternatively, if the student were to drop out, and put further pressure on the system. The impact of free fees over the past decade has been examined in depth and different conclusions have emerged from the various camps. Free fees have been considered in a highly positive light due to the notion that university and other college courses were made accessible to a wider variety of students, encouraging social equity. Conversely, one or two reports have shown that access programmes for various universities have made as much, if not more of an impact. Access programmes allow students to enter college on a scholarship basis, and it is hoped that programmes such as these will remain options, despite the

cutbacks. Institutes of Technology have never paid fees before, and with growing numbers of students attending them, it will yield a vast amount of revenue if fees for all the sector are introduced. A further aspect of students giving something back to education lies in the notion of volunteerism after graduating from university. If students were to engage in a practice of giving some money earned back to the college they attended, as is optional in Trinity, perhaps some of the financial burdens could be lifted from the ever increasing debts. However, this will only serve as a small ripple in the vast amount of expenses that higher education needs. While the government might seek to increase participation at 3rd level regardless of fees, they might strive to ensure that students do not shy away from more expensive courses because of an inability to pay. With almost all families in Ireland facing major cutbacks in some form or another, it is uncertain whether participation rates will decrease with the introduction of fees, as it may put an unnecessary strain on those who are already struggling. On the other hand, the Higher Education system is in desperate need of funding to ensure that it produces a skilled workforce, so several alternative solutions are required. Finally, deferral after deferral, the whisperings regarding a definable way forward for the 3rd level sector will be quashed, and a plan decided upon. It remains to be seen when we will hear about it, or whether it will be merely this government patching up the mess that has been created, or, will a clear set of ideas emerge, which will push this sector towards excellence. We wait with bated breath.

THE GREEN PAPER » The need for colleges to specialise in core areas, and offer courses which are more narrowly focused, rather than produce ones which are similar; » Abolish the registration fee when the system of Graduate Contribution has been established; » Examine how the grant system is working for students » Make philanthropic donations more accessible by changing the rules, so that funding is increased » Increased levels of co-ordination between universities and Institutes of Technology should be implemented

As an Apple Authorised Reseller and Service Provider, Mactivate can offer expert advice on Apple sales and service.

www.mactivate.ie info@mactivate.ie tel: 01 8224488 Unit 13, Northwest Centre, Northwest Business Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

COLLECTION AND DELIVERY SERVICE FULL RANGE OF PRODUCTS & SOLUTIONS APPLE REPAIRS & UPGRADES APPLE SHOWROOM

Above: Students outside Leinster House on October 24 2008 protesting the possibility of the re-introduction of fees. Photo: Cian Clarke


8

FEATURES

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

RECESSION

ne B u y o 2 fo e r g et o n € f re e 1

SPECIAL

A regression might be just what we need It is not just sandwich deals that should convince us to smile through dire economic times. This is our opportunity to frame the future and create a culture; the recession has afforded numerous openings writes Charlie Baker

A

S THE recession bites deeper so portentous shrieks pitch higher. The credit crunch has become the depression, the property pinch, the property slump and every global issue is gladly afforded the immediacy of the term “crisis”. Though it is tempting to join these false harbingers of doom and despair at 12per cent unemployment and €3.5 billion budget deficits it is far more rewarding for us, that is Trinity’s finest, to see this straightening phase as a unique opportunity. Bluntly speaking, students aren’t currently affected by the economic climate. Few of us have homes, downpayments. stocks or daily jobs. We don’t have mouths to feed, apart from our own. We can take advantage of falling rental prices across Dublin. Alcohol and cigarettes will get tax hiked by the finance minister’s emergency budget but all the while we can revel in falling consumer prices. But 2 for 1 deals on chicken stuffing sandwiches at the local branch of Centra should not be our apex of optimism. Rather the openings afforded are much deeper and more profound than that. The first and most obvious change is the re-politicisation of the developed world. Apathy was threatening to become the byword of the 2000’s but as wallets shrink so voices grow louder. Governments are now under pressure from their citizens. This new “people power” was seen at the G20 summit.

“The vulgar nature of the boom years, with its immolating desire for instantaneous gratification, is perhaps the happiest casualty of the recession. Apathy was threatening to become the byword of the 2000’s but as wallets shrink voices grow louder.”

The new international regulatory powers that were introduced there, with closure of tax havens and the scrutiny of questionable financial practices, have little macro-economic value, but signify an attack on the ultra-wealthy bankers whose actions are held rightly or wrongly as the fons malorum of the current recession by the common man. During the boom years governments got away with serial blunders due to voter indifference (the 2001 PATRIOT act being perhaps the best example). And this rebalancing of power comes as our generation reaches maturity, and this is an inherently good thing. Now formerly minority concerns such as climate change, for so long kept in the cold by indifferent politicians, has come further up the global agenda. This seems a scant reward against the threat of unemployment, for the soon-to-be graduates who will have no suitable position on which to lavish their hard earned degrees. This is not necessarily true. Jobs in the financial services will be much harder to come by, but for the razor sharp ‘09 graduate, this offers a chance to make it. Stock prices are down 50 per cent. Vulture investing opportunities are on the rise. In a recent interview to the Sunday Times, everyone’s favourite Celtic cub, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, welcomed the recession, as it offers the opportunity for creative out-of-the-box thinking, something Trinity graduates are in a better position to fulfil than most. Furthermore we now have to think about what we really want to do. Instead of waltzing onto a highly paid corporate posting graduates are more likely to spread their eyes further – to the arts and the sciences, even to teaching and academia. The supposed brain drain might actually lead to some level of intellectual renewal. Indeed the changed times allow us to rethink how we conceive of society as a whole. The neo-liberal economics of the boom years engendered a creed of naked self interest that instead of empowering civilization has rather divided it – to

the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. A new book by two English academics titled Spirit Level makes a case that almost every single social problem – crime, obesity and infant mortality - is inexorably linked to inequality. So countries such as the USA, where the richest 10 per cent earn 12 times more than the poorest 10 per cent, are far more beset with social problems than a more equal society like Sweden or Japan, where the wealth divide is dramatically less pronounced. It is unnecessary to resort to social engineering or wealth redistribution to achieve greater cohesion, something that the authors support, but rather by removing the individualistic mentality a greater level of economic consistency can be more easily achieved. Yet it is scary to think how far we are blinded to these repellent notions of social structure. Look at the linguistic terms that have replaced the term ‘working class’. Now they are ‘knackers’, in England they are ‘chavs’, in America ‘trailer trash’. This isn’t a case of political correctness, but instead an honest question into why society feels it can deride certain strata of society just for being poor. By the same token society feels it has the right to spend. In

2008 in Ireland for every €100 another €158 was borrowed, an €108 rise from 1995. Such statistics show how our previous generation, the richest yet in human history, had a complete lack of financial responsibility. Not only can we provide a more spendthrift alternative, but also we can remove ourselves from the culture that has accompanied it. The vulgar nature of the boom years, with its immolating desire for instantaneous gratification, is perhaps the happiest casualty of the recession. It seeped into our culture. Instead of practical vehicles suburban families now required off road machines that could bulldoze a playground. Rather than opt for the demure taste of ages past, girls stocked up on tacky handbags, which seemed to send a gold embossed ‘fuck you’ to those unable or unwilling to splurge. Instead of giving to small charities or heaven forbid actually engaging with those less fortunate than ourselves, assorted morons competed to give vast sums to badly run organisations set up by egotistical ex-rockstars. Much easier to give over a credit card hotline! Family gatherings and home cooking went by the wayside for takeouts and patronising organic food, just that

reassuringly bit more expensive. Rather than engage in conversation people preferred to bleep at each other electronically via morbidly overpriced mobile phones. Lifestyle magazines encouraged women to develop the body shapes that 12 year old boys would deem unhealthy. The nefarious world of celebrity PR deified a series of monomaniacs, so much so that your average student is more acquainted with Angelina Jolie’s recent dietary history than they are with the works of Joyce and Shakespeare. Entertainment came in the form of voyeurism (Big Brother), irony (Indie music) and that old canard laughing at poor people (Wife Swap, X Factor). Our idols were Jade Goody and Paris Hilton. But I digress. As exhibitors of faultless taste, we Trinity students abhorred every single one of these now unfashionable actions. We have not only a chance to make a generation in our own image, but to create a culture whose achievements last throughout the ages, to focus on literature and not on reality TV, to bring back those heady days when politicians weren’t rock stars and rock stars weren’t politicians, and to skip the transience of our youth.

WHY SO BLUE? TEN REASONS TO LOVE THE RECESSION

1

Bargains

WHETHER IT’S Burger King’s new Cowen-taunting, “recession-buster” meal deals or Dunnes Stores’ “buy one, get about six free” offer on their industrial strength loo roll, prices everywhere seem to be falling more quickly than we’re losing jobs. Which can’t be bad. Snickers duo-pack for €1.20? Go for it.

6

Lively bars

ALTHOUGH NITECLUBS throughout the city are experiencing huge losses in customers and revenue (especially during the week) many bars seem to be doing just as well for themselves as before, if not better. The simple but practical economic policies of the layman teach that if one is in possession of a ten euro note, one can either sit at home and get depressed about how it is one’s last ten euro note, or one can go out and buy two pints. Head to Mulligans any night of the week for proof of this remarkable recessionary strategy.

2

House prices

TWO YEARS ago you would have needed to sell your granny just to even keep up rent payments on a rat-infested room anywhere near the city, and if you were dreaming of buying, well, the aforementioned gran would have to have been very lucky on Winning Streak. Now apparently “the property market is flooded”, which basically means that although you dont have any money anymore, if you did you’d have no problems picking up a cheap place somewhere.

7

Less smug students

DURING THE Celtic Tiger, Ireland was awash with third level layabouts who spent their time drinking g and snoozing gree their way to an arts degree ushy before walking into a cushy eland office number. Now, Ireland el is awash with third level nding layabouts who are spending their time drinking and snoozing their way to an arts degree before walking into their local social welfare office. That’ll teach them.

3

Conversation topic

DESPITE THE fact that we’re all sick of talking about it and hearing George Lee talk about it, if you’re stuck in an awkward silence with a distant relative, friend, or co-worker, the R-word is a definite catalyst for conversation. Just mention the country’s economic woes and prepare yourself to be bombarded by your companion’s opinions about how it’s really our government’s fault that the entire developed world is going through a financial crisis.

8

Blame game

NEVER HAS fingerpointing been so in vogue. Taking responsibility for your actions is now, for the ordinary Joe Soap, p completely obsoleted. Sure it was all the b bankers anyway. And Americ America. And yer man Jérôme Kerviel And Brian Lenihan. Not Kerviel. us thou though.

4 5 Lisbon

REMEMBER THAT thing that we had a referendum about last summer? We voted no just to be awkard, and most of Europe sighed with exasperation and told us to get it right the next time or we’d be in trouble. However, the more pressing concerns of counting pennies and not going bankrupt and has led to Lisbon (and the fact that our credibility and status as a member of the EU hangs in the balance) tiptoeing cautiously away from the spotlight. Despite the current wrangle about when to hold the next “yes” referendum, even Europe seems to have laid off our back somewhat.

9

Kyoto

OK ITS clutch at straws time here, but apparently the economic downturn has led to a lessening of industrial output and hence industrial emmissions, which leaves us on track to fulfil our targets for annual greenhouse emissions by 2012. This essentially reflects more on our economic troubles than on our environmental endeavour, but at least John Gormley can leave government believing that he has actually acheived something.

Bankers exposed

TO BLAME exclusively the poor bankers for everything that’s gone wrong is a bit ludicrous, but morally and financially they were out of order. Thus it’s best that these sordid revelations of corruption and golden circles are exposed now, so that we can start building the economy afresh without making the same mistakes again. Plus Joe Duffy and co need a scapegoat.

10

National pride

WHETHER OR not we have bonded together as a nation as a result of our financial problems is contentious - no immediate examples of recessionbeating civic unity spring to mind. But it’s what we’ve been told to do, so come up with your own interpretation of whatever “solidarity in the face of the economic downturn” means, and get out there and be Irish and proud. Give Dave from across the road a fiver.

The worst excesses of the 90s have lead to an opportunity to undo the injustices they created in the first place. Photo: Robert Kohlhuber


FEATURES

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

9

The criminal mind: emotionally inept Can a child be born a killer? Nature or nurture? James Ivory examines the public perception of the criminal mind and how our judgements reflect our society as a whole

J

OSEF FRITZL was last month convicted, to general relief throughout the Western world, for his gross crimes against his daughter Elizabeth. As he continue3s his life sentence in a psychiatric unit, a documentary billed as Josef Fritzl : Story of a Monster has been airing on Sky One. This program attempts no understanding of deviant psychology, offering no reason for why men such as Fritzl are capable of perpetrating such heinous crimes. It is obvious that no child is born a killer. A collection of experiences create this mal-adjusted character, which in turn propagate illegal acts. This sentiment is not reflected in our criminal justice systems. The reaction to Fritzl and many other violent offenders vilified in the media suggests that they are not of this world, that they are simply monsters who should be unquestionably and unceasingly punished. They can do nothing but wreak havoc. But it is not that simple. What sense of redemption can society, the offender himself or the

victims of these crimes draw from such an empty and damning conclusion. The more redeeming truth is that they were borne out of this society. Graham Fairchild, working in cognition and brain sciences at Cambridge University, offers insight into the criminal mind. His research has revealed that violent offenders have between 11-14% fewer cells in critical areas of the pre-frontal cortex of the brain. This area is critical for regulating impulses and emotions, and particularly the ability to perceive emotions in others. Furthering Fairchild’s thesis, Felicity de Zulueta explains how “neurone pathways are not developed in a child who has been neglected or abused. Traumatised brains by-pass the neo-cortex section of the brain.� This renders them incapable of making empathetic decisions while those with a fully developed neo-cortex would exhibit compassion and guilt towards their victims. The result of this brain deficiency is highly destructive. Jon Venables and

Robert Thompson (both aged 10) were at the centre of a media circus when they were brought to trial for torturing and murdering Jamie Bulger in 1993. 300,000 readers of the sun newspaper signed a petition for their sentence to be extended to a minimum of fifteen years. Did those who signed the petition take any time to understand these crimes rather than condemn two children, who could barely see over the top of the dock, as sordid and evil. Ms. De Zulueta contends, not unreasonably, that Venables and Thompson were victims of emotional trauma in the crucial years of their development. She suggests that people in such a condition sub-consciously attempt to re-create their insecurities in others. The pain they inflicted upon Jamie Bulger was a physical manifestation of the emotional pain they experienced at his age. The toddler’s cries of distress evoked agonizing memories of the boys’ own un-answered cries for help, driving them to kill Jamie Bulger in a frenzied and confused attack. Now, clearly there must be distinctions made between these two children and Josef Fritzl. It is conceivable that at such a young age, they are unable to quantify the harm they are inflicting. However, even during Fritzl’s trial there was evidence that he was not completely aware of the pain he had caused to his daughter. Following Elizabeth Fritzl’s testament to the court, having originally

pleaded not guilty to rape and murder, he rescinded these pleas and conceded he was guilty of all accused crimes. Fritzl had insisted in his statement to the police that the relationship was consented. Such a sense of emotional disillusionment would almost seem child-like if it wasn’t for the calculated and malicious nature of his crimes. John Major encapsulated the sentiment of the criminal justice system perfectly when he said, “we must condemn a little more and understand a little less.� We currently look to apportion blame and punish accordingly. The manner in which we treat those who have perpetrated crimes against us reflects us as a society. It is too easy to denounce them. And, increasingly, advances in neuro-science are revealing it’s just wrong. The foreman of the jury in the Bulger case has since renounced his denunciation of Venables and Thompson, regretfully wishing that he had returned the verdict that “these boys are in urgent need of social and psychiatric help.� But, if we are to eliminate this anachronistic

and un-forgiving attitude towards the most vulnerable in society, what should replace it? Sean Spence, from the University of Sheffield, believes it is viable to use this technology in court. Showing diminished culpability of these violent offenders would be a mitigating factor in their sentencing. It would align recent technological advances with the criminal justice system. And, the technology itself could be valuable in understanding violent offenders and providing them with self-control. In Great Britain in 2006, 65% of released convicts were re-convicted within 2 years. So, even if the sentencing policy of the condemned is changed to reflect their position of vulnerability, which is unlikely, the problem persists. The answer must lie in preventing the first conviction. There is conflicting opinion as to the most effective way to achieve this. Camilla Batmenghelidjh founded Kids Company in 1996. Batmenghelidjh cares for over a thousand children, r a n g i n g

from toddlers to men in their twenties who have a history of criminal activity, drug abuse, mental disturbance and emotional difficulties. She adopts the attitude that they are traumatised victims and preaches the maxim; “Love is all it takes�. Ninety-one percent of pupils have been re-integrated into education Ray Lewis, a former prison governor and deputy Mayor of London prefers a more hard-line approach. His institution at Eastside operates a zerotolerance policy and attempts to instill discipline through tough-love. Only half the pupils have reacted positively under this influence. These are the children, who are identified at an early stage to be troubled. What happens to those who exhibit positive signs through school, as Josef Fritzl did? The extreme nature of these two polarising solutions illustrates the difficulty of the task. Professor Spence has even suggested that a Kafkaesque policy is a possibility in the future, in which children would be subject to brain scans from an early age in an attempt to detect and ultimately prevent criminal activity in the future. The government cannot enforce good parenting, nor can they scan the brains of children. But, for me at least, it is clear that understanding, both through science and compassion, paves the way forward, not universal condemnation.

Goody’s death a clarion call for all women By Sarah-Kate Caughey and Lucy Whiston CANCER IS the 21st century’s version of the Black Death. No girl or woman knows when it will strike, having the capacity to debilitate and even kill with little remorse. Among the recent of the cancer family to gain notoriety due to recent media attraction is cervical cancer, the silent killer with no conscience. It can strike young girls from a young age but unfortunately can take up to ten years to show its symptoms. In fact cervical cancer mimics many other ailments which is why it can sometimes go unnoticed. A virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is considered to be the main cause of cervical cancer. A recent article in the Irish Times Health

Supplement cite that up to 80% of the population (male & female) have markers to show they have had the infection at some stage in their life. Having said that I’m still baffled at how the issue remains so silent when one of its main causes can be effectively prevented with one simple vaccine? Around the world today, a woman dies from cervical cancer every 2 minutes. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in Europe, whilst in Ireland, 6 women die on average every month. It’s time now to remember that things need to be done in this country and around the globe to take the preventative steps that can cure nearly 80% of all reported cases if caught early enough. In society today, the most vulnerable are us girls in our twenties and thirties. After recent cop outs by former

Health minister Mary Harney, the cervical cancer preventative ‘HPV vaccine’ will not be made freely available by the HSE to all 12 year old girls as proposed to commence in September 2009. Why not? Well apparently the evidence is not coherently there to justify the so called “cost-effective� implications, a phrase coined by Harney herself. The program would have an annual reported cost of around 9 million, and according to Harney the country had; “rapidly and seriously� deteriorated since the plan was announced in August.� The recession is like a beanbag, easy to get stuck in but incredibly difficult to get out of and that is certainly not the blame of twelve year old girls. Although it’s very important to make cuts in the government ever shriveling budget, I can’t see the legitimacy in not reinstating this

Member of the European University Association DUBLIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

/FFERINGGRADUATEEDUCATIONPROFESSIONAL CAREER FOCUSEDRESEARCHOPPORTUNITIES

MASTERS PROGRAMMES School of Art, Design & Printing s-!0ROFESSIONAL$ESIGN0RACTICE #ONSERVATORYOF-USIC$RAMA s--US0G$IP0ERFORMANCE #LASSICAL 4RADITIONAL *AZZ #HAMBER-USICAND0IANO !CCOMPANIMENTFTANDPT School of Languages s-!SA'HAEILGE&HEIDHMEACH School of Media s-3C$IGITAL'AMES s-!#REATIVE$IGITAL-EDIA

s-!)NTERNATIONAL*OURNALISM s-!*OURNALISM s-!!PPLIED-EDIA3TUDIESPT s-!0UBLIC2ELATIONS s-!0UBLIC!FFAIRSAND0OLITICAL #OMMUNICATION 3CHOOLOF3OCIAL3CIENCES,AW s-!#HILD &AMILYAND #OMMUNITY3TUDIES s-!#RIMINOLOGY s-!,AW s0OSTGRADUATE$IPLOMAIN,AW

DOCTORAL RESEARCH Structured PhD Programme: s#ULTURAL3TUDIESAND3OCIAL $OCUMENTARY0RACTICE Research Subject Areas: sINTELLIGENTMEDIACONTENTANDTECHNOLOGIES sGEOSPATIALIMAGING sSOCIALSOFTWARE sGENDER SEXUALITYANDTHELAW sDIVERSITYANDEQUALITYISSUES

sJUVENILECRIMEANDYOUTHJUSTICE sMEDIA TECHNOLOGIESCIVILSOCIETY sEARLYCHILDHOODCAREANDEDUCATION sHIGHEREDUCATIONPOLICY sSOCIALCAREALTERNATIVECARE sPRACTICE BASEDRESEARCHINVISUAL PERFORMINGMEDIAARTS sMUSICPERFORMANCE COMPOSITION PUBLICEXHIBITION

&URTHERINFORMATION MASTERS PROGRAMMES 0OSTGRADUATE!DMISSIONS/FlCE $UBLIN)NSTITUTEOF4ECHNOLOGY 4  %POSTGRADUATE DITIE 7WWWDITIESTUDYPOSTGRADUATE

www.dit.ie

DOCTORAL RESEARCH $R"RIAN/.EILL (EADOF2ESEARCH &ACULTYOF!PPLIED!RTS 4  %BRIANONEILL DITIE

IT’S A STEP CLOSER TO THE REAL WORLD

cancer preventing program which cost relatively little in the grand scheme of things. Besides, it’s not our generation who has produced the reckless leaders and corporate cowboys responsible for this credit crunch and the significance of this potentially life saving drug needs to be recognized. What can students in their twenties do to prevent cervical cancer? Most of us think that there is no point in getting the HPV vaccination after the age of 18, this is certainly not true. The Trinity College health care centre provides smear tests for only 15 Euro; these simple tests have proven to reduce the death rate by 74% since they were firstly introduced. The HPV vaccination is still very worthwhile even if you are sexually active and over the age of 18, the results are very effective and will dramatically reduce the risk of contracting the

dangerous form of HPV commonly known as ‘Gardasil’. For more information contact the TCD college health center located on campus in house 47 across from the rugby pitches. With the recent news of the late Jade Goody’s death, young girls need to recognize the benefits of knowing about the dangers of cervical cancer and how 70% of all cases can be prevented with regular smear tests and the HPV vaccination. This larger than life, Big Brother star from Bermondsey has left a legacy behind her that has had tremendous impact. Not only has she raised Cervical cancer screening numbers by over 60% across the UK and Ireland, she has shown us that in life nothing is forever, no matter how invincible you feel. Jade Goody was the first ever ‘Reality TV’ star who for the most part

had many haters to hurl abuse at, yet she also had an important message of bravery and courage in the face of adversity which any young girl can sympathize with. At just 27 years old, Jade’s short life was ended by cervical cancer but her public battle with this silent killer will go on to save many lives in the future by encouraging us, this hard to reach group of twenty year young women to get tested, look into getting the HPV vaccination and seeing these options as positive opportunities to make our lives a little safer. Cervical cancer is by no means a disease to be underestimated. This silent killer has struck a chord with people in recent weeks but what’s important now is to recognize that the silence is not golden, cervical cancer should no longer be silent and no girl should be in the dark when it comes to knowing how it can be prevented.


10

WORLD REVIEW

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Partisanship stalls human rights The politicisation of the Durban II anti-racism summit being held in Geneva this week threatens to undermine its admirable objectives, writes Michal Bartosik.

I

N THE shadow of the financial crisis the Arab-Israel.i conflict oozes on. The so-called Durban II anti-racism conference takes place this week in Geneva. Matters are highly emotionally charged, both sides having widely varying versions of truth - a particularly elusive concept in the Middle East. The conference in Geneva is supposed to review the outcomes of Durban I which took place in September 2001 in the midst of the Second Palestinian Intifada (urban uprising in the West Bank). The declarations made at the conference were deemed too critical of Israel and biased. Israeli and American delegations duly stormed out. This time round Israel, Canada, Italy and the USA are refusing to attend Durban II as it does not openly reject the Durban I closing declaration where Israel was the only state mentioned by name in conjunction with racism. Negotiations on the wording of the document with Arab states continues but a stalemate is likely. Fundamental disagreements regarding Israel and Palestine persist. The quarrel about Durban is not just another gentlemanly diplomatic duel but a part of a fierce media war that carries on 24/7. A few facts about Durban I that could lie at the bottom of the current tussle need to be straightened out. What is collectively referred to as Durban I were in fact two conferences. The World Conference against Racism (WCAR) where delegates of governments were to meet and a parallel, less official NGO forum of the World Conference against Racism - a “two in one” formula best describes the occasion. Both issued separate concluding declarations on racism – its existing forms and ways of combatting it. In Article 162 the NGO forum declaration unceremoniously described what they regard as the state of affairs in Israel: “We declare Israel as a racist, apartheid state in which Israel’s brand of apartheid as a crime against humanity has been characterized by separation and segregation, dispossession, restricted land access, denationalization, ¨bantustanization¨ and inhumane acts.“

Providing an Irish connection, Mary Robinson, then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights opted to reject the highly problematic formulation. Article 63 of the official WCAR declaration states: “We are concerned about the plight of the Palestinian people under foreign occupation. We recognize the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State and we recognize the right to security for all States in the region, including Israel, and call upon all States to support the peace process and bring it to an early conclusion.” All of this sounds like a lot of namecalling. I’ll take back what I said if you take back what you said – but you have to do it first. Some would say that the UN is precisely a venue for such counterproductive arguing. Countless resolutions are agreed to, their impact in real terms is limited but everyone gets a chance to speak and walk all over their opponents. The likes of Hugo Chavez and Mahmud Ahmadinejad have used their time at the UN General Assembly

to pontificate about American tyranny and Zionist plots. Accordingly, there was no love lost between America and the UN when Iraq was invaded without a consensus amongst the international community. Nevertheless the UN lives on and wherever its blue helmets and white doves appear they disseminate an aura of righteousness like the smell of incense implies mysticism. It also continues to produce documents and most importantly declarations that will in the end be what is left to posterity. And no one wants to get a bad name in the history books. The last decade has seen the rise of Palestinian grassroots movements and the increasing representation of Palestinians that are articulate and acceptable by ‘Western standards’ in the international media. The feeling of siege must be increasing in Israel – the UN, formed as a response to the horrors of the Holocaust is a forum where Israel is criticised on a regular basis. Many Israeli observers reject the notion that criticism of Israel could be objective and seek political motivation behind the work of NGOs. There is no such thing as impartiality. When googling ‘Durban II’ the average net surfer instantly comes across a number of ‘monitoring’ websites that take a closer look at the UN and NGOs and are sympathetic to the Israeli cause. Probably the most prominent one is ‘Eye on the UN’. It claims that the Durban II conference is undermining

the West and democracy, promoting anti-Semitism, demonizing Israel as racist, foiling efforts to combat radical Islamic terrorism, manufacturing Islamophobia everywhere, fomenting religious extremism and curbing free expression. A little section on the reform of the UN makes it clear what kind of organisation it is: “the UN serves as a tool to mask the intentions and the delicts of the anti-democratic forces which threaten civilization today. Even the root principles of its post-Holocaust foundations are inverted as the organization has become the largest global purveyor of modern forms of anti-Semitism in the 21st century, in contrast to the Charter’s “equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small.” Certainly, the argument goes, such evaluations are passed on the premise that the UN is being held ransom by countries with appalling human rights records such as Iran or Syria not to speak of China. The cooperation between Palestinian and Western NGOs and such states certainly undermines the credibility of these organisations. Nevertheless Israel cannot reject all criticism on the grounds that it is formulated by somebody who is doing even worse. Another website, the ‘NGO-monitor’ specifically targets the funding and political motivation of NGOs its goal being: “Promoting Critical Debate and

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is boycotting the Summit Accountability of Human Rights NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict”. Ireland features as a prominent provider of aid to Palestine with Trocaire listed as the official overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Church. Trocaire activity is seen as hostile to the Israeli state: “in examining the details, it is clear that Trócaire has a one-sided political agenda, which provides a tendentious view of the conflict, demonizing Israel, distorting international law, omitting the context of terror, and ignoring abuses of Israeli human rights. The result is to fuel the conflict, in sharp contrast to its stated goals.” Certainly the fact that Jerusalem is listed as the Palestinian capital by the Irish adds to aggravation on the part

Protests against perceived racism by the Israeli State against Palestinians

of the Israeli watchdog. What many see as disinterested humanitarian action others see as conscious political engagement. Such websites guarding the correct version of truth or truths and producing information and facts suitable to their cause are abundant on both sides of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Both have correctly recognised the importance of the battle for hearts and minds in an age where media shapes reality. An increasing bottomless radicalism is the result – the Holocaust, comparisons of Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto, accusations of fascism and National Socialism are among the verbal ammunition fired at the enemy in search of legitimacy and sympathy in the eyes of the insatiable media spectator. Extensive campaigns through internet portals and social networking sites including Facebook make the Arab-Israeli conflict a constant part of everyday life that is difficult to ignore even for the most apolitical of citizens. As this article was going to press the Durban II conference was to be boycotted by Israel, Canada, and the USA. Germany and France were going to take part to influence the gathering from inside. The supporters of Durban II are a surprising coalition of NGOs and Arab states. Despite of the disagreements the conference will go ahead on April 20. The lack of support from prominent UN members means that the mandate to fight racism and xenophobia around the world will be limited. The politicisation of the process has undermined the universal goals set out at the first antiracism conference eight years ago. If other universal projects are to fall victim to such partisanship then the outlook for conflict resolution around the world looks glum. Just as it is for the Arab-Israeli one.

Dialogue with the Taliban Learn today Lead tomorrow

Q&A Thinking of furthering your studies in business? UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School awaits you. Come to our Open Evening on Wednesday the 22nd of April from 4pm at our Blackrock Campus. It’s your chance to meet with top professors, alumni and current students. They’re ready to answer your questions on any subject in our wide range of programmes.

For further information and to register your attendance, visit smurfitschool.ie

By Jonathan Wyse PRESIDENT HAMID Karzai of Afghanistan has in the past publicly expressed a willingness to negotiate with the leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, while guaranteeing his safety. The current planned alterations to American policy in the country could provide a unique opportunity for Afghanistan’s government to sell apparent ‘concessions’ to groups within the Taliban in exchange for their cooperation in reducing levels of violence. Lessons learned within Iraq are leading America to shift the focus towards population protection rather than operations against hostile insurgents. Thus, within this reorientation of policy there may be elements desired by the Taliban, and especially their supporters. Examples include commitment to reduced troop presence within certain areas such as village centres, or decreased use of aerial bombardment – major sources of angst within civilian populations, especially those in which the Taliban currently enjoys support. The principles could even extend to co-operation in government at the local level. It may therefore be mutually beneficial for the government to publicly declare that it will negotiate with factions of the Taliban which are prepared to compromise. Although the leadership have insisted that they are not interested in talks as long as foreign troops remain in the country, this is obviously dependent on conditions and that rhetoric has never been seriously put to the test. Therefore, the offer may create discord within the organisation as more pragmatic elements see means by which they can further practical objectives. By driving a wedge between these groups and the hardliners, the authority and effectiveness of the leadership is likely to be diminished. This is analogous to the break up of the Provisional IRA in 1997. Those groups then either disarmed under pressure from politicised elements, which were empowered after engagement in negotiation of the peace process, or declined through lack of

support until they no longer posed any threat. The extent of this effect would be unclear, however. Most former Taliban members who were interested in politics, have already engaged in the democratic process. This is evidenced by the fact that over a third of the Afghan Parliament’s Lower House is composed of religious fundamentalists. Nevertheless, recruitment of insurgents into the Taliban relies heavily on those who have suffered through the actions of foreign troops and resent the current, ineffectual administration. The government could appeal to these individuals by juxtaposing its progressive stance against the obstinacy of the Taliban leadership. Any bargains successfully made would demonstrate the effectiveness of peaceful means, and dissipate recruitment within that area. The negotiations will also communicate important information about the composition of the political forces within the organisation, and the motivations of its constituent elements – which are by no means homogenous and known. The centralised authority of President Hamid Karzai favours opening talks with the Taliban the Taliban has decreased more recently, with groups such as the Haqqanis reasserting their independence. Some are especially sensitive to public opinion, in order to ensure continual recruitment. This means they are more in touch with the concerns of marginalised groups within Afghanistan (such as those in the Pushtun south) - those least likely to turn to the democratic process under the status quo. This information will pressurise the government of Afghanistan to address such concerns, which is clearly not being done at the moment. Afghanistan’s government can plausibly deny claims that they are simply puppets of the United States. This will increase their reputation amongst citizens and lead to greater respect for the democratic process. The Taliban, like most insurgency groups, relies on the tacit cooperation of local citizens who support their aims

and means. If this were to evaporate, they would experience greater difficulty in resisting U.S. operations against them. Diminished public support was key to security improvements in Iraq achieved after the ‘Sunni Awakening’ in 2006. It does not even necessarily require concrete progress. By providing the option, the government could create incentives for elements to bow to public pressure and engage in talks, or face loss of support.The power of the Taliban is not entirely dependent on public support, however. Much of the Taliban’s income is derived from the protection of groups who grow and export opium poppies. Poverty and lack of opportunity for young men makes the Taliban and its derivatives extremely attractive. In addition, much of their finance comes from sources in Saudi Arabia. Thus, delegitimising the violence of the Taliban is no panacaea. However, financial power is more easily dealt with. While restricting finance received from abroad is extremely difficult, tackling smuggling over the border into Pakistan is achievable. Indeed, it is a major component of the co-operation between Pakistan and the U.S. Meanwhile, it is debatable whether the Taliban can actually be defeated through exclusively military means given the support currently enjoyed within certain regions of the country and the limiting factor of Afghani security forces. The result could potentially be the degeneration of the Taliban into a criminal shell,This would pose considerably less of a threat to public welfare and the broader peace. Meanwhile, the drug trade is a problem which need’s to be dealt with in either case. Even though the Taliban reigned over Afghanistan in an oppressive manner and caused huge harm to its citizens, the support which it enjoys within certain regions of the country cannot be denied. Rather than continue the failed policies of military force, negotiation with elements of the Taliban may be desirable and mutually beneficial. Although providing them with the opportunity to consolidate their forces and legitimise their organisation could be too high a price to pay.


WORLD REVIEW

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

11

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Overseas tremors are felt in Paris With mass strikes effectively shutting down three of France’s overseas departments, is this an omen of things to come on the mainland, asks Alison Spillane.

A

44-DAY general strike ended in Guadeloupe last month with an overwhelming victory for workers as an agreement signed between trade union leaders and employers on March 4th guaranteed a €200 monthly pay increases for the island’s lowest paid workers. The Jacques Bino agreement, named after the trade unionist killed during the strike, is comprised of 165 articles in total and resolves a wide range of economic grievances with drastic changes such as concessions on the price of bread as well as a reduction on the cost of school meals and a 20% reduction on the price of bus fares. The LKP (Collective Against Extreme Exploitation), led by Elie Domota, is the umbrella organization for

A poster in Paris calls for solidarity with Guadeloupe.

a coalition of trade unions, farmers coops and other groups that negotiated with employers groups and French government representatives for the reforms. However, France’s largest employer representative, Medef, refused to sign the accord and although it is uncertain how many workers in Guadeloupe are employed by Medef, members’ estimates range as high as 30,000 to 40,000. France has always had a volatile relationship with its departments, and the accusation that the DOMTOMs (French departments and territories overseas) are treated more like colonies than departments of France has been leveled at successive French governments. Wages are much lower than on the mainland yet the cost of living is higher due to a high dependency on imports from France. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that government employees working in Guadeloupe are given a 40% bonus in order to cope with the cost of living, widening the gap between rich and poor even more. Furthermore, racial tensions play a huge role in civil unrest such as that in Guadeloupe where the majority of the population is black but economic power is largely in the hands of the Békés, descendants of white landowners and slaveholders from the colonial period. Policies from the mainland have kept Guadeloupe in a state of arrested development; tourism has become the island’s primary source of income despite a rich farming

Gendarmie clear the wreckage left by protests in the French department Guadeloupe tradition (the French were attracted to Guadeloupe in the 17th century by the possibilities of cultivating sugarcane). Food is now grown predominately for export to the EU rather than for the Guadeloupeans themselves, as a result the island is heavily dependent on France for food imports. While the growth of the tourism sector, heavily pushed by French governments in the 1990s, has created thousands of jobs there has been very little investment in other areas, particularly agriculture where the lack of diversification means the island is extremely weak when compared with its neighbours in Latin America. As well as the French government the white population in Guadeloupe are clearly the other villains of this piece. But to pose a clichéd question; Can they be held responsible for the actions of their ancestors? They certainly reap the benefits and, moreover, they have done little to help their cause in recent times, a member of a well-known Béké family interviewed during the strike took the not-so-prudent step of saying slavery had its “positive aspects”. However, LKP leader Elie Domota gives as good as he gets, stating; “We won’t let a band of Békés reestablish slavery” during

Strikes – à Paris, c’est la vie! By Shane Quinn in Paris WALKING BY the Panthéon in early March, it was hard to retain interest in the soon-to-start Everton v Blackburn Rovers match due to a much more interesting incident that was fast gathering momentum. A group of students from the Sorbonne had occupied France’s premier law school, Université Panthéon-Assas Paris 2, and the Gendarmerie were doing their best to prevent the eagerness of the protestors from developing into a full blown riot. The students inside the building had opened a few windows on the ground floor in an attempt to let other protestors on the street enter and join them. Attempts to climb in by several students were hindered by a handful of over zealous policemen who weren’t too reluctant to deliver a few swift knocks to the head with their truncheons. The police had blocked the entire Rue Soufflot and began charging at the outdoor mob. The protestors soon Nicolas Sarkozy’s term has been marked by mass demonstrations retreated to the bottom of the street where they turned onto Boulevard St. Michel. After a few more keen charges by the police, the students quickly dispersed and my friends and I managed to get to the pub, though it was student politics, not the game, that received most of our attention. This was only one incident in what is now a three month strike by most French students and many lecturers, Assas being the exception. Assas hasn’t been on strike since it broke away from the Sorbonne in 1968. The actions of the students on 4th March were no doubt an attempt to garner support among their counterparts there. The strike is still unauthorized in many of the Universities but the Sorbonne has told its foreign students that it is now official and their time would be best spent in their respective home countries. In Ireland, it’s very hard to get

The full scale of French affection for protesting is shown in Paris students interested in any aspect of student affairs, let alone get them onto the streets at 8pm and risk arrest for a cause. It was surprising, therefore, to hear that on St. Patrick’s Day, while most Irishmen were oblivious to their surroundings, some 200 students from all over Paris, not content with skiving class and almost causing a riot at Assas, occupied the Institut d’É tudes Politiques (better known as Sciences Po) claiming Sciences Po to be the, “symbole du système élitiste et hiérarchique dans l’enseignement supérieur français.” (the symbol of the elitist and hierarchical system in French higher education). Surely, the fear and anger of the French students must be quite grave if it would lead to such a reaction. Actually, it’s not and the French will strike as readily as the Irish will sing. It’s tempting to cite Nicholas Sarkozy’s remark in 2007 - “These days, when there’s a strike in France, nobody notices.” The entire strike centres on what all strikes centre on - money. Valérie Pécresse, the Minister for Higher Education, has proposed sweeping reforms for the financing of third level education in the country. Those most affected are students on the teacher training course, CAPES (Le Certificat d’Aptitude au Professorat de l’Ensiegnement du Second degré - The Qualification for the Second level Teaching Profession). CAPES students will be denied their one year of paid work experience and will have to complete a Masters (probably an effort to raise more funds). Until now, the total number of students allowed to study for the CAPES was commensurate with the

demand for teachers. The reforms will create a free market system whereby all deserving students can study for it and then compete for jobs. These reforms will mean the loss of 900 university posts and pressurize remaining researchers and lecturers to justify the way they spend their research time. In addition, the lecturers may see increases of up to 100% on the hours they are expected to teach. As a foreigner, it is difficult to empathize with this level of frustration at reforms which will help end the cosy, lazy attitude that brought in the 35hour working week (remember it’s still only 15-18 hours per week for secondary school teachers) and bring the education system better results via a competitive market for teaching staff. So, what’s the problem? In short, the problem is in the French psyche which is inherently socialist and plagued by a sense of entitlement. I’m glad Assas isn’t on strike. As a student there, I would feel compelled to break the picket line and sit in an empty lecture hall just to spite the leftist fanatics. What shocks me is that France hasn’t gone the same way as Britain did in the 1970s. When elected, Sarkozy was described as France’s Thatcher. Historical parallels are often cliché, inaccurate and irrelevant. Watching this strike escalate, however, I’m inclined to think that this could be Sarkozy’s miners’ strike. Let’s hope he shows the tenacity and resolve of Mrs. Thatcher. If asked, one could detail the reasons for the strike but a single phrase response could be useful to remember if in a rush - “Because they stormed the Bastille in 1789 and it worked!”

a television appearance. Domota is currently being investigated by the local government for inciting racial hatred. Opinion about him is divided on the mainland with right-of-centre newspapers, notably le Figaro, painting a less than flattering portrait of the leader, citing him as “the uncontested and uncontestable” head of the LKP and suggesting his attitude is not far off that of the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) whose motto towards the white community during the Algerian War of Independence was “the suitcase or the coffin”. Left-wing Libération by contrast describes Domata as a “calm and determined” leader fighting not for independence from France but asking for better conditions for workers and the Guadeloupean people as a whole and demanding equality with the mainland. In neighbouring Martinique, protests began shortly after those in Guadeloupe and continued for thirty-eight days before the strike was called off on March 14th after a wage agreement similar to that in Guadeloupe was reached between unions, employers and government officials. However, employers will pay the minority of the increases with the State, and therefore the taxpayers, footing the brunt of the bill for the

next eighteen months. In Reunion, no agreements had been reached at time of writing and the general strike continues. On the mainland, discontent has been growing steadily over the past months, as the country, sheltered thus far by an excellent social protection system, is beginning to feel the effects of the recession with unemployment at 8.3%. Although, while problems may be growing for those on mainland France their counterparts in Guadeloupe are in a much worse position with unemployment at 22%, young people being the largest sector of society out of work and a poverty rate which is twice that of the mainland at roughly 12%. The general feeling amongst the population of the DOM-TOMs is one of neglect, and the evident lack of interest from Paris at the outbreak of the strikes in Guadeloupe served only to reinforce this sentiment. Normally quick to react, President Sarkozy greeted events in Guadeloupe with a stony silence for the first couple of weeks, no doubt he feared conceding to the wage increase would spark similar cries for pay raises on the mainland. All in all his government seems to have underestimated the strength of this new movement where thousands of workers are not

only mobilized but highly organized, and what’s more Sarkozy et al have drastically underestimated the nature of the conflict itself; the economic reforms the LKP are calling for are inextricably bound to the long and bloody history of colonization that is its relationship with France. These demands have not just sprung up out of the blue. Nor is this strike the first of its kind in Guadeloupe: in May 1967 workers calling for a 2.5% pay increase were violently broken up by police with more than a hundred trade unionists killed. Exactly one year later mainland France was paralysed by the now infamous “mai 68” protests, made up of a series of student demonstrations as well as a general strike. These events resulted in the collapse of the de Gaulle government. It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together so in the current climate where mainland France is seeing its largest public demonstrations in twenty years, Sarkozy’s concessions to Guadeloupe and other overseas departments, at the end of February he proposed €580 million in aid to four overseas departments, seem to indicate that he has learned from the mistakes of his ancestors. But will he nevertheless be condemned to repeat them? Only time will tell.


12

OPINION

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Abolish the written word: won’t somebody think of the children?! CATHAL WOGAN Piranha! is not a very funny magazine. The typos are numerous and awful. In fact, the general opinion about town is that the distasteful content of the publication is the result of a small group of obnoxious potty-mouths who have forgotten what satire is and where the spell check icon is on their toolbars. This opinion seems to be shared by the Senior Dean, Professor Mike Jones. Professor Jones, who is chair of the Capitations Committee, expressed his outrage at an article published in Piranha!; a “highly irresponsible” article that he believes

encourages the homicidal tendencies of Trinity students. The feature suggested that Trinity might be a pleasant hunting ground for students to take their boredom and angst out upon their peers. This has led to his call for funding for Piranha! to be cut for the remainder of the year, effectively censoring the publication. I would be happy to stand by Professor Jones’ side in this matter, and encourage the student body and the Publications Committee to embrace this censorship, sending an unblinking message out to those who wish to spread smut, filth, and other inappropriate waves through our world. However, I believe that a real plan of action is needed. I believe that a Censorship Manifesto is the first step towards our noble goal of cleansing the written word.

The Censorship Manifesto must begin with the disgrace and destruction of Piranha!. Making an example of this rogue publication is integral to the cause that Professor Jones and I are undertaking. To let Piranha! away with their literary indiscretions - encouraging mass murder in this instance - would be a setback for those who wish to read cleaner, more wholesome student publications. If Piranha! were to survive writers would run riot, seeing that anything is fair game for their pens. Indeed, one could hardly bear to imagine the anarchy that would ensue if writers had license to write whatever they wanted. The next step in the process is to place a complete blanket ban on smutty or inflammatory material of any kind in our student publications. All talk of sex, drugs and violence would be the main enemies at this point of our plan. The

presence of these topics in the media encourages anti-social behaviour in people from all walks of life, but mothers everywhere agree that poorly filtered media is particularly harmful to their children, the young and impressionable minds of the students that walk through this campus every day. Even at this moment in time, wider society is on its knees due to the lack of decency and morals of the modern world. Casual sex, casual drugs, casual violence; all the result of irresponsible media. Closely following smut, news and opinion are the next domains that we must turn our watchful eyes upon. News, just like anything else, must be filtered. News can be just as negatively provocative as smut and must be treated in the same way. News of violence, war, terrorism, rape and other world horrors must be recognised as the destructive influences they are. Political, religious

and social unrest can often have the same effect and opinion on these matters can be equally, if not even more influential. Concern, or even slight unhappiness, at the state of local, national and international affairs can adversely affect the psyche of the modern student. The negative effects of news are evident throughout our fragile student body. Political leanings, social opinions and collective awareness can be seen around every corner of our campus, leading to undesirable consequences including social unrest, political volatility, and even student protests. News is for giving the results of local sporting events or stock market prices, certainly not for inciting anti-social behaviour. If we were to achieve these goals then we could begin the implementation of our Final Solution, our final step towards the cleansing of student

publications: the complete eradication of the written word. While this may seem extreme to many, to those of us who are more enlightened (including Professor Jones and I) it will be the ultimate stand against the medium that has the greatest power of corruption. The concrete nature of the written word means that it holds an influential power, a power that can change the world. This power is infinitely dangerous and in the wrong hands it could destroy the pleasant and comfortable way in which we live. To this end, we must look at where we are at the moment and make sure that our world is kept intact. We must destroy Piranha!! now. Failure to act as this golden opportunity arises would certainly mean the descent of our campus, indeed our world, into chaos. Act now students, as tomorrow may not be so bright.

IN PROFILE: NICK LONGWORTH

The lonely entertainer speaks out Students’ Union Ents Officer Nick Longworth’s style of management has led to commendation, condemnation and comedy in equal measure. Tom Lowe met him to take a look back at his hectic year.

Y

OU MAY not have noticed, but on a cold night in February last year, the clandestine world of Trinity events promotion was shaken. The golden boy of the Ed O’Riordan Ents Crew, Dave Byrne, was beaten by two votes in the SU Ents Officer election, and the man who beat him was a shaggy-haired, untried final year Science student named Nick Longworth. Post-mortems on the election failed to find a definite cause of defeat for the fabled Ents machine: some blamed Byrne’s lackadaisical campaign, others saw it as a lucky byproduct of the huge Hamilton turnout that Cathal Reilly brought, while others still claimed that Longworth simply made a better case for election. Whatever the cause, the result was final, Longworth was in. I met Nick some days ago to discuss his time as Entertainer-in-chief. In person, he is much as you would imagine the man who organised an oncampus reconstruction of the Crystal Maze, multiple toga parties and mystery bus tours that left trails of destruction in their wake: that is, fun, friendly, and observably a little bit mental.

Talking to Nick, I got the sense that he feels a bit persecuted. I began to understand why when two punters passed a rather sweary comment on the Trinity Ball lineup. Public opinion is against him: people simply don’t feel he’s done a good job. Nick will also be facing questioning over the current weeks regarding the nature of his relationship with the Andrew’s Lane Theatre, where he runs a club night, Noize. This questioning will be especially pointed given Longworth’s contributions to Students’ Union Council suggesting that it mandate its officers to separate business and their SU involvement: critics see it as a hypocritical, high-and-mighty gesture. One SU insider told me that Longworth is being “boxed out”; divorced from the decision-making of the SU, and that his colleagues try to avoid dealing with him when possible. It’s unfortunate, when you get to know Longworth, that he faces such opprobrium. He’s a genuinely affable, nice guy, who doesn’t want to do anybody any harm, least of all his beloved SU. When we parted, he said “I don’t give a damn what you say about me, just don’t write

“Longworth in person is much as you would expect the man who organised an on-campus reconstruction of the Crystal Maze to be: fun, friendly, and observably a little bit mental”

anything that would damage the SU.” We started at the beginning, his election and first days as Ents Officer. Did he feel intimidated by his opposition, particularly the strong Ents machine behind Dave Byrne? “I did and I didn’t. I mean, I had great support from the Hamilton, and when I was talking to people, a lot of them didn’t know who he was.” What about the night he was elected? “When they announced that I’d won, the feeling was surreal. The whole way through the campaign, I’d felt, you know, ‘I don’t know if I can do it!’, but I won, it was great.” He spoke of the “very steep learning

curve” that he faced as a new Ents Officer; if one recalls his difficulties this year: a €900 balloon drop at a club where three people had paid in, paying €6,500 for Dirty Sanchez and selling 44 tickets, etc; one can’t help but feel that a more experienced hand might have avoided such disasters. I asked him about how he works. He claimed that a “can-do” attitude is vital as an Ents Officer. Undoubtedly so, but Longworth’s problem, in the eyes of his critics, is that he focuses too much on what he can do, and less on making sure that the things he can do get done. He knows this well himself; in his own words, there’s a “big difference between

having an idea and implementing it.” I turn to the topic of the moment, the Trinity Ball and its headliners, The Script. “It was tough,” he says. “I mean, with MCD, you’re arguing with the guys who book Oxegen.” Longworth admitted his disappointment with the lineup, but said his hands were tied by the SU’s contract with MCD. I asked him if he thought that we would have ended up with The Script as headliners if Ed O’Riordan was still Ents Officer. He seemed stung by the question, and answered quietly in the negative: “No, I don’t think so.” Read more on Nick’s travails on pg 1.

Wage cuts not only inevitable, but also desirable JONATHAN WYSE THERE HAS long been argument over whether the European Union constitutes what economists call an “optimal currency area”. The worsening economic conditions in the state are bringing the arguments against into sharp focus. Ireland has for long suffered wage inflation higher than the rest of the current monetary union. This increased the purchasing power of Irish consumers, and initially brought prosperity. Meanwhile, the country’s competitiveness was suffering, as it became a more expensive place to do business. This is the major source of Ireland’s current employment crisis.

Under normal circumstances, governments would initiate a devaluation of the currency. Indeed, the problems which can result from ill-advised harmonisation of monetary policy were seen in 1992, when George Soros attacked the value of Sterling, eventually forcing devaluation. The economy, which had been suffering recession and high unemployment, then rallied as it became a better place to do business due to lower costs. Unfortunately, the Irish Government has no such means at their disposal. The European Central Bank has no intention of allowing sufficient devaluation. In any regard, Ireland would still have substantially higher wage rates than the rest of Europe and economies which have currencies tied to the Euro. Since wage costs cannot be decreased through currency exchange rate changes, they must fall of their own accord. This can only be brought about by a painful period of high unemployment. The beginnings of this

inevitable process can already be seen in Ireland. Although there are means by which the government can ease the resultant interim harms, they are not taking advantage of them. This is most evident in the recent budget released. It should first be noted that the imposition of higher taxes only serves to perpetuate higher wages, by decreasing the incentive for individuals to return to work and making welfare less unattractive than it might have been. Meanwhile, the government has completely spurned “active labour market policies”, programs which help the unemployed to find work. The Back to Work Allowance Scheme will be soon closed to new applicants, as announced in the Supplementary Budget. This program creates incentives for those on welfare to take up employment, as they hold onto part of their payments for a while. Although it would appear that getting a job should be its own reward,

the scheme importantly encourages people to get back into the labour market even if they have to accept a lower wage than they would have otherwise taken. As well as preventing the slide into long-term unemployment patterns, this has a depressing effect on average wage levels. In the UK, the government grants subsidies to employers that hire people who have been unemployed for a long time. Although difficult to prevent abuse, this policy has similar effects. In most cases, these initiatives are efficient from the perspective of the tax-payer. In Germany, the government has for long topped up the wages of workers who find their hours cut. This is less burdensome on the rest of society than these people going straight to welfare, motivated by the inability to support themselves on their current wage. In the UK, private work-to-welfare companies are paid fees by the government if they successfully bring claimants back into the labour market.

Similar initiatives could be applied to the Irish context. This minimises search costs for the unemployed, and makes the labour market more efficient. If not feasible, the government could take on this role through invigorating job search assistance schemes, which are under-funded and over-worked in the current climate. Not all of the policies will be as worker-friendly. Given the increase in incapacity claimants during the boom years, it may be prudent for the government to initiate a revision of the checks and balances which prevent welfare fraud, or even reclassify those who are currently committing it – an increasingly attractive racket in these recessionary times. Similarly, it may be necessary to reduce the time that can be spent by workers on social welfare. This would force people back to work, rather than allow them to subsist on hand-outs from the government. It is consistent to believe that unemployment benefits should be less generous, in absolute

terms and in temporal terms, during harsh economic times. It’s likely that such measures would be politically unpopular and would be exploited by the opposition. Nevertheless, it would have a depressing effect on wages and force workers to come to terms with the limited economic opportunity that they will have to endure for some time. It remains to see if the current government has the leadership and political capital to institute such measures. In the long-term, the most generous active labour market policies will have to be abandoned. Ireland has for long benefited from flexible labour markets. They will precipitate the restructuring that will be necessary to return to economic growth and compete in the global economy. Meanwhile though, the asymmetric costs imposed on Irish society can be alleviated, and the burden on the taxpayer can be minimised in unexpected ways.


OPINION

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Opposing the Church’s condom ban

ROUND UP AOIFE CROWLEY BUDGET

BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS, BUT NO VICTORY IN SIGHT IN THE Irish Times, Fintan O’Toole condemns the government for failing to bring hope to the people with their new budget. He writes, “The public mood after the recent Budget is not seething outrage or wild anger. It is simple, down-home, dumbstruck despair. There is, quite plainly, nothing to look forward to.” He identifies fear as the most socially corrosive and economically disabling of emotions. He compares the government’s policies to the Greek gods’ torment of Sisyphus: “He has to spend an eternity rolling a huge boulder up a hill all day, only to watch as it rolled back down to the bottom. Sisyphus is our new patron saint.” PIRACY

THREAT FROM PIRATES NEEDS TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY IT WOULD appear that pirates are not the loveable ruffians we all know from Pirates of the Carribean and Muppet Treasure Island. Last week, Somali pirates hijacked two more cargo vessels and opened fire on a third. Herb Stark of New York writes, “Previous administrations and the do-nothing UN have known about piracy on the high seas for many years but chose to ignore it. Whatever the outcome of this incident, the US and UN must address this serious situation head on. Piracy against any ship should be considered an attack on the homeland that harbours it.”

COKE CAMPAIGN

“NO TO COKE” CAMPAIGNERS DISAPPOINTED WITH RESULT LAST WEEK, students were asked, not for the first time, if they wanted to lift the SU ban on Coca-Cola products and sponsorship. They responded with a resounding shrug of indifference. Voter turnout was a little under ten percent, with much of the student body unaware or uninterested in the campaign. A more vocal Yes side proclaimed that the boycott was based “on questionable details which have been undermined by rulings in international courts and by almost all trade unions in the world. By continuing with such a pointless policy, we, in turn, undermine our own conviction when debating pertinent local, national and international issues of the day.” These strong words earned the Yes side 709 votes to the No side’s 534. On hearing of the failure of their campaign, No spokesman Adam Larragy had this comment to make: “Obviously we are disappointed but the campaign to force Coca-Cola to recognise union rights and human rights in their Colombian bottling plants will continue.” BUDGET

GRINCH GOVERNMENT CANCELS CHRISTMAS THE GOVERNMENT’S decision to axe the Christmas bonus for social welfare recipients has not been widely discussed in the media. The cut was barely mentioned in the Minister’s speech, and the Irish Times points out that as middle classes are the most likely to vote, their voice is that which screams loudest. The Irish Examiner proclaims that “Oscar Wilde described a cynic as someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Anyone who would choose to defend the Christmas bonus cut as fair would certainly qualify for that definition.”

LITERARY NEWS

HEANEY TURNS SEVENTY TO RAPTUROUS APPLAUSE BIRTHDAY CONGRATULATIONS for Seamus Heaney abounded last week as the poet turned seventy. The Irish Times lauded his work as “an unbroken flow of perfect song”, while fellow poet Derek Walcott admired “the combination of the colloquial and the sublime”.

Pope Benedict XVI’s reaffirmation of the Church’s stance on contraception will hasten the spread of AIDS, and we must oppose him in amoral terms, says Olivia May Russell “

T

HE POPE is in Africa ‘reaffirming the ban on condom use.’ His old stuff was funnier. I don’t get this new material. Too edgy for my taste.” – Chris Walken Pope Benedict XVI recently made his first visit to Africa since assuming his role as Pope. Along with Papal greetings, he brought a reaffirmation of the Roman Catholic Church’s prohibition of the use of any barrier method contraceptives, most notably including condoms. His reaffirmation of the ban in Africa has been met with outrage and disapproval from many religious and non-religious members of the international community. The outrage stems from the belief that this reaffirmation will negatively affect the frequency of condom use, and accelerate the spread of HIV in Africa. Before we condemn the Pope, we should consider the background and motivations of his decision. Pope Benedict XVI was en route to Cameroon when he issued his statements reaffirming the ban. It was among his first public references to the issue in his four years as Pope. The reason behind the Pope’s position and reaffirmation of the condom ban needs to be understood before full judgement can be passed on it. The proscription of condom use by the Catholic Church was established in 1968. The Church’s position is not merely a question of recently ‘deliberating’ in some way and then producing a current consensus in the negative with regards to condom use. The specific reason for the Church’s prohibition of condoms is based in scriptural interpretation. There is explicit scriptural evidence that condemns contraception. For example, in the book of Tobit, God’s angel specifically warns us that the devil has power over those who contracept. This position, of course, could hypothetically, be changed by the Church. But this is unlikely. Challenging the church’s position itself is difficult as it inevitably leads to irreconcilable, morally-charged debate. If one’s goal is to save lives by making sure condom use doesn’t drop or stagnate because of the Church’s opinion of condoms, a more effective challenge is needed. In his comments, Pope Benedict XVI noted that, “[AIDS] cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which even aggravates the problems”. This is the Catholic Church’s justification of their position (and the continued

suffering it causes) by claiming that condoms are not 100% effective in stopping transfer of the virus and so can give false security, leading to increased promiscuity and actually, as the Pope noted, aggravate the problem. In 2003, a senior Vatican official claimed condoms had tiny holes in them through which HIV can pass, exposing thousands of people to risk. A previous head of the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, has also been quoted saying, “The Aids virus is roughly 450 times smaller than the spermatozoon. The spermatozoon can easily pass through the ‘net’ that is formed by the condom.” It is important to understand the difference between this justification for ban, which is summoned to defend the ban in the face of its negative empirical effects, and from the reason (based originally on scriptural interpretation) for opposing use of condoms for contraception in the first place. The World Health Organization (WHO) asserts, from credible and extensive research, that ‘consistent and correct’ use of condoms can reduce risk of infection by 90%. So, it seems that the Catholic Church’s justification for the condom ban can be thoroughly discredited. Their position is not justifiable with regards to the empirical consequences it produces. The facts show that their position does negatively affect condom use and that condoms are very effective in helping stop the virus from spreading. It is then important to understand that this does not call into question the reason for the ban in the first place. It does not engage with scriptural interpretation or challenge the moral issues underlying banning of contraception. The reality that condoms prevent infection demonstrates that the Church’s specific justification for their fixed position on the issue is weak. But even if we articulate the weakness and inaccuracy of the justification, it seems we nevertheless cannot challenge the

specific reason which determines the Church’s continued adherence to the disallowance of condoms. As noted before, I want to avoid challenging the moral position of the church on contraceptive use, because this will undoubtedly mire us in eternal debate. So it seems that condom use does save lives, and the Pope denouncing them definitely has the capacity to negatively affect their usage. Given the apparent truth of the preceding two facts, a different and more effective way to challenge the Pope’s reaffirmation of the ban is needed. In light of the evidence presented regarding effectiveness of condoms in preventing infection, and that the Church’s original purpose for opposing condoms is difficult to effectively oppose, we should ask: is there an alternative to appeasement? Yes! I propose two ways that the Pope’s decision can be challenged. First, an alternative to toeing the papal line could be suggested— The Church could invoke St Thomas Aquinas’s Doctrine of Double Effect. The doctrine of double effect is often invoked to explain the permissibility of an action that causes a serious harm, such as the death of a human being, as a side effect of promoting some good end. Thomas Aquinas is credited with introducing this principle in his discussion of the permissibility of self-defense in the Summa Theologica (IIII, Qu. 64, Art.7). Becausecondomshave two potential purposes, contraception and disease prevention, it could potentially be, if this doctrine was invoked, excusable to use condoms for the express purpose o f disease

13

prevention, ‘horrible with the side effect’ (as the Church would see it) of contraception. If it was made clear that the condoms be used only for this purpose and not used intentionally for conception. This seems to be a more than agreeable option. This approach is concurrent with evidence that condom use does prevent AIDS infection but simultaneously it does not challenge the Church’s position on condoms when used explicitly for contraception. Further, we can challenge the Pope’s decision to articulate a reaffirmation of the ban. This would effectively contest his actions and might counteract their dangerous repercussions. His hands were tied by church’s position on the issue. Previously concluded scriptural interpretations of which he had no control left the determination of the Church’s position on the issue out of his control. However, the decision to rearticulate the ban, ending what was in my humble opinion, beneficial silence, lay in the hands of the Pope himself. Pope Benedict XVI made a choice to rearticulate the ban to the African public and the international community. This was a needless and appalling act. It was needless in that the Church could have easily continued its silence on the issue without changing its position. Continued silence would not have negated their position. Therefore, a rearticulation was not needed. The Pope could have simply allowed the previous ruling to remain tacit. His decision was appalling, given its possible ramifications. As the head of the Catholic Church, the Pope is the spiritual leader of and wielder of immense influence over, more than 1.1 billion people. 22 million of these followers are HIV positive Africans. His words and reaffirmation could have drastic effects on the spreading of AIDS and therefore on the lives of millions. It is important to criticize this act appropriately so as to more effectively discourage future articulation which might undermine the use of proven AIDS prevention strategies (i.e. condoms). So we should not condemn the Pope or the Church’s position, but rather the choice to rearticulate that position. The Church should be left unmolested about its moral position on the use of condoms for contraception. But I would suggest that serious consideration be given to the possible invoking of Aquinas’ Doctrine of Double Effect as it applies to condoms being used with the specific intent of disease prevention. Failing that, a policy of benevolent silence is far better than the Pope’s choice, obstructive, loud disapproval. The Church is entitled to its opinion on morality. But, for the sake of many innocent lives, and because of his influence, perhaps Pope Benedict should be reminded that sometimes it is best to keep his Holy mouth shut about it.

Efficiency does not equal innovation Steven Lydon NEWS WAS recently leaked to the Irish Times concerning the next dramatic change in store for Trinity College. Staff and students are yet again holding their breath for the latest phase of John Hegarty’s “modernisation” process. Not content with financially crippling the arts, increasing commercial influence in the sciences, and greeting every ill-fated government education cut with open arms, John Hegarty’s plan to leave his irrevocable mark upon this institution is taking a dramatic turn for the worse. In an email to staff in March, Hegarty elaborated on some of his hopes and expectations for the “TCD/UCD Innovation Alliance.” This project is a direct response to the Government’s “Smart Economy challenge,” which means that it has incorporated the guiding values of “innovation,” the “capture of ideas,” and the “outcome of research and scholarship” into its directives. What “innovation” actually translates to in this context is efficiency. This means that research will be directed and funding will be allocated according to how much profit it has the potential to produce. This policy will present a significant barrier to freedom of research and allocation of funding. PhD research will no longer focus purely on academic research, but on “entrepre-

neurial skills,” and hence the creation and maintenance of a new managerial class: courses will leave students with the “enhanced skills to be a creator of new enterprise and jobs rather than just seeking employment.” You may have thought that the purpose of your time in university was to receive an education. In Hegarty’s ideal university, students “capture ideas” for “research and scholarship outcomes” in order to “harness and commercialise new ideas, knowledge and innovations.” Hegarty does not elaborate on the impact that these offices will have on courses falling outside of the science, engineering and technology umbrella, but if recent occurrences are anything to go by, we can expect further cuts in funding for arts, as well as non-profitable divisions in the sciences. These could be studies in environmental conservation, for example. The increased emphasis on entrepreneurial skills will influence the direction of research in the college. The university will lose its relative freedom from the political influence of wider society, as its agenda will be dictated by corporate sponsorship. Hegarty’s email is notable for indulging in some of the most hideous buzz-words this side of a first-year BESS essay. Trinity shall boast groundbreaking new methodologies: “pre-competitive research and design,” “prototyping” and “process innovation.”

The “Innovation Alliance” poses questions of utmost importance to academic staff and to students. By refusing to elaborate on the specifics of his plan, Hegarty is undermining the tradition of collegiality in Trinity. It is extremely worrying that Hegarty believes that “the Innovation Alliance should be seen as just the start of a much greater process of evolution in the delivery of RD in Ireland.” More worrying still is the fact that his pernicious influence is spreading to other Irish universities. Dr. John Scanlan of NUI Maynooth said in a recent article that “Irish universities need to follow the example of the TCD/UCD Innovation Alliance, put commercialisation on a par with research and allow the commercialisation agenda to shape the research agenda.” Search for “TCD” on the Irish Times website and you will find six or seven articles extolling the virtues of commercial influence on the university sector. It seems a concerted effort is being made to push this agenda, and no one is fighting back. Further commercialisation will not improve the standard of education in the Trinity College. It will impact upon freedom with regard to research, and lead to the closure of unprofitable departments. It is time to speak up against Hegarty’s crass, materialistic view of higher education. He is undermining Trinity’s most celebrated ideals: purity of academic research, free

thinking, and educational excellence. Education should encourage a broad awareness of the wider workings and conflicts of society, and allow those few individuals allowed the privilege of a university education to act in the benefit of the society that nurtured them. A moderate perspective would agree that entrepreneurship does not always work in the interest of society at large. Some would argue that it is wholly detrimental in nature. For all of his rhetoric, John Hegarty does not represent “progress” or “modernisation,” but commercialisation. Instead of acting as a leading voice of dissent among universities in Ireland, he has encouraged the government’s most crude educational policies. It is up to the staff to exert some of this pressure, as the Student’s Union remain committed to pacifying the student population, thereby embellishing their future employment prospects. Earlier this month, Hegarty and Hugh Brady, Provost of UCD, met Stanford University president John Hennessy, who spoke on invitation from the Higher Education Authority. Hennessey’s speech advocated “turning graduates into valuable entrepreneurs.” The role of the university is not to produce “entrepreneurs.” The role of the university is to produce well-educated citizens. We don’t want Trinity College to become Trinity IT.


14

OPINION

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Are we prepared for a cupcake revolution? Kate O’Regan WITH HIGH expectations I attended the college event on March 4th to mark International Women’s Day. It was billed as an informal talk by three female graduates of Trinity, who have successfully scaled the heights of careers in government, business and the arts. I expected there to be a large turnout, as the success of graduates across all disciplines is of relevance to both men and women. However I was surprised to be one of only about twenty people in the audience. Despite the sparse numbers in attendance, each of the speakers gave an inspiring and insightful account of their life’s trajectory since they graduated from Trinity. However

their professional achievements were underlined by the fact that they had to overcome the stigma attached to being a woman in what are traditionally maledominated industries. Their success deserves recognition especially when one considers that until the 1970s, women were obliged to resign from their jobs in the public sector once they were married. But is there still a need to celebrate the achievements of our female graduates? Are we wise to presume that equality of the sexes has been achieved, and Feminism is now superfluous? It is presumed that most students would resent the implications of being branded a “feminist”. However listening to the women speaking of their experiences after leaving university, one could assume

that success didn’t come easily to them. Joan O’Callaghan’s message to the young women of today is to pursue excellence. Women can all too easily be sucked into a corporate world which places them under the thumb of higher ranking males. We are conditioned to believe that our rightful place is in the home. Any ancillary work is a bonus. In today’s society, where does this mindset of guilt originate? Exam results and performance reports would suggest that women are on a par if not excelling men. Yet the remnants of a patriarchal society continue to haunt the boardrooms of Ireland. Emily O’Reilly, a former journalist and current Ombudsman, refused to acknowledge this culture of guilt associated with being a mother while enjoying a successful career. She is

the mother of five children, yet she maintains that she never felt compelled to compromise her professional development in order to be a mother. In fact she claims that women have “a duty to impact”. Instead of accepting mediocrity in their work, women should strive to prove their worth. Today’s students are perhaps only the second generation of women who are accepted into the workforce on an equal footing to men. Yet women continue to be plagued by guilt for working outside the home. It appears that we are in the precarious position of feeling assured of career success and fulfilled parenthood, equal to our male counterparts, without taking into account the many barriers still facing women in the 21st century. The speakers at the talk for International Women’s Day were quick to point out

that the glass-ceiling still exists in what is essentially a Man’s World. While companies may employ equal ratios of men and women, it is men who rise to the ranks of senior management, with women accepting lower ranking positions in order to have a family. Emily O’Reilly mentioned her experience of the so-called “Cupcake Revolution”. O’Reilly pointed out that those who choose to stay at home do so for perfectly legitimate reasons. However women who sacrifice domestic bliss for a career are made to feel inferior to these home-makers. This may prove to be the challenge for the young women of today. While society as a whole accepts the dual role of women, it is women themselves who may prove a barrier to fully-fledged, guilt-free liberation.

Many people, including high-profile feminists, reject the concept of a day which celebrates women’s role in society. Perhaps rightly, they suggest that such a singling out of women only serves to reinforce a sense of the feminine mystique. Yet regardless of the abundant evidence that women are equally as capable as men at being highly successful in any career, there remains an indelible imprint in the collective psyche that women are naturally more talented at domestic chores than men. While women now have the choice of whether to work within the home, or take up a profession, we must be aware of the forces that are intent on holding women hostage to their domestic duties. These forces may come from society as a whole, or as now seems evident, from women themselves.

HEAD TO HEAD: MCD AND THE TRINITY BALL

“THE BALL IS ALWAYS RUN PROFESSIONALLY” FRANZISKA HENSEL

WITH THE release of the headline act for this year’s Trinity Ball, The Script, and the controversy that ensued over MCD’s decision; one consistent question has been on critics’ lips. Apart from the obvious of what the hell they were thinking, the second question that followed was; is it wise for Trinity Ents to continue to give up their rights to the organisation of Trinity Ball to MCD? Having worked for the past College year under Ents Officer Nick Longworth, I saw firsthand what is involved in running such a high profile event and am therefore in a good position to argue for co-operation between Trinity Ents and MCD. It’s very simple and easy to argue and blame MCD for all our problems with the ball, that they have taken away all rights and decision making from us, that they are just out to make money and don’t care about what the students want. But that I see as a very narrow-minded view of what MCD does for us, and how much Trinity and the Trinity Ball benefit from their involvement. Back in 2005, before most of us were even in Trinity, it looked very likely that the Ball would never happen due to problems with money, a hike in insurance cost and the fact that the previous Ball hadn’t sold out. MCD stepped on board and now, four years later, every single ball has been sold out and the quality of acts has dramatically and consistently improved. One could argue that we managed to get enough good acts on our own in the past, citing The Undertones, U2, Supergrass, etc, but they should be looked as one-off flukes and not the norm for Trinity Ball before MCD were involved. Another big argument centres around the organisation of such a large-scale event as the Trinity Ball. At the end of the day, MCD are a professional event management company that promote and run many successful events, and having them manage our ball should never be seen as a disadvantage. Our Ents budget, which is only a meagre €80,000 compared to the cost of Trinity Ball, which stands at an approximate €400,000 would never be able to finance such an event

on its own and would entirely rely on the ball selling out every year for there to be one on the next year. Not only do MCD manage all the costs themselves, but they also are able to do it at reduced cost simply because they have the contacts. This way, not only is a Ball guaranteed every year, but it also takes the pressure off Trinity Ents to some extent if a Ball goes wrong one year. Another thing that should be remembered when considering production is Trinity gets a new Ents Officer every single year and despite how experienced they may be by the end of it, they are still a student and not a professional event manager qualified to organise such an event. It’s a huge gamble to put such a large event into the hands of one person and their team and expect them to organise an event where six thousand students attend and make the whole thing professional. It would be foolish to expect every Ents Officer to pull the task off, having never done something like this before, this is undeniably risky from a business point of view. What would happen if they failed dramatically and Trinity lost something like €20,000 on one Ball? Despite many people’s complaints about MCD, through them we are guaranteed that this will never happen and the ball is always run professionally with minimal loss to the SU budget. The last thing worth mentioning is that MCD have their finger on the pulse of up and coming acts, literally, and we get acts in to play at Trinity Ball that become a huge sensation months later. Examples are plentiful, ranging from Mark Ronson, Justice, and CSS to Republic of Loose, and not only do Trinity students get to see them before they become massive, but also it’s all for much cheaper than a standard concert ticket. So we really shouldn’t go around bitching about MCD if we don’t like the headline act they gave us. Unfortunately when the contract was signed, rights to choose the acts were signed over as well, and while it may not be ideal, the benefits of having such a professional event management company run our ball far outweigh that small lament. So MCD may get a bad rep and some might complain that they are horrible to work with, but at the end of the day they are really good at what they do and Trinity Ball wouldn’t be what it is today without them. Franziska Hensel is a core member of the Ents Crew and ran for election as Ents Officer this year

“NOTHING SHORT OF DESPICABLE” JIMMY CLEARY AN INTERESTING new poster appeared on Students’ Union notice boards recently. With all the creativity of a ten-year-old, it features The Fonz giving the thumbs up beside a message thanking the student body for making the Trinity Ball the fastest selling in history. While seemingly, and probably intentionally, a good natured gesture to the ticket-buying students who make the Ball possible above all else, one cannot help but get a certain air of smugness off it. All one needs to do is look at the Facebook page of the Trinity Ball to see that there is significant ill-feeling towards it due to what is generally perceived as a lacklustre lineup this year. Indeed, although most likely a benign gesture of goodwill from the SU, the poster seems to evoke a certain condescending arrogance from the organisers, MCD –they provide a very weak line-up and yet the Ball still sells out in record time. It seems that for MCD, everything is going according to the script (pun very much intended.) Of course, credit must be given where it is due. The Trinity Ball this year is a far cry from what it was 4 years ago. In 2005, the ball was nearly cancelled, it had become a financially unfeasible event. Whether the involvement of MCD was optimal or how democratic the move was does not take away from the fact that it saved the Ball from its likely demise. However, despite the revival of the Ball, there is one thing which has, perhaps surprisingly, not improved since MCD took over, and that is the line-up. Names such as Muse, The Smiths, The Clash, Public Enemy and The Prodigy have all played the Ball in the past. With such a high profile promoter like MCD on board, one would expect to have at least one big name act play per year. This year, perhaps more than ever, it is apparent that the lineup is rather lacking... Now, to be fair, the Trinity Ball has never been all that reliant on its lineup. At the end of the day, it’s a massive party that goes on until 5am on the grounds of Trinity. Dancing, drinking, substance ingestion and formal clothing are generally people’s primary concerns. The acts are merely the icing on the cake.

This would be all well and good were the tickets €40, but for nearly €80, the lack of a solid, well known headliner is a bit more than a bit of a disappointment. To put it bluntly, it’s a scam. MCD do not have a reputation for being the soundest of operators and they are not held in high esteem by many. There exist many stories in circulation regarding their mistreatment of both artists and fans alike. However, the biggest and most public example of their muppetry is the boards.ie fiasco. After Oxegen 2007, a number of threads appeared on the Irish bulletin board website boards.ie concerning the terrible campsite conditions which arose due to a lack of proper security and meant tents were burnt and urinated on, and many people were generally made to feel unsafe. After a number of newspapers wrote articles including quotes from the site, rather than accepting the criticism and making sure such did not happen the following year, MCD filed a lawsuit against boards.ie for slander, exploiting a loophole in the law which deems websites to be reponsible for what is published on them, even if it is posted by someone else. This is the type of cynical company we are dealing with here, and by no means is it unreasonable to think that their attitude to the Trinity Ball is equally cynical - providing a weak line-up while charging an extortionate ticket price because they know that students will either be apathetic or grudgingly part with the cash because the experience of the Ball is not one to be missed. It’s not as if they’re neessarily needed. For 46 years the Trinity Ball was successfully run by the college alone. Now that the Ball’s profile has been raised and tickets are selling out in 2 or 3 days, why not run it alone? Unlike MCD, the college does not need to make a profit. Run independently, more money could be put into booking better acts, just like what was done in the past. And even if it proves unfeasable in this day and age to run the Ball independently, why MCD? Why not Aiken, or Pod? Why not negotiate with these other promotions companies, along with MCD and get the best deal for students? Last year it was undemocratically decided that MCD would continue to run the Ball for a further 5 years. It seems that the cynical, profit-oriented running of the Trinity Ball is set to continue for the immediate future, and the manner in which this was decided is nothing short of despicable. Jimmy Cleary is a staff writer for Trinity News.

Michelle Obama shows us how it’s done Debra Wigglesworth IN TIMES of adversity and stress, the down-to-earth warmth, elegance and candour of Michelle Obama is striking and inspirational and a distinct contrast to the cosy “jobs for the boys” culture which exists in Irish politics. Where party seats are inherited, dynasties are cultivated and ancestral legacies still hold a subliminal influence in the upper echelons. Even the Queen was mesmerised by the First Lady breaching the historic ‘no touching’ protocol to put a friendly arm around Ms Obama and the gesture was naturally returned by the First Lady in her own unassuming way. Her generosity of time, spirit, energy and interest is also captured by her recent digging up of the south lawn of White House to make a vegetable garden to be cultivated by her with

the help and input of children from a local school. Here such a practical but immeasurably positive project would be stifled and stultified by an Oireachtas joint committee to calculate the overtime the politician would be quietly demanding. It seems Ms Obama’s popularity has not just shone here but in the US she has recently surpassed the popularity of Oprah Winfrey by three points in recent opinion polls. Her moving speech to the school girls about what it was like growing up on the South Side of Chicago and being teased for “talking like a white girl” touched and moved an audience across the world. A strong work ethic was something nurtured in her by witnessing her father quietly struggle through the pain of multiple sclerosis to go out to work as a pump operator for Chicago city’s water supply company. She is acutely aware that nothing in her background or her

lineage explains where she finds herself today. Michelle was also aware of the racial attitudes which also challenged her. In an essay at Princeton University she alluded to the prejudice against minorities which pervaded the campus if only in a quiet, somewhat insidious, form. Michelle wrote that the racial attitudes of some students made her feel “like a visitor on campus, as if I really didn’t belong”. Despite this social adversity, she went on fortified by her strong work ethic to study law at Harvard and was subsequently head hunted by a top Chicago law firm. It was here that she met Barack Obama in 1989 and they were married three years later. Leaving corporate law she worked for the Chicago’s mayor and then the city’s university hospitals, where she earned a salary of $275,000 and a reputation for efficiency and cutting down the

bureaucratic red tape of hospital policy. A high earning public sector worker who got things done? She is a revelation. And even more so today in her role as First Lady by her capacity and willingness to comfortably engage with the hoi polloi, to selflessly give herself up as a source of inspiration for those school girls and the children who will work on that small vegetable garden, can one even contemplate the life-long influence of such experiences on these young girls and boys? What makes this woman so affecting is that nothing fell into her lap nothing came easy to this woman the only thing that came easy was her motivation to do well and to work hard for the results she wanted in life. She claims that only in America is her story possible where hard work is rewarded and meritocratic ideals are paramount. Living in Ireland today it appears the political classes, from the cabinet to

the county councils, are something of a family affair, where it is clearly evident that who you know trumps what you know every time. The Obama team is certainly no shoo-in and that is what makes them so uniquely effective. H.L. Mencken is enjoying a revival of late and one note by him on the Great Depression of the 1930s written in 1932 particularly captures the current situation. Referring to the lessons of the Great Depression for the politicians and the people he finds that “it has taught people the difference between speculative values and real values. So many luxuries became necessities that the line separating the one from the other almost vanished. People forgot altogether how to live well, and devoted themselves frantically to living gaudily. It seems to me that the depression will be well worth its cost if it brings Americans back to their senses. Once they rediscover the massive fact that

hard thrift and not gambler’s luck is the only true basis of national wealth, they will discover simultaneously that a perfectly civilized and contented life is possible without the old fuss and display.” From this we could take the negative interpretation that the world will never learn or alternatively we can reassure ourselves with the comfort that we will come out of this economic trough eventually. Perhaps American history lessons need to be learned. Indeed one could surmise that after the flush years we’re now going to endure the frustration of the “George W. Bush” years. Faced with these unrelenting hard times we can all take a stock of inspiration from Michelle and Barack Obama’s stories and we can hope that we’ll see the same change in values in our democracy as in the US by choosing transformative policies over affirmative ones.


EDITORIAL

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

TRINITY NEWS Issue 10, Volume 55 Tuesday, 21 April 2009 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2 www.trinitynews.ie

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@trinitynews.ie

Dear sir, LETTERS TO THE Editor should be sent to letters@trinitynews.ie or to Trinity News, 6 Trinity College, Dublin 2. The Editor reserves the right to edit submissions for style and length. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Trinity News, its staff or its Editor.

COLLEGE, PIRANHA AND THE PRESS COUNCIL ONE OF THE longer-running stories that Trinity News has reported on this year has been the fallout that resulted from the publication in Piranha! of an article entitled “How to leave Trinity in style”. The entire saga is covered in an article at the front of this issue. Here, however, we will not concern ourselves with the specifics of the case but rather with the evidence that this provides of the existence of a more worrying trend; one that this newspaper suspected at the start of the year existed. This year saw the introduction of membership of the Press Council of Ireland for all student publications in Trinity. This represented an extremely positive development for student publishing in Trinity and indeed in Ireland, as Trinity secured the first student membership of the organisation. This was a positive development because the Press Council of Ireland represents the distillation of a long and very successful process of consideration of press regulation; an often difficult and sensitive issue. This is born out by a number of largely failed press councils in other countries. Indeed, the benefits of this development were laid out in an editorial in the first issue of this volume of Trinity News announcing this paper’s membership. However, there is a benefit to membership of the Press Council that is unique to Trinity. That is, that it makes absolutely clear the procedure for dealing with grievances with matter that appears in print. The Press Council clearly became the body to which complainants should go after contacting the editor. Nonetheless the Senior Dean, as chair of the Capitations Committee, the Publications Committee’s parent body, retains his authority over College publications. This preservation of the traditional structure, though unavoidable, completely undermines the Press Council system insofar as concerns by the College regarding student publications are concerned. The complaints procedure is a simple process that was documented clearly. Despite all this, it has not been tested this year. This is at best an oversight and at worst a real disappointment. Either way, it seems that the potential benefits that are locked up in membership of the Press Council are being squandered. Whether this is by design or coincidence is left up to the reader to decide. This paper is left in little doubt.

COCA-COLA REFERENDUM THESE ARE parlous times in which to be a student of Trinity College. Fees are coming in, College can accommodate barely 10% of us, and we’re left out in the cold without anything approaching a student centre. Bearing this in mind, that the SU should spend such an inordinate amount of time and money on a referendum about soft drinks is nothing short of ridiculous. The passing of the Coca-Cola referendum removes a ban enforced by the Students’ Union on the sale of Coca-Cola products in its two shops on campus. The Yes campaign (which was, to give it credit, well-organised) spent SU money printing flyers and T-shirts, telling us that it was an issue of freedom of choice that demanded our immediate attention. In fact, it was the hobby horse of a select group of students, which had already been proposed and defeated twice in years past. That a mere 8% of the student population even bothered voting should be an indicator that this referendum was utterly meaningless, and entirely driven by this small group of students and their cadre. Simply put, an undemocratic decision has been made by a tiny proportion of the population on an issue that doesn’t even matter in the first place. Meanwhile, the SU continues to push its half-witted “no concessions” approach to fees, while proposals for a student centre have not progressed all year. If the sum of the SU’s policy achievements this year amounts to such drivel, one really has to ask: why bother with them at all?

AT THE Annual General Meeting of the Publications Committee on 29 February 2009, David Molloy was elected Editor of Trinity News for the next academic year. We wish him every success. This year, ten issues of Trinity News were published, on the following dates: 30 September 2008; 14 October; 28 October; 11 November; 25 November; 13 January 2009; 27 January; 10 February; 24 February; 21 April. The tn2 Ball Guide was published on 30 March.

15

Smedia successes

Dear sir,

Dear sir,

Just wanted to give you my heartiest congratulations on the performance of Trinity News. It was quite spectacular. You really scooped the pool and swept the board to use all the old cliches! To get Newspaper of the Year, Editor of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Travel Writer of the Year, Colour Writer of the Year and for Trinity Ball Magazine to get Magazine of the Year was an unprecedented and brilliant moment for Trinity. It bears out everything I have been saying about journalistic standards on Trinity News. Please congratulate also John Lavelle, Noel Connolly, Michael Armstrong, Gearoid O’Rourke and Catriona Gray from the Trinity Ball Guide. I was really proud to be there and so sorry I had to leave immediately after presenting the award for photographer.

1. I accept full and overall responsibility for the publishing of all articles, commentaries, opinion pieces etc., in “Piranha”. 2. While I acted in good faith in agreeing to the publication of the article “How to leave Trinity in style” and while the intention of the article was to be satirical in nature, I fully accept that the article was, in fact, in poor taste. 3. I fully accept that while unintended, the article may have caused offence to certain members of the College community and others and I further fully accept that the contents of the article have raised serious health and safety concerns for the College authorities. 4. I further fully understand that the College authorities have deemed the publication of this article to be of an adequately serious nature for them to have taken extensive legal advice as to (a) the contents of the article itself and (b) the implications for the College in terms of its legal and other responsibilities to its academic and nonacademic staff, students, other members of the College community and the wider public. 5. Having fully accepted responsibility as Editor of the “Piranha” publication I wish to unreservedly apologise to the College authorities and any other persons that may have been unintentionally offended or hurt by the publication of this article. 6. As Editor of “Piranha” publication, I hereby retract the article in full.

David Norris TCD Senator Seanad Éireann

Andrew Booth Editor The “Piranha” Publication

Congratulations on your win at the Smedias. Editor of the Year is a wonderful accolade. It’s another extremely impressive haul for Trinity News and one you should be very proud of. The paper continues to be one of the college’s shining lights and you have played a huge part in maintaining a high journalistic standard. Shane Ross Independent TCD Senator Seanad Éireann Dear sir,

I refer to my position as Editor of the “Piranha” College publication and in particular to the article entitled “How to leave Trinity in style” published on the 11th of November 2008. As Editor of this publication, I wish to state the following:-

I have read with disbelief the statement in your newspaper that the cobblestones of Front Square date only from the mid 20th Century. This is not true and there are photographs to prove it: see ‘The Magnificent McDowell - Trinity in the Golden Era (available in the Library Bookshop) - where stills from the film ‘Building for Books’ show the cobblestones (well mellowed) in 1957; in A History of Trinity College, Dublin, 1892 – 1945 by Kenneth C. Bailey, the frontispiece shows the Provost (Dr E.H. Alton) and the Chancellor (the Second Earl of Iveagh) standing on the cobbles in 1943; while, in the same volume, facing Page 1, they appear in a photograph of the Graduates Memorial Building, dated 1902. There may well be many earlier records readily available. Perhaps readers with access to the Library might like to ascertain the correct date and advise the City Council so that Councillors are in possession of the facts before being asked to making any decisions regarding what is not only an historic monument, but a well-loved one? Anne Leonard Eccleston Square London Dear sir, As I passed under the International Women’s Day banner over Front Arch I thought how sad it is to note that next year we will return once again to an all-male SU sabbatical team. Last year the most powerful country in the world came very close to electing its first female president, and our nation’s own current and previous presidents are women. As recorded in these pages we had a female SU president as far back as 1989. Considering all this it’s disappointing that in my three years at Trinity there have not been any female candidates even nominated for SU President - we seem to be going backwards! This should not be the case in a college that has more female than male undergrads, with plenty of very capable women involved in both the SU and college societies and clubs. Come on girls, get out there and break the staus quo! Eilís Carroll JS Biochemistry with Cell Biology

The habitation of the wilder spirits

W

HATEVER Protestantism may have given us, wrote Henry Albert Hinkson, “she has given us little that is artistically beautiful.” In his Student Life in Trinity College, Dublin, published in 1892, he bemoans the “Protestant austerity” of his alma mater’s buildings, with a special mention for the plain facades of Botany Bay, which are, he writes, “more than usually hideous”. But Botany Bay has redeemed itself. Nearly two centuries of youthful exuberance have given the cold walls a life of their own. This boisterous vita has been gleefully recorded in literature and history, and new generations of irrepressible undergraduates continue to contribute to the life of the quadrangle of fun. The Bay’s residential buildings were started around 1790 but not finished until 1816, a decrease in student numbers having delayed completion. The square was originally bound by these two buildings, the Dining Hall, and the residential Rotten Row – the last since replaced by the Graduates’ Memorial Building. The College Baths were built to the side of the Dining Hall in 1924, and these were demolished to make way for the East Dining Hall in 1971. The precise origin of the Bay’s name is lost. Irish political prisoners in the Australian convict settlement had mutinied in 1801, bringing infamy to the Botany Bay of the southern hemisphere. The reputation of noisy undergraduates living in these new college buildings may have led to the comparison with the Australian colony. The college’s kitchen garden was also located here in the middle of the 18th century, where specimens may have been grown by botany lecturers, perhaps contributing to the name. Let us return to Hinkson, who seems to have written an interesting sentence about every aspect of the university he loved. He wrote that Botany Bay was “popularly held to be the habitation of the wilder spirits”, where students regularly celebrated by lighting fires, particularly at the end of term. “Oft-times,” he wrote, “the stillness of midnight is

A view of Botany Bay from a large set of Trinity College postcards published early last century. 1816 refers to the date the square’s residential buildings were completed.

OLD TRINITY by PETER HENRY

broken by the cheers which greet the successful lighting of a bonfire”. One issue of TCD: A College Miscellany in 1900 recorded that “an immense bonfire lighted up with the smoky brilliance of wood and tar and wicker armchair the lurid recesses of the Bay.” This blaze was especially memorable as wood from the Graduates’ Memorial Building construction site was commandeered to fuel the flames of fun. The bill for the stolen timber came to a hefty £11. Bonfires were still being lit when Kenneth Bailey published, in 1947, his History of Trinity College, Dublin. Bailey, himself JD from 1931 to 1942, wrote that “even the Junior Dean can enjoy the scene”. No longer, sadly. Botany Bay: A Play in One Act was published and performed in 1892 to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of the college. The play tells the story of two cousins living in the Bay, and the preparations for a party in their rooms. With the spree in full swing, Keys, one of the protagonists, even sings a song in honour of the beloved JD. But a knock on the oak turns out to be the Dean himself, and the assembled revellers blow out the lights. “Light those candles immediately,” shouts the Dean upon entry, “or I shall rusticate every one of you!” Keys pleads for mercy, explaining that the assembled are simply celebrating the college’s anniversary – not an excuse likely to succeed. But the Junior Dean, like a good sport, gives in: “I will forgive your hilarity this once on account of your desire to commemorate the tercentenary, and keep alive the traditions of Botany Bay.” Bravo, JD! William Edward Nevill – BA 1947, PhD 1951 – recounted his own college years in his I Lived in Botany Bay: 1943–1947. He recalls the banter between the skips (the students’ servants) and the jollities of the undergraduates. One amusing anecdote recounts the Junior Dean and his porters, “like bloodhounds”, hunting a female who stayed in college too late, breaking the six o’clock rule. They found the immoral adventuress hiding in a tree. Those who have read JP Donleavy’s The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B will remember the hilarious chapter in which Balthazar and Beefy smuggle two strumpets into Beefy’s rooms in the Bay. Beefy plans to take holy orders – but, like St Augustine, “not before I’ve had my fill of the diabolical.” Authority soon arrives, declaring that “this university is

not some kind of brothel”, but not immediately discovering the concealed wenches. The student weekly TCD lamented, in 1950, the decline of “the college character” following the war. This archetype, “who presumes no greatness of his own yet gives ‘colour’ to this university”, was identified as a student of the Bay in a sentence which retains its ring of truth, even today: “In after life we shall remember him,” wrote the undergraduate scribe, “the Botany Bay denizen, the Boat Club type – bane of lecturer and Junior Dean, but boon companion of our college days.” Indeed! If only the secluded quad were filled with such types these days. College rooms are, as often as not, occupied by the most irrelevant of students: the heads of one-event-per-year societies, the most unsociable of the Scholars, and clueless American one-year students. But there are always those keen, as the fictional JD of the tercentenary farce said, “to keep alive the traditions of Botany Bay”. And to those students I lift a glass. IN MY DESCRIPTION of students’ academic dress in the eighth number of this year’s Trinity News I neglected to give a description of the caps in use at this university. Our graduates’ cap is the same as in many other universities, ancient and modern: a square academic cap (known as a “mortarboard”) with a tassel. Undergraduates wear the same, but without the tassel. Scholars and ex-Scholars are entitled to a velvet-covered cap. The Chancellor wears a velvet-covered cap with a gold tassel. Students, the statutes direct, “shall salute the Provost and Fellows by doffing their caps.” There is no truth, sadly, to the story that caps are not worn by men in protest against the admission of women to the university. Men should only wear hats outdoors, and this has led to academic caps not being issued to the stronger sex on Commencements day. However, you are perfectly entitled to one – even if you are opposed to women’s attendance at university! But remember to remove it when in the Public Theatre. DUBLIN University’s student newspaper took another fine haul of awards at the recent student media awards. Congratulations to Martin and all the members of Trinity News whose hard work was recognised. The first record of an award to this newspaper which I have discovered is from 1962. On December 8 that year Trinity News won a prize for best student newspaper at an event in the Ormond Hotel. The Irish Times of the following day reported that Trinity News beat off competition from Queen’s University’s The Gown to take the title. Godfrey Fitzsimons – BA 1964 – was chairman of the newspaper that term. pehenry@tcd.ie


BUSINESS & CAREERS

Future Calling

16

SUMMER OCCUPATIONS FOR MANY the summer is a period of rest and relaxation after a stressful college year, for others it is an essential period in which to gain work experience in their chosen field of study or occupation. Many students take on a part-time job during vacations in order to earn money for the coming academic year or to finance trips interrailing or whilst on a J1 Visa. However many employers expect students to have gained relevant work experience during the summer months. They regard this period as an opportunity to apply the skills you have learnt in college to the workplace and to focus your energies in fields related to your career of choice and course of studies. Many large firms use internship or work experience programmes as part of their graduate recruitment process. Having previous experience as an intern or participating in a shadow placement looks well on a CV and is attractive to employers as it shows ambition and competence in your chosen field. Completing an internship programme gives great experience in the technical aspects of job seeking such as preparing your CV, practice completing application forms and attending interviews. Finally, internship and work experience programmes help you to make contacts which may be useful in the future. When applying for a job it is essential that you are fully aware of what employers are looking for in a candidate. You must adapt your skills and abilities to that of the position you are applying for, Job hunting is a cutillustrating throat affair. It requires or at least making out innovative, thoughtful that your applications and skills and expertise lie dogged determination. in that area. Employers appreciate above all else a willingness to learn, ability to update knowledge and skills quickly and the ability to apply knowledge to “real world” situations. Numerical ability and competence in a second language are also valued. Other qualities valued by employers include: » Drive/Energy - the desire to get things done. » Motivation - enthusiasm, a willingness to ask questions, keen to do that little bit extra on each job. » Communication skills - the ability to explain things clearly, through speech and in writing, in our own and, increasingly, another’s language. » Confidence - able to relate to people at all levels, friendly, open and honest in their communications. » Reliability - follows up and doesn’t rely on others to ensure that a job is done. » Analytical ability - doesn’t jump to the first solution that presents itself. » Honesty/Integrity - a willingness to take responsibility for your actions. » Pride in a job well done - someone who is attentive to detail. » Dedication - does whatever it takes in time and effort to ensure a successful result. » Commercial awareness - knows what makes money and saves money Other factors to be aware of when applying for a position include having a professional email address and voicemail message. Many prospective employers will check social networking sites such as Facebook or Bebo when researching your application so be sure to remove any inappropriate content. Having identified a position that interests you it is essential to perform background research into both the firm and position and to identify the necessary skills, abilities and personal attributes for the job. It is also important to analyze the advertisement for the position you wish to apply for, this is to ensure that you focus your application on the skills required for the position. There are many useful websites that advertise vacancies such as the Careers Advisory Service VACWORK section and Jobs.ie Finally you must prepare a CV and Cover Letter. A CV is essential to introduce yourself prior to the interview process, to confirm your skills, abilities and experience for a prospective employer and to prepare yourself to speak about your background and experience during the interview. In your CV use clear, concise and positive language, the layout should be easy to read with a size 12 font and consist of no more than two pages. The contents of your CV should include personal details, career objective, education and qualifications, employment history, interests and activities, achievements and referees. A Cover Letter serves as a personal introduction to your employer and provides an opportunity for you to stand out from other candidates and increase your chances of being chosen for an interview. Your Cover Letter should consist of one page and highlight not only your suitability for this post but also the invaluable contribution you intend to make to the firm’s operation. The Careers Advisory Service provides many useful resources when searching for vacancies applying for positions. The advice in this article should help you in your quest for the ideal summer position even if it is just a means to an end.

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

NAMA: A good or bad bank? Grace Walsh examines recent events in the Irish financial system whilst Mark Havel’s account of historic events in the banking sector provides a grave warning for policy makers.

I

T HAS become increasingly obvious that the Irish government has no coherent, comprehensive or even competent plan in dealing with a banking system in free fall. Their recent actions allude to a government held captive by hostile public opinion, borderline bankruptcy and confusion. The increasing ratio of government debt to Gross Domestic Product and a fall in international confidence in both the Irish state and financial sector have proved detrimental to any possible surge in confidence after the contents of the emergency budget emerged on April 7th. Many economists have criticized the imbalance between tax increases and spending reductions in the budget however the most interesting and most precarious announcement was that of the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA). This agency is effectively the creation of a “bad bank”. Though

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Herman von Moltke. this collapse in the banking industry may be a first for Ireland it is certainly not a new phenomenon, the collapse of the Swedish banking system and its successful rescue has provided an exemplary case-study to all countries afflicted by financial crisis however doubt circulates as to whether the toxic bank approach is actually effective and whether nationalization is inevitable. The IMF recently stated that world GDP will contract for the first time since World War II predicting at least a 2.5% contraction in growth. This recession is the first major global recession since that of the Great Depression which began in 1929. The current global economic climate is increasingly being compared with the Great Depression which saw economic growth decline continually for three years, the current “Great Recession” has only emerged in the last year. Economists Kevin O’Rourke and Barry Eichengreen in a piece entitled “A Tale of Two Depressions” state

“Globally we are tracking or doing even worse than the Great Depression... The “Great Recession” label may turn out to be too optimistic. This is a Depressionsized event.” As such central bankers have been greatly preoccupied with avoiding the mistakes made by bankers and policy makers of the 1930s, one such mistake would be what Milton Friedman termed the “spectacular” increase in bank failures and bank runs. In October 1931, a staggering 522 commercial banks ceased trading in the US. During the 1930s nearly half of all American banks failed are merged. This phenomenon may be traced back to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellows’ “liquidationist” thesis. Mellows believed that weeding out the weak banks, and letting them fail, was a harsh but necessary condition to the recovery of the banking system. Another mistake which is being repeated is that of the credit crisis. When credit flows are stopped, potential borrowers are not able to get money to undertake worthwhile investments, hampering business recovery. Commercial banks play the central role in the financial system. For the economy to function normally, they need to function normally. This is a view that many economists share today. Many speculate that nationalization is inevitable given the amount of debt on bank’s balance sheets and that in the future there will be one or two super-banks owned and managed by the Irish government. This for some is a worrying prospect, fearing that such an event may hamper innovation and competition in the financial sector. The government has no option but to prevent the disappearance of the banking system. They must be seen to be acting confidently and proactively. Economist Marc Coleman recently stated that there would be a favorable international reaction to the emergency budget and the creation of NAMA as not only are the government seen to be taking action and arresting the decline in the Irish economy but that they, the commentators, don’t have to live here. This realistic view of recent policy developments is mirrored in the doubt concerning whether or not NAMA is actually going to work. Scott Rankin of Davy’s Stockbrokers

Celtic Tiger illustration: Miles Link

states that he believes the toxic bank approach is suitable for Ireland’s ailing banking system. He argues that property related debt lends itself well to a bad bank approach. The apparent benefit of the NAMA scheme is that it removes debt from that of the banks and places it on that of the government’s which is far stronger and has the added benefit of a longer time period to work off the debt. Though funds are readily available in the form of the National Pension Reserve to start clearing up the bank’s balance sheets the risk remains that banks may continue to limit the extension of credit and that they will not be honest in re-valuing the debt for sale to the government. Economist Karl Whelan raises the issue of under-capitalization, in that if banks are forced to sell debt at a heavily discounted rate they may be short of the necessary capital level needed for them to operate leading to a future need for recapitalization. The Irish taxpayer will inevitably pay not just for the costs of clearing the bank’s balance sheets but for any further losses incurred in the purchase or transfer of such debt. It is a small mercy that the root of the Irish financial system, property, is not half as toxic as that of the United States where speculators believed they could profit by taking existing debt, chopping it up and selling it on at exorbitant rates. The comparison of Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme practitioners to that of foolish Irish property developers clearly illuminates the cause of the financial system crash both at home and abroad. Frankly, there are a number of issues as to whether or not NAMA will effectively rejuvenate the financial system, the presence of Peter Bacon, who designed the NAMA plan may have a conflict of interest in that he was once the director of Ballymore, the country’s

largest property group and worked closely with Sean Dunne and other major property developers. How the government intends to value and purchase the debt for what quantity of money remains unclear. All that is known is that developer’s personal assets will be at risk if they fail to repay debts. There is a time lag of three months until NAMA is fully operational, giving the developers three months to sell their assets and vacate the country. It would have been much smarter let alone more efficient to freeze their assets. This is another sign of the government’s increasing nervousness in coping with the failure of the banking system. The threat and seemingly almost

The “Great Recession” label may turn out to be too optimistic. This is a Depression-sized event” inevitability of nationalization is a direct consequence of the fact that letting all the banks fail is simply not an option. The government must save at least the major players in the system, such as AIB and the Bank of Ireland, to prevent the wiping out of bank deposits and savings. The National Asset Management Agency is only the beginning of the recovery of the banking system whilst the economy degenerates in recession, effective policy formation is the only tool available an increasingly immobile government. The European Union will inevitably act as Ireand’s security net in years to come.

Budgetary depression for all Maeve Glavey explores the issues surrounding with the recent budget and concludes that at least the government took action sooner rather than later A COMMON mantra in business is that the only certainty is uncertainty. With the supplementary budget finally announced as a guide to steer us through uncharted waters, we are at long last facing something of a plan. It is not a perfect plan and has been too long in the making, but that is not a valid enough reason to condemn its policies or jump ship before they have had time to take effect. Sadly the economic world is not run by economists who know always what they’re doing. Vested interests abound for the Opposition, and of course while every single person in this country wants out of the recession, nobody wants to face the reality that they – god forbid – may have to contribute to the efforts of halting the decline in both economic performance and government coffers. One fact that was widely agreed upon was that nobody in this country was going to like the emergency budget. And sure enough within hours of its announcement the familiar cries of ‘not me’ began echoing all across the country. So are these demands for exemption justified? The government will inevitably face an onslaught of criticism for the budget, and this criticism has already begun to hone in

on two issues: the great emphasis on fiscal policy and the hard-hitting reductions in expenditure that will affect low and middleincome earners. The former is of course more the concern of economists, finance experts, and those who know a thing or two about the economy. As conventional wisdom goes, you cannot tax your way out of a recession and it is argued that the proposed reduction in government expenditure will not be enough to stem the rising tide of government debt. Most of the burden has fallen on the taxpayer. A firm shift in the direction of direct taxation sees the income and health levies doubled, and brings some lower income earners previously exempt from income tax back into the tax bracket. That’s not nice for anyone, but what really matters is how many other hits you have to take as well. In this case, some are going to be more unlucky than others. Homeowners will see mortgage interest relief begin to disappear, those with children under 5 are losing out on the early childcare supplement and levies on insurance policies are jumping upwards. Not forgetting those without a job, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has been accused of ‘cancelling Christmas’ by abolishing the

December bonus for those on social welfare. There really does seem to be something nasty in this budget for everyone and some people, particularly the middle classes, will face a particularly sour combination of measures. While the population comes to terms with these difficult decisions, the government will be busy scrambling to organize the new National Asset Management Agency which will try to restore normal working order to the disgraced banking system. The scheme will rid the banks of the bad debts weighing down their balance sheets and encourage banks to resume lending to each other and consumers, getting credit flowing again. The purchase of bad loans by the state through the issuance of government bonds to the banks is a particularly contentious issue that has the Opposition up in arms, complaining that the government is throwing away taxpayers’ money. Once again we face grumbling resentment of the government and calls for a general election, which really are getting old. This is not to suggest that the government has been right about everything it has done since last September, but it is certainly worth remembering that it is much easier to point out faults in an existing policy rather than to come up with a better one. Whilst the opposition parties have an important role to play in policy formation and valid contributions to make, there is no guarantee that if they are elected and are competent in thier role that they will be given credit for smooth managemet of the country.

We as a nation are obsessed with complaining, we are spoilt and as long as we face any kind of problems we’re never going to be happy, no matter who governs us. The fact is, as we well know, that the state, has been living beyond its means for years, and now it’s time to pay up. This budget is the blueprint for that retribution and like it or not, it’s still only the beginning. Next December’s budget will likely see the introduction of property and carbon taxes and plenty of other unpleasant new policies. The sooner we get our head around these new reforming policies the better. The government has given us what we have been asking for – a plan – and hard as it might be to swallow we need to stop moaning, roll up our sleeves and get all hands on deck before it really is too late.

CRUNCHING THE FIGURES » 25 cent increase in the price of a packet of cigarrettes. » 5 cent increase in the price of a litre of disel. » Jobseeker’s allowance for those under 20 will be reduced from €204 a week to €100. » DIRT tax increases to 25%


SCIENCE

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Before the fear factor sets in TY programmes in Trinity’s science labs are laying ground for future of economy By Luke Maishman Science Editor FOR MANY of us ‘Science’ is a world of young, spotty men in white coats or greying and unintelligible decrepit geniuses. An illusion unfortunately reiterated by the popular media and hardly helped by our unimaginative science teaching at primary and secondary level. But, whether we like it or not, science is becoming an ever more important part of industry. This is why we need to address our fears and build the “world class research base” envisaged by some of our politicians. An inspired effort in this area is the Transition Year programmes which run in many of our science departments in College. Secondary school pupils, who are about to chose their Leaving Certificate subjects - choices that will affect their career decisions for the rest of their lives, get a chance to see real life science research in some of the top academic labs in the country. During the two-week break after Hilary Term I met two pupils who have

“a fantastic opportunity to make more and better scientists” been taking advantage of this littleknown opportunity. Ruth Murphy spent two weeks getting an idea of what research science is like in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, while her friend Anna Mealy learnt about animal behaviour and parasites in the Department of Zoology. Ruth spent two weeks in the Comparative Immunology lab headed up by Professor O’Farrelly. She is particularly grateful for the efforts of the lab team, including Fernando Narciandi, who demonstrated simple but interesting experiments for her. These included extracting DNA from a cheek-swab and watching the growth of bacteria on agar plates over a few days. As Ruth notes “just simple experiments, but they still kind of gave me a feel for what it might be like working in Science.” She was glad to have done the placement, going so far as to say that she would do another one next year in a different area of science, if only she had the opportunity! Anna was also very positive about her

placement in the zoology lab. She has enjoyed a diverse rage of activities, from attending lectures on animal behaviour to visiting Dublin Zoo. She tells me that her opinion of zoology in particular has been affected by the placement and declares that she is now enthusiastic about going on to study science: “I’d say I will, especially after this week, it’s just been brilliant!” Positive results indeed, considering Anna spent only two weeks in Trinity and prior to her placement “wasn’t too keen on [zoology]”. How can we make these programmes more influential? Andrew Lloyd, a postdoctoral researcher who has taken an interest in the programmes, thinks that the best investment that can be made in this system is a government grant scheme for the applicants. He notes that the level of science and maths in the secondary school curriculum has slipped over the last fifty years, and exclaims “transition years have not even a ‘Time Magazine’ level of understanding of [science]”. Andrew describes the transition year programme as “a fantastic opportunity to make more and better scientists to drive forward Irelands aspirational knowledge economy.” Meanwhile, school and faculty heads are recognising the worth of these programmes. Professor Mills, head of the school of Biochemistry and Immunology, describes this school’s programme as “a very useful means of enthusing second level students about science” He goes on to state that, “career prospects in Science are still very good in Ireland”. Professor Williams, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science, notes “these interactions are invaluable to allow second-level students to become exposed to Science, Engineering and Technology … [on] which this country is becoming more and more dependent in the 21st century.” Apparently a funding scheme is being started within the faculty to support such initiatives. But can we say that this is enough? In the current economic downturn the government is cutting back everywhere. But efforts such as this could be made much more effective very cheaply through a small grant scheme. This kind of cost-effective, ‘intelligent thinking’ solution is exactly what’s needed when cash runs short, to ensure that we have an economy worth looking forward to when the rebound starts.

TCD

ENGINEERS UP EARLY FOR FIRST EVER EMS DAY THE FIRST EMS day (Engineering, Mathematics and Science day) was held last Wednesday (15 April). Similar in principle to Med day, this event aimed to raise money for charity. Such was the enthusiasm and dedication to the event amongst the student body that volunteers were out collecting as early as 8am, despite the downpour that morning.

ECO FRIENDLY

ELECTRIC CARS FOR BRITISH DESPITE RECESSION

Ruth Murphy and Anna Mealy in the lab where Ruth spent her placement.

Immune attack By Ruth Murphy Special Contributor IMMUNE ATTACK is an educational, slightly addictive computer game based on the immune system of the human body. You are the commander of a small metal pod, which travels around the blood vessels inside the body. The object of the game is to help find and destroy the deadly bacteria pseudomonas, which is rapidly making copies of itself. As you float in the blood vessel, white blood cells such as neutrophils, T-cells and B-cells; and red blood cells drift past you. To get more information on the cells’ functions and features, all you have to do is click on them as they go by. Your first task is to collect a drone data pack, which is located in a blood vessel in the ear. This pack helps you to complete your mission. Your second task is to navigate to the site of the infection. When you get there you must mark the selectins and the ICAMs, which attract

By Ronan Lyne Deputy Science Editor

Genomic medicine aims to predict a patient’s response to illness the patterns of gene expression in different groups of patients, the researchers devised a method to predict whether or not a patient would succumb to sepsis, which is a life-threatening inflammatory response. This raises the possibility of screening all hospital patients and tailoring their aftercare accordingly. Genomic medicine is not a new idea. In the post-genome years, wholegenome scans have become within the reach of the average person, and many companies offer the service, which can be completed by spitting into a container or sending off some swabs of cheek cells in the post. A few weeks later, the results are returned, and one’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, cancer,

IN BRIEF LUKE MAISHMAN

and guide the white blood cell monocytes and help them to pass from the blood vessel into the tissue, where they change into bacteria-eating macrophages. This is called transmigration. As the game continues, you get closer and closer to destroying the bacteria until, (if you’re skilled!), you succeed. I definitely learned a lot about the immune system through playing this game, without even realising it. Even as the game is loading before it actually starts, interesting facts about white blood cells and infections appear on the screen. Steering the ship is quite difficult, it requires practise! The sound effects are good, but sometimes they are too loud and it’s hard to hear your instructions.Overall I think ‘Immune Attack’ is really fun, and you learn about your immune system while playing it. Ruth Murphy visited Trinity at the end of Hilary term on the Transition Year programme of the School of Biochemistry and Immunology.

TCD research to help hospitalised TRINITY’S BIOSCIENCES Open Demonstration, which ran last month in the Science Gallery, showcased exciting new research and innovation in medical technologies by researchers working across college. One of the key themes was the use of genetic technology in future medical therapies. One team of Trinity scientists have developed a means of temporarily unlocking the blood-brain barrier using siRNA, to safely deliver drugs to the brain and retina. The blood-brain barrier usually protects the brain from infections by keeping most molecules out of the brain, but in doing this, it limits treatment of neurological and optical diseases, because drugs are also unable to cross. This technology makes it possible to temporarily open the tight junctions between cells to deliver medicine to the brain, or to reduce swelling after injury or stroke. A highly interesting development was in the field of genomic medicine – predicting a patient’s predisposition and responses to illnesses, based on their genetic makeup. A team of scientists in the Institute for Molecular Medicine have developed a means of accurately predicting a patient’s response to hospital-acquired infection. By analysing

17

and multiple sclerosis, amongst others, can be explained. Other, more complex traits are beginning to show up on such analyses, including personality traits and risk factors for mental illnesses or learning disabilities, for those interested in learning more about their children’s future. Many startup biotech companies such as 23andMe and Navigenics now offer other services in addition to this personal DNA analysis. Many offer genetic counselling, some tell you about your ancestry, and some even offer social networking features on their websites, so you can discuss your 20% chance of restless leg syndrome with people from around the world. Predicting a patient’s response to illness and drug treatment, however, is

a burgeoning field of research. Genetic pharmacokinetics research predicts how a patient will react to a drug, and can thus be used to determine the most effective course of treatment. But using this information routinely in a hospital setting has not yet become feasible. As for PreSepsis, the process is currently lengthy and quite expensive. However, Dr Ryan, the head of the Presepsis team, was adamant that the setup cost was not much more than the cost of intensive care for a patient with serious sepsis, and it would become more attractive in the future as the technology improves. There are further issues with financing genomic medical approaches. Public health systems are unlikely to pay up until the cost/benefit ratios are in their favour, and many insurance companies already refuse to compensate for routine genetic tests, so financing pretreatment is currently on a personal basis. A more worrying prospect is the growing number of insurance companies who will pay for genetic tests – but insist on a copy of the results. Legislation to prevent, or at least limit genetic discrimination has been enacted in the US and the UK, and even Ireland has followed suit (albeit weak-handedly), as part of the Disability Act, but the legislation is inevitably one step behind the fast-growing field of genetic testing.

THE BRITISH Government has announced plans to subsidise the purchase of electric cars in the UK. Motorists will be offered £5,000 against the cost of an electric or plug-in car, which can be as cheap as £8,000 in total. The £250 million plan to promote low-carbon transport over the next five years also includes provisions for the installation of charging points, and further investment in infrastructure.

INTERNET

WEB FILESHARING PIRATES PUNISHED IN REAL LIFE FOUR MEN have been sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to pay £2.5 million in damages for their involovement in Pirate Bay, a free online filesharing site. The men were found guilty of breaching copyright law in Sweden on 17 April 2009. The site is used by 25 million people world-wide. The accused are planning to appeal, and stated that The Pirate Bay would continue to operate despite this verdict, using computers in other parts of the world if necessary.

Search for Ithaca By Ailbhe Goodbody Science Staff Writer SCIENCE PERVADES all areas, and can be used in unexpected ways to solve mysteries that have been unexplained for centuries. One such example is the application of science to ancient texts to solve classical enigmas. The location of Homer’s Ithaca, described in his epic The Odyssey as the homeland of the hero Odysseus, has puzzled scholars Underhill investigated whether Odysseus’ homeland Ithaca is now part of the Greek island Icathi. for more than 2,500 years. An island called Ithaki exists today off the west coast of mainland Greece; however, with its mountainous coastline and its location on the eastern extremity of a group of islands, it contradicts Homer’s description of Ithaca, which he says “lies low, furthest to sea towards dusk” (towards the west). A possible solution was suggested by Robert Bittlestone in 2003 – he proposed that at the time of the Trojan War over three thousand years ago, the western peninsula of the island of Kefalonia could have been a separate island. This would fit with Homer’s description, but a

problem was explaining the appearance of a land bridge 180m high between the two parts of the island. Geological changes can occur in a short time, especially in tectonically active regions such as Greece, so Bittlestone contacted Professor Underhill of the University of Edinburgh to investigate the low-lying isthmus connecting the two peninsulas. Various geological techniques were used to investigate the hypothesis. Firstly, there could have been a dramatic uplift of the island. Evidence of uplift was found, however the maximum possible effect of this is about six metres – nothing near the 180m or so that has to be explained. Uplift is a factor, but is certainly not the primary factor. Professor Underhill next examined the geology of the isthmus itself, and found that much of it was composed of rubble. Landslides are common on the island due to the frequent earthquakes: a landslide in November 2007 destroyed several houses in the area. His team drilled a borehole in the valley and were surprised to discover that the rubble extends a long way underground. The results imply that a significant valley could have once existed there, which was filled in gradually by a succession of landslides. There is still much work to be done, but undoubtedly both geoscientists and classical scholars will be awaiting results with interest.

TCD creates global online ethical database By Shane Heffernan Science Correspondent EVER WONDERED whether your coffee was grown under shaded trees like in the good ol’ days? Or maybe it was grown in the sunshine where the taste isn’t so good but the profits sure as hell are! No? Me neither. While I’m sure many of us would be concerned if something we buy was being produced in a manner that causes serious ecological damage or breaches of human and animal welfare, the fact is that so much of what we buy is imported. As a result, being well up on how it got from

the earth to you becomes a full time occupation. Enter the Wikichains project. Using the same technological framework as Wikipedia, a group led by TCD’s Dr. Mark Graham have launched a project aimed at providing the more socially and morally conscious consumer with a database for commodities. The goal is “to encourage a different type of globalization: a globalization of knowledge that will harness the power of the Internet in order to allow consumers to learn more about the commodities that they buy.” The project was conceived by Dr

Graham following his own research into the Thai silk industry. Being struck by the globalization of the silk industry and how at the same time “knowledge about that same product is surprisingly un-globalized”, he decided to put his expertise as a cyber-geographer to use in forming a “Some sort of site that would allow people to upload text, pictures, sounds and videos of any node of any commodity chain that they could think of”. After considerable time researching commodities, he feels “Firms can hide their bad practices behind veils of distance. Other than what they are telling us, how can we know how much

they pay their workers? What their environmental/ethical track record is?” Such a database would not be restricted to exposing the production lines of global companies in the poorer regions of the world. Information from all steps of the commodity chain is the idea here: Graham wants people to volunteer anything “as simple as a photograph they have of a microchip factory in Dublin, or knowledge about an hourly cashier wage in a Dublin Tesco.” Clearly, such a project requires a huge effort from many people in order to work. Alongside this comes a need for funding of which, as of yet, the project

does not appear to have. All costs related to Wikichains are being covered by Dr. Graham himself, although Wikichains does hope to secure funding in the future. One obvious avenue is funding from parts of the private sector that may feel their own track record is exemplary and would therefore benefit from such unbiased media exposure. Going down this road does, however, represent a danger for Graham and the project. “I would never accept sponsorship from any individual or group trying to use money to alter the mission of the project. So, taking money from companies wanting to better promote their record probably

would not be a good idea”. The goal is for Wikichains to be self sustaining rather than temporary and so a major push for volunteers is planned from this summer onwards. So is it worth getting excited about? Certainly! That is, if you eat pork, drink Starbucks or wear cotton. While at present the website only contains a small handful of articles and some links to other feature articles, what’s there does makes for good reading for those of you who, like me, feel passively conscious about their consumption. With luck, by the end of the year, less of us will be buying our rashers from Holland!


!

TRAVEL

In this six-page special: » » » » » » » » »

City break in Barcelona Hospital work in Tonga Ireland’s cheapest – and dearest The best travel websites Your best holiday photos Istanbul to Budapest Europe’s best festivals Sporting trips Travel gadgets

Travels in the land of the forbidden Northern trekking Slieve Donard is Ulster’s highest mountain. Travel Reporter Jimmy Lee takes a walk up its heights

C

Travel in the secretive country of North Korea is typically out of the question for most people. But Trinity News managed to get its reporter Jimmy Lee over enemy lines

T

HE IMAGES one conjures when thinking of North Korea are first and foremost, its enigmatic leader, Kim Jong-Il, with his million man army poised at the ready. With these images at the epicenter of one’s associative thought process, not many would imagine North Korea as a hot travel destination. But once you look past the hard exterior created by its isolation from the international community, you’ll find that the country has a lot more to it than its very visible, portly dictator. One hidden gem in particular are the Geumgang (Diamond) Mountains, found just north of the partition with South Korea. With the highest peak at 1638m, this mountain range doesn’t have any Kilimanjaro’s, or even Fuji’s in its landscape, but as a whole, the landscape offers a unique and rugged scenery that is tough to find anywhere. Unlike the mess of red tape one must undergo to visit Pyongyang, visiting the Geumgang Mountains is a relative walk in the park, except that this park has an explosive de-militarized zone for a gate. Tours to this beautiful mountain range are run solely by the Korean conglomerate Hyundai Asan Corporation, in coordination with the North and South Korean governments. Coordinating this trip takes absolutely no effort as Hyundai Asan takes care of just about everything for you. Information on 3-4 day weekend packages are posted in great detail on South Korea’s official tourism website, including prices, which range from roughly 180 Euro for the standard trip, to 440 Euro for the luxury edition. This price does not include your meals, but

all sorts of dining options can be found at reasonable prices. Only US and South Korean currencies are traded at the Geumgangsan Resort, which is slightly ironic, as it is US and South Korean citizens who are the only internationals not able to obtain visas through the usual channels in Pyongyang. The Geumgangsan tour is the only option for most Yanks and South Korean tourists to enter this “socialist paradise“. As expected, our comrades in the North are shy to foreigners, and so passport scans, photos, etc., must all be sent to the Hyundai Asan Corp. at least 3 weeks in advance, who then forward them on to the North Korean government for approval. Tour buses depart from Seoul, and take you to a rest stop where they “debrief” you on all the important rules to remember while on this trip. Though minor, they are nothing to scoff at, and their consequences cannot be taken lightly. After your pre-border pep talk, the buses then take you to the North Korean Immigration. This whole experience was completely stress free, and more of a formality than anything. Don’t forget, you and your dog Rover have already been checked out with a fine-tooth comb, pre-departure. After immigration, the journey begins with, what I found to be, one of the most eerie experiences of the trip: crossing the infamous DMZ (DeMilitarized Zone). Scenes of James Bond daftly escaping an imploding DMZ in Die Another Day float to mind, but my trip was more one of awe. The quiet peaceful forest betrayed its true nature, as a symbol of the atrocity of a country and its people torn apart by a

55 year old war. The theme of the tour is “Unification”, as Unification Flags with a single Korean peninsula at its center float all over the premises. You can’t help but smirk at the irony there, as most of the North Korean public wouldn’t be able to afford the same tour, even if they were allowed. Several resorts can be found, ranging from a beautiful cruise ship on a lake, to even more posh digs, typical to the many found in Seoul or Tokyo. These accommodations are prearranged in the application process. I can, however, vouch for the cruise ship having a view which photography junkies like myself live for. Despite the rigid rules, you are allotted some choice in how you wish to spend your weekend. You can mix in your time hiking to beautiful Guryong Falls and relaxing in hot springs, but the must-see’s on this tour are easily the hike to the highest peak of the Geumgang Mountains, and the Acrobat show. Yes, you read that correctly. An acrobat show. The Acrobat show is jampacked with fantastic feats of strength and unbelievable acrobatics that have you laughing and clapping like a kid at his/her first circus. One can only imagine the motivation one must have to avoid failure when Kim Jong-Il is your leader/father/god. Dining choices are abundant, but if you’re looking for cuisine specific to North Korea, the closest thing to it will be the Soju (rice liqeur) that you down with your meals. Korean, Chinese, and other Continental dishes are the staples here, all at fair prices. The tour was started in 1998 as an initiative of the Unification Committee of the South Korean government, and has seen unabashed interest since George W. Bush placed this tiny nuclear-armed nation on his infamous “Axis of Evil”. In fact, this has only piqued the interest of foreign travelers to enter a land that few dare to enter, and is seen by many to be in the category of “adventure travel”. But since the unsettling shooting death

Thousands of North Koreans take part in the annual Mass Games in Pyongyang. Photo: Stephan Kubitz

of a South Korean tourist just last year, President Kim Jong-Il has decided to put a stop to all current and future projects with the Unification committee of South Korea. However, should the tour reopen anytime soon, I will leave you with a reminder of the importance of following the uncompromising rules while visiting this “communist utopia”. The number one rule, of course, is to stay with the group. Do not go off on random outings to catch the sunset on the beach, or go for an early stroll along the lake. Tour or no tour, this is North Korea, and you have to remember just exactly where you are. Cell phones are confiscated and returned post trip. And finally, no unauthorized pictures are allowed to be taken of any soldiers or terrain outside the allotted areas. A tourist on my bus, American nonetheless, decided to test this and snuck a photo of a soldier, and to our surprise, nothing happened. It wasn’t until our return passage through the North Korean Immigration that he happened to be the only person intensely searched, with more specifically, his camera photos deleted. If crossing the DMZ doesn’t give you enough of a visual reminder, remember this fact always. You are in the land of Big Brother.

GETTING THERE MOST FOREIGNERS taking this tour are already in South Korea for travel or work. However, for those working out logistics on how to include this weekend trip on their grand plans of traveling Korea, “cheap” flights to Seoul from Dublin can be found for as low as 1100 Euro roundtrip, but flying from London will get you more cheaper options. From there, email or call Tourism Korea, english.visitkorea.or.kr/, and they will help you with anything you may need.

Step one: throw out your guide book By Jimmy Lee EXPERIMENTAL TRAVEL. Traveling “off the beaten path”. Spirit Journeys. Everyone has their reasons for taking the road less traveled for vacation. But if you’re like me, and just can’t be bothered with another tour group, then you’ve probably decided to leave your guide book at home more often than not. In my travels, my “fun” ideas were often met with “are you crazy?” or “that’s just stupid”. But taking these risks produced moments I’ll never forget, in places most people would never think to go. However, it’s a fuzzy grey between fun and stupid and an even greyer area between a thrill-junkie and a guy who’s “just askin’ for it”. So here are a few things to remember while you’re looking for that novel experience out in some random part of the world. First and foremost: Learn the language, to the best of your ability. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a country where English is the official language, if you’re looking to go “off the beaten path”, you’re likely to encounter more people who don’t speak the languages of colonial Europe. You’ll find this works a lot better than hand signals and raising your voice. Even if you struggle, the fact that you’re trying is greatly appreciated, and usually lightens the atmosphere of conversation, albeit sometimes at your expense.

Photo: Tim Parkinson

If you ever wish to bargain like a local, learn the local prices of things. Otherwise, its tough to be taken seriously when you start off at 10 times the actual cost of an item. That’s not to say you should work to exploit them either. There’s an art to bargaining that often flirts between respectful and near insulting. Learning the difference comes with practice, and for some, like myself, never fully master. Never travel with loads of cash. Keeping loads of money on you only brings the stress and fear of losing it. Try to take out only the bare minimum, but always remember to be conscious of the lack of ATMs in some areas, or you may find yourself stowing away on a cargo ship, which is actually less fun than one might be led to believe. And finally: Cut out the middle man and discover things for yourself. Once you speak to the local people, you’d be amazed at just how much you can do without. A lot of tour companies build on tourists’ fear of the unknown. Tour guides can actually be very helpful in attaining your goals, but simply make sure they understand what you’re going for. Cut as many corners as you’re comfortable with, and you’ll be surprised just how negotiable tour guide prices can be. It is amazing what you can discover about a country after you actually talk to the people who live there. It absolutely blows my mind how many tourists flow in and out of East Africa without talking to one actual

African besides their Safari guide. Logistics can weed out the crazy from the fun later, but my advice is to never let a guide book tell you what to do. To finish, here’s a quote from Paulo Coelho’s The Zaire that I think just about every vagabond can relate to. “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 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.’”

OMING FROM Canada, I’m sad to say that I didn’t know much about Ireland other than the usual staples: Guinness, Jameson, and a pub prototype so perfect, you can find one in every corner of the world. But after a few short months, I’ve discovered one of the less inebriating, but equally intoxicating, beauties of this green isle: Slieve Donard of the Mourne Mountains. Slieve Donard, though technically in Northern Ireland, is something every Irish person should be proud of, but sadly, not many appear to pay visit to this scenic gem. In fact, in my recent trip, there wasn’t a single other person in sight the entire day. Growing up next door to Niagara Falls, I can understand the ambivalence one can have to neighbourhood tourist attractions. But unlike other sojourns, Slieve Donard is perfect for a student weekend getaway, being as easy on the wallet as it is on the eyes. If you are looking to make it from your flat to the peak, and back before you head out again for the pub, your best option is to take the early train to Newry from the Connolly station, at the end of the Luas Red Line. From the train station in Newry, there is a free shuttle, which perennially seems to have “just left”. If you too happen to “just miss” the free shuttle, it is either a 15 minute walk or a 4 quid cab to the UlsterBus station, where you can catch a bus to Newcastle for another 5 pounds. On the way to the bus station, look out for a hidden gem of a deli, located just beside the very visible Subway sandwich shop. There, you can stock up for your journey with delicious “Alligator” sandwiches. As something of a sandwich connoisseur, I feel I am qualified to say that you would be hard pressed to find better value for your money in Dublin. Once you arrive, take a moment to admire the tallest peak of the Mourne Mountains. It may not stretch to the heavens like K2 or Everest, but believe me, the view gets better as you go up. The base of the hike starts at the Donard Car Park. The path up is clearly marked and starts off as a gravel path circling its way around the mountain, eventually entering the peaceful wooded area, complete with streams and an almost zen-like silence tough to find in the larger cities in Ireland. Once you clear the forest, you’ll reach the famous Mourne Wall. It stretches over 35 kilometers long, crossing 15 mountains along the way. At 2m high, and 1m thick, you can understand how this granite stone wall was 18 years in the making. From there, a nicely crafted stone path will lead you on an easy hike up to the top. However, for those looking for a bit of a more adventurous climb, I propose a slightly more challenging route. Approach from the Northeast. You should find a wind shelter there, good for a quick snack break and the first picturesque look at the sea from above. Start traversing westward slightly while steadily making your way up. You’ll come across a quarry and eventually hit an old gate that looks like its seen better days. You won’t be able to see the peak of Slieve Donard from here, but once you reach the top of the first plateau, you will have a good look at the best way to approach from the steep side. This route requires a lot more effort than the stone path, and the way up is pretty messy. Key to the climb is to take advantage of the shrubbery for good holds and be wary of random holes. The other major concern is the wind. At any moment, the wind can and will knock you backwards so be sure to always have good footing. The final approach is especially tricky as it only gets steeper, and at this time of the year, snow and ice coats most of the hillside. There is no shrubbery here so it’s important to keep low and watch out for iced over rocks. Ascending Slieve Donard isn’t exactly an expedition up the Himalayas, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Getting back down with a bum knee or ankle is no easy task. Finally, the payoff is when you breathe in the panoramic viewpoint from the peak. On a clear day, you can see everything from the coast of Scotland to the Hills of Donegal. Even Belfast, only 30 miles north, can be spotted in the distance. On my own trek, however, I encountered a complete white out at the top. Despite the lack of vision, the clouds painted a dream-like ambience enough to delude you into making you feel like you were on a much higher elevation. From the South and West, the Mourne Wall re-emerges out of the mist like an old friend ready to guide you home. Indeed, if by this point it’s past 3:30pm, it’s probably time to make your way back down so as not to be caught in the dark. Especially if there’s a complete white out at the top, the easiest way down is to follow the Mourne Wall westward until it starts to rise again. From there it is easy to work out a route down, and more importantly, a safe point to cross the river. Once you’ve made your way back to Newcastle, make sure to stop by Donard’s Pub to kick back with a rewarding pint of Guinness for your hard days work. You might even make it two, at 2 quid a pop. If you happen to be with a special someone, you might also think to take a stroll along the newly revamped, romantic promenade along the seaside. During warmer weather, activities from watersports to mountain boarding can be found all over Newcastle. Information on these activities can be found in any Irish tourist book or simply ask the Tourist Information Center when you get there. If not just for the spectacular views and alligator sandwiches, a trip to Slieve Donard is a great reason to get out of the city for some fresh air. Whether you’re new to Ireland or a Newcastle native, a trip up to the potential site of island’s first National Park is well worth a visit.


TRAVEL SPECIAL

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

19

Pitfalls of a J1 Visa Ben Eustace has a beef with USIT’s J1 Visa programme. Read on for tips on avoiding some pitfalls and some alternatives

E

VERYONE’S SEEN the ads: Free J1! Spend your summer in the States for FREE! With USIT! FREE! Sounds pretty good, right? All that “free”. I thought so, and I’d always wanted to spend a summer in New York, working in a vintage store on Bedford Ave., having rooftop barbecues in the evening sun, looking like a beer commercial, or the start of Cloverfield. So, naturally, I jumped at the offer of a “free” J1. Alas, I was to be deceived. Perhaps someone could have warned me about USIT and how they take advantage of our most vulnerable and malnourished, our students, for every penny they have. What follows is an account of the web of deceit, lies, and phone calls that I was subjected to all in pursuit of the “free” J1, and how future applicants can escape my fate. It does say, on the ad for the “free” J1 that terms and conditions apply. Of course they do. Terms and conditions apply to just about everything these days.

Photo: Gianmaria Z

Terms and conditions are a building block of the modern corporation and we’re used to companies going back on their word backed up by their terms and conditions. But, by comparison, the J1 terms and conditions didn’t seem too shocking: ‘You must be returning to full time study’, ‘Applicants are advised that the legal age of drinking in the USA is 21’, and so on - all the usual formalities. The most interesting clause, however, was ‘to avail of the free j1 offer, you must subscribe for our Gold Cover insurance.’ This has to be the catch. When I enquired further I was told that Gold Cover insurance plus exam failure cover was indeed an obligatory purchase in order to avail of the “free” J1, at the recession-friendly sum of €189. This gets you USIT’s top insurance package. Fair enough, it’s still cheaper than paying for a full J1, and if I get into a scrape with a feather-capped pimp in the Bronx and he goes upside my head and I need emergency stitches, I’m covered, or, say, if I need to change my flights in case I

Photo: Trey Ratcliffe fail my exams, I’m covered. Thanks USIT. You got me covered. With my €189 insurance reluctantly secured, I’m ready to book my “free” J1. Flights? Yes, please! They’ll help me to get there. How much? €630 is the price I was quoted by USIT. Having flown to New York pre-credit crunch for less than this and with the price of pretty much everything falling these days, this quote had me shocked, and for a good reason. I later checked the price of my exact flights on the B.A. website. The price: €420. I called B.A. on the phone, thinking maybe low online fares would explain the discrepancy but even over the phone I was quoted €435. Still nearly €200 less than USIT wanted to charge me. Naturally, I’m curious and I couldn’t figure out why flights with USIT could be so much more expensive. So I called USIT with just one question in mind :Why? The answer I was given sounded like a suspiciously prepared spiel about a refundable “flexi-ticket” and all the advantages thereof. I hear you, USIT, refundable tickets are well and good but, when you were telling me all the great things covered by my awesome Gold Cover insurance, I’m pretty sure you mentioned flight changes, and the

Exam Failure cover, that extra €50 you tabbed on the bill, wasn’t that was also to cover a change in flights, in the eventuality that I failed my exams? So why I am I paying a markup of €200 on my flights when I’ve taken an insurance policy worth nearly the same? I couldn’t get a straight answer from USIT on this. It is my suspicion that that extra magic disappearing money goes to pay for their flashy Aston Quay offices. Later on, when I thought I had put this all to bed, having accepted my fate as a lowly consumer faced with the corporation that’s been at this kind of stuff for years, I gave in and paid. I hated myself for it, but I didn’t want to forego my American dream just to prove a point. When I went in to pay, I was told I had until the end of the day to change my flight date free of charge. I had given them a preliminary date when I booked the J1 without knowing the date my exams finished but I wanted to change this date as my exams ended a good bit earlier than I had expected. This free of charge flight change was then challenged by the representative I later telephoned, he thought I’d have to pay €150 to change my flight, despite having a “flexi-ticket”, despite my Gold Insurance, despite all those good times

we shared. I was pretty taken aback. He wasn’t happy either, and he agreed to phone me back when he’d asked his colleague whether the change was possible. He never called back. I had to ring them, again, hold, again (dodgy hold music), and despite finally being able to change my flight for free, I was left feeling that USIT are, frankly, best avoided. Constantly being told different things by different people and getting the clear feeling that all they really want is to pry your precious pennies from your clenched fist. Of course, a company like USIT needs to make a profit to operate, but the problem is students often assume that USIT is their only option, and so flock blindly like lambs to the pricey slaughter without realising there are other cheaper options available. Irish-owned company Sayit, while not quite as bespoke as USIT, also offer J1 packages. Applications with Sayit are all done online and at the time of writing they are also offering free J1s, but without the hidden extras and their website quotes flight prices to New York from €299. You are required to take out an insurance policy with Sayit (this is, after all, how they make their money)

but, unlike USIT, you can opt for the insurance package of your choice with rates starting at €150. On top of this is the embassy and visa fees, totaling €137 meaning, all in all, the J1 package with Sayit is available from €587, compared to USIT’s hefty charge of €950 for the same product, which is a pretty significant saving. Applying for a J1 through them allows you to book your own flights and organise your own insurance and it could save you the best part of €500 compared with USIT’s price. The downside to this is that it will take more paperwork and organisation on your part, but if you’re up for the challenge and low on cash, it could well be worth it. Both of these alternatives will save you money and probably some hassle, I only wish I had done more research before I got sucked in by USIT, but here’s hoping that others will benefit from my experience. Despite having no money left it’s not all bed news, I’m still spending a summer in New York, which luckily is a happy enough thought to distract me from my bank balance. Sayit Travel: www.sayit.ie United States Embasssy, Dublin: www.dublin.usembassy.gov


TRAVEL SPECIAL

!

20

Barcelona: la vida loca Barcelona has become one of Europe’s favourite playgrounds in recent years. Noel Connolly gives the city the once over

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

YOUR VIEW We asked Trinity students to send in their favourite pictures from last summer’s travels. Here is just a selection from the many top quality entries

S

AMUEL JOHNSON once wrote that if you are tired of London, you are tired of life. He could just as easily been describing the Catalan capital as the British one. Barcelona is simply one of the most vibrant, exciting and unique cities in Europe, if not the world. It boasts jaw- dropping architecture, mouth watering cuisine and party till you drop night-life. Missing it would be a crime, so what are you waiting for? One of the city’s main drawcard’s is the physical beauty of the place. Its architecture is like no other city’s. While in Madrid you could be mistaken for thinking you are in Paris or London, in Barcelona you make no such mistake. It possesses buildings that will leave you astonished with their creative, daring and surreal charm. Much of this splendor is down to one man - Antonio Gaudi. The Catalan architect was highly influenced by the forms of nature and incorporated them in his modernist style. If you only have time to see one of his buildings during your stay, it has to be the church of La Sagrada Familia (The holy family). This yet unfinished masterpiece has a completion date scheduled for 2026. Once asked about the protracted duration Gaudi replied “my client is not in a hurry”. Its towers, which soar up into the (usually) clear blue Catalan sky, resemble huge Russian cold war rockets, topped by the pieces of broken crockery so emblematic of Gaudi’s mosaic style. Another unmissable stop on the Gaudi trail is the Park Guell. Overlooking the city, the park is a wonderland of sculptured paths, decorative benches and surreal buildings. The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by the curvy bench in the shape of a sea serpent. If you wonder why the benches are so comfortable it is because Gaudi used the imprint from the buttocks of naked workmen sitting in wet clay to design their curvature. Plus the views are splendid. La Casa Mila more commonly referred to as La Pedrera (the stone quarry) is one of Gaudi’s most audacious attempts at residential housing. This apartment block in the city centre features chimneys fashioned into sculptures atop the roof terrace and a museum which holds some of the architects blueprints. Culture vultures will feast on Barcelona’s museums. Perhaps the most well known is the Picasso museum in the old quarter. Although not a native son of Barcelona, the Malaga born painter spent his student years here. The museum mainly concentrates on works which he produced during those years before making the permanent move to France. For those convinced that he was a talentless charlatan who couldn’t draw, the museum is a revelation. The works within reveal the precocity of the young Picasso. By the age of fourteen he had completely mastered academic realist painting. However there are few works from his peak period in the French capital, and the Picasso museum in Paris gives a better overview of the work of the twentieth century’s greatest artist. For those who prefer the artistry of the beautiful game, a visit to the Nou Camp is essential. Home to Barcelona football club, it regularly holds up to 100,000 supporters for Barca’s home games. Expect to pay between 25-90 euros for a ticket, depending on where you sit and who the opposition is. Games against the top teams can be oversubscribed particularly for the visit of Real Madrid. For many Catalans, the match is seen as an international; Catalonia versus Spain, with Real Madrid being the team which General Franco patronized and whose dictatorship suppressed Catalan culture. Barcelona F.C. has long embodied the spirit of Catalan nationalism and its aspirations for independence. Night owls and party animals will be well catered for in Barcelona. The old quarter known as the Barri Gotic has a wealth of bars and nightclubs. Rita Blue on Plazi Sant Agusti is a funky bar, restaurant and nightspot. Bosque de Los Fades (Fairy Forest), a small bar near Las Ramblas is also worthy of note. Expect to pay between 4-5 euros for a pint- barcelonaconnect.com is a good website with all the latest and hippest joints to be seen in. Things tend to start and finish rather late in Barcelona. Don’t even think about going to a bar before midnight because it will be virtually empty. Everyone will be either at home getting tanked up on the cheap before going out, or in a restaurant. Spanish cuisine has often been seen as the poor cousin to its latin rivals from France and Italy, but that misapprehension is starting to change, especially since Ferran Adria’s restaurant El Bulli, located in Catalonia, has risen to fame as being the best on the planet. Staples such as paella, gazpacho and crema catalana are all worth a try and are readily available. In Spain, lunch is the main meal of the day, and it is possible to get a three course lunch with a drink and bread included, which is known as Menu del Dia, for as little as ten euros. If you are going to Barcelona with Ryanair, then the actual airport you fly into and out of is Girona’s. Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali, makes an interesting detour on your way to the airport. There, you will find a museum dedicated to the surrealist painter’s work. In fact it houses the largest collection of his paintings anywhere in the world, as well as collages, sculpture and the famous red sofa based on Mae West’s lips. The museum itself is a bit of a surrealist fantasy with giant eggs atop castle like battlements. Whether you decide to include the Dali museum or not, a visit ot Barcelona will remain long in your memory, punctuated by experiences not to be found elsewhere. Enjoy!

BARCELONA FAST FACTS Getting There- from Dublin there are two optionsRyanair and Aer Lingus. You will normally get a cheaper flight with Ryanair but this is offset by the fact that they land you in Girona airport which is more than 80kms from Barca city centre Staying There- Barcelona has a variety of accomodation options to suit all budgets. Most people try to base themselves as near to the main drag, Las Ramblas, as possible. However there are also options which have the beach on your doorstep Catch a game- Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium is amongst the largest in the world. Football is a passion here and games take place at weekends. For ticket information check out www.fcbarcelona.cat a few months in advance

Clockwise from left: Two women stop for a chat in Marrakesh, Morocco. By Denise Moreno Flamingoes on the salt flats in the Atacama Desert in Chile. By Stephanie Hyland Striking flowers blooming in the mountains in Italy. By Nina Brown Winter in Sweden. By Lana Eriksson The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco taken from a different perspective than usual. By Rachel Kennedy Colourful Hindu ladies prepare to march for the Dasain festival in Kathmandu, Nepal. By Derek Larney

The flying doctor: adventures Fourth year medical student Robbie Woods spent his summer volunteering in a hospital in Vava’u, a group of islands in Tonga. Read on for the lowdown on island life, customs and rituals

A

JOURNEY to the Polynesian region of the Pacific is not something that can be undertaken lightly. Huge distances separating isolated islands leads to unpredictable flight arrangements, limited resources and unreliable communication. However Polynesia entices the traveller by conjuring images of remote islets fringed by fantastic coral in turquoise water and a people historically renowned for seafaring, fierce warfare and even cannibalism. Captain Cook ironically labelled Tonga the ‘friendly isles’ after being welcomed so heartily by the Tongans, without knowing that they were planning on including some of his crew in their next feast. Fortunately the English departed before this plan was enacted but the name ascribed to Tonga stuck and has become a perfect description of this Kingdom and in fact all Polynesian people. From the moment I arrived in the northern Vava’u group of Tonga, I was treated with a welcome befitting the ‘friendly isles’. Within my first few days in the country the local community were already beginning to recognise the new foreign medical student on the street thanks to a half page article about my visit on page two of the national newspaper, the Times of Tonga. I had donated a small amount of money raised during the previous year to the hospital fundraising club and their appreciation was astounding. Despite coming from almost the opposite side of the globe, I was welcomed as part of the medical family in Vava’u and thrown in at the deep end at the hospital. With only three doctors working in the hospital, the extra pair of hands I provided came in very useful. While students in the British Isles are often consigned to watching and learning by viewing, the Tongan doctors threw me into action, which I was a little unprepared for. I felt apprehensive about being asked to operate on patients, but sure enough I was given the opportunity to do some basic diabetic foot debridements, abscess drains and circumcisions. There was always a doctor close by to jump in if anything went wrong, but luckily enough it

seems my few years of study paid off and I was able to carry out the operations without any major problems. Signing my name as the surgeon and writing up the reports was very rewarding and I was thrilled I had agreed to do the procedures. I spent many hours in the hospital’s threadbare and outdated surgical area but, despite having only basic equipment, the operating theatre and indeed the hospital itself seemed largely to suffice for the needs of the 26,000 population in the Vava’u group of 50 small islands. The lack of basic equipment in the hospital was highlighted to me during my time in theatre by broken lights over the operating table, insufficient developing fluid for the X-ray machine and even makeshift wheelchairs, but it was amazing what could be achieved with such minimal funding. The operations performed were limited due to lack of an anaesthetist so any major surgeries were sent to the main island group by air. Nevertheless I was lucky enough to assist in some interesting cases, such as Caesarean Sections and Appendectomies some which I sutured up at the end of the operation. Being such a small hospital, with only 50 beds, there were never many patients in hospital and, while there was a broad range of diseases, which were often presented at an advanced stage by the stoic Tongans, most of the work was in obstetrics, rheumatic fever, infections and, of course, diabetes. While the large size of the Tongans may help their rugby team, the consequent diabetes is a major burden for the Tongan and indeed all Polynesian healthcare systems. Every Thursday was spent out on one of the smaller islands at a diabetes and hypertension clinic. One clinic involved a hair-raising ocean voyage on the hospital’s rickety old boat. This journey to the Hunga clinic involved curious Humpback whales taking interest in the boat, something I can reflect on when travelling through the rain to clinics in the British Isles! Outside my time spent in hospital I was treated like an honoured guest in Tonga. It is a very hierarchical society with the nobles at the top and, until recently, the king had

absolute power. There is currently a lot of change in Tongan society and I was there during the preparations for the unpopular new king’s coronation. While many people in Tonga are slow in their tasks in an island way, the preparations in Vava’u were particularly slow and lacklustre reflecting the widespread lack of support for the new king. The rapid change that is occurring in Tongan society has not, however, had an effect on their culture and these island people tried to include me in their daily life as much as possible. Whether it was inviting me to their churches or teaching me the important skill of how to climb coconut trees, there never seemed to be a dull moment. The hospital fundraising club took me under their wing and they insisted I attend their kava sessions in the evenings, one of their ways of raising much needed funds for hospital equipment. These sessions consisted of a group of men consuming large quantities of kava, a nonalcoholic anaesthetic-like drink served out

A hair-raising ocean voyage on the hospital’s rickety old boat to a clinic involved curious Humpback whales of a large bowl into coconut shells by the one woman in attendance. This drinking would follow songs, generally religious in nature, from a group of Tongans in attendance. Small amounts of money were donated by those present to the hospital fund. On departing Tonga I was treated by the hospital club to a large feast as a means of thanks, to which various members donated some freshly killed pigs for roasting and some Tongan specialties were cooked up in an umu, a type of underground oven, before I was presented at the meal with an engraved kava bowl and a whalebone necklace as gifts. I felt a little uneasy at their generosity, but after a bit of kava it began to sink in that it is the way of the pacific islanders to be so welcoming and friendly as their ancestors had been to Captain Cook, albeit in different circumstances! Following my Tongan introduction to Polynesian hospitality and culture, I ventured, after much difficulty with travel arrangements, to one of the most remote countries on earth. The cost and fickle nature of flights (in fact the airline that I used ceased

to exist less than one month after my trip!) manages to deter all but the most intrepid of travellers to the island group of Tuvalu, the former Ellice Islands, which receives fewer than one hundred tourists per year. The lucky few that arrive into Funafuti, an airport with the code FUN, experience a real hidden gem of a country that, despite being one of the poorest nations in the world, is also one of the most peaceful. As it turned out, I happened to be the only registered tourist in the whole country during the week I was there, although I was not the sole occupant of the country’s only hotel. The 16 room government owned Vaiaku Lagi hotel has been known to throw out guests with no remorse upon arrival of foreign dignitaries. Thankfully during my stay I only had to contend with the eclectic mix of an education consultant for the Pacific islands forum, two UN development specialists, two representatives of the .tv corporation, two renewable energy consultants and a representative from the Icelandic government. This mishmash of visitors all had dealings with various government departments and so, not to feel left out, I decided I should go to the Department of Tourism to find out what I could about the country and what would be worth visiting. The tourism officer, housed in a small corner of the impressive new Taiwanfunded government building, was a plump and jovial young man who seemed pleased to have any sort of visitor and was overwhelmingly helpful in answering my questions. It seems this department didn’t see much traffic and indeed could not really achieve much on its miniscule budget. The whole department received an annual 35,000 Australian dollars, out of the annual government budget of only 20 million, most of which was spent on salary for the tourism officer and website fees leaving very little for marketing the country to overseas tourists! After taking up a large amount of the Department of Tourism’s day, I strolled around the town of 4,500 people, almost half of Tuvalu’s total population. As is common around the world, Tuvaluans from the outer island groups have been drawn to the capital in search of a different lifestyle. This has led to a very densely populated area on the main island in the Funafuti atoll, despite an absurdly large portion of it being taken up by the runway. There is a big mix of people from the eight other island groups that make up Tuvalu giving Funafuti a fantastic level of culture. The tiny landmass has lead to problems with rubbish dumping though,


!

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

TRAVEL SPECIAL

21

Cheapest to dearest Noel Connolly, in the utmost public service, finds each end of the spectrum of Dublin’s accomodation

H

in the remote south Pacific which is evident at the extremities of the main island, where large unmanaged dumps can be found. Nevertheless, the Funafuti atoll retains an astounding beauty that would befit any Robinson Crusoe story. With a high point of 4.8 metres above sea level, the whole country of Tuvalu consists largely of tiny coral fringed islets with brilliant white sandy beaches. A thirty minute boat ride across the lagoon in Funafuti leads to a conservation area of five islets. The conservation area consisted formerly of six islets before one, Tepuka Savilivili, was literally washed away in a vicious storm a few years previously, highlighting the dangers that exist for the Tuvaluan people with rising sea levels. The plight of this low-lying set of atolls has led to increasing recognition amongst the international community. The effects of rising sea levels due to climate change means that this idyllic country of peaceful, largely selfsustaining people is predicted to no longer exist within a couple of generations. It will be evastating loss to these people, who regard a devastating ir land as their most important possession, their st of them even burying their dead in front most heir houses. of their During my visit, I decided to rent a scooter, the main means of transport in Tuvalu as not ny cars make it out to these remote pacific many nds. Within a few hours I had driven islands. ry road on the Funafuti island group and every ed off the list of tourist attractions: ticked stamps the philatelic bureau (as m this region are from hly sought after highly by collectors), the site of drilling by ntists to prove scientists rwin’s theory of Darwin’s al atolls being coral med on volcanoes formed and some wrecks and relics from the Second rld War when World nafuti was Funafuti d as a base used for attacking the anese in the Japanese bert islands to Gilbert the north. I followed my adventures with p in the lagoon a dip ere I got in where versation in conversation ited English limited h a fisherman with om I assisted whom

for a while. Using a snorkel he would locate a shoal of fish, which were plentiful in the lagoon, and toss out his line. Almost every time he threw out the line he would catch a fish, which if small he would then cut up for bait and if large, he would keep for food. The Tuvaluans are very much self-sustaining people as imported goods are prohibitively expensive and so, when they look at the lagoon, they essentially regard it as their food source. It would not be a great place to live if one didn’t enjoy seafood! As a travelling medical student, I decided to spend a morning in the hospital to see how the Tuvaluan health system worked in comparison with Tonga and New Zealand. Having been cleared by the health minister I met with the head doctor, who turned out to be the aunt of my friend the tourism officer. Despite being one of only two doctors on staff for the whole country, she gave me a tour of the hospital and described the difficulties faced in such a remote location, especially when emergencies occur on the outer islands, as basic medical care may be an expensive few days away by b o a t . I was g i v e n s o m e patients to see, w h o

presented largely with the same plethora of problems I had seen in Tonga. I also examined a few seafarers to clear them for their work, which I was told is one of the major forms of employment for Tuvaluans due to their astounding abilities at sea. Indeed I met quite a number of Tuvaluans who had been to the British Isles! The hospital in Tuvalu does seem to struggle more than Tonga with lack of doctors, basic equipment and funding. The whole drugs budget is funded by just a quarter of a million Australian dollars and it is difficult for them to ensure adequate provision for the population. Nevertheless, Tuvalu is becoming more involved on the world stage and indeed I was lucky enough to attend a fundraiser for the first Tuvalu Olympic team, held in the hotel which doubled up as the government’s entertainment venue. The people I met at these dinners during my time in the hotel had some fascinating accounts of their work in Pacific Island countries. An energy consultant told me about his time in Tok Tokelau, ow a place so small that the owners of the only two cars on the cras at islands managed to crash the only crossroads in the whole group of islands. The representative from the Ice government of Iceland explained to me the bargaining system that seems to work in the UN where, for example, Japa the Japanese pro fund projects in Tonga or Pa c other Pacifi countries, essentially in return for their a vote to allow whaling. M y experience Tuva of Tuvaluan lar people largely o my consisted of pla time playing football with some of the national team. The country is fana fanatical about football and

so each Saturday a large crowd gathers at the one pitch beside the runway to play matches. While watching I began talking with a defender for the national team, Lolesi, who invited me to his house that night for a barbecue with his team-mates. It was there that I was asked to come and train with them. Despite playing at a low level at Eton, I managed to hold my own in training with an associate member of FIFA for a few evenings! On my penultimate day in Tuvalu, I was invited by the leading international scorer Viliamu, a policeman, and his friend who happened to be the conservation area officer, to go spear fishing with them. We sped across the lagoon to the conservation area and proceeded to hunt for coconut crabs on the islets by sticking knives into freshly disturbed ground before donning our snorkels and attempting to spear Yellowfin Tuna using a piece of elastic to shoot an arrow at them underwater. On our return, we stopped at Funafala islet, a small community living in traditional open wooden buildings with thatched roofs, where we were treated to fresh fish and breadfruit by the parents of the conservation area officer. Leaving behind such a beautiful country and wonderful people, my arrival in the metropolis of central Auckland via Fiji a few days later gave me an abrupt understanding of how remote I had actually been. A trip to see the All Blacks play Australia on the day I arrived, with an attendance of around 50,000 under one roof, contrasted sharply with Tuvalu’s total population of 10,000. What surprised me most, however, was how lonely I felt for the first few days in a big city after having felt so accepted in one of the most inaccessible places in the world. That quickly changed though when I began my placement in the plastic surgery department of Middlemore Hospital. Despite the wintry weather in the ‘land of the long white cloud’, or Aoeteroa as New Zealand is known to the Maori people, I enjoyed being back in a hospital that had a modern layout and feel and famaliar facilities. The contrasts between the countries I visited were huge and I found myself comparing Tuvalu’s tiny landmass with the vast New Zealand mountains, both just as remote as each other in very different ways, but populated by the same convivial Polynesian people. Despite travelling alone, I felt warmly welcomed throughout my time in the Polynesian islands, the whole region deserving the term of the friendly isles. It was a trip with enduring memories.

ERE ON the travel team at Trinity News, we are always keen to bring you the extreme travels stories, those once in a lifetime tales of adventure in far flung corners of the globe untrodden by the vacationing hordes. However if for once we look closer to home, namely in this fair city, what extremes of traveldom are waiting to be unearthed? So then the idea came to us, compare the cheapest with the most expensive accommodation to be found in Dublin. If your bank balance is bulging at the seams or your first name is Bill and your last one Gates and you wish to spend a night of luxury at one of Dublin’s top hotels, then acres of luxurious suites await. You could chose the old world charm of the Shelbourne on St Stephen’s Green or the rock star cool of the Clarence on Wellington Quay. But if cost really is no object then why not plum for Dublin’s most opulent hotel room, the Presidential suite at the Four Seasons. Offering stunning views of landscaped gardens and the city beyond this temple of indulgence covers 168 square meters which can be extended to 250 square meters with the addition of two extra interconnected bedrooms. Every whim can be catered for as you wallow in upholstered decadence and room serviced pampering. Then there’s the small matter of how much all this high living will set you back. Perhaps small is not the right word, since the damage for one night at low season rates for all of this is 2600 euros. Enough for 2 weeks at a decent resort in the Med. Journalists sometimes have to suffer to get a story and in the interests of authenticity I was prepared to give the suite a “test drive” by spending the night there. However the hotel seemed less than enamoured with the idea, so you’ll just have to get a fantastic job on graduation and go and stay there yourself. Then you can tell me about it. Yes we know not many Trinity students will be spending a night there, even those of you whose Daddies have a salary like a telephone number (yes we know who you are). So for those whose wallets whimper and weep simply when it comes to buying lunch in the Buttery heres the opposite end of the scale; the bargain basement, scraping the barrel, mother of all budget accommodation deals, I give you without any fanfare ( can’t afford the trumpets) Browns Hostel on Gardiner street. Located in one of Dublin’s more gritty neighborhoods, this paragon of penny-pinching offers shared rooms from as little as 8 euro a night. For that you get a surprisingly airy and clean hostel where you are lightly to meet fellow travelers from every corner of the globe. There is a communal area to meet and swap traveler’s tales, and a kitchen to prepare your bowl of gruel. A breakfast is included, and other amenities include a 24 hour reception, laundry, internet access, luggage storage and security lockers. The hostel’s mission statement is “ to meet and exceed the standards for quality, comfort and convenience, while providing the independent traveller with luxury (no guffaws please) budget accommodation at unbeatable value.” We can’t argue on that score, that you can find a place to sleep in one of Europe’s most expensive cities for less than the price of a couple of pints is pretty amazing. The hostel certainly enjoys a convenient location, with O’Connell street just a few minutes walk away and you have the added advantage of being able to stay for 325 nights for the cost of one night at the Four Seasons. Me, I’ve always been more into quality than quantity, so give me one night at the Four Seasons any night of the week.

TRAVEL THE WEB » LonelyPlanet.com Since they’ve been taken over by the BBC the LP is not quite as avant garde as it used to be. However, there is some good basic information on all countries and their forum, the Thorn Tree, is handy for asking questions of other travellers. SummitPost.org This site is essential for anyone interested in mountaineering or trekking when abroad. It has detailed reports on thousands of treks as well as some good pictures to let you see the views you can expect after conquering any number of peaks. » Floatplan.com A good site for those looking to travel the world by wind power alone. Floatplan puts yacht owners in contact with potential crew. Looking for a berth from Cork to New York? Chances are you just might find it here. » HostelWorld.com This Dublin based website has been helping us find a bed for the night for quite a few years now. The user friendly interface allows you to compare different hostels and budget hotels at ease. Travellers’ ratings of the hostels help you to avoid the dross and pick out something suitable to your budget and taste. » StickyFingersTravel.com A must for any mature students travelling with kids. This website recommends child friendly holidays as well as providing a booking service for car hire, holidays and insurance. They also have handy checklists for packing for children. A Parents forum is also available to ask advice from other users. » AttitudeTravel.com & SkyScanner.net These two sites are a good stop for preparing DIY flight plans. Simply enter your dates and destinations into SkyScanner and it will show you all the available prices. AttitudeTravel is an excellent website that aims to track every budget airline in the world. » Seat61.com This website was once a one man show but it is now regarded as the virtual bible of train travel. Seat61 gives good tips on some of the world’s classic train journeys such as the Trans-Siberian or the Ghan in Australia. The site also has links to train timetables from most European countries which can prove handy for web-savvy inter-railers. » TravelFish.org A website that specialises in travel around Asia. TravelFish sells guides to the region as well as having a wealth of knowledge about Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. There is also a forum to find out about new destinations and the best places to stay. Derek Larney


TRAVEL SPECIAL

!

22

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

Volunteer yourself for new sights

Istanbul to Budapest by rail – mostly

By Noel Connolly

From the minarets and hookah pipes of Istanbul to the shores of the Danube, Noel Connolly discovered central and eastern Europe on this ten-day itinerary

C

ROWDED BAZARS, the smell of flavoured tobacco, the crackle of kebabs on a grill: Istanbul is sensory overload. As the capital city for a list of Empires going all the way back to the Roman, it has layer upon layer of history just waiting to be discovered . Most of the major sights are located in the old part of the city known as Sultanahmet, which corresponds approximately to the 15th century extent of Constantinople. However if you have the time, it is worth exploring the wider city, which stretches over two continents, Istanbul being the only city in the world which is in both Europe and Asia. No visit to Istanbul is complete without visiting the Hagia Sophia. At various points in its history it has been a church, a mosque and now a museum. For centuries it was simply the biggest building in the world. Its vaulted interior is still a jaw dropping sight with Byzantine murals and Islamic calligraphy attesting to its astonishing history. In the mood for a spot of haggling? Head straight to The Grand Bizarre, one of the largest covered markets in the world. Over 6000 shops are crammed into this labyrinth with every kind of craftsmanship on sale from the ubiquitous rugs to ceramics and furniture. Everyone leaves with something. The Topkapi Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Sultans from the 14th to the 19th century. Today one can view the elegant pavilions, sumptuous royal chambers and spacious courtyards where the Ottoman empire was ruled from. The harem is not to be missed, a 400 room pleasure palace within a palace, for the sole delight of the Sultan. The only other men allowed into it were eunuchs. The harem women were usually bought as slaves from some of the empires outlying territories, but could rise to become the Sultan’s wife and possibly the mother of the next Sultan. In that position they could weald huge power, and influence their son’s

decisions including which harem girl he was to sleep with each night! From the banks of the Bosphoros a night train takes us to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia. One of the oldest cities in Europe, Sofia’s history dates back 7000 years. Although the outskirts of the city exhibit the worst excesses of stalinist brutalist architecture, the centre contains a few gems, not least the Alexander Nevsky cathedral built in honour of the Russian soldiers who died in the Russian Turkish war of 1877-78 which liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman rule. It is a masterpiece of the neo - Byzantine style, with stunning cupolas and domes and an atmospheric interior with the hum of an orthodox choir and the scent of incense. The church of St George is of modest dimensions but a history which started back to the 4th century, making it Sofia’s oldest structure. The little red bricked building is now surrounded by the more modern edifice of the Sheraton hotel. Nearby one can witness the changing of the guard outside the presidential palace by toy-town attired palace sentries. A few hours by coach takes you into northern Bulgaria and the charming town of Veliko Tarnovo. Although there isn’t a whole lot to see or do there, Veliko is great place just to chill and recharge your batteries when backpacking around Europe starts to wear you out, as it surely will. Many travelers end up staying a day or two longer than planned, lulled by the laid back atmosphere and the value for money hostels such as Hostel Mostel, which this writer can throughly recommend. There is one major sight though, the Tsarevets fortress. A hilltop fortified citadel mostly built between the 5th and 12th centuries by waves of Thracians, Romans and Byzantines. There is an after dark 40 minute sound and light show, which illuminates the ancient fort if enough tourists turn up and splash the cash. Northward by rail takes us over the

The Spice Baazar awaits at the beginning of the journey from Istanbul. Photo: Derek Larney border and to the Romanian capital Bucharest (not Budapest as Michael Jackson made the mistake of making to a less than impressed Romanian crowd at his concert there). Famed for scam artists and rip off taxis, one needs to be vigilant in Bucharest, but no more so than any other big city. Elegant 19th century villas jostle with drab concrete apartment blocks to make a varied and highly stimulating urban experience. The city’s most famous sight is a testament to the folly and excess of unshackled power. The dictator Ceausescu ordered the building of the Palace of Parliament at the height of his power and it remains after the Pentagon in Washington the largest building in the world. Some people consider it beautiful, while most think it ghastly. One thing is for sure, it is out of proportion to a country of Romania’s size and wealth, but a fascinating place to visit nethertheless. Traveling north takes us to one of the true stars of Eastern Europe. Even without all the vampire connections, Transylvania would be worth at least one visit. A romantic landscape dotted with medieval castles nestled among

pine-clad mountains, Count Dracula’s backyard is simply stunning. Its most popular city, Brasov, is a gothic, cobblestoned (yes Trinity isn’t the only place that has them) marvel. From there you can take day-trips to Bran castle. Although the real life Vlad the Impaler, on whom Bram Stoker based Dracula, probably spent little time here, it hasn’t stopped the t-shirt sellers and souvenir vendors from making the most of the tenuous connection. The castle itself is exactly what you would expect. Spooky and gothic, you half expect some fanged demon to flap down from one of its battlements and suck the blood out of you. Another overnight sleeper and we wake up the following morning in the Hungarian capital, Budapest (Yes Mr Jackson, this is were you thought you were). The first thing you notice on arriving is that Hungary, economically speaking, is at another level compared to Bulgaria and Romania. There is a sense of confident prosperity to it that other two ex-communist states lack. The city can hold its own with any in Europe, with world class cultural attractions, historic architecture and the ever

present Danube marching gracefully between the two parts of the city, Buda and Pest. There are a wealth of sights to see including the Varhegy (Castle Hill) with its palace, museum and the Hungarian national gallery on the Buda side. While the parliament building, state opera house and great synagogue vie for attention across on the Pest side. One shouldn’t leave without trying the national dish Goulash, a paprika infused stew with gnocchi-like dumplings or the excellent local wines such as Egri Bikaver (Bull’s Blood). This reporter covered this route in just over a week, but obviously with more time, a wealth of other places become available along the way, as well as the opportunity to have a more in depth look at the places already covered. With train fares in eastern europe still at rock bottom prices, buying an inter-rail pass for this corner of the continent just doesn’t make any economic sense. Since the EU’s tentacles are already delving into the former soviet bloc, don’t expect that situation to last forever, so head east while it is still affordable. A good website for train travel is www. seat61.com

Sunshine, wine & chimes: Festival times Summertime sees Europe awash with music festivals. From beaches to fjords and stadiums to national parks Europe’s festivals have much to offer. Travel Editor Derek Larney reviews some of the bigger destinations

W

ITH THE winding of clocks people’s minds soon get concentrated on the forthcoming summer and for most that means letting the good times rock n’ roll all the way to the best music festivals Europe has to offer. Of course we have Oxegen and the Electric Picnic here as well as Oasis and the Prodigy playing at Slane with a little U2 thrown into the mix at Croker. But what we often don’t have is the weather and that is something that can make or break a festival. Rolling around in mud only has its appeal for so long; much better is to be lying on a beach or chilling in a fortress under some real summer sunshine whilst catching the hottest acts of 2009. Even if you take any festival line up that is on offer in Ireland you will tend to find that the exact same bands will be playing a number of other festivals, from Norway to Spain and Scotland to Serbia. The big advantages of taking a few days abroad to catch a festival are not only limited to the weather- often ticket prices are but a fraction of what we are forced to stump up here and that little fact also has a direct correlation on your other big expense at a festival, namely beer. Exit Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia THE EXIT Festival has been on the go in its current form since 2001. It was originally a student protest festival, set

up to overthrow the Milosevic regime, hence the name Exit. It is held in Novi Sad which is an an 18th century fortress perched high upon a hill and with excellent views of the surrounding countryside. The Sex Pistols and Paul Weller were last years highlights and this year some of the headliners include the Artic Monkeys, Madness, Limp Bizkit and Moby. This is the 10th year of the festival so organisers have invited back some of the original performers to crowd out the dance stage. Some of Europe’s top DJ’s will be playing backto back sets, amongst these is Sasha Vs. John Digweed and Carl Cox Vs. Green Velvet. The festival takes place this year from July 9th-12th and tickets are priced from €95. www.exitfest.org Sziget, Budapest, Hungary SZIGET MEANS ‘island’ in Hungarian and that is exactly where you’ll find this festival, on Obudai Island which is only a few minutes from Budapest city centre. It is without doubt one of Europe’s largest music festivals and this year camping is permitted for an entire week. For those who are inter-railing eastern Europe Sziget is well worth factoring into an itinerary. Sziget is known not only for its music but also the plethora of other diversions available- bungy jumps, live comedy and ferris wheels all abound here as well as €1.50 beers to wash down the fun. Last year saw Iron Maiden take to the main stage as well as REM and Moby. This year’s gig

very soon, cost €180 for the full package. www.fiberfib.com

Kings of Leon will be onstage at Benecassim on July 17. Photo Sarah Buckley will feature the Prodigy, Bloc Party, the Buena Vista Social Club and no other than the king of Brighton beach, Fatboy Slim. Over 800 acts will play Sziget this year and with nearly 20 stages there is something for everyone. Unfortunately ticket prices have taken a jump as the word has spread about this gig, they are now €180 but that includes a full week of camping as well as entrance. The music at Sziget takes place from August 12-17 www.sziget.hu Benecassim, Valencia, Spain THIS FESTIVAL is fast becoming a must for anyone backpacking Spain in the summer. It has an eclectic mix of mainstream rock, dance and electronica. Added bonuses include the fact that the festival is held a stones throw from a large beach and a water park. As this region of Spain is sweltering during

the daytime the music at Benecassim doesn’t usually kick off until 5 or 6pm most evenings. The upside of this is it that it rarely finishes before 7am! Other diversions at Benecassim include silent discos, puppet shows and art installations put together by the local university. Benecassim has arguably got one of the best line-ups in all of Europe this summer- the Thursday to Sunday headliners read as follows: Oasis, Kings of Leon, Franz Ferdinand, and The Killers. Below them on the bill there are plenty of other rich pickings- Glasvegas, Paul Weller and the Psychedelic Furs are all confirmed guests too. The music at Benecassim runs from July 16-19th this year but camping is permitted for nine days over the course of the festival. During these ‘off days’ expect many impromptu performances by local acts. Tickets, which will become hard to get

Rock Am Ring & Rock in Park, Germany THESE TWO Rock festivals are amongst Germany’s biggest gigs of the year, commonly attracting over 170,000 revellers. The festivals take place simultaneously- one at takes place at the Formula 1 circuit of Nurburing Ring and the other in a park near Nurnburg. The line up for each festival is typically the same with the acts playing on alternate days. Last year’s event saw acts such as CSS, the Stereophonics and Metallica hit the stage and was sold out in a matter of months. This year the event will take place from June 5-7th and amongst the main acts one can find Chris Cornell, Basement Jaxx, Razorlight and the Kooks as well as another 70 odd bands to back them up. Festival promoters boast of over 100 hours of rock spread over the three main stages with a few sideline events thrown in for good measure too. Tickets cost from €150. www.rock-am-ring.com These are just a few of the festivals taking place on mainland Europe this summer. Of course there are a barrage of festivals in the UK, notables include the Reading Festival, T in the Park in Scotland and of course, the granddaddy of them all, Glastonbury, where the reformed Blur will take to the main stage. In Norway the uber-cool and environmentally friendly Oya Festival will take place against a backdrop of fjords and in Belgium Rock Werchter happens from July 2 with Coldplay topping the bill. Paris is known for its Rock-on-Seine gigs. For those who are willing to go and dig out some good festivals there is no lack of options in Europe this summer- there are literally hundreds of other smaller gigs taking place- it’s just a matter of rolling up your tent and seeking them out.

THIS WAS the moment of truth. The old man who bore an uncanny resemblance to the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso had excrement smeared over his body from his bottom to his knees. If I didn’t clean him up, he would have to lie in it until another volunteer did. I questioned what exactly I was doing volunteering in Mother Teresa’s home for the sick and dying in Kolkata (Calcutta) anyway? Gamely I got on with it. It had all begun a week earlier when I went along to one of the thrice weekly induction meetings for volunteers at Mother House, the Missionaries of Charity’s HQ, in the centre of Kolkata. I had been traveling through India and Nepal for two months and was due to fly out of Kolkata to start the next leg of my round the world trip in south east Asia. Keen to experience everything I could during my trip, I decided to spend my last week in India as a volunteer with the order which Mother Teresa founded back in 1950.. I was assigned to Nirmal Hriday, more commonly known as the Kalighat home for the dying and destitute, located as it is beside the famous Kalighat hindu temple. This was the first home that Mother Teresa established before expanding her network of homes around the world and it remained close to her heart. I was later to be shown some of Teresa’s few possessions including her writing desk by one of the nuns at Kalighat. The next day I arrived outside the home’s shabby front entrance, slightly apprehensive about what I was about to encounter inside. The first thing I noticed as I entered was the stench. Any traveller to India will tell you that the country is an olfactory assault, but I had not smelt anything like this. It was the odour of death. I introduced myself to the head nun, clad in the familiar white and blue robes of the order, and was led to the men’s ward. There I found a room with about forty patients lying on low lying beds being attended by various volunteers. I went and washed my hands, put on an apron and looked around for something to do. I wondered what exactly was required of me. There was not really anyone to guide me or show me the ropes. I asked another volunteer who suggested I give some of the patients a massage, being as most of them were, bed-bound. I approached the bed of an elderly gentleman. Clearly communication was going to be a problem. I did not speak any Bengali at all and although English is one of India’s official languages, I discovered that apart from a few notably exceptions, few of the patients had a good command of it. Still, by gesturing I got the message across and proceeded to massage the man’s shrunken limbs. I will always remember the look he gave me afterwards, there was genuine gratitude in his eyes. Soon mealtime arrived and we handed out the meagre plates of curry and rice. The menu varied little, and it was hard to believe that malnutrition was not rife. One day a young patient beckoned to me and said “sit down”. Fantastic I thought, he can clearly speak a bit of English, so we can have a chat and I can learn something about him. So I sat down beside him and he took my hand in his. Then he repeated “sit down” again, and again and again. Another patient who really could speak English leaned over and said “he is not right in the head”. I discovered that quite a few of the patients were there because of some mental impairment, while some others had physical ailments which were not life-threatening. But some of the patients were clearly not long for this world. On one occasion I discovered an empty bed where the previous day an emaciated, skeletal figure had lain. After finishing my week there I vowed I would never feel sorry for myself ever again. How could I, with all the privileges of being born in the West? It took about a week before I broke my vow. I was on an island in Malaysia. it was a tropical paradise, with turquoise sea, white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees, but I felt miserable. The truth was I was lonely. I had failed to really connect with anyone on the island since my arrival and I realized I was missing Kolkata and all the people I had met there at both the home and my hostel. It was only at that moment that I understood the value of what I had done. www.motherteresa.org


!

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

TRAVEL SPECIAL

23

In search of sporting greatness There can be few better ways to experience a country than to attend a sporting event whilst there. With this in mind Paul O’Donnell writes about some of the must see events

C

lash of the Argentine Titans SOCCER DERBIES have become synonymous with the Titans of the modern game. Rival factions will often say they would sacrifice silverware in order to win the local derby such is the emotion attached to such games. Celtic and Rangers, Real Madrid and Barcelona, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce, these meetings are more than football, they impact on society, the matches become the stuff of legend, hero§es are made. None of these however can compare to the spectacle of the Superclásico between Boca Juniors and their neighbours River Plate. Boca is renowned for taking on young players and moulding them into international greats; Maradonna, Riquelme, Ferrerro, Tevez, Batistuta (who made the brave decision to play for both teams). 70% of Argentineans support one of the two; that’s about 28 million people who want tickets to the match. With a 60,000 capacity only a select few get in; the upside however is the maximum you will pay on the black market is €35. For 90 minutes Buenos Aries shudders to a halt as the fans demonstrate their gusto and passion for their respective teams. La Bombonera is Bocas stadium housing an infamous vertical stand with seating areas on top of each other. This is the home to diehard fans and the ensuing movement of the terrace has lead to the phrase “La Bombonera no tiembla. Late” (“the Bombonera does not tremble. It beats.”) and the metaphorical beating heart of the Bombonera. The result of 325 thrilling encounters stands 119 Boca victories, 105 for River and 101

TRAVEL GADGETS

draws. The next ties are scheduled for mid April and early May so start making those Argentinean contacts! One tip is to ask at your hotel/hostel, granted you may have to pay above the odds, but the asking price remains very modest. www.worldticketshop.com. www.ticketek.com.ar/ www.buenosaires.es.craigslist.org/tix/ Watch the fastest people in the world TWO WORDS: Usain Bolt. The aptly named Jamaican was the heart of the Beijing Olympics winning the 100 and 200m events along with the relay. There is little doubt that alongside Michael Phelps winning a further 8 golds they will go down in history among the greatest sportsmen of our time. In three years time they will be on our doorstop at the pinnacle of their careers and competing for eternal sporting glory in London. For Phelps this will be the sunset on probably the most illustrious Olympic career of all time. His current tally lies at 16 medals, another two would equal Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina. Considering this is a man who has earned eight medals in each of his last two Olympic campaigns, we should be in for a treat. Meanwhile the Yin to Phelps’s Yang, the earth to his water, Mr. Bolt, may for the first time sacrifice the 100m sprint in favor of the 400m and attempt to grasp another record. He is the antithesis of all that is bad about competitive sport; in delivering the greatest sprint performance of all time the world was in awe of his laid back Caribbean mentality. One American journalist quipped it would take him two hours to watch sixty minutes. Also keep an eye out for Irish paralympian

Boca Juniors’ fans show their unrelenting support wih this giant banner at a home game in La Bombonero, Buenos Aires. Photo John Seb Jason Smith who won this years 200m in a world record 21.43 seconds and may just be breathing down Bolt’s neck in 2012 when he makes the transfer from Paralympics to Olympics. 7.7 million Tickets will be released in 2011 and will include free public transport to and from the events. The majority of tickets are to be priced under £20 and a manifesto to fill seats should mean most events will be readily accessible. Eighty per cent of the world’s population tuned in to the Beijing opening ceremony, forty three world records were broken. Ireland came joint 62nd in the medals table. In three years the world will be watching London and our motivation for winning will never be higher. We will probably never be so close to the games so grab the opportunity. www.london2012.com/plans/ticketing/ index.php Let’s get ready to rumble! BOXING HAS been taken to a new height in recent years with the dominance of the likes of Pretty boy Floyd Mayweather, the Beast from the East Nikolai Valuev and Italian Dragon Joe Calzaghe. The Mecca of boxing aficionados is Madison Square Gardens, New York. The pugilistic history of the venue has seen Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano, Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis all battle it out under the lights of

the Garden. One possible fight to look out for in 09 is the return of Ricky The Hitman Hatton. After surrendering a 43 match winning streak to Mayweather, Hatton is seeking to prove himself against Manny Pacquiao, the Filipono icon who comprehensively slayed Oscar De La Hoya. If Hatton wins he hopes to entice Mayweather out of retirement for one final rematch before they both hang up their gloves. What makes this bout all the more fascinating is his new coach, Floyd Mayweather Senior. Such a showdown would undoubtedly be one of the sporting moments of the decade. For tickets check out www. ticketliquidator.com , www.thegarden. com and EBay always has bargains for even the biggest events. Witness Golfing Gods AMEN CORNER is the title given to holes 11, 12 and 13 in Augusta National Golf Club. Officially the 2nd shot on the 11th, all of the 12th and the 13th tee-off are what to look out for. History has told us that these three holes are key to unlocking victory in the US Masters, to the extent that in 2005 ‘Amen Corner Live’ began streaming coverage of the section of the course. From one so-called ‘sphincter-twitching’ stand spectators can see all three and more often than not determine who will be crowned champion. The stretch has seen Fred

Couples’ miraculous tee shot which remained on dry land by one blade of grass and lead him to victory; lead Arnold Palmer to his first ever victory in spectacular fashion and allowed amateur Billy Joe Patton to come within one shot of a playoff . So great is the aura of Amen Corner that players talk about it with a tinge of taboo; Jack Nicklaus remarked ‘I guess Amen corner is a place where you have to get religion to play it’. Tickets are like gold dust but a random lottery can be entered via www. masters.com. Those lucky enough to get their hands on the sacred passes will want to set up camp by 7am to ensure their plot – it can get messy out there in the world of professional golf. Centre court standoff THE HOLY trinity of tennis venues guarantee exciting encounters for numerous reasons. Roland Garros, host to the French Open remains the only elusive title for Roger Federer while it continues to welcome back Rafael Nadal to claim consecutive titles. 2009 may prove to be decisive in this rivalry. With Nadal finally overcoming his Wimbledon demons this summer can Federer strike back and prove he can match the Spaniard and win every Grandslam? With the red clay surface producing the longest and most skillful rallies a Federer Nadal finale is sure

❶ Recco Avalanche Reflector

All manner of travel gadgets are available to help you eat, sleep and find your way. With this in mind we took a trip to the Great Outdoors on Chatham Street to test the latest gadgets on the market. Words by Derek Larney, photography by Martin McKenna

A must for snowsports enthuasiasts Recco Reflectors are your only hope of a rescue team finding you buried beneath snow. Many ski and snowboard boots now come with them built in but if they don’t then these are the solution. €25

❷ Lifeventure Travel Towel These travel towels pack into a small space and they dry out a lot quicker than a conventional towel. The micro fibres in them also mean they are super absorbant. €35 ❸ Life Systems First Aid Kit A must for anyone going off the beaten track. This kit includes bandages, dressings, antiseptic wipes, scissors, tweezers and a thermometer. €26

❹ True Utility Turbo Jet Flame A lighter that will get your camp fire ablaze even in gale force conditions. €13

❺ Camelback Camelbacks are becoming more and more popular amongst hikers, mountain bikers and trekkers. They can hold up to four litres of water and have a tube you can stick to the shoulder strap for easy access. €30

❸ ❺

❻ Silverpoint Solar Trio & LED torch This solar charger does it all. Three solar panels open out to soak up enough energy to charge all major makes of mobile phones and iPods. One hours direct sunlight will be enough for 15 hours of charge. €25

❼ Trianga Camping Stove and Kettle

This Swedish engineered lightweight stove and kettle is all you will need for cooking in the backcountry. All parts slot together in a compact manner. It uses an alcohol burner and also has a windshield. €90

❻ ❹

❽ Kitchen Sink Well you know not to leave home without it. This sink is environmentally friendly, watertight and comes with reinforced handles. €20 ❾ Bushnell Backtrack GPS This entry level GPS checks waypoints with the click of a button. Then when you want to find your way back you simply click it again and the arrow will guide you home. Ideal for finding your tent on a dark night after a long day on the razz at a festival. €85

11

❿ Life Systems Adaptor Plug This worldwide adaptor plug will let you use any appliance in any country. Never get caught short for power again. €15 11 Windmaster DWA Pro Every sailors friend. This tachometer will tell you wind speeds in your area as well letting you know how many knots the boat is currently achieving. €149

to be an epic event. This year’s final takes place on June 7th, check out www.tennistours.com for customized packages. Flushing Meadows has become synonymous with boisterous crowds and American legends. Topping the list of must-sees are the Williams sisters who continue to meet each other in finals and unite forces in doubles. For a Williams masterclass on home turf www.razorgator.com among others have your tickets waiting. If you’re feeling extravagant a supreme package may even be on the cards; for only $900 you can have premium seating and parking, access to the Aces bar and restaurant and a deluxe gift no less! The aspiration of all players of course is Wimbledon centre court on the final day of play. The oldest tennis tournament in the world, the only Masters still played on grass, the mind-games of rain-stops-play, a maximum prize of £750,000 and the history of greats to lift the silverware all contribute to the grandiosity of the event. Unfortunately the deadline for the public balloted tickets for Centre, No.1 and No.2 courts has passed on December 15th however a limited number of tickets are held over until the day of play. A trip to the Wibledon Lawn Tennis museum is also a must with a plethora of hi tech media presentations and even a virtual ghost of John McEnroe.

We know what you’re doing this summmer... I’m hoping to travel to India to volunteer – possibly work placement in an orphanage. I might try to apply to go with SUAS or alternatively go solo. Ideally it would be for 6-10 weeks. After this I would love to travel from Calcutta to Darjeeling and onto Mumbai by train and take in the cities in between. Aine Chawke, JF Social Studies I’ve debating between two options for this summer. The first is teaching English in Madrid. I completed my TEFL last year and taught English to Italian students last year. I would also hope to travel around Spain for a month or so. Another possibility is a film-editing internship in Miami which is centered on Spanish film. Marie McDonnell, SF BESS I’m going to be applying to the Washington Ireland programme for this Summer. The aim of the trip is to form a new set of ideals based on DC and ultimately mould the leaders of the future. In all it’s a six month programme, starting and finishing in Ireland but it sounds really productive and enjoyable. Sarah Kate Caughey, SF BESS I plan on heading back to Los Angeles this year for one week. There’s a meditation group of 180 girls that takes place on Big Bear Mountain that focuses on teaching attendees how to live. After this I hope to work in San Francisco for two months. I’ll finish the summer with friends on a road trip, ending up in Mexico. Hannah Claire Gordon, SF History of Art, Architecture & Theology


24

SPORT

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

KAYAKING INTERVARSITIES

11-medal haul for DU Kayak Club Polo victory on Friday evening sets Trinity up for a strong performance and an overall second place finish, writes Michael O’Sullivan

T

HIS YEAR’S Kayak Intervarsities was one of the most controversial and exciting in many years. The event was hosted by UCD with many of the events held on the Liffey in west Dublin and Kildare. This action-packed weekend for Dublin University Kayak Club was topped off with a well earned second place in the overall competition. In the weeks leading up to it the competition looked set to be over shadowed by the heated debate over various issues, including the banning of certain types of boat and the location of the down river race. When the first day of competition came around everyone was happy to put these arguments behind them and let their kayaking do the talking. The first event of the weekend was canoe polo on the Royal Canal, Kilcock on Friday evening. Trinity’s team squad of 8 for the 5-a-side matches had been well prepared by their coach, former Irish team player, Eoin Scanlon. The hard work in the training sessions paid off as they gave a superb performance and came out as champions. Trinity routed GMIT in the first round and then went on to face Dublin polo rivals DCU in the second. DCU used to be a major force to be reckoned with in this competition but were well beaten by an outstanding display of speed, skill and teamwork by Trinity. The semi-final was proved more challenging, a rematch of last year’s semi against Queens; Trinity had lost in ’08 but evened the score this time and progressed to the final in style. The final would be their toughest match yet against reigning champions

NUI Maynooth. With strong support from most of the crowd gathered on the canal bank Trinity applied pressure and were first to score with an unstoppable shot by Paul Guyett. The match continued in a tight struggle and normal time ended with 2 goals each. The match went into extra time and within moments of the restart Trinity’s star player Gareth Carroll worked his way up the pitch and scored the golden goal. Trinity’s win was well received by all colleges, glad to see Maynooth dominance ended. The next day brought an early start with the long distance race, an energy sapping 4km paddle across Leixlip Reservoir and 8km for the elite boats. With 168 competitors across 11 categories gathered in the water in front of Salmon Leap Kayak Club this was the largest event of the weekend. Trinity added to their successes with four first place finishes, Neil Fleming in K1, Padriac Keane and David Mangan in K2, Ger Keane and Alan McGuinn in Touring Doubles and first year kayaker Calum Swift in the Men’s High Performance. Several other high quality finishes gave Trinity an overall 4th place in this event. NUI Galway took 1st place. In the afternoon the action moved to the grounds of Castletown House for the down river race. Muscles were still aching from the morning’s race but competition was intense again. Trinity showed their strengths and gathered another handful of medals. Former Junior World Championships gold medallist Neil Fleming put down two unbeatable times in both the Elite and General Purpose categories. Aoife Wilson earned silver in Women’s Elite and Colligan Games Sport champion

Gareth Carroll wins the ball for Trinity as his side win the Canoe Polo event at Intervarsities. Photo: DU Kayak Club Ger Keane earned bronze in Men’s GP. Clare Quigley racked up another gold for Trinity’s first year paddlers with her first place in Women’s GP - one to watch in the future! The wavehoppers gave the crowd additional entertainment as many found these boats difficult to keep upright. All of Trinity’s wavehoppers made it to the end in one piece but a mishap in the Canadian canoe category resulted in

DUKC captain, Aisling Gilchrist, lead by example as she took first place in the Women’s Sport category Trinity’s entrants swimming down the rapid. Despite this Trinity finished in second place for this event, narrowly beaten by DCU who took the Dee Conroy Cup for the second year in a row. On Sunday morning many had tired bodies after two days of competition

and of course the party the night before hosted in the UCD student bar. Two more events still had to be decided, though, before the competitors could relax. In the morning the slalom race was held and in the afternoon was the freestyle event, both held at The Sluice in Lucan. Slalom made a welcome return to the intervarsities itinerary this year, helped by the increase in popularity of this discipline after Eoin Rheinisch’s performance in last year’s Olympics. Eoin’s younger brother Eamonn showed the talent runs in the family as he took gold for DIT. Trinity’s four performed well despite a lack of experience in this type of kayaking, achieving 4th place overall. This was the one event of the whole competition in which no Trinity paddler picked up a medal. The final event of the weekend was freestyle, one of the spectators’ favourites. Trinity again had a strong team for this event featuring former Irish team member Tim Harris. Competition was tough with many former and current Irish team members representing other colleges and the world class Kelleher brothers, Moe (IT Blanchardstown) former Irish champion and world

number 6 and younger brother Len (DCU) a world kayak surf champion. The event started with a “freestyle through the rapid” to separate paddlers into two divisions, sport and elite. The second round then gave groups 15 minutes to do as many moves in the wave as possible. The sport groups impressed with their spins and paddle twirls while the elite groups went for loops and blunts. The crowds on the bank gave huge cheers and gasps anytime someone defied gravity. DUKC captain, Aisling Gilchrist, lead by example as she took first place in the Women’s Sport category. Tim Harris and Gavin Doherty also put in some impressive moves and helped Trinity earn 4th place - an excellent result considering the quality of the opposition. DIT took first place with Mark Leonard taking Men’s Elite gold for them. Moe and Len Kelleher took second and third respectively. After all the events were done the colleges retreated to the Arc bar for the announcement of results and collection of silverware. All was going well especially for Trinity who seemed to be constantly up and down to receive their medals. Controversy then struck with

the announcement of the long distance results which had some inaccuracies. After a meeting of the captains all further prize giving was postponed until a review of the results could be carried out. Trinity knew they had a strong chance at being declared the overall winner and so faced an anxious wait for results to come out over the next few days. Eventually, a week later, the results were finalised and DCU were victorious. Trinity came in second by the smallest of margins. It has been one of the most successful varsities ever for Trinity with a total of 11 podium finishes over the weekend. In DUKC’s 27 year history this has been the closest they’ve ever come to lifting the Intervarsities cup. Filled with confidence from this result they are already looking at how to go one step further and win next year. Congratulations on this year’s results and here’s to Galway 2010. DU Kayak Club welcomes new members of any level, beginner to expert. You can join at one of the pool sessions in the sports centre every Tuesday or Thursday evening at 8pm. For more see www.dukc.net.

Resurgent Orienteers take First XI face all-conquering ladies Intervarsity victory ‘Tarf in Neville Davin Cup final By Mary O’Shea DUBLIN UNIVERSITY Orienteers has had a strong year on the elite front. The start of the year saw club captain Niamh O’Boyle elected as sports scholar, the first orienteer to receive this prestigious award. Later in the year, Audrey Martin was voted into the ranks of the rejuvenated Heraean society. SF theoretical physics student Ruairi Short has taken a year out to live full-time in Sweden to immerse himself in orienteering culture (orienteering is a huge sport in Scandanavian countries, equivalent to soccer or GAA). Niall McAlinden completed a new orienteering map of Trinity at the start of the year, updating the previous map from the 1960’s. The old map did not have many of the new buildings down the science end of the campus, and was badly in need of an update. A fast and furious sprint orienteering event was held in Trinity, with new club member Ed Montgomery taking an excellent 2nd place. The generous funding of TCD Association and Trust enabled club members to travel to the region of Puglia in Southern Italy to compete at the 2009 Mediterranean Orienteering Championship (MOC). DUO Members of all abilities, from novice to elite, took part in the challenging 4-race championship that hosted competitors from around the world. The middle and long distance races were held in technically challenging, forested, sand dunes, beside the Ionian Sea. These areas were both picturesque and rugged but runnable. This made for fantastic orienteering, where accurate map-reading and a fast pace were both essential. The gruelling final legs involved a finishing sprint along the beach. The sprint race that took place in the old town of Castellaneta, took competitors through narrow, winding streets and alleys, through

By Daniel Bergin and Jessica Pakenham-Money

Niamh O’Boyle, Audrey Martin and Farina Freigang with their trophy tunnels and, up and down stairs. Adding to the excitement the race took place at night. This meant frantic, headtorch wearing orienteers pelting in all directions much to the amusement and bewilderment of the locals. This event was a favourite among competitors and the atmosphere was electric with Niamh O’Boyle placed fourth in women’s elite just 30 seconds behind the winner! Well done to all who competed. In the overall competition, Celine Bourdon showed her newfound navigational skills off to great admiration by coming 2nd overall in the women’s beginners class. The highlight of the year was still to come. On 14th March, the annual intervarsity championships were held in Stradbally wood. This forest is better known as the home of the Electric Picnic. As any of you who attend the festival will appreciate, it’s very easy to get lost in the woods... None of the Trinity women’s team suffered this fate. Over the 8 kilometere

course, Niamh had a strong run to take the individual title, her seventh intervarsity crown. Only mere minutes separated Audrey Martin from 2nd placed UL student Sharon Lucey. Audrey was followed home by DUO’s Farina Freigang in 4th place. Farina deserves special mention as she had sprained her ankle only the week before, so to be able to compete at all was a fantastic achievement. With first, third and fourth places, the ladies ran away with the team title for the first time in five years. Still to come in the year are the Irish Championships and a week-long summer trip. Orienteering events are generally held on Sundays, and the club travel to events every weekend. New members are always welcome to join DU Orienteering Club. Enquires about membership or any other matters should go to the committee at duo@orienteering.ie

Trinity have a last chance at silverware after their late and improbable promotion bid faltered last month. Despite a mid-table finish in Ronan Pelow’s first year as coach, the final of the Neville Davin Cup, which takes place on the 2nd of May, will provide a fitting climax to the season. Their opposition in that match, Clontarf, have run away with the Division 2 title this year, and put an end to Trinity’s hopes of the second promotion spot with a 2-1 win over the students at Santry in late February. Fresher Andy Gray scored to level it up but Luke Hayden put in a rebound from a short corner to give the northsiders a vital win. A routine victory over perennial whipping boys Naas followed, Hal Sutherland knocking in a hat-trick, before a frustrating and at times illtempered draw with Avoca at Newpark. Stu Cinnamond and Ben Hewitt got the goals but Trinity were unable to get a winner after Avoca had levelled. This followed a controversial decision in which a goal by Andy Gray was disallowed, the umpire appearing to be swayed by Avoca protests and consulted his opposite number some fifty feet away before changing his call. The still technically achievable goal of the playoff spot was then put entirely beyond reach after a memorable encounter with Bray on April 5th. Barry Glavey scored first before the Wicklow side put in three without reply. Back came Trinity with strikes from Daire Coady and Hewitt to make it 3-3, but with second place at their mercy Bray fought hard and grabbed a late winner courtesy of Simon Cox. The Neville Davin final itself was scheduled for last Sunday, but will now be played in Sandymount on the 2nd of next month. Clontarf came

Nick Odlum presses forward against Avoca. Photo: Jess Pakenham-Money within minutes of a perfect season in the league, winning every game until Bray pulled out a last minute equaliser in the relatively meaningless top of the table clash on April 18th. Trinity face a formidable task in attempting to deprive them of the league and cup double. However, victory in a midweek friendly a couple of weeks ago will give the students more confidence than they might otherwise have had, given that Clontarf came out on top in the previous six meetings between the sides. Saturday’s final league fixture of the season, against Suttonians, provided a good opportunity to gear up before the cup final. Conditions for play were perfect at an uncommonly sunny Santry Avenue, although the game was marred by Sutherland catching a wild swing full in the face under a minute after he had been in play. The midfielder had to be carted off to hospital for stitches and his team mates were understandably upset at the umpires’ refusal to issue so

much as a green card to the offending Suttonian. Mercifully, they got their revenge on the scoreboard, coming away 6-2 winners with goals from Glavey, Chris Tyrell, Nick Odlum and former captain Ben Hewitt who was playing his last game for the club, and marked the occasion with a fine hat-trick. Trinity will miss him against Clontarf. On that subject, Captain Jonny Orr remains optimistic despite hi side being massive underdogs given Clontarf’s impressive record. “We are capable of beating Clontarf, as we showed in a recent friendly. It will come down to us being clinical in front of the goal.” The event looks set to attract upwards of a hundred supporters and will take place Pembroke Wanderers’ ground in Sandymount. The game will, importantly, not be clashing with the Heineken Cup, enabling supporters to watch Leinster v Munster in the semi final when all has been decided.


SPORT RT

TRINITY NEWS April 21, 2009

2 5 25

Trinity’s Alternative Sports Day By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor COLLEGE PARK is set to come alive on May 13th with the launch of Trinity’s first Alternative Sports Day. The event builds on the traditional College Races, first held in 1857 and encompassing the Chariots of Fire dash around Front Square, but in an ambitious move the organisers want to see new events taking place throughout the day in order to raise the profile of sport in the College and raise money for charity. Mark Raftery-Skehan and Claire McGlynn, who head up the newly revitalised Knights of the Campanile and Hereans, are the driving forces behind the plan. In conjunction with DU Harriers and Athletics Club, who run the Races every year, they see the Alternative Sports Day as a way for the members of these organisations to give something back to the College community. “You have to go back years to a time when the Knights and Hereans actually helped out”, says Raftery-Skehan, who has resumed his captaincy of the Cricket Club this year. “We’re supposed to do things for sport and this is a massive thing”, says McGlynn, who is under no illusions as to the magnitude of the challenge they face in getting the concept off the ground. Rather in the manner of the recent EMS Day, members will be rattling buckets in

aid of GOAL during the afternoon’s Races. But they will also be raising money, as well as awareness of Trinity’s sporting life, at a Try-A-Sport event on College Park. Clubs are being encouraged to set up on the pitch and give students a chance to experience some of the sports on offer, from fencing to Ultimate Frisbee. Some clubs will offer events with a more “competitive edge” to them, offering people a chance to pit themselves against club members in, for instance, a drop goal competition. The organisers hope that the clubs will have sign-up sheets handy in order to take on new recruits that may have missed out during Freshers’ Week. “We’re relying on people’s goodwill” - Mark RafterySkehan of the Knights The finale will be a contest between the Knights and Hereans. The Knights have offered to play their female counterparts at volleyball or tag rugby, but McGlynn seems keen on a tug-of-war. Either way, it should make for an entertaining spectacle especially as the idea is to compete in fancy dress. Medieval armour has been mooted for the Knights, while the Hereans will plump for togas in keeping with the classical roots of their name. “It’ll be Trinity’s top

sportsmen and sportswomen making spectacles of themselves, we won’t be taking ourselves too seriously” says Raftery-Skehan. The two Presidents hope that not only will the day’s activities raise money for charity, but also help raise student participation by giving some of the more obscure sports a much-needed shot of visibility. Although some aspects have yet to be finalised, they have been in touch with the Afro-Caribbean Society about providing music and Trinity FM about commentating on the events. Judy Lambert of DU Squash Racquets has been looking into sumo suits, bouncy castles and other paraphernalia, while the Spin 103.8 “spinnies” have agreed to provide their services. If things go to plan, there should be a “carnival atmosphere” sufficient to lure students eager for a break from study out of the library for a few hours. According to Raftery-Skehan, it’s “winwin” for all involved. “It’s for charity, it promotes sport...” “It promotes Trinity as well”, cuts in McGlynn, pointing out that many students or potential students may be unaware of the variety of sports on offer. Raftery-Skehan notes that the image of Trinity may be that its sole focus is on academia, whereas “these days Trinity has to compete on every possible basis”. Given that McGlynn has lined up half a dozen Irish models, including Miss University, to flounce around the place

for the duration, it should certainly raise interest levels. Some high-profile guests should be making an appearance, as the individual clubs have contacts with some of the top sportspeople in their disciplines. The involvement of GOAL may also be beneficial is this regard, as the charity has been known to work closely with the likes of Jamie Heaslip and Gordon D’Arcy, among others; the duo hope that if impressed by their pitch the charity may lend its considerable weight to their efforts. GOAL are no strangers to link-ups with Trinity - the GOAL Tennis Challenge was held here until at least the late ‘80s - and it is now, at the suggestion of DUCAC, the designated charity of the Knights and Hereans. Of course, it’s not going to be easy to engage student interest so close to the exam period. The duo freely admit that they’re “praying for sunshine”. However, as McGlynn points out, the Wednesday on College Races is held is officially a half-holiday, in much the same way as the previous day but one, Trinity Monday, is a full holiday. The College Calendar states that: “[n]o lectures, demonstrations or examinations are held on the afternoon of this day”. The perfect excuse, then, for students to get out and get active. Clubs, societies and individuals are welcome to contribute time, money or ideas: mcglync@tcd.ie or raftermm@tcd.ie

Ladies in Colours win By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor TENNIS COLOURS took place in Lansdowne Tennis Club on Wednesday April 8th on courts awash with sunshine and the clamour of construction works on the nearby stadium. Separate trophies were up for grabs for both men’s and ladies teams, decided on the basis of nine matches (six singles and three doubles). When not casting aspertions on the sexuality of his opponents, UCD captain Tim Hurley was belittling their ability, noting that it had been a decade or more since UCD lost Colours. He went on to claim not to have even brought the men’s trophy along, such was his confidence that Trinity would be unable to wrest it from his noisome grasp. All the more remarkable, then, that the singles came out tied. Both sides were missing key players - Trinity ace Mark Crowley and captain Cilian White were both missing, while UCD were similarly depleted - so Simon Clarke stepped into the top seeding to record a fine win against Conor Gibney. While the experienced duo of Will Wilshere and Andy Stevenson were ground down by tough opponents, fresher Jack McHugh produced a fine performance in his first Colours to beat the UCD fourth seed. With Mao Ito also wnning his bout against Hurley, the outcome of an epic battle between Olivier Carlier and James Toomey was eagerly awaited. When play eventually finished, however, it was the Irishman man who came through. This meant that the doubles matches would decide the day. Unfortunately for Trinity, the UCD top pair made short work of Wilshere and Crowley, while Ito and Carlier also capitualted after a somewhat lengthier battle. McHugh and Stevenson, meeting stiff opposition and with only pride to play for after the other two matches were wrapped

up, dug deep to secure the victory and two Colours wins for the promising McHugh. The Ladies singles matches produced less cursing but were played out with a level of intensity that belied the good relations between the two squads - the respective ladies captains, Hannah Kirk of Trinity and Gemma Hayes of UCD, could been seen chatting amiably during breaks in their bout despite a close contest. Hayes ultimately came out the winner, but only one of her team mates could emulate that feat. Trinity’s top seed, National University Championship Doubles winner Kellie O’Flynn, won handily and was quickly followed by Lisa Jacob and Joanna Smyth who also came through in straight sets. Promising fresher Alex Zaborowski took a little longer to grind down the UCD third seed to give Trinity four of the necessary five wins. The doubles appeared to be in jeopardy due to time pressure and the departure of O’Flynn on BESS-related business. After some ernest discussion, Trinity sent out two teams to play one set matches, on the assumption that at least one would get the last, vital win. Such proved to be the case despite the lower seeded pair struggling. Zaborowski and Jacob were, friendly banter with their opponents notwithstanding, sufficiently focused to win the tie, and with the destination of the trophy confirmed, the other match was promptly abandoned and the participants dashed off to prepare for their Colours blow-out, the wonderfully named Racquet Ball. According to their captain, the ladies had had a difficult intervarsities due to injuries (although they did come away with the plate). Kirk was naturally delighted with what she regarded as the team’s first “proper win” in her time with the club: “We won it last year sort of by default and lost in my first two years, so I can leave the college club in peace now!”

Trinity’s second seed Lisa Jacob, right, leaves court after her win. Photo: Jess Pakenham-Money

THE TEAM Men’s Singles: 1. Simon Clarke (Won) 2. William Wilshere (Lost) 3. Andy Stevenson (L) 4. Jack McHugh (W) 5. Olivier Carlier (L) 6. Mao Ito (W) Men’s Doubles: 1. S. Clarke & W. Wilshere (L) 2. A. Stevenson & J. McHugh (W) 3. O. Carlier & M. Ito (L) Ladies Singles: 1. Kellie O’Flynn (W) 2. Lisa Jacob (W) 3. Alex Zaborowski (W) 4. Hannah Kirk (L) 5. Joanna Smyth (W) 6. Amy O’Hanlon (L) Ladies Doubles: 1. L. Jacob & A. Zaborowski (W) 2. H. Kirk & J. Smyth (L)

Selection of new Pinks THE DUCAC Captain’s Committee, under the chairmanship of Dr. Trevor West, was due to meet on Thursday to decide on the award of Pinks. Last term, six members of the Boat Club received Trinity’s highest sporting honour, along with Anne-Marie Fenton of the Swimming Club. The nominees in Trinity term were slightly less wedded to the water, although Gabriel Magee of DUBC was nominated again having been unsuccessful at the first time of asking. Bryony Treston of

the Harriers and Athletics Club, an outstanding athlete and Sports Scholar, was also put forward, along with Kate McShera and Carolyn DentNeville of DU Snowsports. It appears that the prestige of the Pink proved insufficient to tear the club captains away from their other committments, however. As there was not a quorate number of captains present on the day, the four will have to live in suspense a little longer. The meeting has been rescheduled for this Wednesday, the 22nd.

COLLEGE SPORTS WEEK DU VOLLEYBALL club showed off their skills with an exhibition game during College Health and Sports Week, which ran from April 6th to 10th. Other events saw the Croquet Club giving people a chance to join in their regular session on the New Square lawn, as well as various introductory fitness classes held in the rather more weather-proof confines of the Sports Centre. Former DU Boat Club man Mark Pollack launched the week’s activities with a speech in the newly renamed J.M. Singh Theatre. He spoke about his experiences since suddenly losing his sight in 1998 as a final year BESS student. He encouraged students to face up to their challenges; within three years of losing his sight Pollack was back in a boat and winning medals at the Commonwealth Rowing Regatta. A salutary lesson to those of us less active than we should be, perhaps. Photo: Jess Pakenham-Money

Conor James McKinney

THE COMMENTARY BOX BEFORE THIS gripping final installment of the Commentary Box begins, a quick word on behalf of DU Squash Raquets Club and its hyper-involved captain, Robbie Woods, whose attempt to fit in a few words of thanks to their coach in our last issue fell victim to constraints of time and space. He writes that: “thanks should go to Elvy D’Costa, whose continued work at the club makes this year’s [Intervarsity] disappointment an anomaly in the otherwise most impressive record of DUSRC.” Sadly, it would be impossible to mention here all the people who contribute to sport in the College. The resources of some of the bigger clubs allow them to employ a few coaches and staff, but for the most part those involved in the coaching and organisational tasks within the clubs do so on a basis as voluntary as that of the athletes themselves. It is a testament to the willingness of so many people, students and non-students alike, to perform thankless tasks that there are fifty active clubs in this university providing such a wide range of outlets to the student body. This newspaper has in this volume, just as in the recent past, consistently tried to give sport in the College the recognition it deserves. This is not because we feel that Trinity boasts a wealth of world class sporting talent - although there are some outstanding athletes here - but because the effort that goes into these activities, sustained despite academic and other pressures, deserves acknowledgement. It was not our intention to do so uncritically. None of our coverage of College affairs is uncritical, and it is for that reason that it has value. Where we felt that sports teams haven’t performed well, we have said so. This is because we feel that College sports teams deserves to be taken seriously. It is also, as I wrote to the captain of the Ladies Hockey Club last year, because publishing glowing reports of our teams where this is not warranted “would render praise where it is due meaningless. A praise-filled account of a win which reads the same as an account of a loss would be redundant, and no-one outside the club would take it seriously. Conversely, a report in this vein of a win... will hopefully be more satisfying for the players involved.” In this issue, happily, we report on several intervarsity and Colours victories across a range of sports; also included is the news that the Ladies First XI has retained its top-flight status in the Leinster Hockey League, allowing the club to continue playing at the highest standard - perhaps the highest standard of competition of any of our teams, male or female. In providing this coverage, we hope that regardless of student interest (one must be realistic!) there is at least some value to putting on record, for posterity, the successes and failures of our teams. And as pictures often tell a story far better than any amount of text, our clubs should be particularly grateful to our chief sports photographer, Jessica Pakenham-Money, whose dedication to getting that perfect shot, wherever the fixture and whatever the conditions, has been unwavering throughout the year. The sports coverage in Trinity News would have been unrecognisable without her efforts; thanks Jess. Unfortunately, the monumental committment of the people actually engaged in the sporting life of Trinity is not necessarily matched in its central administration. In speaking with the various club captains and athletes throughout the year, it seems that considerable doubts exist as to whether the Central Athletics Club (DUCAC) is doing all it could to to further the cause of Trinity sport. While DUCAC may look after the needs of the bigger and older clubs, smaller organisations feel overlooked. It may well be that there is a policy of focusing resources on a few large and popular sports; it may even be that this is a good policy. However, what rankles most is the general attitude of DUCAC officials towards students. For example, if such a policy regarding the allocation of funds does exist, it would never even have crossed the minds of the administrators to explain this to the clubs, let alone the student body at large. DUCAC’s funding comes from the capitation fee - that is, the 800 euro or so that every student pays at the start of the academic year. It also takes in money from the subscription that clubs must charge each new member during Fresher’s Week and from the profits of the Pavilion Bar. This is all student money, and yet DUCAC is the only capitated body that is not run by students. Societies are run by the CSC, which is controlled by student representatives (Joseph O’Gorman aside). The Publications Committee that funds this newspaper is run entirely by full-time students, with the minimum of interference by College. These are bodies that, like DUCAC, control considerable resources, and are perfectly happy to entrust them into the care of students. Yet DUCAC traditionally has only one student member on its Exective Committee, in the post of Honorary Secretary. In the opinion of this column, this has led to DUCAC being unreceptive to student sentiment with regard to the spending of their money. It is also increasingly being said that sport in Trinity is run by beaurocrats motivated by the desire for a quiet life, rather than a passion for sport and a wish to help the clubs and improve performance and results. The Students’ Union Council recently endorsed a motion put down by a member of the Swimming Club which calls for “reform of DUCAC, to protect and promote the interests of the student body”. DUCAC should now heed these ominous rumblings and take steps towards greater openness, transparency and student involvement lest it be done for them.


26

SPORT

TRINITY NEWS April 16, 2009

Soccer stars stun Oxbridge

TOUR STATS SCORE

CAMBRIDGE BLUES DUAFC DATE

21 MARCH TEAM

Despite the disappointment of a Colours loss and defeat in the Collingwood Cup, Trinity’s table-topping footballers pick themselves up for a successful English tour - our Soccer Correspondent Niall Walsh was on the plane

The DUAFC touring squad at Grange Road prior to the match with Cambridge. Photo: John Lavelle

FANTASTIC season had threatened to fall apart in recent weeks for Trinity’s soccer team as their Collingwood Cup campaign and their Colours game ended in disappointment. After a much needed two week break the team returned to competitive football, safe in the knowledge that they still have a huge amount to play for this season. A league and cup double is still on the cards as well as a tour to play Oxford and Cambridge and the team quickly got back to winning ways with a comprehensive 3 – 0 league victory against top of the table rivals Brendanville. Goals from Niall Walsh, Cormac Ryan and Chris Allen ensured that the college side gave themselves some breathing space at the top of the division. The team thus set off on their trip to London with spirits and confidence high. The tour was in celebration of the Dublin University Association Football Club’s 125th Anniversary and a special mention must be given here to John Lavelle, the secretary of the club, who organised the tour and the TCD Assocation and Trust and DU Central Athletic Club which helped fund it. The team were to play Cambridge University Blues on the Thursday evening, followed by a Saturday morning kickoff against Oxford University Blues. The two London teams were due to play each other in their annual varsity game in Craven Cottage this month, so the games were took on an added significance for all involved. The team arrived at Grange Road stadium on the eve of the first game after an early morning flight from Dublin. The game was to be played under floodlights and the conditions were perfect, the only downside being the bumpy pitch. Both teams found it difficult to get used to the hard ground but Trinity soon got into the game, with the midfield diamond suffocating Cambridge’s attacks through the middle. However, it was not until the second half that Trinity really took hold of the game and began to make some chances of their own. Striker Ciaran Lawler

McAuley made four changes from the side that drew with Cambridge but was forced into a further change as captain Daniel Trimble strained a hamstring in the warm up. Colin Hyland came in at centre back and it is a sign of Trinity’s strnegth in depth this season that they can afford to bring in a player of his class from the bench. Oxford started the game far better and Trinity’s players quickly realised that they were in for a much sterner challenge than against Cambridge. Trinity had adopted a dangerous tactic of letting Oxford’s defenders play the ball around the back at their ease and it soon became clear that this wasn’t working with Trinity were made to pay after only ten minutes. A neat passage of play led to Oxford’s centre back playing a superb crossfield ball to the right wing, in behind Trinity full back David Hayes. The winger drifted a first time cross into the box and Oxford’s lithe striker was on hand to tap the ball into the net at the far post. A change in game plan was in order and it was not long until managers Cummiskey and McAuley took action. Full back Hayes and winger Johnny Cummins swapped positions and Trinity’s forwards began pressing the Oxford defenders, making it difficult for them to play their way out of defense. Oxford found it difficult after this to get their passing game going again and Trinity’s new look centre back partnership of Lavelle and Highland began to rein in Oxfords pacy strikeforce. Trinity themselves were finding it difficult to create space in the final third and it took a free kick for them to restore parity. Eoghan Keegan delivered a sumptuous cross from the right hand side and Hayes muscled his way between two defenders and through sheer force of will powered a header past the Oxford goalkeeper. Trinity thus went into the break in the ascendancy and picked up exactly where they left off in the second half. The Trinity players were getting to every loose ball, winning every 50:50 and a very good Oxford side were

A

capitalised on an error at the back to run through on goal but his shot trickled agonisingly wide of the post. With just under an hour played Trinity went ahead with what was in truth a scrappy goal. A corner came out to Lawler at the edge of the box and his sweetly stuck half volley was saved superbly by the opposition goalkeeper. Chaos ensued as the ball ricocheted around the six yard box before Cormac Ryan reacted first and poked the ball home. Trinity then attempted to close out the remainder of the game, dictated by the outstanding Evin O’Reilly. The midfield man showed some superb

Trinity soon got into the game, with the midfield diamond suffocating Cambridge’s attacks through the middle touches and his composure on the ball spread throughout the entire team. Just when Trinity thought they had it won, disaster struck. Cambridge worked the ball up the left hand side; their winger raced down the line and delivered a looping cross into the box. The ball seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before it was eventually headed in at the far post with only 3 minutes of normal time remaining. Trinity were delighted with the performance if not the result and following a reception in the clubhouse, took the evening off before getting back in preparation mode on Friday evening. On the Saturday morning the team made their way to Iffley Road stadium for their eagerly anticipated game against Oxford University Blues, themselves two divisions above their Cambridge counterparts. The Trinity players could not believe their luck when they saw the pristine pitch and the sensational weather they were to be playing in, the perfect platform for a fantastic game of football. Manager

MEN’S RUGBY

AIL DIVISION 2 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Team UCC Lansdowne Ballynahinch Old Crescent Dublin University Bruff Highfield Greystones Malone Bective Rangers Belfast Harlequins DLSP Clonakilty Thomond Thomond Instonians

P 15 15 14 15 15 15 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15

W 13 12 11 10 8 8 8 8 6 6 6 5 5 4 2 1

D 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 2

L 1 2 3 5 5 6 5 7 9 8 9 9 10 10 12 12

F 351 293 411 273 277 187 168 226 234 248 232 212 188 173 171 237

A 162 141 186 215 233 167 209 313 267 309 283 272 274 233 263 354

TB 4 4 6 1 3 1 0 0 2 2 1 2 1 0 0 2

LB 1 2 2 4 3 5 0 2 7 3 3 2 3 5 9 5

Pts 59 56 52 45 42 40 34 34 33 31 28 26 24 23 19 15

Trinity finish the season in fifth place, the highest since relegation from the top division in 2005/06. They may also have deprived Lansdowne of their promotion spot, depending on the result in the one outstanding ficture between Ballynahinch and Highfield. 28/03/09 28/03/09 11/04/09 18/04/09

DUFC DUFC Belfast Harlequins DUFC

29 17 13 13

MEN’S

11 13 34 12

Highfield Ballynahinch DUFC Lansdowne

Team Fitzwilliam A Fitzwillam B Sutton A Westwood A Curragh A Mt. Pleasant A Old Belvedere A Trinity A

P 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14

Pts 192 177 164 153 129 119 102 42

Trinity drop into Division 1 of the Leinster Squash League.

Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Team Total Fitness Trinity A Mt. Pleasant A Westwood B Fitzwilliam B

looking rattled. Highland was providing a master class in defending at the back, seemingly winning every header and tackle that came his way and setting in motion Trinity’s attacks with some clever passing. On the hour Trinity made the all important breakthrough they were so desperate for. A superb passing move down the left hand side ended with Allen picking up the ball in the hole between the Oxford defense and midfield. He raced forward with the ball and slipped a neat through ball for Walsh to run on to. The Trinity striker was running left, away from goal, but somehow managed to shrug off the Oxford defender and shoot on the turn all in the one movement. The Trinity bench held its breath as the ball trickled just out of reach of the despairing hand of the Oxford goalkeeper to nestle safely in the far corner of the net. Smelling blood Trinity pressed forward to kill the game off and substitute Tinsley could have increased the lead less than five minutes later.

The importance of this victory for Trinity’s players was clear for all to see He cleverly intercepted a back pass but his touch around the keeper was a little heavy and his shot hit the side netting. The drama was not to end there however. Oxford got their second wind with fifteen minutes remaining and pinned Trinity back in their own half in search of an equaliser. With ten minutes remaining Oxford’s number 9 broke through the Trinity defense and rounded O’Carroll, looking certain to score. The indomitable Hyland came to the rescue though, sprinting back and throwing himself in the direction of the ball to hook it away for a corner. Oxford continued to press and with two minutes remaining it was O’Carroll who was called into

SPORTS ROUNDUP

Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

MEN’S SOCCER

SAT MAJOR 1D Team DUAFC Templeogue United Swords Celtic Clonee United Brendanville FC Garda FC Confey FC Dunboyne AFC Rathcoole Boys Verona FC Rush Athletic Boyne Rovers Greenhills AFC Loughshinny United

18/04/09 DUAFC

P 20 23 21 18 23 23 22 21 22 23 24 21 19 22

W 18 15 15 13 12 8 8 7 7 7 5 5 3 2

0 5

P 15 15 15 15 15

D 1 3 2 2 3 4 3 5 5 2 6 5 6 5

L 1 5 4 3 8 11 11 9 10 14 13 11 10 15

F 78 51 58 60 45 44 39 39 36 38 41 31 27 25

A 12 26 24 25 40 58 37 36 54 55 63 56 49 77

Pts 55 48 47 41 39 28 27 26 26 23 21 20 15 11

Boyne Rovers

INTERVARSITIES Pts 126 116 92 78 64

A respectable second for the Ladies team, just ten points shy of Total Fitness at the end of the season.

heroics, making a superb stop from a one-on-one. The bench erupted at the final whistle and the importance of this victory to Trinity’s players was clear for all to see. The celebrations would not begin straightaway however, as a two o’clock kick off awaited for the second string side. Trinity dominated this one from start to finish and ran out easy winners in the end. Vincent O’Mahony, returning from a three month hamstring injury, opened the scoring and this was followed by a 40 yard screamer from full back Gavin Kane. The game lost some of its edge in the second half but Fergal Mullins made sure of the victory with a close range effort in the dying stages. The squad then made their way to the local pub, the Oxford Blue, for food and a reception put on by their English counterparts. The English soon emptied out of the pub however and the 20 or so Irish took control of proceedings, setting up shop in preparation for a tense eighty minutes in which their loyalty to their sport of choice would be tested like never before. A stirring rendition of Ireland’s Call was only the beginning and the squad will never forget the day they cheered on Ireland to the Grand Slam, in England! The Welsh who were watching the game in the pub were true gents and proceeded to buy the team a round of pints moments after Jones’s kick had dropped so agonisingly close. Needless to say they celebrated both victories well into the small hours of the morning and felt a little worse for wear on their journey to the airport the following morning! The team returned to Ireland with their heads held high and the season is far from over for Trinity’s footballers. They currently sit ten points clear at the top of their division in the Leinster Senior League and have a cup semi-final to look forward to in the coming weeks. For their first year in the LSL this is a huge achievement and Trinity will look back on this season as one of their best and indeed, longest. By the end of the season the first team will have played 43 games in all competitions – let’s hope they can finish with a flourish!

SUBS

C. HYLAND, J. CUMMINS, E. TINSLEY MAN OF THE MATCH

EVIN O’REILLY SCORE

OXFORD BLUES DUAFC

The first team came through to retain their title, beating Cork in the final by 12 points to 9. DUUFC 1: H. Barry, K. Coleman, I French (c), D. Gleeson, A. Hogg, S. Mehigan, D. Misstear, J. O’Connor, G. Ó Fearghaíl, C. Quinn, D. Rickard, K. Timoney. The seconds, meanwhile, advanced to the plate final and finished 10th of 15 teams. DUUFC 2: C. Hosp (c), G. Hogan, S. Hulleat-James, S. Mahon, D. Mangan, T. McFadden, C.J. McKinney, J. Mullen, C. Parkin, R. Scanlon, N. Sherry, S. Smith, J. Sutton.

Team Clontarf Bray Skerries Avoca Dublin University Suttonians Weston Navan Navan

P 16 15 16 15 16 16 16 16 16

W 15 10 10 9 8 7 4 3 2

D 1 2 0 3 1 0 0 0 1

L 0 3 6 4 7 9 12 13 13

F 81 46 45 36 51 55 22 15 14

A 17 26 34 24 34 42 54 66 69

22 MARCH TEAM

1. NIALL O’CARROLL 2. MICHAEL STORAN 3. DAVID HAYES 4. COLIN HYLAND 5. JOHN LAVELLE (C) 6. EOGHAN KEEGAN 7. NIALL WALSH 8. LUKE GUERIN 9. CHRIS ALLEN 10. CIARAN LAWLER 11. JOHNNY CUMMINS SUBS

O. MCMAHON, E. TINSLEY, E. O’REILLY MAN OF THE MATCH-

COLIN HYLAND

Pts 46 32 30 30 25 21 12 9 7

Trinity finish in 5th, well off leaders Clontarf, which is excusable, but that bit further behind the chasing pack than they will feel they deserve. 28/04/09 Avoca 04/04/09 DUHC 18/04/09 DUHC

2 2 3 4 6 2

DUHC Bray Suttonians

NEVLLE DAVIN CUP 02/05/09 DUHC

v

Clontarf

LADIES HOCKEY

LEINSTER DIVISION 1 Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Team Railway Union Loreto Hermes Pembroke UCD Old Alexandra Glennane Bray Trinity College Corinthian

P 17 17 17 16 15 16 18 18 18 18

W 14 11 11 8 8 7 4 3 2 1

D 2 5 4 4 5 4 3 4 3 1

L 1 1 2 4 3 5 11 11 13 16

F 37 43 49 28 20 28 21 18 17 14

A 8 10 29 17 11 23 45 34 45 65

Pts 44 38 37 28 25 25 15 13 9 4

The gulf between the bottom four and the rest is increasingly in Division One, but Trinity have at least saved themselves the bother of a relegation play-off. 28/03/09 Corinthian 11/04/09 Trinity College

1 2 v

1 2

DATE

LEINSTER DIVISION 2

Results and fixtures to end of term

Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 9. 11. 12. 13. 14.

1. NIALL O’CARROLL 2. OISIN MCMAHON 3. CONOR MOLLOY 4. DANNY TRIMBLE (C) 5. JOHN LAVELLE 6. EVIN O’REILLY 7. NIALL WALSH 8. LUKE GUERIN 9. CHRIS ALLEN 10. CIARAN LAWLER 11. CORMAC RYAN

MEN’S HOCKEY

ULTIMATE FRISBEE

LADIES

PREMIER DIVISION FIRST DIVISION Pos 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

1 1

Trinity College Railway Union

Colours win for athletes By Jennifer Sutton DUBLIN UNIVERSITY Harriers and Athletics Club (DUHAC) won the Colours event against UCD on Wednesday April 8th. The competition, held at Irishtown Stadium, was in a range of track and field events, with running events in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m, as well as 100m relays. Also included was javelin, shot putt and and long jump, for both male and female competitors. When the dust had settled, Trinity emerged victorious by the relatively comfortable margin of six points - another impressive performance by the traditional underdogs against the auld enemy from Dublin 4, as reported elsewhere in this issue. Sources within to DUHAC believe this to be the first Colours win over UCD in three years, at least, making the win all the more sweet. The session was also used as an unofficial trial for the national outdoor intervarsity competition, which takes place over the weekend of April 24/25th at the University of Limerick.


SPORT

TRINITY NEWS April 16, 2009

Ladies escape Division One drop By Conor James McKinney College Sport Editor IT’S BEEN a long season for the Ladies First XI, but as of the end of March their place in Leinster hockey’s top division is secure. With Bray having pulled away into 8th place thanks to wins over both the bottom sides and a draw with UCD, Trinity were left to battle it out with Corinthians for 9th place and safety. In truth, the team were never in as much danger as might have appeared, as due to the vagaries of Leinster Branch regulations the bottom-placed side would not this season be relegated automatically, but rather have to play off against Genesis, the top team in Division 2. Since Trinity put five goals past this opposition in the course of a cup fixture before Christmas, such a prospect was hardly calculated to inspire terror in the ranks of the DULHC faithful. Nonetheless, avoiding the ignominy of last place was a prize worth fighting for. It all came down to a head-to-head

with Corinthians at St. Columba’s College at the end of March. A match against Old Alexandra on March 24 gave the Ladies a chance to warm up, and they gave as good as they got in an open game at Santry. Bearing in mind that Trinity shipped five without reply against Alex early in the season, they matched the Milltown outfit for long periods and created several good chances. Unfortunately Alex were more clinical, knocking in two goals from open play in the first half and managing to hold onto their lead. Trinity were “fairly confident” when it came to the Corinthians crunch, according to First XI captain Claire Hearnden, despite losing the fixture at Santry earlier in the season when the umpiring ensured that “it wasn’t the fairest of matches”. Self-belief proved to be a vital factor, as Trinity knew that they had improved throughout the season and had acheived better results than their rivals. Hearnden pointed out, noting that “when we played good

Lucy Small in action for DU Ladies. Photo: Jessica Pakenham-Money teams like Pembroke we were able to put it up to them”. Their confidence was certainly tested as they fell behind to a Susie Geoffroy goal, and were behind at half time. According to Hearnden, however, there was no negativity as the team

huddled up: “the focus was on... how we were going to come back, because we knew we would”. Forward Lucy Small (pictured above) got the equaliser, while fresher Rachel Scott, who has chipped in with some notable performances this season, bagged the winner. A relaxed

outing against Railway Union, who had the title in the bag already, on the final day of season didn’t have any bearing on Trinity’s final standing either; they finished ninth in Division 1, the same as in 2007/08. The Seconds, meanwhile, narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Four, losing a couple of key games late in the season that allowed Muckross and Weston to progress. Hearnden’s year as Firsts captain has not been an easy one, but she can be proud that her side improved consistently throughout and put in the hard work necessary to get the job done in the end. She points out that it was more of a roller-coaster than a bland ninth place, with most of the results coming towards the end as the students gelled as a unit. “I knew when I took over that we had a really good team”, she says, but after seven consecutive losses did feel a certain culpability for the side’s performance. The weight of responsibility is certainly heavy; the best of luck to her successor.

Third XI promotion success By David Adley Third XI Captain FROM LOWLY origins in Division 10 the Dublin University Hockey Club Thirds have been promoted a remarkable five times in the last seven years. The teams have undergone plenty of variation of the years but have always consisted of good friends and a few very skilful players, who have always believed in and lived by a contemporarily suspect philosophy: namely, “effortless success”. To succeed whilst appearing to expend a bare minimum of effort and curtailing no obvious vices or lifestyle choices is no mean feat, yet the Thirds have been remarkably consistent in this approach. Due to this remarkable run of success it was with some trepidation that I accepted the captaincy, bestowed not in recognition of leadership or indeed competence but simply as I had outlasted all rivals. However any nervousness was unfounded as it was an immensely enjoyable and varied year, during the course of which I was to encounter excuses that stretched the limits of plausibility, trips to all corners of Leinster, renewed friendships and rivalries, emotional highs and lows, stressful Friday nights, massively increased phone bills and unrealistic demands on friends. Despite the numerous promotions the Thirds have never won a division, always being promoted in the second spot. Spurned on by thoughts of finally

T

achieving league glory and Commons at college expense, the team began the year with an excellent turnout at training and a large squad of eager players including several freshmen and newly enthused peripheral players from last year. Up to bolster the Munster contingent formerly consisting of myself were Jonathan Hackett from Midleton College and Daniel Ryan from Bandon GS; both proved to be valuable additions to the team. Doug Montgomery from Methodist College, Belfast was another to earn his first cap for Trinity and soon established himself as one of the team’s most important players in the vein of Will Wilshere and many Thirds greats before him. The season got off to a great start against Three Rock Rovers whom we beat convincingly 4-0. The old players reacquainted themselves with our unique style of Champagne hockey while our new players quickly gelled with the team. The strong backline of Rob Murtagh, Alan Bell, Doug Montgomery and Peter Collings demonstrated the resilience and structure that would prove crucial to an enviable defensive record, conceding only sixteen goals in eighteen matches. However, the next game came as a blow to possibly inflated egos as a strong Pembroke Wanderers side beat us 4-3, clinching the game with a final desperate goal in the final minute after trailing 3-0 at half time. Clutching defeat from the jaws of victory was not something I or the team

SHORT CUTS ALUMNI

DUNNE VICTORY WBA SUPER-BANTAMWEIGHT World Championship Bernard Dunne is to be honoured at Sporting Commons next month. He attended Trinity in 1999/2000, undertaking a course in “Maximising Performance and Monitoring for Training in Sport”, if you please. He received a Trinity Sports Scholarship and represented DU Boxing Club throughout the season. SOCCER

FUTSAL SUCCESS SEVEN DUAFC footballers represented the college at the Regional University Futsal Championships and ended up winning their group. The team demolished St Pat’s 14-1 in the first game, beat hosts Blanchardstown IT 3-0 in the second game and then wrapped up the group with comprehensive 4-0 victories over both DIT and Dundalk IT. The team boasted the three top scorers in the competition, Niall Walsh (9), Darren Burke (6) and Chris Allen (5) and were a cut above the other colleges competing. Trinity now progress to the final day of the competition and if they can win two more games will represent Ireland at the European University Futsal Championships in Serbia this summer. RUGBY

Hal Sutherland celebrates a goal during the Thirds’ victorious league campaign. Photo: Jessica Pakenham-Money wanted to make habit of. So compulsory benching was introduced for rakish behaviour, such as late arrivals, last minute cancellations, drunkenness etc. With a good turnout at training the following week and a slightly less complacent attitude, possibly helped by my now infamous half time talks, we quickly rebounded. Now playing ‘total’ hockey and sweeping aside all teams before us we had an unbroken run of twelve games without defeat. Notable events included revenge against Pembroke at home 4-0 followed by post match celebration in their own bar, a Santa hat-clad draw with Fingal in the darkest coldest day of December on a frozen pitch, and an unforgettable trip to Grangegorman to play St Brendan’s Phoenix Park on a grass pitch, a new experience for the majority of the team including myself. Cillian Gray, who only joined the club after his Freshman years, formed a strong partnership with Cian Denham at the top of the field terrorising defences across Leinster and scoring in the vast majority of games. DUHC veterans and loyal club members Jonny Drennan and Robbie Woods (who seems to be on every committee in college) played in the important wing midfield positions and were the bane of many an opposition team, supplying the tireless Jack Mills

REGATTA SKETCH

HE ANNUAL Trinity Boat Regatta was held on April 18th this year in Islandbridge, which apparently is neither a bridge nor an island. Although regatta sounds like some sort of delicious dessert, it is in fact a boating tournament held between Trinity and various other clubs and colleges. It’s basically the biggest day of the year for Trinity’s rowers; i.e. the lads and ladies who are crap at rugby and didn’t get into Oxford or Cambridge. Events held at the regatta include the Three Men in a Boat Race, the Three Men and a Little Lady in a Boat Race, the Big Long Boat Race, the Only One Race Allowed Race, the Row Row Row Your Boat Not So Gently Down the Stream Race, and of course the eagerly awaited main event, the Sir William H.S.L. Toffington-Boothsby the Third Memorial Race, named after the creator of the word boat. The Regatta was founded over 106 years ago when a group of debauched and demented lunatics decided to adapt an already popular and dangerous drinking game into a sport. They based their new sport “rowing” around the traditional drinking challenge of “The Boat Race”, in which two teams of 6 stand in line and each player downs a pint. The first team finished all their booze wins. The founders of the Trinity Regatta, John Trinity and Joe Regatta, decided to replace the drinking element with “rowing”, or pushing a stick back and forth. The land-based nature of the game caused some problems until, as Joe Regatta himself put it, “We decided to sit on this log yoke and do some rowing. We were just doing it for a laugh, being a bit mad or whatever but it seemed so

27

much more natural than just standing in a line waving sticks”. The real eureka moment came during the 5th Trinity Regatta when one of the teams fell into a river. The threat of drowning spurred them on to victory so the next year every team tried the rowing on a river idea and the Trinity Regatta as we know it was born. A surprising fact about the Trinity Boat Regatta is that every rower is, in the words of our source, “completely and utterly arseholed” for the duration of the day. The Cox (the shouty bloke at the other end of the boat facing the wrong way) is there to ensure that the rowers remember to row and don’t wander off or start singing instead or even, in one memorable incident back in ‘87, take off all of their clothes and walk back to shore using the oars as stilts. Visitors on the day can expect plenty of boating-related frivolity, the event being notorious for the copious amounts of alcohol consumed by spectators and competitors alike. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own drink, and then to throw their empty (or full) containers at annoying English toffs who say nonwords like “Rah-Rah” and “Tally-Ho”. The regatta concludes with a boat-related disco, where such classics as “Sail Away” by Enya, “Rock the Boat” by The Hues Corporation (that’s apparently who sang it), and Rod Stewart’s “I am Sailing” are played. Visitors are also encouraged to bring their own boats if they wish, so that you and your friends can boat around socially, or simply put the boat on your heads and pretend to be a giant turtle. By Peter Murnane and Darren Henry

and Will with strong options on the wings. Philip McCutcheon developed massively over the year as a player and was soon an important and integral member of the squad. Mike Sexton was back in his customary commanding role displaying some new skills he picked up while on Erasmus in Germany, the world’s premier hockey nation. Moritz Muhler, a German Erasmus student, was a strong presence between the posts and his stirring words were always a welcome addition at half time. The annual Colours match against UCD was a highlight this year. We emerged 2-0 victors after an intensely competitive match and were the only men’s team from Trinity to win. Given the current strength of UCD hockey this was my personal highlight of the year and the game in which I felt the team really started to show their potential. This potential was fully realised in the first round of our cup competition. We were drawn against YMCA, finalists the previous year and a strong team in the division above us. It was the perfect opportunity to prove that we were capable of competing at a higher level and we didn’t disappoint, producing our game of the season and winning 3-1. Over the years rivalries between teams build up and new ones develop, Weston, a Lucan side, was our grudge

match. They had claimed three points the previous year as we had arrived thirty minutes after tip off. We made no such mistakes this year and took six points from them. As old rivalries develop so new ones are created and this year was no exception. YMCA, unhappy with an umpiring decision demanded the result be overturn and the points shared. A heated email debate later dubbed “YMgate” ensued, at times descending into hilarity and farce. We kept the points. A strong core group of good skilful players who are committed and willing to make personal sacrifices to play games is an integral part of any successful team and I would particularly like to thank Alan Bell and Cian Denham, excellent servants to the club and team, among the many others who impressed this year. This includes the likes of Aaron Jolley, Murrough Connellan, Jack Hegarty, Shane Kelly, Hal Sutherland, Tolly Humphreys and Cian O’Reilly who all played an important part during the season. Thanks to Jessica PakenhamMoney for the photos, the umpires and most importantly to everyone who decided to be a participant not a spectator. It was great to know that regardless of what the week brought my Saturdays were always guaranteed to be enjoyable and unpredictable.

TRINITY DRAW WITH OXFORD TRINITY PLAYED out an entertaining 24-all draw against Oxford University on March 24. After each opposition wings dotted down an early try, Trinity regrouped and hit back with unconverted scores from Pat Danahy, who galloped in from well outside the ‘22, and second row partner Scott LaValla who was driven over from close range. In the second half, playing with the breeze, Trinity went ahead via an intercept try. Oxford stuck to their expansive style of play, however, and with LaValla in the bin Browne added his second, closely followed by Ross Swanson who converted his own try to make it 24-17. Mick Boland, the Trinity 10, stepped up with a moment of magic, gathering his own kick and was held up just short of the line. A subsequent penalty went to touch, the pack drove over, and Boland himself converted from the corner for 24 apiece.

Rowers keep up winning ways in Colours despite Gannon Cup loss By Alexander Floyd DU Boat Club Captain AFTER A PHENOMENAL success at the Irish National Championships last July, with DUBC’s top crew winning the senior pot, making them the fastest crew in Ireland, there was some apprehension going into this season. Of a possible six who could have returned, only two have seen the season through to this stage. This meant that the squad was made up mainly of last year’s novice group, presenting the coaches with the exciting possibility of building a crew from scratch on the one hand, and the daunting task of teaching the whole group how to row on the other. Before anyone actually took to the water, it was off to Lanzarote for a week in the sun at the end of September. Despite a number of injuries that were sustained on the basketball court (a fine indication of most oarsmen’s lack of any kind of coordination on land perhaps), and some rather near misses with a diving board, the trip was a success. It also gave the powers some time to cook up a plan to draw new recruits in during Freshers’ Week. Although we never saw the lycra-clad models that were promised in front square, something that would have almost definitely pulled in even more recruits, there was a record influx of new talent. The result of this has been two very large, successful novice crews who are looking set to dominate the novice events this season. To

date, DUBC have won every novice race. Now, both crews need to get faster and keep learning in order to stay ahead of the competition and create a more competitive inter/senior squad for next year. This year’s inter/senior group has not been idle. With the addition of a new coach and a fleet of new single sculls, the winter training was an arduous learning experience for everyone, with some particularly long sessions on the lake out at Blessington. As can only be expected in Ireland, any races that would have been raced early in the season were either blown off or the rivers were so flooded they were cancelled. There was plenty of work done, however, which one would hope will stand to us in good stead for the season. The first head race was Erne Head in Enniskillen, a good place to stretch the legs and gain experience before the Head Of The River Race in London. Erne was a useful experience, until a cataclysmic collision with UCD upset the rhythm. And so we travelled to London. Unfortunately, though we arrived on Thursday morning, our boat didn’t arrive until the evening. Never a group to waste time, however, we took the opportunity to jog the course, which is the same as The Boat Race course except in reverse. Needless to say, it is quite a long way and come Friday the crew were glad to be rowing it instead of running it. The Thames in London is a very large and sometimes incredibly rough

stretch of water, totally unlike the Liffey at Islandbridge. Thankfully, the weather was amazing for the three days we were there. The race itself was quite a spectacle, with over 400 VIIIs competing. We finished 81st, which was a fair reflection of our boat speed. The crew that won was made up of six Beijing Olympians. This race signifies the end of winter training for more or less everyone in the UK, which was cause for some celebration. Neptune Regatta, which took place last weekend marks the beginning of the summer season in Ireland, cause for some more. The intermediate VIII that raced against a visiting Queens University crew won in impressive fashion. While this race is only a small hurdle in a long season, a win bodes well for the University Championships. The Gannon Cup took place on April 16th as clouds congregated overhead in similar volume to the spectators that congregated on Sean O’Casey Bridge to see the Senior VIIIs off. Trinity were successful in both novice events, held above the weir, and also reclaimed the Senior Women’s trophy, the Corcoran Cup. The club were denied a clean sweep, however, as UCD won the final event of the day, the Gannon Cup, as their Men’s Senior VIII came through the Eastlink bridge a full length ahead. The annual Trinity Regatta took place on Saturday at Islandbridge. The teams entered well up on last year - got the benefit of glorious sunshine over the course of an entertaining and competitive afternoon.


TRINITY REGATTA

» Plus: Hockey XI in cup final al » Orienteering Intervarsity win » Knights/Hereans Sports Day

SPORT

TRINITY NEWS Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trinity dominate at varsities

MATCH STATS

Ultimate Frisbee team take home the Intervarsity Trophy for an unprecedented fourth year in a row, fighting off the challenge of a Cork side who thought their day had come

TEAM

By Daniel Bergin LAST YEAR’S Intervarsity victory ensured that Trinity equaled UCD’s record of three wins in a row, and despite experiencing some notable setbacks early in the season, hopes were high around DU Ultimate Frisbee Club that a record-breaking fourth win on the trot was not beyond them. The nature of the challenge had changed, however: gone were Tommy O’Connell, Donal Carey and Willis Bruckerman, and the main opposition were different too. While UCD’s star has faded of late, and DCU were a pale shadow of the team that progressed to last year’s final, as the teams gathered in Maynooth on Friday night there was only one thought on the mind of most: could Cork finally win it? For so long well behind the Dublin clubs, UCC’s team has come on in leaps and bounds over the last few years. With the addition to the ranks of 2006 World Club Champion Leo Yoshida from Vancouver, many felt that the trophy would migrate to the “real capital” in 2009 for the first time. Add to that several wins over Trinity earlier in the season, it was no wonder that the large Cork contingent was feeling confident (thirty or forty made the trip to represent or cheer for their two teams). Thankfully, a kind draw for Trinity’s first team, seeded 2, meant that they were able to coast through the opening day, beating UL without dropping a

point, overcoming a much-improved NUIG side with little difficulty and getting past the always competitive DIT. to ensure a quarter-final berth without the attendant indignity of having to play a crossover. As if to demonstrate the strength in depth possessed by UCC, their second team had also progressed into the quarter finals and were plainly keen to give the champions a taste of what Cork were capable of. They certainly gave Trinity a few early scares during the first match of Sunday morning. The black shirts kept their composure, however, and utilised some traditional Trinity long play for the likes of Andrew Hogg and Cian Quinn to rack up the scores. The semi final was a repeat of the previous day’s match with DIT, shock winners over UCD, and with UCC 1 suffering no mishaps either the final was a straight fight between Irish Ultimate’s two outstanding college teams. The pressure of the occasion told on both sides as they traded initial scores; even “Perfect” Dave Misstear was spotted making an unforced error before settling back into his imperious best as he kept Yoshida under control. With Trinity 3-2 up, a key moment arrived when David Rickard sent a long disc to Ian French. The captain took up his trademark position deep in the endzone and waited for it to drop over his marker, which it duly did. Cork’s classic pregame chant, “Where’s Me Jumper?”, came to mind as they struck

SCORE

DUUFC UCC

12 9

DATE

29/30 MARCH VENUE

NUI MAYNOOTH

Keith Coleman of DUUFC gets his pass away despite the best efforts of his marker. Photo: Jessica Pakenham-Money back immediately: a long huck from Yoshida had two big Cork jumpers on the end of it, with Quinn unable to prevent the score. The crowd was now thoroughly engaged, albeit mainly on the UCC side. Not ones to let that bother them, back came Trinity again: with the midfield battle between Gleeson and UCC’s Steve Kehoe hotting up, the latter’s dropped hammer allowed Gleeson to feed Misstear via James O’Connor. Ever lethal with time to pick his spot, he placed the disc bang in the endzone for French to claim following a lungbusting run for 5-3. Ultimate, being self-refereed, makes much of the importance of “Spirit”, which roughly translates as good sportsmanship. A classic example of good spirit was on view at this tense junture, when Kehoe took a disc in the endzone close to touch with Gleeson in close attendance. The question of his being in bounds was settled categorically by an injured UCC player (Richard Considine), who limped up the line to declare that from his vantage point, his team-mate was clearly out. His side were to regret the missed chance as French grabbed another score to put

FENCING

Trinity a demoralising 3 points up. Rickard’s defensive contributions have been vital to DUUFC’s successes in recent years - veterans still speak of his outjumping the enormous Enda Naughton in the 2007 final. It was he who oversaw another crucial UCC drop in the endzone after good buildup work. This intervention was followed up by an extraordinary cameo from hard running beginner Hogg, who first went long to break the back of the Cork defence, then after the disc was recycled back to the handlers went deep into the endzone to take the score. UCC strung together two in a row to stay in touch, with Quinn and Kevin Timoney the culprits, but it was back to 8-5 after a fine move, which started and finished with Misstear in opposite endzones, saw the disc travel through half a dozen safe pairs of hands. Kehoe pulled off an outstanding long play in response, staggering away from a midair pile-up deep in the endzone with disc in hand for UCC’s sixth point. Not to be outdone, Gleeson got one straight back, beating Richard Hobson for 9-6. A rare drop from French let UCC back to within two, but the clock was against them. A UCC drop near their

own line allowed Timoney to put Misstear over for his second. French turned provider for the next play: taking an awkward disc out near the left touchline, the captain spotted Rickard lurking deep in the endzone with his marker poaching. An audacious lobbed pass gave the veteran the point for 11-7 in a game played to 12. UCC, to their credit, dug deep. Encouraged by their still raucous support, they put their faith in their big men going deep and pulled out two scores. Memories of the epic finals of 2006 and 2007, in which Trinity triumphed by a single sudden-death point over UCD, began to resurface among the suddenly nervous Trinity faithful. The comparisons were made all the more obvious by the desperate athleticism of Rickard’s defensive block in the endzone, recalling similar efforts in past years, to deny UCC a third point on the trot. Fittingly, however, it was French who provided the winning score, just as he did in last year’s final. The winning pass was judged to a tee, and when the disc sailed over his marker and into the captain’s hands, the celebrations began.

HEATHER BARRY KEITH COLEMAN IAN FRENCH (C) DARAGH GLEESON ANDREW HOGG SAM MEHIGAN DAVID MISSTEAR JAMES O’CONNOR GEAROID O FEARGHAIL CIAN QUINN DAVID RICKARD KEVIN TIMONEY MAN OF THE MATCH

IAN FRENCH THE CAPTAIN’S third intervarsity title in as many years at the club was due reward for an allaction performance against top class opposition. A relatively small player for a sport that rewards height as well as skill, French makes up for this defect with speed, endeavour and a reading of the game remarkable for a midfield player. Made the right tactical call and kept his team focused throughout. He scored half of Trinity points on the day and set up another four, and was duly adjudged Most Valuable Player of the final by the tournament organisers. Perhaps as important, gave a gracious victory speech that was roundly applauded by UCC.

RUGBY

Fencers win 5 out of 6 at IVs Battling win secures fifth SCORE

By Alex Shindler-Kelly DU Fencing PRO FOR THE second year running, Dublin University Fencing Club (DUFC) has triumphed over every other university in Ireland and Northern Ireland to retain the Intervarsity title. Last year’s success as a club under Lachlan Sykes gave this year’s team a goal that they were eager to reach and surpass. The tournament took place over the weekend of the 28th February and 1st March, with three weapons on each day. Women’s Foil, Men’s Epee and Men’s Sabre on the Saturday; with Women’s Epee, Women’s Sabre and Men’s Foil on the Sunday. Saturday saw the success of Men’s Epee and Women’s Foil. The epee team, captained by Colm Flynn, stormed through the other teams to emerge undefeated and victorious. Women’s Foil was also extremely successful, beating all rivals to become champions. Men’s Sabre had the hardest test all day, as they would have to fight DkIT, a completely sabre orientated college. Unfortunately in the last fight of the day, DUFC lost, but had beaten UCD during the day’s events and managed a wellfought and thoroughly deserved second place. So at the close on Saturday, DUFC had won two out of three events, placing them in prime position to retain the title

DUFC LANSDOWNE

13 12

By James O’Donnell Rugby Correspondent

Trinity’s fencers assemble around their trophy. Photo: DU Fencing at the end of the day on Sunday. Sunday’s events were Men’s Foil, then Women’s Epee and Sabre. The women’s sabre team were glad to have Clancy Flynn on the team, a very experienced fencer who has represented the USA. Clancy and her team saw off every threat to come out on top and claim victory in the event. The women’s epee team boasted Hannah LowryO’Reilly, an international epeeist, and the team showed its strength in depth to again claim the title of Women’s Epee Champions. Men’s Foil included the Irish Open winner, Louis Arron, and Lachlan Sykes, aka “The Punisher” - so named because of the painting on his fencing

mask. Perhaps the most entertaining of fights was against UCD, when emotions ran high and some pushing and shoving went on. But in the end this did not matter as DUFC trounced UCD and were crowed Foil Champions. So, with five out of six weapons won, Dublin University Fencing Club were the clear champions, with no one else near them in terms of number of victories. This was a hugely successful Intervarsities for the club, proving that last year’s title was by no means an accident, and that DUFC keeps growing in strength and talent. Bring on 2010, when they hope to be victorious in all six weapons.

TRINITY’S BRITISH and Irish Lions, including Jamie Heaslip and Brendan Mullin, made an appearance at a lunch prior to this last game of the season against Lansdowne; their presence certainly seemed to galvanise the First XV, who put an impassioned performance to see off a team that were lying at second place in the division when the game kicked off. Although unable to be promoted themselves, Trinity could still join their opponents in the play-offs for the Division 2 title. They needed, however, to leapfrog Old Crescent and Bruff to hit fourth place. This required both of those sides to lose, but neither were playing soft opposition: a stuttering Old Crescent side travelled to Malone, while Bruff were in Greystones for another clash with solidly midtable opposition. Unfortunately, Lansdowne still had plenty left to play for with their return to Division 1 not yet assured. College Park was chock full of sunbathers on what was perhaps the

finest day of the year so far. Trinity were suitably pumped as the sides cantered out past the cricketers onto a College Park surrounded by supporters of both teams. Coach Tony Smeeth later described it as one of the largest crowds he had ever seen at a Trinity home game. The students duly stepped up. Aggressive early defence, a harbinger of the second half’s heroics, was undone by Eddie Molloy’s flagrant disregard for the offside line. Lansdowne failed to convert, but were given another chance when a creaky Trinity scrum forced a weak clearing kick, run back with vemon by the outstanding full back Ross McCarron to force an eventual penalty on the 22. This one went over to put the visitors ahead. Gillespie, aided by the occasional smart covering by his captain Shane Young, had a great game at full back, hoovering up the inevitable up-andunders and using his strength to buy time for support to arrive. From one spate of kicking Lansdowne conceded a penalty; a touchfinder, lineout, and several inconsequential phases followed, but after Trinity got the benefit of the referee’s indulgent views on where players can join the ruck, Scott Lavalla found a gap and sauntered through under the posts. Brady converted for 7-3.

The outhalf was unlucky to miss his next effort - granted courtesy of the linesman - which hit the upright and rolled along the bar to the despair of the crowd. Lansdowne were luckier; more trouble at scrum time gave them a shot at goal which dropped the right way after coming off the post. 7-6 at the half. The second period grew increasingly frenetic as Lansdowne pressed, running the ball from their own 22 by the end. Trinity were indebted to the keen tactical brain and boot of substitute Mick Boland for keeping them there. The outhalf also kicked two vital kicks either side of a Lansdowne riposte to keep Trinity ahead. His side missed chances to put the game away, admittedly; softer hands from Colclough in the left-hand corner would have put two team mates in the clear. The away team were able to claw their way back to within a point, going for the posts with less than ten minutes remaining to give Trinity a nervewracking 13-12 lead to defend. Defend they did, with Pat Danahy and Brian Coyle in the van, and with big hits and a few vital turnovers secured a tremendous win. Results elswhere didn’t go their way, but, play-offs or not, the celebrations at the Pav that evening were, if anything, more passionate than the game itself. And rightly so.


Trinity News Issue 10