New Changes to ULSU Governance
This Week In Style Arts & Ents P/12
The Cornetto Cometh Vol. XXII, Issue 1
10th September 2013
Government must do more to reduce costs of attending college – Crowe Rachel Ryan
The Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe has said the government must do more than just lip service to reduce the costs of going to college. He was esponding to the Irish League of Credit Unions latest research showing the rising costs of a student going to college is almost €1000 per month. Deputy Crowe said this makes a mockery of the idea of a free and accessible education in Ireland. Speaking today Deputy Crowe said; “Nobody should be surprised that parents are saving to send their children to college. This has always been the case but the difference these days is that many families are struggling with austerity and rising unemployment and the government is not doing enough to reduce the costs of actually attending college. The SUSI system that processes the grants has been a disaster from start to finish with thousands of students supposed to live on fresh air while waiting for their grant to be processed. This is putting added pressure on already struggling students and their families who are desperately trying to support them.” He went on to add. “All of this makes a mockery of the idea of free and accessible education in Ireland. The Labour Party was elected on a promise not to increase third level fees but that was broken as soon as they entered government. This government, and the Labour Party in particular, needs to do more to tackle the practical costs and not just pay lip service to the supports needed to go to college and receive a third level education.” There is growing concern from students who face reduced incomes in their families, unemployment throughout summer months and increased taxes in homes. This along with the increase in fees of 250 euro makes college even more difficult for some people.
Commissioned Graffiti in Limerick
Limerick saw some colourful additions to its walls this August with large graffiti murals popping up all over the city. The pieces were commissioned by Limerick City Council for the “Make A Move” festival, a hip-hop and urban culture festival which took place from the 25th -28th of July. With Limerick hosting the city of culture in 2014 it is great to see that the council has decided to use graffiti in a positive way and brighten up derelict looking areas around the city centre. The most notable of these pieces has to be the
massive mural of a bearded, one eyed man eating an ice-cream cone with a rather sinister topping. The piece covers the side of an empty house across from the newly refurbished King John’s Castle and has really caught the attention of tourists and locals. This piece along with others around the city, were done by the British artist Smug, who creates amazingly realistic art. Accompanying Smug’s mural is a piece depicting Celtic warriors and horses. These murals, which stretch the length of the wall, really brighten up an otherwise grey and deserted area of Limerick. There was, as one can expect,
some controversy over Smug’s piece as it is a bit intimidating, but the general consensus has been mostly welcoming of the artwork. There are also pieces on Catherine Street across from LSAD of cartoon Celtic figures and some large darker pieces of sorrowful looking girls resembling the famous Les Mis posters of Eponine at the top of Thomas Street. If you get the bus into town you may also notice a large mural on the side of the old CBS School building of two arms holding hands. The building was looking very dilapidated but with this new mural as well as large polka dots covering the building it has really
brought life to an otherwise dull looking area. There has always been graffiti in Limerick, whether it is the scribbling’s of a “tagger” or large murals like those along the canal bank, but these new pieces have really brought the standards up and have shown that graffiti is not just vandalism but real art. Hopefully the City Council will continue to embrace this creativity that is abundant in Limerick. If you’re in town and get the chance make sure you stroll around and have a look at the murals.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
New Changes to ULSU Governance Liz Gabbett & Mark Nother
This year, as a result of our new Constitution which was voted in at the last UGM in April, we have a new governance structure of the Students Union. Class Reps Council has now been replaced with Class Reps Forum and Student Council. Student Council is our governing parliament structure. Class Reps Forum will give Class Reps an opportunity to meet and discuss issues of concern with their Department and Faculty Reps that may arise over the course of the semester. SU Executive is still there and last year’s Interim Board of Trustees is no longer “Interim”, it is now fully recognized in the constitution. Referendum is still the ultimate decision authority that students have, second is UGM and now Student Council. The SU Executive makes dayto-day decisions and recommendations. It is accountable to the Student Council. The Management Committee acts as the Board of Trustees. It is responsible for the financial affairs of the Union and will ensure that student’s money is spent in accordance with the aims and objectives of the Union.
So what does the new Student Council do? In brief the Student Council: • Sets policy of the Union • Is a decision making body of the Union. •Amends the schedules and appendices as appropriate • Instructs and holds accountable the Executive on their work • Monitors and discusses the events and decisions of the University’s
Editor: Aoife Coughlan News: Rachel Ryan Comment: Michel Duffy Life & Style Clair McDermott Business: Enda Costello Arts & Entertainment: Josh Prenderville Film: Paul Saunders Sports: Eoghan Wallace Travel: Karen O’Conner Desmond Designed by Keith Broni Printed by Impression Design and Print Ltd.
CONTRIBUTORS Rachel Ryan, Liz Gabbett, Stephanie Howard, Darragh Roche, Úna Ní Shúilleabháin., Sean Duggan, Aoife Coughlan, Matthew Gleeson Steven Walsh, Nicola Hanlon, Charlotte Stewart, Sarah Sweeney, Niamh O’Brien, Anne O Donoghue, Evan O’Grady, Josh Prenderville, Anne O’ Donoghue, Eoghan Wallace, Stacey Walsh, Paul Saunders Karen O’ Connor Desmond, Dearbhaile Houston, Tom Horan, Siobhan Moylan Jane O’ Faherty, Enda Costello, Dr. Philip O’Regan, Eamon Quinlan, Aodhgán Tuohy Garry Irwin, Robert McNamara Eoin Scanlon Powered by
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decision making bodies and raises concerns of members to the student representatives and senior management team • Reviews and approves the Unions Budget for the coming year
Who is on the council? The council reflects the academic structure of the University and the welfare aspects of UL student’s lives. There are 26 Department Representatives, i.e. one representative per department, 15 Interest Group Councillors and Student Council Chairperson. The Students Union Executive must attend Student Council but they don’t have a Council vote except for the Student Council Chairperson who has a casting vote in the event of a tie. (see highlighted section above)
Why become a representative? The main objective of the ULSU is to advance the education of UL students as a whole and to promote and actively pursue the betterment of the welfare of its members. The ULSU provides an organised structure for student representatives to achieve that objective. The University lecturers want student feedback and input in developing and improving courses. Department Reps and Class Reps are the obvious choice for them to liaise with.
As a Representative you can: • Support your fellow students by listening to them and communicating their concerns to Lecturers and Department Heads
• Make your voice heard and have a vote on decisions and policy affecting students • Influence important decisions about your study programme by being the go-to-person for your Course Leaders, Department and Faculty Heads and attending faculty meetings • Initiate positive change by advising and suggesting alternative approaches to teaching, learning and communicating • Take part in leadership training • Visit other governing parliaments • Improve your communication, liaising and working with others skills
Who is there to support Student Representatives? The SU President, Emma Porter; Deputy President, Catriona Ní Dhonnchu; VP Academic, Paddy Rocket; PSU President, Lily Carroll; and all of the staff in the Union are there to support all students including the Representatives. I, Liz Gabbett, was appointed to the position Representation & Organisation Development Manager in late May. I replaced Róisin Monaghan, Democracy and Development Officer. Mark Nother is on co-op placement in this office for Semester 1. Mark and I are specifically here to support and facilitate Representatives. Please call in or email if have any queries, see our contact details below.
How does one become a Student Council Representative? 1. Download the application from http://www.ulsu.ie/about/unionstructure/int/studentcouncil or
pick up an application form in the Students’ Union. 2. Get 30 signatures from people in your department, 10 to propose and 20 to second your nomination. 3. Return the form to the Students’ Union Reception. Close of nominations are 5pm Friday 27th of September 2013, Week 3. 4. If there is more than one candidate for a particular department or interest group, an election will be held the following Thursday. If you are an old hat at ‘Class Rep’ing’ we would be delighted to get you back on board! On the other hand if you feel ready for a change we are excited to announce the open positions on the new look Students Council. We have spent the summer preparing some excellent
training to allow reps to develop their teamwork, communication and other transferrable skills. We have an exciting year ahead as we will be witnessing the implementation of the new ULSU Constitution and this will be monitored by a new Constitution Review Group. Reps will also be discussing charges in the Medical Centre, Third Level Fees, what’s happening to Charity Week among other relevant student topics. We need student feedback and representation more than ever. Your Union Needs You! firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Advice from the Gardai: Points From August 28th Meeting Rachel Ryan
Gardai are there to protect everyone in the community, including students, to ensure everyone is safe and can live peacefully. Your local Garda station is located on Henry Street in Limerick city and during term time the Community Gardaí are on campus weekly. They can be found in the Security Hub in the Stable Courtyard. Your local community Gardai are Eoin O’Connor, Ollie Kennedy and Lisa Dineen. Local Garda Eoin O’Connor has given some advice to students on how to stay safe while here at UL. Students should be aware of their personal security. They can stay safe by avoiding walking home alone late at night, staying in well-lit areas and wearing high-viz clothing. Keeping your property safe is also important. Make sure all of your doors are locked and windows are closed. You should also store valuables and electronic devices out of sight and if you have a bike photograph it and know your bike security code and how to find it. Your course work security is
also very important. Make sure to backup your reports and thesis externally. If your laptop gets stolen so too does your college work. Use the UL Skydrive extension of your email to back up your reports as every student has access to this. You can also use Dropbox, just make sure that you always back everything up. It is important that if you see a crime to report it, don’t assume somebody else will. You can contact the Gardai on 999 or 061212400 Station:Henry Street Division:Limerick Henry Street is in the Limerick Division and in Henry Street District. Henry Street Garda Station, Henry Street, Limerick City Tel: +353 61 212400 Fax: +353 61 878484 (Public Office) Fax: +353 61 212482 (District Office) Fax: +353 61 212489 (Immigration) District HQ: Henry Street District HQ Tel: +353 61 212416 District Officer: Superintendent Francis O’Brien
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
The ‘Slut Shaming’ Phenomenon
Some may ask, what is ‘slut shaming’? It is a good question because the main problem with slut shaming is that most people don’t know what it is. Slut Shaming is the way in which society criticise and humiliate women for being sexual, having several partners, expressing sexual feelings and desires and acting on them. Women can also be shamed for the way they dress and act. Certain events have brought the discussion of slut shaming back into the public domain. From the way people first reacted to the hysteria surrounding “Slane Girl” before knowing the full details such as that the underage girl’s drink was possibly spiked, to the way in which people reacted to Miley Cyrus’s performance at the VMAs ( ignoring the fact that she basically recreated the popular ‘Blurred Lines’ video). Both young women continue to be labelled as sluts, whores, tramps and strippers. Neither of the events happened and the subsequent way in which the women were treated are isolated incidents, they are just a new part to a long (actually, extremely long) line of slut shaming and the vilification of women who chose to express their sexuality. For instance, a couple of months ago in a Waterford night club a girl gave a boy a blow job in public, only for the photo of it to be shared on various social media. Like clockwork, the girl was shamed for taking part in what was a consensual act while the boy was called legend. The shameless night club even used the incident to promote itself. Slut Shaming has unfortunately become a part of our society and the way in which both men and women think about women and the choices they
make. Let’s not pretend that slut shaming is something only men do because most, if not all, women are compliant in it at some stage, through the language they use or the way they interact with other women. Women are guilty of labelled promiscuous women as tramps or “getting around”. It is something which we too easily except as normal behaviour. Take for example the popular ‘reality’ TV show Made in Chelsea. One of the shows main
characters Lucy dates several men at a time, not committing herself to anyone simply because she does not want to. The way the other cast members interact with her is through name calling her a slut, bitch and tramp. Jamie, the resident man slut on the other hand basically does the same and is very rarely called out on dating multiple people at once, unlike Lucy who gets abused for all her choices by both fans and cast members. Slut shaming isn’t just confined to the
stage, photos or some reality TV show, it happens all the time to women who choose to express their sexuality in a way that breaks from the so called ‘traditional’ mould. Society is on a moral high horse, as if women should only be used to pleasure men or procreation. Women have sexuality too; it is definitely something which needs to be discussed more openly among women first and then men. In a perfect world we would respect the choices that each
person makes but it is possible if we, as individuals, stop judging others for our respective life choices and needs (women need sex too!) and most of all, try not to use language which discredits, socially criminalises or controls a person form making a choice which they want. Maybe then we can, at least, make a small change.
THE SOAP BOX: Welcome First Years! Now please go away... Darragh Roche
It’s that time of year again when fresh faced youngsters arrive on campus with new hopes, new dreams and new ideas about college life. To you young people I say: learn the queuing system in Scholars, if you get lost you’re on your own and if your boyfriend is like Edward Cullen, dump that sparkly poser now. On a more positive note, UL is a little bit like Hogwarts. The stairs in the Main Building probably don’t move, but you’ll think they will. The teachers are professors, but the nearest thing you’ll get to a chamber of secrets is the the print room. And this little column might just remind you of Rita Skeeter, if I’m doing it right. If I’m doing it wrong, it will sound more like Snape in a bad mood. With that metaphor sufficiently laboured, let’s move swiftly on to all those things that have happened in the world that you’ll forget to notice now you’re busy studying (because we all know that will be your main and sole activity). Some people accuse me of being averse to modern culture, saying the most recent album in my collection is
Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Two words should put these rumours to bed: Miley and Thicke. It seems poor Miley Cyrus just can’t get anything right. She has bent over backwards and forwards to please the public. Granted, associating herself with a man who thinks feminism is naked dancing girls was probably an error in judgement but it’s not easy being a former child star. Many former child stars can gone on to be successful drug addicts, making spectacular wrecks of their lives, squandering their already limited talents. And Miley Cyrus looks right on track to follow in their footsteps. As for Robin Thicke, he’s succeeded in taking a catchy tune and polluting it with lyrics that would make Casanova blush. On a side note, to any first years (or any others) who think they should try out Miley’s new moves in the Lodge we say, twerk off. Meanwhile, that bastion of information, Sky News, has been treading cautiously on the sticky issue of Syria. Recent experts include a historian offering his opinion on gas attacks in Great War trenches, a former admiral whose interests, shockingly, include war ships
and the typically misinformed British public who fail to see why the deaths of innocent foreign children should be of any concern while the Argies are still after Gibraltar (or something like that). A war in Syria would almost certainly draw in Iran and possibly Israel, threatening to destabilise the whole region, kill thousands and boost Sky News ratings to unprecedented highs. If there was a list of the world’s most evil people, Rupert Murdoch and Bashar alAssad would probably be tied for third place, right after the creative consultant to the VMAs and Robin Thicke’s lyricist. Don’t worry, I’ve got a list. For the love of God, don’t ever vote for me. And so, gentle reader, as you come to face another year of essays, exams, socialising, worrying about why you don’t have a girlfriend, wondering why UL’s prospectus doesn’t mention anything about the rain or just cruising through hoping that the QCA is a myth, come hither to learn what evils the world has unleashed. If what you seek is unbiased, informative reportage, look elsewhere.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
An Open Letter to “The Haters”
Úna Ní Shúilleabháin. Dear “Haters”...
I have been aware of your work as “Haters” for many years by many popular mainstream artists such as Niki Minaj and Rihanna. And again most notably from the “The Miley Horrow Picture Show” star Miley Cyrus. Classics such as “Dem Haters” highlight your importance in todays modern music. Recently Miley Cyrus sang “forget the haters” while Miss Minaj suggested : “Haters you can kill yourself ” in her memorable collaboration to William or Will.I.Am. Grammaticlly incorrect statements aside, here’s what I’m asking: WHY do haters have to hate? I mean, we get it : “Haters by name, Haters by nature”. But is it not tiring? I find it hard to keep up to date with “The Artist Formally Known As Hannah Montana”’s antics, let alone hating on them too? Judging by the amount of singers referring to “Haters”, your presence is growing. I’m assuming “Haters” is a group, given the pluralisation – as evident above, pop stars and rappers aren’t always grammatically correct. Does this organisation receive any government funding? I didn’t see this group on any volunteering websites so I’m assuming that you are all receiving financial benefits. What are the working conditions like? How do you manage all worldwide branches? Is Health Insurance included? This all seems like a lot of hassel to be honest, Obviously your
presence in today’s society is not entirely welcome by the pop and Rn’B industry– they keep making god damn awful songs about you? The word “Haters” alone even has negative connotations to it. I’m sure you are all lovely people and maybe should
consider a change of direction? Like knitting. If all the “Haters” in the world start knitting maybe Drake might release a song entitled “Knitters gunna knit”. I know a rather large group of old women in the nursing home nearby who would be happy to help you out. Knitting also
reduces stress, so there’s a bonus. It doesn’t necessarily have to be knitting – I’m just throwing it out there. However, “Haters” are getting a bad rep recently and no-one wants some-one dissing their work. I personally can only manage 45 minutes of “hating” a day before I get
serious heartburn, so I can’t imagine this being a good lifestyle choice. I really hope that I have given you something to think about. Thanks for your time.
Debating, for fun and profit Sean Duggan
Debating Union PRO If there’s one thing that you should keep in mind as a new third-level student, it’s the importance of taking advantage of everything UL has to offer, and that includes the most interesting and diverse social life you’ll probably ever get a chance to experience. Clubs and societies are the undoubtedly best way to make the most of the next four years in college, while enhancing your CV with awesome new skills that’ll put you streets ahead of potential employers. But with so many choices available in UL, it’s so hard to pick which one is really worth your time, right? Wrong – because Debating Union is the way to go, and I’m going to tell you why. Skills that pay the bills I initially joined the Debating Union to get over my fear of public speaking, and it’s been great for that. Most students at some point will have a big part of their grades riding on a class presentation or something similarly daunting, and outside of college people with confident public speaking skills are always in huge demand. Debating Union has Speaker Development nights in room 3 of the Student Union every Monday night at 7 that’ll help you get rid of the butterflies of being under the spotlight and turn you into a champion orator.
Once you’ve mastered the art of captivating a room with your charismatic ways, we’ll teach you the competitive side of debating. UL has been extremely successful in competitions the past few years, so you’ll have some highly experienced speakers to give you feedback and help you improve. Knowing how to argue your way out of (or into) any situation is a critical skill for students studying Law, Politics, Journalism and similar subjects, but you can’t go wrong with being able to debate no matter what direction you want to take your career in. Remember: everybody else in your course is going to have roughly the same degree as you in a few years’ time, but having Debating championships on your CV is an excellent way way to show prospective employers you can think on your feet and outside the box. Here’s how most of our debates work: people are split into four teams of two, given a motion to support or oppose, and 15 minutes to prepare a few points to argue in a 7 minute long speech. The motion itself could be about literally anything - bringing back the death penalty, overthrowing Obama, or arresting Batman.
See the world, on a student budget UL is good, but getting to visit other universities around the world from time to time is even better. Universities all over Ireland, the EU and further abroad host
debating intervarsities and competitions pretty much every weekend throughout the year, and participants have most of their accommodation, travel and food costs covered by UL and the host university. As a Debating Union member, you could be speaking in NUIG one weekend, Cambridge University the next, and jetting off to New Zealand the week after that. In the past two years alone, UL has sent debaters to Germany, the Philippines, and almost every corner of Ireland and the UK, and there are even more awesome competitions coming up. We’ll be looking for teams to send to Durham, Oxford and Zagreb, Croatia over the next few weeks. All of these competitions are open to novice debaters and more experienced debaters will get a chance to take part in the prestigious World Universities Debating Championships in Chennai, India this December or Kuala Lumpur the year after that. With free food, accomodation and even subsidized travel, debaters regularly get amazing weekends away for less than most people will spend in Icon on an average Thursday night. Meet awesome people Although it sounds cheesy, the best part about being a part of the Debating world is the people. Honestly, debating intervarsities are just excuses to go socialise with really interesting people
in new interesting places. Plus, we’re one of the most active societies in bringing other clubs and socs together for socials and events. What more can you ask for? New members are always welcome, so don’t worry about joining us halfway through the year or the semester. Feel free to stop by one of our regular public
debates to see what we’re all about - over the coming weeks we’ll be discussing the Media, Facebook,and even the future of Irish Sport (with guest speaker Sonia O’Sullivan). We hope to see you soon!
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
STUDENT UNION PRESDIENT Hi, my name is Emma Porter and I am your Students’ Union President for 2013/14. Before I begin, I would like to congratulate those who have recently graduated and wish them the best of luck in all aspects after their time in UL. I would then like to welcome all of our returning students and those of you who are new to the UL campus for the upcoming academic year. ULSU is the representative body for 13,000 UL students. Remember, every registered student is a member of the Students’ Union. The Students’ Union is here to help you get the most out of your time here in UL, whether it’s advice on dealing with your landlord, help talking to lecturers, tickets to courtyard gigs, or simply cheap condoms, we’re here! My role as President is to represent students both within the University and on a local and national level. In order for me to represent students I sit on (many) University committees to ensure that your views and opinions are represented at every level in the University. I also have responsibility for coordinating all the activities of the Union and supervising finances, along with the General Manager. Over the summer I have been primarily focused on recruiting a new General Manager, and reviewing and considering the best methods of implementation for the new Constitution with Liz Gabbett, the Representational and Organisational Development Manager. Aside from that, I have been liaising with the Medical Centre to help provide you with the best services possible, meeting with the University to discuss the possibility of expanding the Students’ Centre in the future, planning events such as Charity Week, and meeting with the Sabbatical Officers from other University’s to allow for collaboration between the Students’ Unions. This year I aim to increase the awareness of the services offered to students by the SU, and in turn increase the level of student involvement to enhance the student experience. In order to make sure you feel that your Students’ Union is doing the most it can for you I need you to ensure share your thoughts, opinions, and views, and get involved. So please feel free to contact me. I recently graduated from UL with a BA in Psychology and Criminal Justice. Throughout my time in UL, I have had various involvements with a number of Clubs and Societies including Trampolining, Water-polo and Kayaking, and have received the Gold President’s Volunteer Award for my work as Chairperson of UL Parkour. Clubs and Societies is a great way to get involved outside of lecture hours. You’ll meet tonnes of new people and have the opportunity to try heaps of new things. Student Council and Class Reps is another great way for you to get involved! Class Reps is being reinvented this year and is running in conjunction with new Student Council. If you’re interested in becoming a Class Rep check out www.ulsu.ie for a nomination form. If you need to talk to someone about the Union, the University or national issues affecting UL students then come in to the Union and talk to us, send us an email or find us on Facebook.
CATRIONA NI DHONNCHU DEPUTY PRESIDENT/ WELFARE OFFICER
Hi, I’m Catriona and I’m your Deputy President/Welfare Officer in the Students’ Union. First off, welcome (back) to UL! Whether you’re a first year or fourth year, to ensure your time here is as enjoyable as possible, my best advice is to get involved! Join a Club or Society, become a Class Rep, sign up for the President’s Volunteer Award. Work hard, play hard, and savour every second! As Deputy President, I deputise for the President when she is sick or unavailable, I attend Governing Authority with the President .As your Welfare Officer, my role is to support you with all the non-academic issues from mental health, sexual awareness, crisis pregnancy to finances and accommodation. I am available if you just want to meet up for a friendly chat or some informal advice. Sometimes I might not be immediately available because I also sit on more than twenty university committees. However, I will always meet with you as soon as possible. If I can’t help, I will be able to find someone who can. Oh, and come to me for Condoms! My main aim this year is to increase student involvement in the work of the welfare office. Many students have a real interest in, and passion for, welfare-related issues and I want to give them the chance to tackle these issues in new, creative ways. I want student-led campaigns that make an impact, rather than running traditional, expensive, on the ground campaigns just for the sake of it. I am establishing a Welfare Team to provide interested students with the opportunity to engage in effective health and welfare promotion on campus, in turn contributing to the well-being of their fellow students. If you are interested in getting involved, just email me at email@example.com and I will add you to the closed facebook group “Welfare Team ULSU”. The first meeting of the Welfare Team will be Wednesday, Week 2, at 6.30pm in the Students’ Union. Come along to find out more. This year, I also aim to improve communication with the entire student body on relevant welfare issues and on the work of the welfare office. I aim to enhance awareness of existing support services within, and outside of, the university. Through my facebook page @ ULSU Welfare Officer, I hope to run online awareness campaigns on welfare-related issues at least one day each week. Again, this idea supports a move away from more traditional forms of campaigning. The way I see it, if students are online now, there’s little sense in having all our efforts on the ground, and although I’m clueless when it comes to Twitter, I plan on learning fast. Watch my facebook page @ ULSU Welfare Officer and Twitter @ UL Students’ Union for upcoming events and the pending arrival of MANY condoms. If you have any ideas to enhance the work that I do or if you want to get involved, please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or pop into the office. Looking forward to meeting you all soon. Have a brilliant year!
VP/ACADEMIC OFFICERS Ah….look at ya there all ready for Uni, If you are a first year, congrats on making it through the leaving cert - handy enough eh? As for those of you who are returning welcome back. I hope your summer was awesome filled with holidays festivals and good time and not worrying about repeats or studying.Were back for a new year which means new challenges for you and the Union and whole world of new experiences. If you want my advice here are some key tips to loving your time in UL.; Join a club or society, get involved in with student council or class reps, charity days and Charity week , The Presidents Volunteer award and Semester 2 Broadening Module. Clubs and societies are the social hub of the union from Rugby to Kayaking, Debating to Drama there’s a club or society for you. Come along to the Clubs and Socs night in the arena on Wednesday the 11th of September to see and sign up for the many clubs or societies we have to offer. Student Council will be the driving force of the Union and will be involved in all major decisions throughout the year. Have a look at the various interest groups and department reps that make up this council. It’s great for your CV and a great experience throughout the year involving trips, training and Key decision making in the university. All that fun stuff aside I might as well tell you my role in your time here in UL –I’m Paddy Rockett (Yup that’s my real name) and I’m your VP/Academic – I look after all things relating to your academic life here in UL be that exams to lectures, issues with your course – you name it I’ve got info on it. In terms of embracing the new college you, I would say jump in and get involved with everything but also manage your time correctly. You are at a great stage of your life, be sure to experience all the great things UL has to offer. Make loads of friends, Try new experiences you might even challenge yourself to do some thing BIG for charity. As for me I’m here throughout the year if ever you need me. My major areas for development over the next year include Microsoft Study Smart Sessions, Student, Choice Awards, Union Videos, Student urban Myths, ULSU Broadening Module, Academic Help Series, Online QCA calculator, Plagiarism awareness, Faculty Weeks, Maths Proficiency programme, and dealing with daily drop ins, meetings and emails So that’s me. I wish you the very best of luck in the forthcoming year and hope you love your time at UL . The place is already brighter now that your here! I’ll see you out and about anyway so be sure to rock up for a chat G’luck!
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
A Word From The Editor
Aoife Coughlan Editor
I would like begin by welcoming everyone back for this new college year, from the first years coming in to join this community, and to the fourth years coming to face the columniation of their study. September always has brought this feeling of newness or renewal. When I was little it brought the resolve to keep my nice new highlighters for longer than mid term break and in college it became more focused on how I would never spend the small hours filling up bibliographies. Both have given me only mild forms of success. Even though I have lost almost everything in every year of my school education and still spend at least one night panic stricken at 5am I start again every September with the best of intentions. As much as we have great plans to never fail again, never to make mistakes, never to have to compromise our lives we all ultimately end up having to reassess our plans. There is so much pressure in the modern world, in our world of college QCAs and careers to have a plan and an aim and the drive of success. And
no matter how important achieving your potential is it is inevitably open to change and problems. You see I believe that a Total Quality Management approach to life is stunting and counter productive. A goal is all well and good if it can be kept in perspective but making it a defining feature reduces the rest of life to a secondary position until that aim is met. It sounds silly but sometimes it is good to go with the flow. Another problem with plans is that they are often based on the benchmarks set for us by society. It is often not our potential we try and reach but the expectation of others. Be it parents, friends, our lectures or the stringent ideas of convention. Basically do anything you want, be anything you but only do it if you are doing it for you! Not for any other reason than for your own happiness. This all sounds very cynical, but I beg to be the exact opposite. In this time of new beginnings we need to keep in perspective what is most important. That is not how good a student we can be with above average grades, how much of a model college student we can be involved in everything under the sun or how much a perfect son/daughter we can be so those at home can be impressed.
No, keep in mind that being true to yourself and doing what contributes to not just often ambiguous happiness but to that comforting sense of contentment. And remember to live life with its
ups and downs but always with a sense of wonder and excitement and not boredom and the mundane. I will close with the words of Felini’s Steiner in the great La Dolce Vita, we need to live “In
quell ordine incantato” or in that sense of enchantment. Good luck everyone in the year ahead
OFF THE PRESS
No duty to interfere. Why is it the West’s job to help Syrians from different sects share the same country? The Syrian Arab Republic is a country of about 20-million people, created by the French Foreign Office after First World War. Quai d’Orsay didn’t make it exactly out of whole cloth, but from France’s share (or “mandate,” as shares were called by then) of what remained of the Ottoman Empire. French cartographers drew a curious beast, sticking out a small head on to the shore of the Mediterranean, presumably for a whiff of sea breeze between Lebanon and the butt end of Turkey, and a large body slouching inland to lie between Jordan, Iraq and Israel — except when the French drew Syria’s map there was no Jordan yet and no Israel, only a tract of land called the British Mandate of Palestine, former possession of the Sultan of Turkey. - George Jonas
College tuition scam. A father and son narrowly escaped a college admissions scam, the China Youth Daily reports. The man said on Wednesday his son failed his entrance examination to Tianjin University, but the son later received what appeared to be an admission letter from the university. It said they should deposit the tuition fee but they decided to first visit the campus, where they learned of the scam.
A president’s sister labours for peace
Lib Dems join fracking furore.
Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng yearns to teach warring, factional tribes how to tend gardens of peace and boasted of how she trains former youthgang leaders to sheathe their shivs and ‘engage in benevolent leadership.’
Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats have poured scorn on chancellor George Osborne’s push for a shale gas revolution in the UK, saying the process of fracking has caused extensive environmental damage and water pollution in the drilling site
While her brother was arming the cannon of August and aiming them at a Damascene despot, Barack Obama’s sister-from-another-mister was all rainbows, roses and moonbeams. “Great ideas come gently as doves,” she said, quoting Camus, but the cooing was scarce heard amid the guns below.
The comments, in official policy papers, come as a new Opinium/Observer poll shows strong public opposition to fracking, with resistance particularly strong among women. Asked if they would like to see various alternative types of energy projects in their area, 60% of people said they would be happy to have windfarms or turbines, but only 23% are happy for fracking to occur in their area. While men’s views were split fairly evenly, with 38% against fracking and 32% in favour, among women the proportion was 51% against and 15% in favour.
We had come to the Center for American Progress, a well-funded left-wing wellspring, to see and hear the raven-haired Maya Kassandra Soetoro-Ng, M.A., M.A., PhD, the Jakarta-sired, American-mothered, Canadian-espoused younger sibling of the first Nobel laureate since Henry Kissinger to make more war than peace.
- Toby Helm
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
The Top Five This week the top five looks for the top sandwich fillings. And no we do not mean panini, wraps or other fru fru incarnations of the sandwich. We mean the humble sandwich, the salt of the earth, garage bought, funeral type, school lunchbox sandwich. On brown or white is your choice, but at “Top Five” we do not discriminate. *This piece is unbiased and (vaguely) well researched. If your favourite filling did not appear and you feel hard done by you can get stuffed.
3 - Stuffing
Coming in at 3 we have stuffing. This I do not get. The stuffing sandwich is bread between bread, its like the a homosexual threesome of the sandwich world. But people seem to love it, especially paired with number 1. And at Christmas, even then I will make an exception for the holy feast of leftovers.
4 - Ham
Ham is our number 4. The variety of this is huge! It could be really good sliced ham, the kind you pick at one Christmas eve having come home drunk and reaching for the first sandwich filling to hand. Or it could be that waffer thin stuff that may or not be made out of the same stuff in umbrellas or raincoats. Alternatively you could opt for bacon but that is going a bit upmarket (except if stuffed breakfast roll of course)
5 - Coleslaw
Taking lowest position is coleslaw. What actually is this and where did it come from? Why do we have such a love affair with it. Vegetables covered in mayo seems like the concoction of some 1970’s housewife to get to her children to eat more vegetables. Laugh, but in fairness
2 - Cheese
At top five we assumed that at number 2 the cheese in question was the prepacked, perfect slicing kind of cheddar or the grated red cheddar, maybe with a a mix of white in it too. But definitely not anything that sounds like an opera (Camembert) or a non cheese (feta, ricotta!) Either way you seem to like your cheese, and it has the option of coming toasted, double win!
1 - Chicken
In top spot we have chicken. I cannot say we saw this one coming but maybe it has to do with the accompanying fillings. People get fancy with chicken, ordering
Co-Founder and President of Tea Appreciation Society
Name: Niamh Broderick Style Inspiration: Chloe Sevigny and Florence & the Machine Favourite item in wardrobe: Kimono jacket Favourite shop: Pennys and River Island
Name: Katie Foyle Style Inspiration: Magazines Favourite item in wardrobe: Debs dress Favourite shop: H&M
sweet chili sauce and specifying red onions not white! Maybe its top because it is so plain you can put anything with it. Looks like chicken is more fair than foul in the sandwich world.
Tea Society? Go on, go on, go on...
Name: Lorna Bogue Style Inspiration: Throw on whatever I find, my sister Favourite item in wardrobe: This scarf, its my Mams and 80’s vintage Favourite shop: Charity shops
The Tea Appreciation society is a new society dedicated to all things tea. Are you interested in all combinations and permutations of tea? Then tea soc is the society for you. It would be a chance to sit back and relax while having a cuppa, a break from busy student life. A chance to discuss anything and everything, ranging from biscuit or cake to the philosophy of Teaism. All while trying something new. We all know, everything is better over a hot cup of tea. There are so many wonderful types and flavours to drink; it seems a shame to keep going back to the same thing day in day out. Joining Tea Soc is a great opportunity to sample all sorts of tea’s for cheap as membership is a mere €3. Meetings every Wednesday will provide samples
of the main types. The main types of tea include white, green, fruit/herbal and black. Drinks that are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea. There’re plenty of events ahead. Ranging from biscuit or cake to a definitive answer to the age old question of Lyons vs. Barrys. A major event would be an Alice in Wonderland themed Tea Party, fancy dress of course and a weekend in Dublin dedicated to tea. Fancy yourself as an aspiring tea master or the next Mrs. Doyle, than why not prove your brewing skills during our internal best brew competition. Want to prove your knowledge of all things tea? Come to our table quiz with Debating Union Society. For the more creative crowd, why not try your hand at creating a custom herbal tea? If you’re interested in all things tea, then the tea appreciation society is the place to start. There’s more to life then Lyons.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
COMIC STRIP TITLE?
Pudgykitten Cooks Literary Corner
There are times when a roll, blah or bap just does not cut it. Hence why I am sharing this alternative lunch recipe using lentils. I am serving this with bresaola, cured beef, bought locally but try roast beef or pastrami either. You can make this a dinner by increasing portions and using a different cut of meat like a nice steak or some lamb or chicken, so its quiet adaptable. It also can be made ahead, served hot, cold or put in a lunch box for food on the go. Also lentils are healthy and nutritious while also being relatively cheap, they are store cupboard food to embarrass that tin of baked beans. It may seem like its effort but its no more effort than facing the sandwich queue at lunchtime. Try it and nom away happily ! Mustardy lentil salad with asparagus and mushroom, herby yogurt and bresaola
Ingredients for 1 portion • 40g lentils • 1/4 onion finely diced • Garlic clove • Parsley • Handful of baby asparagus roughly chopped • Handful mushrooms roughly chopped • A few cherry tomatoes quartered • A half teaspoon of nice mustard • Lemon juice/olive oil/red wine vinegar • Couple of teaspoons of natural yogurt • Selection of fresh or dried herbs ( I used parsley and basil) • Sliced bresaola Put the lentils in a saucepan with the chopped onion, the garlic and the parsley. Cover with water, bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with a lid.
After 10 minutes check to see if they need more water. Then add the asparagus, mushrooms tomatoes. Leave simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. While the lentils are cooking make the herby yogurt. Chop the herbs and add to the yogurt, season with salt pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and set aside. Now check you lentils, if there is a little too much water drain it carefully. Season with salt pepper, stir in the mustard and add a splash of vinegar, oil or lemon juice if you wish. Pile onto a plate, serve with the slices of bresaola, some salad leaves and the herby yogurt drizzled on top.
A Socialist Sonnet “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace” - Thomas Paine Often I consider the vices of our present time, Viewing a sovereign freedom slain without a Fight. Consider now dear reader the most sinister crime, The Dail drained the nation of it’s soul last night When we erect such monstrous monuments to greed, Which have pierced the heavy hearts of a docile heard. And soulful students are sold in haste for need , Of a few greasy pennies, a terrible debt is incurred! A question of our leaders we must ask, how many more must go? How much more will be seized & stolen? How much more will you take? From those which it was never your right to forsake, Before you kill or suppress our dream we will show You that against a common man’s determination, And Proud pitchfork no regal robe offers defence. On behalf of those abandoned by this nation, We shall secure a future & swear recompense. Steven Walsh
LIFE & STYLE
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
The Contouring Craze
It seems everybody has gone contouring crazy this summer, and with celebs such as Kim Kardashian and SoSueMe blogger, Sue Jackson, releasing YouTube contouring tutorials it’s safe to say this technique is no longer being left to the pros! Faking the perfect bone structure is simple with the help of our two new best friends – highlighter and bronzer. Uncover those hidden cheekbones by applying highlighter under the eyes and just above the cheekbone itself, while using bronzer to shade the hollows of the cheekbones giving it that real POP factor. Contouring is all about shadows creating the illusion; bringing light to your best features while detracting from the notso-great. Once you have mastered the technique you can create the illusion of bigger and brighter eyes, a smaller nose, or more defined cheekbones. To do the job right you need the best products; this is where I come in. For highlighting you will need a highlighting stick, a liquid foundation or powder a couple of shades lighter than your own make-up shade, and for shading a matte bronzer is best for creating realistic shadows. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, there are also contouring kits which have both products - if you’re willing to spend a bit more. Here are my top 5 best contouring buys guaranteed to give you cheekbones like Kimmy K!
1. Benefit: The Bronze of Champions kit - This little box of magic contains mini versions of best-selling Benefit products. The set contains “Watts Up!”, a soft focus highlighter, “Hoola” bronzing powder and powder brush for contouring, and if that’s not enough you also get the ever-popular “They’re Real! Beyond” mascara, “Ultra Plush Lip Gloss” and “Creaseless” cream eye shadow. €37 Available to buy at Debenhams. 2. “Smashbox: Artificial Light Luminizing Lotion” – For a picture perfect glow, this highlighter is as good as it gets! Described as “the soft focus lens for the skin”, this highlighter softens the way light reflects off the skin which adds radiance and detracts from imperfections. Reviewed as one of the most effective and popular highlighters on the market. €22- Available to buy at Boots. 3. “L’oreal: Magic Lumi Highlighter” – This highlighting pen is a perfect bargain-buy for those of you not willing to spend a fortune on cosmetics. Dab it on dark areas or shadows for instant enlightenment or along the cheekbones and brow line for a wide-awake effect. €12.99 Available to buy at Boots. 4. “Bourjois: Delice de Poudre” - This popular matte bronzer is a personal favourite, perfect for light/medium skin tones. It’s delicious chocolate scent
combined with its bronze, sun-kissed look makes it a definite must-have. €8.99 Available to buy at Boots. 5. “Isa Dora: Big Bronzing Powder 35g” – The best thing about this product is that
it’s BIG. It will undoubtedly last months and can be used on both the face and body. Each shade warms the complexion without adding unwanted ruddiness, and with four shades to choose from it’s impossible to go wrong. €25.99 Available
to buy at Sam Mc Cauleys.
is awake at 3.42am to post these wellwritten responses? We all know Google is the real expert here.
predecessors, the 90s plastic dolls which bear the same name: scarce, forgotten and living, unwanted, in a basement somewhere.
These are my top five products for the contouring your cheekbones. No more excuses girls, leave the fuchsia blush at home!
Introduction to the imbecile internet trolling Charlotte Stewart
There was a time when trolls meant pugfaced dolls with luminous green hair, pot bellies and looked a lot like Nicki Minaj in that ‘Starships’ video. Before that, there was even a time when trolls meant grisly monsters that lived under bridges and preyed on unsuspecting billy goats. Nowadays, however, trolls are a different breed of monster- though not necessarily any less hairy and pot-bellied. Modern day trolls lurk behind their computer screens in the dark rooms in which they have nested, shielding themselves simultaneously from human interaction and sunlight. Though internet trolls may appear ballsy and intimidating to some, they are truly on the lower rungs of the social networking ladder, just above the tween army that send cyber death threats to any girl linked to One Direction. More often than not, internet trolls are the miserable dregs of society, live-at-home losers who are fed by a combination of those naïve enough to fall for their ploys and the lunch that their mom still makes for them. So, in order to recognise trolls and avoid feeding their egos, here is a list of the five most common forms of internet trolls. Together we can starve them into non-existence;
1. The Cyber Bully. This type of troll is unnecessarily harsh and can be found attempting to stomp on the joy that others are spreading. Oh, somebody just posted a picture of their adorable new puppy chasing its own tail on Facebook? Time to tell them their dog is intellectually challenged and probably has a lower life expectancy than most.
2. The Grammar Nazi. No matter where or when, this troll is lying in wait. They see an opportunity, be it a missed apostrophe or a letter that should be capitalised, and seize it with fast-typing fingers. Regardless of whatever trivial point they are arguing, the Grammar Nazi will always assume they have won when they simply retype their opponent’s sentence with that pretentious asterisk slapped on the end. Relax trolls, I’m sure even Hitler himself let a misplaced ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ slip every once in a while.
3. The Negative Nelly. You can comment ‘photoshop’ on that smoking hot picture of Mila Kunis all you want, it’s not going to make people spontaneously hate her and realise what an undiscovered beauty you are.
Stop attributing everybody’s success to implants and steroids and auto tune. You come across about as small as your list of Facebook friends.
4. The Serial Spammer. It’s been a long day in college, you get home, somebody has sent you a link to a hilarious YouTube video and things are looking up. Then, you scroll down and are visually assaulted with ‘OMG! THIS REALLY WORKED GUYS!!’ followed by some story about a depraved young ghost-child named Mary who will murder you as you sleep tonight unless you post this video 200 times. Because I’m sure Mary, who apparently died in 1850, regularly goes online and checks the comments under funny cat videos to make sure you don’t deserve a gruesome death.
5. The Expert. This troll seems to know everything about every topic of discussion out there. Whether it’s quantum physics or weight loss tips or proof the moon landing was a hoax, they have a long and contrived paragraph ready to contribute to prove you wrong. Yet, what self-respecting master historian/scientist/theologist/ lawyer/Anchorman-quotes-enthusiast
Remember, don’t feed the trolls and maybe someday soon they will be resigned to the same fate as their
LIFE & STYLE
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
This Week In Style
The rich and famous certainly stepped out in style at Sunday night’s MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn, New York. Among one of the best dressed was Taylor Swift in a plunging floor length Herve Leger number with a very quintessential old Hollywood hairstyle. Singer Ciara certainly stood out with a jewelled and feathered floor length sheer gown, one of the more risqué outfits seen on the night. And speaking of risky business, always with the more questional choice of dress was Miley Cyrus, who’s latex two piece certainly wowed the crowds of New York while she performed on stage with Robyn Thicke. It looks like Miley just can’t stop taking fashion risks! Her red carpet outfit didn’t leave a lot to the imagination either and could be compared to that of a Mariachi band member. Meanwhile Iggy Azeala was a rather shocking addition to the best dressed list at the star studded affair, rocking an amazing Emilio Pucci sheer gold number. She completed the look with an elegant slicked back bun so as not to take away from her stunning dress. Selena Gomez appeared to have left pieces of her Versace gown in the limo ride to the venue. It is stark contrast to
her normal attire. Generally opting for a more casual appearance, as shown this week while taking a well deserved break from touring in LA, Selena looked effortlessly stylish in a tribal print jumpsuit paired with sunglasses and flats. Elsewhere in the world of style, Laura Whitmore attended the preview of One Directions new movie ‘This is Us’ looking effortlessly cool, cute and casual in a graphic t-shirt and leather skirt with zip detail. It’s hardly surprising as Laura has seriously proved herself in the style stakes, regularly donning the pages of all popular fashion magazines. 3 out of 4 Little Mix stunned in a co ordinated mix of nude, black and gold metallics. Perrie wowed in a floor length mesh gown with a detailed body, meanwhile Leigh Anne rocked a black jumpsuit, leaving Jade tie them all together with her black LBD and metallic blazer combo. A surprising edition to the best dressed list was Diana Vickers. She abandoned her old hippy ways and went for a classic white sleeved shift dress with clean lines and pretty detail.
To be a Feminist in the 21st century, or worse, the gym’s female locker room Niamh O’Brien
Feminism. We are all a little afraid of that word aren’t we? Like Brazilian or Vegan. We kind of get that uncomfortable feeling. “Oh I don’t know if I want to be one of those, lets just say I’m neither feminist nor a non-feminist.” I’ll admit, I was one of those until very recently. I was ignorant to what feminism actually meant. I thought it involved hating men and wearing bad pants suits all the time. I thought it would be a major male repellent to the scale of bad smell or camel toe. Or like when those Jews had to wear those star badges. Well not EXACTLY the same but you get my drift. I was seriously misinformed. Feminism is a gift. It is a gift given to us women (and men of course are welcome to join the party) by sisters of the past who fought for their rights. They fought to vote, be independent and help other women who were the possessions of the men they married. I read “How to be a Woman” and was enlightened. Caitlin Moran, journalist, feminist, all round hilarious heroine, writes in “How to be a Woman” : “We need to reclaim the word ‘feminism’. We need the word ‘feminism’ back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The
campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?” How can you argue with that! It’s hard to believe we aren’t adding it to our Facebook profiles at this stage, right under relationship status. Why aren’t we proud to be feminists? Why aren’t we screaming it from the rooftops? Think of how much CRAIC we would have. We need a feminist soc in UL. It would be like ladies night in the Icon EVERY.NIGHT. Muffs, boobs, equality, taquilla, Pennys, sports, liberation, Ryan Gosling. This could be the agenda for the first meeting. It would be perfect timing too because Moran believes the next feminist revolution is upon us. Agreed. It’s needed. It’s time. Sure we are seeing Tyra Banks build an empire on being Fierce and more women topping the charts that ever before but it’s worrying how much of women being successful depends on their sex appeal. Case and point, Miley Cyrus at the VMAs this year. The (lack of) clothes and provocative dancing can of course be an expression of womanhood and sexuality, but all I saw that night was a lack of talent being covered up by making herself a sex object. A piece of meat. A play toy. But of course her twitter account went mental and in the end more people are going to know her name. Its publicity so she will view it as a success. Is it a success for feminists though? How would we view Justin Timberlake if he “expressed his sexuality” (use your imaginations)
on stage in front of thousands. We would think it was pretty disgusting and desperate. Where’s the equality there? Of course, women all over the world are doing magnificent things. Becoming surgeons, scientists, engineers, teachers chocolateers (a most noble profession) and feminism has contributed greatly to this. However, out of the 166 members of the Dáil at present and only 25 of these are women. The gender pay gap in Ireland was 17% in 2012. We have to deal with the ongoing nagging from media
and celebrity lives to be fantastic 24 hours a day. Body hair, wrinkles, flabby bits and going grey? Unacceptable. It’s exhausting. And expensive. And if men don’t have to do it why should we? Thanks to people like Caitlin Moran and great TV series, like Mad Men, the feminist issue is making its way to the forefront of the media. Women are voicing their opinions and asking questions, ignoring the status quo on what career path they should take and making the most of their capabilities. Shows like Downton
Abbey have contributed to a heightened awareness of feminism too. They remind us that things were not always so easy for our fellow ladies. So we must treasure the freedom we have been given, and, indeed, strive for more. Strive for the freedom to like how we look; for the freedom to eat two taco fries at 4pm on a wednesday and not feel bad about it; for the freedom to be proud of the muff!! Say it with me now ladies, all together, PROUD OF THE MUFF!!!
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTS
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Fresher’s Guide: Where To Go On Student Night
Anne O Donoghue “The one we’ll miss” – The Lodge
After 18 years of serving generations of UL students, this is the first year that The Lodge plans to stay completely closed. The Lodge was the epitome of a student nightclub, that we could enjoy right here in our own Castletroy. Sunday nights will never be the same again. Anybody up for getting a petition going?
“The home away from home” – The Stables
The Stables is the first stop in any UL student’s journey when sampling the nightlife on offer. Situated in the main court yard of UL it is inevitable that many hours will be spent there; eating, drinking, relaxing and partying. There is something on most nights and everyone has to experience ‘karaoke Wednesday’ at least once in their college career. Friday night is international night so all of you Erasmus and studyabroad students should get down there. Whatever the occasion the Stables is a fool proof option for a good night out.
“The new kid in town” – Crush 87
Crush (formally Trinity Rooms) is tipped to be the new hot spot for this year. Working in conjunction with The Orchard late bar, it’s bringing The Granary back to life. Their student nights include ‘Savage Tuesdays’ and ‘Super Thursdays’. Unfortunately for those of you a little on the younger side their age profile is 20’s up. People are speculating that it could bring back the glory days of
Trinity Rooms. However, only the test of time will tell whether Crush will live up to everybody’s expectations.
“The one that’s upping their game” – Lux Angel Lane has been rebranded and is now called Lux. Last year Angel Lane was the hot spot for the younger crowd and until Vanity at The Library opened up during second semester. Angel Lane pretty much had a monopoly on student nights. This year they’re upping their game. Student nights are now called I GRADE @ Lux. It has been refurbished with new lasers on the dance floor and an outdoor garden-like smoking area. The biggest change however, is the splitting of the night club into two. The bottom floor will be for all over 18’s, while the top floor according to a Lux spokesperson will be for “for those returning to college – 2nd years and up (20’s+).”
“The one that shook things up” – The Library
Before The Library started their student nights, Vanity at The Library in early 2013 the going out options for first and second years were becoming a little boring. Vanity was an instant hit, always full and a great option for all. The age profile is 19’s and over so unfortunately younger students are missing out. This year we’re all hoping The Library keeps up the good work and that it offers good completion to the other places.
“The older crowd” – The Icon
The Icon is perhaps the holy grail of
going out in Limerick. The only problem is no one ever seems to get in. Mostly reserved for older crowd the Icon is renowned for having some of the scariest bouncers in Limerick. Most first years won’t get in as the minimum age is at least 20’s and mostly 21’s and up. The Icon works alongside Smith’s Bar and the two are renowned on the Limerick nightlife scene.
“The laid back option” – Nancy Blake’s
Nancy’s offers a sanctuary from the madness that can be a student night. Nancy’s is renowned for its good crowd and great atmosphere. If not being able to hear yourself think, people vomiting on your shoes and sweaty dance floors aren’t your thing, then Nancy’s is definitely a good spot for you.
“The forgotten one” – The Sin Bin
The Sin Bin can sometimes be over shadowed by the vastness of Limerick’s other nightclubs. However, it is not to be overlooked when choosing a destination for a night out, especially by an incoming fresher. On a night when an event is planned the Sin Bin can put it up to the best of them. Also the age profile is only 18’s so it’s a great choice for those of us who are a little younger. The Sin Bin can offer a change of scene from Limerick’s other hot spots when they become a little monotonous.
“The old reliable” – Molly Malone’s
You would be hard pushed to find a student in Limerick who doesn’t enjoy a
good night out in Molly’s. As a late bar it opens every night of the week, this makes it great for any of those unplanned midweek sessions. Molly’s has two floors that are always open and a third that opens on special occasions. Also apart from big event nights such as Christmas Days, Charity Week and Student Race Day, Molly’s is free and has great drinks offers. The money you save getting in can be spent wisely on essentials, such as jugs of ‘Sex On The Beach’.
“The cheap night out” – The Hurlers
The Hurlers bar, another one of our Castletroy favourites, is well known for being a great cheap night out. The Hurlers sells drinks at off-license prices in ‘the shed’ and what do students love more than a good bargain? The Hurlers is good place for a few casual drinks, pre-drinking for a big night out or just a good old game of beer pong. The Hurlers events are always packed and definitely allow students let their hair down.
Gamers Called To Duty By New Initiative Evan O’ Grady
James Portnow, noted gaming advocate and writer behind games interest show Extra Credits, has recently begun a RocketHub campaign aimed at raising funds for an initiative called “Games for Good.” Portnow began the initiative in order to give gaming and gamers a voice, one that could be present in political, media, and educational circles that would serve to introduce more people to the idea that games can be more than detrimental or just not bad, but something that has the potential to be of benefit to society as a “scientific, educational and cultural medium” in his own words. The inspiration came to Portnow in his role as an advisor on games during his trips to advocate the medium in a political sphere. Here he found that people with the ability to stand up for games and represent them simply were too few to make a difference. Politicians found it hard to get in contact with organisations that were willing to stand for games or partake in debates on the subject. This lack of figureheads for the game industry only hampered their
image in the public psyche, a shame considering how far gaming has come in the past few years as a conventional form of entertainment for the masses. Another aim of the project is to highlight and promote games that are already out there that provide benefits to those who play them aside from basic entertainment value. Every week the names of games that prove to be that little bit extra are posted on the page (some are also given away as a funding incentive) so that people can find out about new and interesting applications of the medium. Examples include some indie projects that could be used to teach about politics, women’s’ status in developing nations, biology and even how personal data is stored and distributed today. Portnow also gives examples of more large scale uses of the medium such as Foldit where scientists used PS3 gamers to help process massive amounts of data regarding the folding of minute proteins and where World of Warcraft was used to teach kids useful mathematics. As of writing the campaign has reached its $50,000 milestone and is still pushing for its stretch goals.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTS
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Don’t judge a book by its cover (or the name of the writer!)
If you were told back in April that a crime novel had been released by JK Rowling, I am sure, avid bookworm or not, that you would have been at least mildly interested. However, if you were told that a crime novel had been released by a Robert Galbraith, you would probably forget this unknown author’s name within the half hour. Rowling, under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, had a crime novel entitled “The Cuckoo’s Calling” published in April. The pen name of Galbraith was initially meant to be kept as a secret, with Rowling saying that she wanted the work to be judged on its artistic merits rather than its author, according to those closest to her. This sounds reasonable - it’s not as if the woman who created the world of Harry Potter, books, movies and all, would need the money that she could potentially rake in under her already famous name. But what about the young writers who do need the money? What about the young writers who need to make a living, and who are being turned down by publishers because the publishers are paying authors to write under two, three or even four different pen names? Rowling was once quoted as saying “anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve”. While in a utopian society for young writers it would be, anybody
breaking into the writing industry knows that this is often far from the case. Some literary critics have suggested Rowling’s choice was a gender issue, and that Rowling simply had to use a male name to get into a male dominated genre.
Yet this isn’t about gender. While there are plenty of occasions when women have wrote under male names - even Rowling originally used the ‘JK’ initials instead of her Christian name (Joanne) for this reason - there are examples of the reverse too. Author Tom Huff wrote
under female pseudonyms such as Edwina Marlow and Katherine St. Clair, and even topped the New York Times bestsellers’ list under the pen name Jennifer Wilde. It was almost certainly not Rowling’s intention to subdue the talents of the
next generation of authors. She is an avid ambassador for many children’s charities and has a keen anti-poverty stance in light of her own experiences pre Harry Potter. It’s not Rowling’s morals that are being called into question, but rather the morals of an industry that allows a small circle of people to have multiple personas and explore multiple avenues. What they should be doing is what every other industry does, allowing a larger group of people to have one identity and one identity only - themselves. Rowling is just a small, admittedly high profile, example of this. In every other line of work, a person gets one chance to develop a personality and a career. In journalism, should one make an impressive career out of writing crime, they would not be allowed to change their name and writing style should they wish to begin a career in sports journalism, never mind be encouraged. It would be considered absurd. Whether simply a publicity stunt or a genuine attempt at being judged on purely her writing skills for the first time in years is a matter for debate. Rowling has said she will continue using the Robert Galbraith pseudonym for future novels - but surely this is akin to flogging a dead horse? “It is our choices that show what we truly are, rather than our abilities,” Rowling once said. Perhaps it is time for her and the rest of the writing industry to take this advice.
Bruce Bosses Limerick’s Biggest Show Of The Summer Anne O’ Donoghue
There are not many things that can bring Limerick City to a standstill, but Bruce Springsteen is one of them. The gig in Thomond Park during the summer left the city buzzing with an atmosphere that Limerick won’t forget in a hurry. The city came alive on July 16, when over 30,000 fans descended on the city to see the ‘Born To Run’ singer perform. The mood change throughout the city was evident to all as happy concert goers queued for shuttle buses or braved the walk across the city to Thomond Park. Out on the Old Cratloe Road, the excitement was palpable as the streets began to fill. Anxiously awaiting fans passed the time by sampling the food and beverages on offer, while shouts of “get your t-shirt” resounded through the air. As early arrivals filtered into the venue an unexpected three song pre-show from The Boss himself sent the crowd wild as they tasted what was to come. The crowd sang and danced in the evening sunshine as they enjoyed an interlude of some of their favourite songs including; “Does
This Bus Stop on 82nd Street?”, “For You” and the rarely played “Hearts of Stone.” The streets outside began to empty and the excitement could be tasted in the air, as the wait for the main event was amplified by the short taster. The crowed reached fever pitch as ‘The Boss’ burst on stage with his opening number “This Little Light of Mine.” The crown lapped up Bruce’s words as he greeted them with shouts of ““LIMERICK! LIMERICK! LIMERICK! We’re so glad to be here with you tonight. We are here to fill you with the everlasting power of rock and roll!” The show continued with the same fevered excitement as the crowd danced, jumped and leapt while the Boss belted out hit after hit after hit. The crowd fed off Bruce’s energy as he ran around the stage, thrilling those nearest to him during “Hungry Heart.” He finished up the song by downing a beer in one swallow, while been handed a large homemade passport and saying, “I drank that beer and I think I earned my Irish passport!” As ‘The Boss’ dedicated “My Hometown” to injured local jockey JT
McNamara an intimate calm filled the air as the crowed sung and swayed in tribute to the Limerick man. The crowd hardly noticed as the light began fade - they were too immersed in the spectacle in front of them. “Born in the USA” followed by “Glory Days” dedicated to the Limerick Hurlers,
brought the crowd to new level as Thomond Park was rocked like never before. The concert came full circle as it ended with a reprise of “This Little Light of Mine.” They final word however was given to Bruce’s adoring fans as their shouts of approval echoed through
Thomond Park long after the final song. Limerick City burst to life once again as the ecstatic crowd headed off into the night to see what further delights were on offer. Adrenaline racing through their veins, that Bruce Springsteen seemed to have pumped into the ancient walls of this City making it come alive.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
The Cornetto Cometh
Evan O’ Grady
With the release of The World’s end in cinemas I wish to take a look back at the “Cornetto Trilogy” as a whole from beginning to end.
Shaun of the Dead
The movie that put the trio of Pegg, Frost and Wright on the Hollywood map, as Average Joe Shaun attempts to cope with a messy breakup while also trying to not get eaten by a horde of shuffling zombies invading England. The film was the first major project for the three after the cult series Spaced finished up, and plays as a successor to that show, throwing the least extraordinary people in the most extraordinary situation. A low budget cult hit that arrived just as zombie movies were approaching their stage of mainstream saturation, it blew the genre apart by being more than than its own central premise of a comedy zombie film. It is also 99 minutes packed with sharp dialogue, many nods to older zombie films, a ridiculous amount of Spaced references and some fun characters to gel with. While it still had its kinks, it paved the way for….
Now that the trio had everyone’s attention, they promptly decided to go nuts. SOTN had zombies, Hot Fuzz had action movies and boy did it run with it. In a setting more suited for Last of the Summer Wine we get shootouts,
bloody murders, psychotic cults and one extremely deadly swan. Again if this was just comedy action it would not be worth mentioning- Instead we find a movie that loves big dumb action as much as it lampoons it. Hot Fuzz brought more of everything, more laughs, more action and more supermarket sieges than anyone could ask for. After such a thrill ride we see a dialling back of the action
for a more character focussed story in…
The World’s End
Since TWE is the finale of the spiritual trilogy it in turn is has the most sombre moments besides all of the laughs and goofing off with end of the world shenanigans. Most of the first act of the movie is surprisingly rather down to
earth, as Pegg’s character Gary tries to rekindle his lost glory days of his youth. Unable to move on while his friends have all succeeded in life, Gary is a tragic figure trying to find his place in an alien world to him. Speaking of which he returns home to find it is slowly being taken over by aliens. As you do. TWE aims to serve a character study with a slice of science fiction on the side that
only adds to the plot of five friends figuring out where it all went wrong over the years. It looks at homogenisation, nostalgia and even depression but never forgets to lighten the mood with robot chases and the occasional bickering among buddies. It finishes on quite a downtrodden note but as a way to finish off the series, you couldn’t ask for much more.
Breaking Bad or Breaking even? Eoghan Wallace
“Chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to see it as the study of change.” If ever one line from the series epitomised Breaking Bad, it’s that, spoken by Walter White in the pilot episode. Breaking Bad is a TV phenomenon. From humble beginnings five years ago the series has, like its characters, changed, changed utterly. You would be hard pressed to find someone who began watching from the very beginning but now Breaking Bad fans are ten a penny. Why then is the series so popular? Like many of its contemporary TV shows, Breaking Bad’s success lies in its quality. Whether it’s the superb cast of actors, largely unknown or known largely for just one role (here’s looking at you, Hal!), or the quality of its writing the show is proving that in an age where the dumb blockbuster dominates the box office TV is enjoying what can only be described as golden age. For me, the highlight of the superbly written script is the subtle conversion of Walter White from high school chemistry teacher to the ruthless drug kingpin Heisenberg. Watch any episode from season five, then the pilot and the difference in the character is startling. And that’s the beauty of the show; at what point did Walt become bad? Every time Walt commits a crime or murder you could excuse it as a necessary evil. Suddenly it hits you, you realise that Walt stopped being ‘good’ a
long time ago. Did he become bad when he killed Krazy 8? Was it when he let Jane choke to death? Poisoning Brock? Each ‘excusable’ at the time but each another step on the road beyond redemption for Walt. Another wonderful quirk of the script is how Walt imbues a character trait from each victim he has murdered. Krazy 8 liked his sandwiches without crusts. It was while making such a sandwich that Walt discovered the absence of one of the dinner plate shards. After strangling Krazy 8 Walt, who previously had his sandwiches with the crusts on, began cutting them off. Then there’s poor Mike, who liked his whiskey with ice. After killing Mike Walt began having his scotch on the rocks too. Then there’s Gus. So many of Gus’ traits have been adopted by Walt. In season 3 the death of Tomás Cantillo, the kid used by Gus’ drug dealers as a look-out, convinced Walt and Jesse that enough was enough. Gus’ involvement in the kid’s death was the final straw in their professional relationship and the drug lord had to be taken care of. However after the train heist in S5E5 Walt did not seem remotely affected by the death of Drew Sharp, even dismissing it as a necessary evil. Even in the opening episode of season 5B Walt placed a towel beneath his knees before vomiting just as Gus did after poisoning the Mexican cartel in S4E10. Oh, and who could forget the Volvo? Of course Walt is
not the character who has undergone significant changes since season 1. There has been a royal role reversal between Walt and Jesse. Jesse was approached because of his street expertise and was quite a brash, loud-mouthed character. Now Jesse is much more mature and has become disillusioned with the drugs game, drowning under the weight of his conscience. Then there Hank. For me, Dean Norris is the unsung hero of the Breaking Bad cast. Cranston and Aaron Paul have been winning all the plaudits but Norris deserved an Emmy for his recent performances. In the pilot Hank as an asshole, the stereotypical jerk of a brother-in-law more likely to give Walt a noogie than marital advice. Now Hank is the moral compass of the show. The scene where he comes home, world weary, after Walt has organised the Goodfellas-style prison hit was both moving and superbly acted. Tragically though despite whatever good intentions Hank has, it seems he is destined to suffer the same fate as his predecessor when Walt’s illegal activities become public knowledge. And don’t forget Skylar. Gone is the horrified wife who had her children removed from the family home for their own protection. Skylar showed a completely different side in the opening episode of season 5B. From threatening Lydia to advising a weak and defenceless Walt that silence is the best option it is clear that Heisen-
Skylar has emerged as Walt’s biggest ally. Once again that is the beauty of Vince Gilligan’s script, it’s been a long process
but when exactly did Skylar “break bad”?
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Studio Ghibli: A Paragon of Animation
Arguably the best, and most wellknown, Japanese animated film studio in the world, Studio Ghibli has become a household name. So, too, has its prime director (head of the studio along with fellow director Isao Takahata), Hayao Miyazaki. Most people know at least a few of the studio’s films, but few know more beyond that. Studio Ghibli rose to fame in Japan in 1985 after the success of Miyazaki’s 1984 feature length film, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Miyazaki had worked in Japanese animation prior to Studio Ghibli but it is his work with Studio Ghibli that has earned him most success. Studio Ghibli has produced 18 feature length films, many short films, created television adverts and even a TV movie, entitled Ocean Waves. In fact, 8 of these feature length films are ranked among Japan’s top 15 highest grossing films. Many of the studio’s productions have won awards including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year and
the Animage Anime Grand Prix award. Some of the studio’s most famous anime features include Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. Many of Studio Ghibli’s anime productions have become so successful that they have been dubbed into many different languages and enjoy international success. One such film is Spirited Away, Studio Ghibli’s highest grossing anime feature at over $274m. The 2001 film even went on to bag not only a Golden Bear award but an Oscar in 2002. The studio’s logo features one of the most well-known Studio Ghibli characters, Totoro, from My Neighbour Totoro. The Ghibli Museum, opened in October of 2001, is testament to Studio Ghibli’s immense success. One of the most celebrated features of a Studio Ghibli feature its animation style. Studio Ghibli has its own distinct style of animation distinguishable from many other Japanese anime styles, but the animation for every Studio Ghibli film is always so remarkable and prestige. The
Saving that Disney Magic Paul Saunders
Disney has always been listed among the greatest animated studios but they also make live action films which as of recent have been causing the Disney studio major problems. Live action Disney films has not been a staple of the organisation but they have produced some great films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mary Poppins and producing the Indiana Jones trilogy. Recently their largest live actions films have been the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise which have grossed enormous amounts and have been hugely profitable for the company. Disney has been trying to kick start another franchise in recent years and its newest release The Lone Ranger has been out in Irish cinemas for few weeks now. The Lone Ranger is another film like The Hobbit and Man of Steel which is not a film itself just a set up or starting point for future films, the Lone Ranger it little more than an introduction to the characters of Tonto and The Masked Avenger which people outside of America are unfamiliar with. Tonto the Lone Ranger’s companion somehow part of a traveling carnival tells the story of John Reid a spirit walker to a child. John Reid an uptight lawyer comes home on a train that is hijacked by Butch Cavendish a notorious outlaw who later with his posse murders Reid and his Sheriff Brother. Reid chosen by a white horse is brought back to life by Tonto and assumes the persona of the Masked Avenger to track down and stop his brother’s killer who is employed by a ruthless Train Company owner.
The film continues on for the next two and a half hours with just over the top nonsensical action set pieces while some are fun to watch you’re just questioning their plausibility. The film looks great and Johnny Deep and Armie Hammer have great chemistry as the legendary duo but the film is let down by its lack of originality and use of noisy action set pieces. Johnny Deep is the films only saving grace as the last of his tribe searching the land for a mysterious ghost, after suffering a serious childhood trauma. You can tell a film is below par when the best part of the two and a half hour running time is Depp’s interactions with a horse. The movie has potential and the characters are interesting but the source material needs to be handled by somebody other than Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski who seem to be set on keeping the same formula for every film they do together.
animation studio not only takes original Japanese stories and tales and adapts them for the screen but also brings life to old traditional tales, for instance Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty is an adaptation of Mary Norton’s The Borrowers. Ponyo,
the story of a little fish who turns into a human girl, enjoyed huge success when the English dub was released in 2009 in America and Canada. The newest Studio Ghibli animated feature, The Wind Rises, was released on 20th June of this year
in Japan and is based on a fictionalized biography of Jiko Horikoshi, the designer of a fighter aircraft used in World War 2. Although the English dub hasn’t been released yet, you can be sure that it’ll live up to the Studio Ghibli name.
Elysium Film Review Paul Saunders
Much hype had been surrounding Neill Blomkamp’s new science fiction film Elysium after the sleeper hit District 9 back in 2009. So does Elysium deliver on what it promised that it’s another science fiction movie that deals with injustice, class system and immigration? And yes it delivers on all these matters but with less heart and brains than District 9. Both films are at their core a character study, in District 9 we got Wikus Van de Merwe who accidentally sprays himself with an alien liquid and slowly turns into one of the highly oppressed prawns locked in South African slums. It examined racism, xenophobia and the apartheid in South Africa and the aliens called “Prawns” could be an allegory for any oppressed race. With Wikus’s slow change and the un-realistic notion that he can’t be changed for years and must live in the slums in the hope that his alien friend Christopher will return someday, we got an emotionally heart-breaking film. Blomkamp promised in interviews that Elysium which had been teased for roughly 3 years before any trailer was seen was going to be District 9 but even better and unfortunately it’s not. The film is good it is definitely not a bad film it doesn’t match the heights of its spiritual predecessor and the social themes aren’t fully explored or nuanced enough to really care for the main cancer riddled character of Max (Matt Damon). Max is an ex con working in a robotics factory that manufactures servants for a Utopian like ship orbiting earth called Elysium. Whose inhabitants live the life of luxury abroad a ship that can cure any disease in seconds in a Med-Pod that can cure the cancer Max is suffering from as well as his best friend’s daughter who has
leukemia. Max with only five days to live gets robotic enhancements to battle the android guards that protect Elysium so he can cure himself and his friends and steal data on Elysium for his friend Spider. The main story is solid and Damon is great but the movie also spends an enormous amount of time dealing with the political structure of Elysium that Secretary of Defence (Jodie Foster) is trying to overthrow. The plans that Max has to steal involve a virus that would give the holder the power over Elysium to do what he pleases and the data is imprinted onto Max’s mind. Renegade mercenary played by Sharlto Copley the star of District 9 is hell bent on obtaining the data for himself killing Max in the process so he can turn Elysium into his own private playground. Elysium suffers from the same problems
that District 9 had but we could forgive those due to its emotionally resonating story but in Elysium not so much. The final act is again an all-out shoot’em up that features a rogue mercenary trying to kill the main protagonist exactly like District 9. Elysium is thrilling and wellmade but feels more like a sci-fi action movie than the sociological exploration that he promised. When the film does attempt to makes its point it’s drowned out by explosions and little exploration so we don’t really care we’d rather watch the well-crafted fight scenes and chases. Elysium is a comedown for Blomkamp from District 9 and the car ad where the robot car dances which everybody knows. Elysium is still a well-crafted, beautiful shot, and powerfully acted sci-fi film that isn’t as smart as it thinks but provides enough thrills to keep you satisfied.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
A Spud For A Tattie
Karen O’ Connor Desmond
LIVING in Scotland for four months was not what I expected. For one thing, I had consciously picked an English speaking country for Erasmus so as not to be lost in lectures and uncomprehending of the locals. I’d heard that the Scots accent is strong (particularly those from Glasgow) but I pfffft-ed away everyone’s warnings with utter blasé. Did you know that the Scots add “eh” into random, nonsensical parts of a sentence? Or that they call spuds “tatties”? Or that they roll their r’s?! Or that a cow is in fact a “cu”? Or that, depending on what part of Scotland they’re from, they run all their words together – with speed?! Aye, it’s all true! And I, my friends, hadn’t a clue! Let’s just say the old nod your head and smile rule was desperately employed when conversing with the natives! And I can safely say that after four months, one of my housemates was still writing things down when talking to me because I hadn’t an iota what was coming out of his mouth! One thing I was reluctantly anticipating was the great Scottish weather. I spent half a week’s wages stocking up on thermals and the months before my departure listening to people jeer at the little Irish cailín who had taken after her mother and was always unshakably cold, no matter the time of year. Oh yes, I was sufficiently terrified of what lay before me. I could deal with rain, hail or snow but the eerie cold that creeps into your bones and chills you to your very core? I felt like Mrs O’ Connor from the butter ad when she answers the door to
the Grim Reaper and is told in a rather dread-inducing voice “Mrs O’ Connor, your time has come”! Then I actually got to Scotland and discovered that yes, it is cold, but it’s a completely different kind of cold to Ireland! I actually liked the cold in Scotland. Yes! I said it! I liked the cold and
let me tell you why: In Ireland the cold is damp and miserable and frequently makes me sick, no matter how well I layer up. Scotland? The cold is crisp and fresh, it’s simply cold that requires you to wear appropriate clothing. Not ONCE did I need/use my thermals – even when it snowed! And not ONCE did I get sick.
I had also picked Scotland because I believed their culture to be quite similar to ours. To me, this meant less chance of me doing something socially unacceptable and less chance of me putting my foot in it! Luckily, the Scots are on par with our drinking habits and are all up for a bit of craic (the old man
applying for study abroad was slightly different to that of my classmates who chose to study in Europe on the Erasmus programme. With Erasmus you pick three destinations when applying but with study abroad you only have one choice. So I had to be sure I wanted to study in Wilfrid Laurier University - a small institution based in Waterloo, Ontario. While Venice or Stockholm seemed tempting for a while, Canada felt like the place for me. I have seen four of its thirteen provinces so far and with a Canadian-born mother it’s possible I have a genetic disposition to the place. Narrowing down my choice of university was slightly harder. Obviously there was the financial side to consider as there is no grant given for studying outside of Europe. Finding out what courses were available to me in each institution was also important. Even though one semester is a relatively short period, it can seem a lot longer in a place that doesn’t feel right for you. There are five Canadian universities that accept Humanities students from UL but after much research and talking with students who had been there in the past I decided on Wilfrid Laurier. For me, it has a lot of positive points, particularly its size and on-campus accommodation as well as its proximity
to Toronto and its English literature courses, which are quite different to what I’ve studied so far. Waterloo seems like a nice city. Located about two hours outside of Toronto, it is famous for having the biggest Oktoberfest outside of Germany and a large Mennonite community. I’m imagining it to be quite different from Ireland. So far I am keeping my expectations as broad as possible, since my knowledge of North American universities is based largely on Saved by the Bell: The College Years. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have a thing or two I’d like to see or do while I’m over there. A little bucket list never hurt anyone, right?! • Travel as much as possible. I’d like to see so many places that I might forget to study, but Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, New York City and every town in Southern Ontario are pretty high on my list of destinations. • Make some international friends. One of the best things about study abroad is the chance to meet people from different cultures and countries. • Eat my body weight in maple syrup. Less of a goal, more of an eventuality. • Immerse myself in Canadian culture. I plan on going completely native. I will be that annoying person who comes back with a new accent after travelling. Feel free to make fun of me on my return
home. • Join clubs. The Visual Arts Club or the Knitting Society seems like fun and a good way to achieve my second goal. • Find the Canadian love of my life. Specifically a six foot Ryan Gosling
pubs are fantastic in Stirling!). What I didn’t expect was the huge difference between the people of Scotland and the people of Ireland. As an Irish girl I’m used to friendly greetings from complete strangers on the street, an eager helping hand whether you ask for it or not and someone always ready and waiting with a cuppa! In Scotland, I found that if you randomly say hi to someone on the street they’ll look at you as if you have two heads, you fend for yourself and if you’re really lucky, someone may shove the kettle on! Of course there are exceptions as every individual is different but overall, I found the people to be quite selfsufficient shall we say?! And can I just add that the bus drivers are some of the rudest creatures I’ve ever met! Seriously people, a smile costs nothing! But what really shocked me was how upfront and confrontational people were – us Irish aren’t good at confrontation and have a habit of letting things slide or avoiding the topic altogether! Taking into account the expected and unexpected, Scotland was a wonderful experience. I believe it’s vital to expose yourself to different cultures throughout your lifetime and you will always learn something new (or familiar) no matter how near or far you travel. You will also end up appreciating things you hadn’t given a second thought to before! I met loads of great people from all over the world and got to experience a historically steeped and utterly beautiful country. As for the haggis, now that’s something I did not expect to like!
Erasmus Diary: La Vie Canadian
IN front of me I have a spread sheet containing every item I have to pack in my suitcase, all of which cannot exceed 23kg in accordance with Air Canada baggage regulations. Everything up to this point has been child’s play; the filling out of forms, choosing modules, keeping up to date with deadlines. It’s the trying to fit four months’ worth of my belongings into one suitcase that’s proving to be difficult. I’ll admit, I have a lot of clothes but all of them are essential. Honestly! I have to think about dressing for actual seasons now! In Ireland, once you settle into September you can assume you’ll be wearing your winter clothes until June. But over the course of my study abroad in Canada I will not only experience the balmy climes of early autumn but freezing conditions once November rolls around until I leave in December. I’m not exactly sure how one copes with such varied weather but I’m looking forward to finding out… As a third year New Media and English student, I’ve been excited about going on study abroad since I put the University of Limerick as my first choice on the CAO form. Preparation started last October with talks given by the kind folk of the International Education Division and filling out forms. My experience with
lookalike or the heir to a maple syrup fortune. I’m not really fussy. • Survive the cold weather. Not contracting pneumonia should probably be higher on my list…
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Travel Snapshots A Small Bite From The Big Apple Eoin Scanlon
NO matter where on earth one is, there’s always going to assume some place to be better, some place more exciting, more suited to you. It’s a natural impulse to have, if not a particularly helpful one, but having spent a summer in New York I’ve found it to be the one place where “the grass is always greener” argument doesn’t float. Even people I met who had lived in New York for years couldn’t take it for granted, since each day they’d encounter a situation so bizarre it forces them to re-evaluate everything they thought they knew about their city. They then realise that this constant need to re-evaluate their city is the only bit of consistency they have, shrug the ridiculous situation off, roll their eyes and say; “that’s New York City!” One night on the Bedford-bound G train platform, we witnessed a selfproclaimed madman get dragged away by police. “I just got out of Bellview!” he shouted, either to intimidate, or to confirm the police’s suspicion that the man had in fact been recently interred
at the infamous mental institution. Playing him out at the time was a bushybearded busker, perched on a bin with a ukulele. The rest of the subway platform - achingly attractive, well-dressed people that this city devalues by having way too many of - shared a mutual, but silent, “that’s New York City!”
French Women In The Work Place Siobhan Moylan
ONE day I came into work and sat down at my computer. Someone walked in. We said hello and made small talk and then I resumed working. All of a sudden, the woman looked at me and asked me why I didn’t wear make-up. It took me a while to translate the question in my head because I was so confused. I told her that I do wear make-up and she replied that I need to wear more and then proceeded in giving me tips on what to wear. I just watched her talk and then leave, trying to figure out what was wrong with the way I looked that day, my mouth slightly open in bewilderment. Apparently, the French women at work value their appearance a lot more than I
Dream Job A Reality In Nice Jane O’ Faherty
I thought my decision to be a journalist in France would be a similarly fleeting desire. Strangely, it wasn’t. It lasted for more than ten years, and followed me all the way to university. When I heard that the co-op office previously organised a co-op placement in a newspaper in Nice, I was determined to get the job. It sounded ideal for someone like me – an unapologetic Francophile who fantasizes regularly about drinking wine in cafés, wearing berets and living in a house with blue shutters and a terrace. When I first applied to work for The Riviera Times, I was told it would be difficult. I sent regular emails to both the co-op office and the editor of the paper. I’ve never been more stubborn about anything in my life. Something must have worked – in March the editor told me that I could work with her in June and July. The first challenge was finding accommodation. Getting a place to live in France can be a pain but it proves even harder in Nice during June and July. I came across a room for rent close to the office just a week before I left Ireland. If I could offer one tip, I would advise looking for accommodation a few months in advance. If you can, get a recommendation from someone who’s lived in the city before. The Riviera Times itself is quite small, but the vast range of nationalities in the office is incredible. I had colleagues from Germany, France, Serbia, Wales, Australia and even Venezuela. The afterwork culture was what dreams are made
of – going to the beach at 5pm with ice cream or a bottle of wine. The one downside was that I wasn’t paid. I had some savings that I used to support myself, but sometimes budgeting was a bit worrying. However, the cost of living in France was no higher than in Ireland and it was worth it for what I saw as a once in a lifetime experience. I wrote two hard news articles a day for the website,We also published a print edition each month with more in-depth features and reviews. We got to go to press events all over the Côte d’Azur too – from glamorous theatre conferences in Monaco to police briefings in the centre of Nice. It certainly made a refreshing change from council meetings and District Court hearings. Emigration seems inevitable for many of us, but that doesn’t make it any less daunting. Spending two months working in France as a journalist was a great way to see the reality of living abroad. Thankfully, my experience lived up to my unreasonably high expectations. I learned so much from my time in the office and left with friends for life. Instead of curing me of my French obsession, it may have aggravated it a little more.
do. I have also been told that Irish women are a lot more “natural” than French women are - I have yet to figure out if that was meant to be a compliment or
merely a statement. I see a lot of women walking around the city wearing heels doing their shopping and I don’t think that I have ever seen a woman wearing a
tracksuit before. So, for now, I leave the tracksuits for at home and spend slightly longer in the morning doing my hair and make-up. After all, it is la mode de vivre!
Living According To Lyon Siobhan Moylan
IN the past two weeks I have done every tourist thing possible as my family came to visit me. The result of this? A new love for Lyon and a better understanding of their delicious food! I have found myself eating things I wouldn’t normally eat because the food and restaurants here are just so impressive. On the first day my family arrived, we went for lunch in the old part of town… In between aperitifs and my dodgy French skills, the handsome French waiter came up and asked if we would like to try a plate of snails before our meal. There are three things that some French men can do that cause me to lose my train of thought. This particular Frenchman succeeded in doing all three in quick succession! One is to attempt to talk in English - their English is actually very good, but they speak with their French accent and we all know how attractive and endearing that can be! Number two, they do this thing with their shoulders when they are speaking with you to show their indifference to something, for example: My uncle: “What dish can you recommend?” French waiter: shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly “I cannot ‘elp you. Zay are all good”. In my head: “Here is my number. You call me when you’re finished work!” The third thing they do is this thing with their lips, to give you an “I do not care” look. By this stage, I’m all flustered and while the handsome French waiter can see this, he smiles at me and talks to me in French - thinking that he will get a better tip from our table. Anyway, back to the snails! Now, I’m no food expert, but I won’t tell you that it tasted like chicken! All I could taste was
the garlic butter so I can’t tell you what exactly they do taste like but the texture reminded me of a tender piece of lamb. It is definitely something I’m glad I tried but I can safely say I probably won’t do it again! Throughout the week, I’ve tried a variety of different meals including duck, chicken, salmon, sausage and burgers. I have grown up eating overcooked, normally burnt food. I asked for a well done burger in a restaurant last week and it came out to me very pink. There was
no blood dripping but my parents would have definitely taken it back saying that it was too rare. However I tried it and it was amazing. It was so much more tender and tasty! I was able to bite into it effortlessly and I could actually taste the meat. As you can tell, I’m not a person who eats a variety of food. I’m a student who thinks an omelette with vegetables thrown in can pass as a good meal. However, I think that with all of these persuasive French waiters, I may come back home to Ireland with a
BUSINESS & ENTERPRISE
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Welcome to Your Newest Section of An Focal: Business & Employment
Business & Employment Editor I am delighted to share with you this new section of An Focal dedicated to bringing you the latest business insights and news. This section will bring you advice on start up ventures, of exciting businesses going wrong, job news, employment opportunities, CV tips, sector trends, emerging industries, the latest bazaar entrepreneurial gambles and interviews from academics, employers, politicians and former students. In today’s context of the economy being so sluggish, jobs being so hard to come by (especially among young people) and the emphasis that is now placed on employable qualities, we believe An Focal, as the principal student paper on campus, can play an important and informative role for the students of UL. An Focal’s decision to create this new section reflects the increasing influence job opportunities are on the minds of university students and our willingness, desire and determination to meet those
needs. There are obvious challenges for all graduates in seeking employment, but no third level institute is preparing their students for the inevitably (and dreaded!) plunge better that UL. The Business & Employment Section will endeavor to bring insightful interviews to gain feedback from employers on the skills and qualities they are seeking in perspective employees and graduates. From academics on where they feel students should concentrate their efforts in order to maximize their knowledge and experiences from their academic studies in unison with the countless other opportunities in extracurriculum activities available here in UL; From public representatives on new Government job initiatives and capital investment; From former students on their experiences and challenges after their departure from university. The topics covered here are not just relevant to KBS students, but too all students in preparation for leaving college life and entering the big bad world of employment. In today’s uncertain and unstable
economic and financial climate, our ability to sell ourselves as skilled, motivated, hard working and ambitious people will be of paramount importance to fulfill successful careers in line with the knowledge and expertize our studies can provide us. In this spirit, if you are
The Importance of Building a Career at UL Dr. Philip O’Regan Dean of the Kemmy Business School
I am delighted to see An Focal start this new Business & Employment Section. In the current economic environment, it is important that students are reminded – if any reminder were necessary – of the importance of focusing on your employability when you graduate. This new section also provides a useful forum for reminding you of the many things you can do during your time here to assist you in gaining employment when you graduate. The University of Limerick is rightly proud of the way in which it focuses on graduate employability. It does this in a variety of ways. For instance, its courses are market-tested and relevant; its programs are informed by industry experts who tell us what the market needs and, more importantly, what the market will require in a few years time; and, of course, in its Co-op scheme, UL has one of the largest and most successful internship programs in Europe. The result is that UL produces graduates who are shown, year after year, to be more attractive to employers than the graduates of any other university in the country. According to the most recent data, UL’s graduate employment rate is 15% ahead of the national average. We call this the ‘UL Edge’. For instance, of the KBS students who graduated in 2012, almost two-thirds are employed in Ireland, a quarter are pursuing further study and only 3% are still seeking employment!
interested in adding something to your CV, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to contribute to the new Business & Employment Section of An Focal. The Business & Employment section of An Focal is designed to be
Removing Old Shackles and Welcoming a Global Economy Eamon Quinlan
Despite the economic downturn then, the reality for UL students is that if you work well and avail of the many facilities and resources that are available to you, you can be a beneficiary of the ‘UL Edge.’ So what can you do to ensure that you are in the best possible position to secure the job you want when you graduate? Here’s a short list of things to do: • Choose your courses, modules and electives carefully. Make sure that you are opting for courses that interest you and where you are motivated to succeed; • Avail of all of the services and facilities available to you. For instance, UL offers a comprehensive careers service that you can access; • Consider taking a foreign language, even if it is not part of your programme! Data show that students who have a foreign language are far more employable. The unemployment rate for 2012 graduates who took BBS + Langauge is zero! • Go on Erasmus. Students are often unaware of the great opportunities available to them to go for a number of
months to another European country as part of their course of study. Investigate your options as quickly as possible so that you are able to apply in good time; • Without doubt our Cooperative Education scheme is one of the key elements in making UL graduates attractive to potential employers. So think carefully about the type of placement you would like, what sector is best for you, and where you would like to go; • Talk to you Advisers. They are here to help and guide you and will be able to direct you to the proper individuals or resources on campus. Of course, while being job-ready and securing employment are obviously important, believe it or not, this is not the main focus of the university’s input into your lives. We are here to educate you, that is, to inform you and to challenge you to think critically about our world. We are not here to fill your minds, but to open them. Nothing makes you more attractive to good employers than an ability to think for yourself!
informative, relevant and engaging in relation to employment and graduate opportunities. We believe this should aid and encourage students to pursue and realize the fulfillment of they’re potential and be very valuable to the students of UL.
Moving past the cliché to embrace true Internationalism. For many years we have heard that internationalism in Business is a key component of our future prosperity, was key for many years as a pillar of the Celtic Tiger and is even thought in Secondary schools as an infallible truth that is repeated en mass on exam time. To what extent have we analysed this truism? Honestly, very little Every business leader and student contemplating business in America, Britain and beyond is aware of this concept. A vision held by millions. Are they wrong? No. The difference is that we have no concept of its practical implications on us as individuals or business in general. This ultimately robs us of the ability to beat out competing countries and companies who are locked in the great scrum of mediocrity. An International aspect to all business is an acceptance of a new frame of mind in how we see our world evolving. Ireland is a small country, the recession has clearly exposed how easily depressed our domestic economy can become. Any company reliant on an Eire alone vision for customers et al is in the most extreme difficulties. Those who expanded their sales and supply into international markets were much quicker to rebound. Ireland needs to begin to alter its viewpoint, we need to be a business hub. Irish companies should be encouraged to expand oversees thereby having Ireland as their HQ to exercise a broad
commercial enterprise or using Ireland as the bridge between regional economic blocks. Age-old professions are altering too. No one is standing still. Accountants must alter the traditional practice to accommodate managerial accounting to service broader based companies that seek decisions derided from a company’s balance sheet rather than number crunching. Solicitors are required to have links to other legal jurisdictions as companies will easily cross both common law and civic law jurisdictions without a care to the difficulty in a practice to provide such. A notable example would have been Air Lingus only a few short years ago, unable to acquire more airport slots for standard flights and realising they had huge expertise in Ground Logistics. Aircraft companies began selling this as a service in countries around the Middle East and yielded huge profits. A basic operation in Ireland had the potential for generous returns once the mindset was there to apply it acorss other markets. Lastly, the advent of a possible American - EU free trade zone would create the largest free trade area in History. This faces challenges but the rewards are immense. Growing Far Eastern economies places heavier competition in European business but the surge in the growth of their middle class yields massive new numbers of customers. Risk and Reward. Ireland and World. A new era in human commerce is at hand and your on its edge. Enjoy!
BUSINESS & ENTERPRISE
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Irish University Business Courses Falling Behind?
Business & Employment Editor Recently Mark Fielding, the Chief Executive of the ISME (Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association), claimed Irish Universities were failing to provide courses which would adequately prepare students for entrepreneurship and the commercial world. He criticized the Universities for “paying lip service to entrepreneurship education without involving business and especially SME businesses. Most universities are light years away from the cutting edge of entrepreneurship education in global terms” While our Department of Education’s agenda appears to be currently focused on promoting Maths and Science in particular, Mr. Fielding stated that the central role entrepreneurship plays in business could be play a pivotal role in any ultimate escape from the recession and general dire economic climate. The DCU President, Brain McCraith, was quoted recently as saying that they had a specific programme to deal with entrepreneurship called Dice (Digital, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise) and actively engaged with business leaders. He strongly refuted Mr. Fielding’s claim. This criticism comes as new figures recently released by the CAO show an increase in demand for business and
commercial related courses. With an increase of 6.5% of first preferences bringing the number up to 11,200 applicants. However, UL has one of the best-known business schools in the country and is well respected by employers. UL also has the largest work placement programs in the country and indeed one of the largest in Europe. It provides co-op Interns to a huge variety of companies, big and small. Almost every student in UL gets the opportunity to experience a professional environment and are better prepared that their peers upon graduation. The business courses in UL allow students to choose where there strengths lie, e.g. Insurance, Accounting, but also provides students with 14 minor options, which perfectly demonstrates the flexibility in the KBS. This allows students to shake up their course and provide a valuable insight into a different and more specific aspect of business. As part of the business courses, students learn about entrepreneurship and innovation, marketing and business information management. But does this go far enough? Mr. Fielding highlights an important deficiency in the Irish education system: Entrepreneurship. This isn’t just a Third-Level issue, but is also apparent in the Irish education system as a whole, especially in secondary
schools. While Universities are listening to employers and continue to take on board recommendations on renewing and altering their course material. Unfortunately cost is proving a major barrier. Although colleges are seeking out new ways of alternative funding as traditional inflows dry up, it’s not preventing a shortfall. Universities aren’t being afforded the luxury of spending money on sophisticated equipment, higher quality technology and additional staff expertize. Our economy is unlikely to suffer majorly in the short-term as a result, but we could be loosing out on an opportunity for the future by putting in place the investment now in order reap the rewards later. With secondary school students experiencing a revised curriculum with project based learning, “thinking tools” and “creativity tools” and a new assessment system that rewards learning, progress, discovery, reflection, innovation and creativity we might begin to see a positive change in our education culture. It could alter our system of supporting conformity and single-minded narrowness and instead place equal value on skills and knowledge. Any turnaround is unlikely to occur in the short-term until Irish Universities begin to recover their former financial
power. In the mean-time recourse rich international education institutions will plunder ahead with investments. Government spending should take account that a cut in education has severe long-term adverse effects, not just to the population’s academic ability and job opportunities, but every aspect of our economy. Education spending
is an investment in our young people and indeed our economy, they need all the support they can get in order to prosper and thrive. With Universities like UL able to facilitate an outstanding education with limited recourses, image the effect a little bit of investment in entrepreneurship could have. It could be surprising.
Sport and Successful Women Enda Costello
Business & Employment Editor Think of the really successful women you know. Think Susan Rice, think Christine Lagarde, think Sheryl Sandberg, think Hillary Clinton think Condoleezza Rice; what brings these impressive women together – what do they have in common? Sport. It might seem unlikely, but all five are just a small sample of immensely successful women who have a passion for sport. Susan Rice is the White House National Security Advisor and an enthusiastic basketball player. Christine Lagarde – IMF boss, is a former international synchronized swimmer. Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and a former aerobics instructor. Hillary Clinton (Intro needed?) was hugely into baseball while in education and Condoleezza Rice is a passionate figure skater. I could go on, the examples are numerous. Coincidence? Not looking likely. Recent studies indicate successful women and sport often go hand in hand. A recent study by EY indicates 19 out of 20 women who are at top-level management were “sporty teenagers”, 7 out of 10 still play sport into their adulthood and over 6 out of 10 while in University. These ratios decrease sharply when you analyses middle and lower
level female managers. The study found that 67% of women now occupying a top-level position had participated in sports as a working adult, compared with 55% of other female managers. Other survey highlights include: 90% of women agree that teams are the best way to address increasingly complex business problems, while 82% agree that improving their organisation’s ability to develop and manage teams will be essential for future competitiveness. More than half (55%) of female respondents overall, think that it is more difficult to motivate teams than individual employees. 87% of female executives agree that inclusive leadership, which attracts and encourages diverse perspectives and dissent, is an effective way of improving team performance. Interestingly, the vast majority (just over 90%) of the women involved in the study had played sports either at primary and secondary school, or during university or other level of education, with this proportion rising to 96% among women in top level management or civic roles. However, perhaps the most significant result is almost three-quarters (72%) of women agree that individuals who engage in sports at some level, or have done so, participate more effectively within teams than those who have not had this experience. A similar number (76%) of women also agree that adopting
behaviors and techniques from sports to the corporate environment can be an effective way of improving the performance of teams. The most interesting conclusion from this unexpected result is that being sporty teaches young women how to be competitive. Well-known Journalist Gillian Tett commented recently on women in sport, “They discover that success does not depend on looking good and that it can be acceptable to take pleasure in winning. Being an athlete is
one of the few socially accepted ways for teenage girls to compete, without peer criticism”. It also aids stamina, which is needed to climb high in the corporate ladder. Sport aides a sense of teamwork and discipline, which entails skills that are equally useful in the workplace for men and women. Gillain Tett believes this discovery could have an impact on where to find future female civic and business leaders. However efforts are being
made to turn former female athletes into entrepreneurs, which could yield some very interesting results. The studies indicate we need more young women to participate in sport. As public educational budgets continue to feel the squeeze and social media distractions grow; it is believed to be growing harder, not easier, for many girls to involve themselves in team sports. That is a tragedy. If we want to get more strong female leaders, we must celebrate competition at a young age.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Heffernan walks away with gold
The obvious highlight of the 2013 World Athletics Championships from an Irish point of view was Rob Heffernan’s golden performance in the 50km walk. With victory in Moscow he became Ireland’s third ever World Athletics Championships gold medal winner, following in the footsteps of Sonia O’Sullivan and Eamonn Coghlan. Heffernan finished over a minute clear of Russia’s Mikhail Ryzhov with a winning time of 3:37:56, a world-leading time this year. After a composed start, Heffernan was with the leading pack at the halfway mark and, when that group broke up, he went toe-to-toe with Ryzhov. The 35 year-old Cork man, picked up two warnings from the judges and was only one more away from disqualification, but held his nerve and saw off the home favourite to take the gold medal. It was a battle that Heffernan had always expected – so much so that he’d built it up as his Rocky Balboa moment, going to Moscow to take on the Russians in the one event they believed they would be unbeatable. “Everything just seemed to align for me today,” he said. “I said it earlier in the year, I wanted the Rocky story, to come from very humble background, and make it to the top of the world. It shows as well that anyone can do it, if they have the talent, and if they train right.” At the London Olympics last summer Heffernan finished an agonising fourth over 50km and also recorded fourth-
Rob Heffernan celebrating his victory in the 50km walk. placed finishes over 20km and 50km at the 2010 European Championships, making this victory even sweeter. His time of three hours, 37 minutes and 56 seconds was just two seconds off his own Irish record. “It’s surreal, it’s just a great feeling,” Heffernan told RTÉ Radio after the race. “When I came into the stadium it just felt like an out of body experience.
It’s hard to take it all in at the moment. I’m delighted. I felt as if I was watching myself on the outside, looking at myself on the big screen and thinking, ‘this fella looks good’.” Praise for Rob came from all over Ireland including from President Higgins, who said: “I offer my congratulations to Rob Heffernan on his outstanding success in winning the World Championships
50km race walk in Moscow. Rob came so close to success in the London Olympics and now, through hard work and dedication, he has achieved all that he deserves.” If becoming a world champion wasn’t a fantastic enough achievement Heffernan did it in one of the most technically difficult disciplines in athletics in my opinion. Although my only experience
of race-walking, which ended with me getting disqualified halfway through a race, may make me slightly biased. It’s also worth mentioning that Ireland’s other competitor in the race, Brendan Boyce, recorded a personal best time of 3:54:24 to finish in 25th place. Congratulations to Rob and the rest of the Irish squad that competed in Moscow.
A-Rod and the Biogenesis Scandal rocking baseball Garry Irwin
Alex Rodriquez is a 14-time All-Star, a 10-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award, and has 2 Golden Gloves. I could also go on and on about his numerous MVP and batting awards, but Alex Rodriquez, or ‘A-Rod’ as he is known, is also staring at a 211 game suspension for his part in the Biogenesis Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) scandal. The length of the suspension is the longest ever handed out to a player (aside from a lifetime ban), but while this is under appeal he is able to take the field for the Yankees as they aim for an unlikely play-off berth this season. First let’s rewind back to earlier this year when Biogenesis, an anti-aging clinic in Florida closed down, and the Miami New Times got hold of documents from a former employee who worked there. These documents contained notes that seemed to implement the company’s director, Anthony Bosch, who is not a certified doctor, with supplying various athletes with PEDs, a good number of these were current MLB players. Most of the players named went on to apologise and serve their suspensions immediately. 12 of them receiving 50game bans, while another, Ryan Braun was given a 65 game ban. Braun’s
suspension was heavier because he was deemed to have engaged in “conduct that was in violation of federal, state or local law” and so a bigger suspension than the mandatory 50 for a first offence was handed out in his case. It is important to note that none of the players failed a drugs test, yet they all accepted their part in the scandal and were happy to agree to their time on the side-lines. The one person to appeal and the one person given a massive ban by the MLB, effectively ending his season and the whole of next year too, was A-Rod. A-Rod had previously admitted to using PEDs in 2004, but again never failed a drugs test, so this current ban should only have been a first offence and lasted for 50 games. Even a second offence only carries a 100 game ban, but he was deemed to have continually obstructed the MLB investigation so they hit back hard. Yet not hard enough for some people! A lot of fans and players want the game as clean as possible and as such would support handing out lifetime bans. The Yankees might secretly be more than delighted to get A-Rod off the books too, so they wouldn’t have to pay him his $86 million salary. However while his appeal is on-going, he is entitled to
The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez, who faces a 211 game ban. play. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. The players’ union and the Commissioner of Baseball would rather not be seen taking sides on this issue but the upholding of the massive ban might
set up a precedent that the union could not allow. A-Rod does not have much to lose at this stage in appealing either. It seems he will be remembered for this scandal
more than the one World Series win he was a part of in 2009. But when you are a multi-multi-millionaire, does your legacy matter that much?
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Bolt and Farah shine in Moscow
The 2013 World Athletics Championships may be remembered as much for the empty seats and rows over Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws as the stunning performances of Mo Farah, Usain Bolt and Rob Heffernan. Getting a ticket for the games wouldn’t have been a difficult undertaking. Attendances where so low a long-jumper who attempted to encourage the crowd in the Luzhniki Stadium to clap, only heard a lone voice bellow back: “You’ll be lucky, there’s no-one here”. But on the track, away from these distractions, the world’s top athletes gave some fantastic performances. Usain Bolt once again confirmed his dominance in the sprints, and was joined in sprinting supremacy by compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who completed her own 100m/200m double as the queen of 200m, Allyson Felix of the United States had to be carried from the track due to injury. Elsewhere Kenyan Edna Kiplagat became the first woman to retain a marathon world title. On day one of the championships Mo Farah was crowned 10,000m world champion for the first time, with a brilliant sprint finish in which he beat Ibrahim Jeilan, the man who beat him at the last World Championships in 2011. On day two it was the women’s turn in the 10,000m. With the absence of compatriot Meseret Defar, Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba claimed her fifth world title by maintaining her unbeaten record over 10,000m in impressive style. Ashton Eaton of the United States was victorious in the men’s decathlon. His wife, Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton just missed out on gold in the women’s equivalent, the heptathlon, taking silver. Oh, and Usain Bolt won the first of three gold medals at these championships in the 100m. Britain had more to cheer about on day three as Christine Ohuruogu beat defending world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana in a photo finish to regain her world 400m title with a new British record of 49.41 seconds. Also on
Moscow was hit by two Bolts of lightning. the track double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce powered to 100m victory in a time of 10.71s, with defending champion Carmelita Jeter in third. While in the field events New Zealander Valerie Adams won her fourth straight shot put title, which is an amazing achievement in any sport. In a complete turnaround from the first three days the stadium was nearly full on the fourth day of the championships, and for one reason: the queen of Russian athletics, Yelena Isinbayeva was taking part in the women’s pole vault final. And she didn’t disappoint the home crowd; winning gold in what she said would be her last competition after coming out of retirement to compete in Moscow.
However following her victory she has announced she might, no, would attempt to regain the title of Olympic champion she lost at London 2012. Basically we don’t know what she is going to do. The men’s 400m final in which the eagerly awaited showdown between LaShawn Merritt and defending champion Kirani James failed to live up to expectation, as Merritt won gold and James faded in the last 100m to finish without a medal. Earlier in the competition Ireland’s Brian Gregan failed to qualify from his semi-final in one of the most hotly contested track events. Team Ireland had more to cheer about on day five as Rob Heffernan became
only the third Irish world champion; taking gold in the 50km walk. The Corkman’s time of 3:37:56 was the world’s fastest time this year. Also getting a world’s fastest time this year was Czech athlete Zuzana Hejnová who took gold in the women’s 400m hurdles in a time of 52.83 seconds. In a tournament with a number of world leading times and distances, what was missing was a world record. Bohdan Bondarenko, of Ukraine almost provided one in what has since been called the ‘greatest high jump final in history’. For someone who doesn’t get overly excited by field events I did find myself on the edge of my seat watching an amazing high jump final. Day seven of these championships was
a day of doubles. Britain’s Mo Farah became only the second man in history to complete an Olympic and world ‘double-double’, adding the 5,000m to his 10,000m crown. Farah later said: “It was definitely the sweetest (victory), by far.” Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce secured a sprint double with victory in the 200m, after her main rival Allyson Felix pulled up injured after 60m. Also on the track was the men’s 4 x 400m relays. The U.S. team of David Verburg, Tony McQuay, Arman Hall and LaShawn Merritt won the gold ahead of Jamaica and Russia. Michael Johnson’s reasoning behind Britain’s fourth-place finish was typically deadpan: “thinking they could get a medal”, my personal highlight of the BBC’s coverage. On the penultimate day Usain Bolt claimed, with ease, his second gold medal and took his tally of World Championships gold medals to seven. With Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar adding the world 5,000m title to her Olympic crown and Stephen Kiprotich winning the men’s marathon it was a good day for the African countries in the distance events. The final day of the 2013 World Championships saw the both the men’s and women’s 4 x 100m relays take place, with Jamaica winning both events. In the process Usain Bolt became the most successful athlete in World Championships’ history, something Michael Johnson agreed, saying: “Usain Bolt is number one, there’s no question about that. He’s the best that’s ever been.” Great Britain where once again disqualified from a men’s 4 x 100m relay, continuing an unwanted record of being disqualified from the event in every year since 2008. The GB women did manage to get a bronze medal. Some have suggested the World Championships was an early examination for Russia before the bigger events come their way, from next year’s Winter Olympics to the 2018 World Cup. If that is the case, the report card would read: ‘Could do better’.
2013-2014 NFL Season Preview Eoghan Wallace
It’s that time of year again, where you dig out the old pigskin, dust off your helmet and shoulder pads, and embark on the long road to the Super Bowl. A journey not every team can make and much less are even prepared for, but at least every team will have some degree of optimism when the season kicks off this September. At An Focal we look at some of the leading contenders for a place in Super Bowl XLVIII, which is being held at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on 2 February 2014. Metlife is home to both the New York Jets and the New York Giants, and they could both meet there if they were to get that far. But that is a big ‘IF’. Thanks to a kind enough schedule the Giants should have it in them to win the NFC East this year, but unless Eli Manning can conjure up some old magic, they won’t get much
further in the play-offs. As for the Jets, well never mind the Super Bowl. If they manage to get to five wins this season I’ll be impressed. Their offence under Sanchez is too much of a mess to be considered contenders, yet their defence might help grind out a few wins. Speaking of defence! Reigning champs Baltimore will have to defend their title with a whole new one! Players such as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis will be tough to replace, but the Ravens should still be there or thereabouts come play-off time. The team they defeated in the final last year, the 49ers are another outfit that will push for honours. They are in a tough NFC West, but should be all the better for it when it comes to the post-season. It will be a very good team that beats them. Other sides to look out for include a hungry New England Patriots. Tom Brady could throw with his weaker arm for most of the season and they’d still walk the AFC East. The Packers,
Can Tom Brady join the great Joe Montana on four Super Bowl rings? despite some tough away assignments, should win enough games to move into contention. The pieces seem to be coming together in Seattle, so expect
them to improve on last year. While the Texans, Broncos, Bengals and Falcons will all hope to throw their weight around when the time comes. However
as the season pans out, it is definitely not going to be short on excitement.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
Jones the destroyer, Kagawa the creator
The first thing a new manager of a company does is take stock. David Moyes will have walked into Manchester United’s Carrington training base on the first day of his tenure and done just that. Decent goalkeepers? Check. No need for any changes there. Defence? There are plenty of options with the old guard of Nemanja Vidić and Rio Ferdinand still going strong and back-up from experienced young players like Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans. Attack? Robin van Persie, if kept fit, is the best striker in the Premier League, while even a moody Wayne Rooney is a threat – if only paying to spite whoever it is he is upset with these days. Javier Hernández is as good a penalty box striker as you’ll find and if Danny Welbeck can add goals to his general play he’ll be a fine player for years to come. That just leaves midfield, and this is where United must strengthen if they are to compete in both domestic and European football this season. Or is it? Moyes is spoilt with wide players but the media and fans point to the need for a destroyer in the centre, the kind of player who can snuff out opposition attacks before they even happen. It is something Alex Ferguson failed to address after Roy Keane walked out
of the cub in 2006. He felt it would diminish United’s attacking threat to have a one-dimensional character like Chelsea’s former defensive-midfielder Claude Makélélé in the side. It just isn’t the Manchester United way. Ironically though, Ferguson deployed such a player on many occasions during his lengthy career at the club, never however a specialist in the position. Darren Fletcher played in the role many times; John O’Shea also did so for a brief time after Keane’s departure. Indeed as recently as last season’s Champions League second round firstleg tie against Real Madrid, Phil Jones, usually a centre-back, was given the task of dominating play in front of United’s penalty box. He followed Cristiano Ronaldo everywhere at the Bernabéu, limiting the Portuguese international’s ability to dominate the game and broke up several Madrid attacks. United missed Jones in the second leg through injury. Moyes has tabled a bid for Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, but why spend so much money when you already possess a player who is younger than and just as versatile as the Everton man? Jones can sit in front of the defence in the tighter games while United also have the enigma that is Anderson and the busy Tom Cleverley as back-up to play alongside
Phil Jones’ face isn’t the only thing that will stop the opposition dead in their tracks. the previously much maligned, and now much heralded, Michael Carrick who is enjoying something of an Indian summer in his career. Some pundits have also suggested that United need a playmaker, someone to replace Paul Scholes. As was the case when Ronaldo left, Scholes cannot simply be replaced because he was one of a kind, same as Roy Keane. Also,
UL hosts first ever amputee football tournament in Ireland Eoghan Wallace
On the weekend of 10-11 August the University of Limerick played host to an international football tournament with a difference, a tournament strictly for amputee footballers. The Paddy Power Cup was hosted and organised by the Irish Amputee Football Association (IAFA). Six countries and 116 players descended upon UL’s allweather pitches for two days of high tempo, physically competitive football. Over 11 games Belgium, England, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland and Ireland battled it out to see who would become the inaugural winners of the Paddy Power Cup. Ireland were paired with England and the Netherlands in group 2, while Poland, Belgium and Germany would contest group 1. Amputee football was founded in the United States in 1980, the brainchild of 82 year-old amputee Don Bennett, who was in attendance alongside the President of the World Amputee Football Federation, Rick Hoffman. The game is based on the same rules as regular football but outfield players must only have one foot and play on crutches, without the use of a prosthetic limb. Goalkeepers can only have one hand. On Saturday afternoon Ireland’s campaign started off in the worst possible fashion, suffering a 6-0 drubbing at the
hands of England. In the second group game later that evening they bounced back with a 2-0 win over the Netherlands. As runners-up Ireland faced Poland in the semi-final. Sadly Ireland would not get the chance to seek revenge on England in the final, losing 3-0 to Poland. They did however finish the tournament with a win, defeating Germany 3-1 in the third/fourth place play-off. After a 2-1 victory over Poland, England became the inaugural winners of the Paddy Power Cup. Of course it wasn’t results that mattered for the Irish team, it was about highlighting the game of amputee football and encouraging young amputees to get involved in the sport. The IAFA are hoping to get a youth squad started on the back of the tournament’s
success, with full day training workshops running alternatively between Limerick and Dublin once a month. The Irish amputee squad has already attracted some well-known names to their ranks. Their team manager is Christy McElligott, who was a member of St Patrick’s Athletic’s 1995-96 League of Ireland winning side. He became an amputee after a road accident in 2001. He has been actively involved with IAFA since its establishment in 2011 and has seen the association go from strength to strength. Despite the team’s reputation as underdogs the Irish gave a great account of themselves and were involved in making history, becoming the first Irish amputee football team to play an international tournament on home soil.
didn’t United purchase a playmaker from Borussia Dortmund last season in the form of Shinji Kagawa? The Japanese international’s first season was hampered by injury but he showed, during the little paying time he got, that he can create chances from a number of different central and wide positions and can also play as a number 10 if needs be. United also have Wilfried Zaha coming into the
squad, a creative player, while Fletcher, a box-to-box midfielder, may return from his battle with ulcerative colitis. Add to that the mercurial talent of the Belgian Adnan Januzaj and English U21 international Nick Powell and United have more options in midfield than seems the case at first glance.
Limerick makes the shortlist to host 2018 Gay Olympics Eoghan Wallace
Limerick has launched a bid to bring the 2018 Federation Gay Games to the city. If successful, the city stands to make an estimated €80 million. The event will attract anything up to 10,000 participants and 15,000 spectators during the ten-day duration of the games. Having already beaten off competition from Amsterdam, Orlando, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Limerick has been shortlisted alongside London and Paris. The Gay Games is the world’s largest sporting and cultural event organised by, and specifically for, LGBT athletes, artists and musicians. The first games took place in San Francisco in 1982, and have taken place every four years since then. The ‘Gay Olympics’ were the brainchild of Tom Waddell, who wanted to promote a spirit of inclusion and participation for gay athletes. They have since been rebranded as the Gay Games because of lawsuit filed by the U.S. Olympic Committee three months before the first games. The games are open to all who wish to participate and there are no qualifying standards. Their purpose is to “foster and augment the self-respect” of the LGBT community throughout the world and to “engender respect and understanding” from the heterosexual community. Emma Murphy, chairperson of the 2018 Limerick bid, said the game will not only benefit Limerick, but the whole Shannon
area. “We’ve got amazing support for the huge sporting facilities in the University of Limerick, Thomond Park, and Ballyhoura in Cork. All of the 14,000 participants will actually come through Shannon Airport,” explained Emma. The bid committee visited the University of Limerick in July this summer and were welcomed by UL President Don Barry. UL will serve as the central hub for many of the sporting and cultural events, with 65% of all planned events taking place in the UL Arena. The winning city will be announced next year in October 2014 at the ninth Gay Games, which are being held in Cleveland, Ohio. For more information on Limerick’s bid visit their website limerick2018.com.
Vol. XXII, Issue 1 10th September 2013
A breath of fresh air!
What a year! In terms of entertainment it’s been as good as we’ve seen from a Hurling Championship. Following on from the backdrop of some triteness in previous campaigns, 2013 has been eminently refreshing. We’ve all enjoyed the novelty factor; new winners in the provinces and a surprise quartet in the All-Ireland semifinals have ridden any talk of staleness encroaching any further on the game, but this year has proven to be more than just a novelty factor; much more. This year’s championship has been a gift to any connoisseur of superlatives. It’s hard to think of a more exciting championship in recent memory, one more fiercely contested or one with as many twists along the way. It’s been mercifully unpredictable, unpredictably merciless to the early favourites and now surely this beckons the start of a new era in hurling, one far more competitive than we have become accustomed to. This year’s Hurling Championship has been so many things, but mostly it’s been a breath of fresh air. Dublin bridged a 43-year gap in Leinster, while Limerick overcame 17 years of provincial famine to reign again in Munster. Between 2008 and 2012 Kilkenny, Waterford and Tipperary hogged three of the four AllIreland semi-final spots. Remarkably all three were toppled before they even had the chance to grace Croke Park this summer. By the time the semi-finals came round only one man across the
four counties had an All-Ireland medal in their back pocket, Cork’s Tom Kenny. Fascinating as they may be, statistics are just human beings with the tears wiped off. They tell you what happened but not how it happened. And how this year’s Championship unravelled as the months went on was truly fascinating. No team won or lost without a fight. Dublin may have made light work of Galway in the Leinster final but they were forced to replays against both Kilkenny and Wexford. The latter county were only denied a place in the All-Ireland quarterfinals by Clare after extra-time, in what was a thrilling encounter. And then that same night, in perhaps the best game of the Championship, age-old rivals Kilkenny and Waterford tussled untiringly against one another for 90 plus minutes before finally a slender winner was produced. Those lucky enough to find themselves in Thurles that night can testify to the GAA’s current slogan: “Nothing beats being there.” Perhaps this year’s real gift to the ardent hurling partisan will come in 2014. No one can now confidently call an All-Ireland winner for next year, or the four counties who will reach the semi-finals or the winner of either Leinster or Munster. There are probably three counties, maybe four, that could conceivably lift the Bob O’Keeffe Cup next year. Gone are the days when Kilkenny had one hand on the trophy before a ball was even pucked. In Munster there will be a similarly
“No longer the whipping boys of Munster!” Are we set for another golden era of hurling? healthy story. Cork, Limerick and Clare – each a new beast from this year – will come into the provincial championship looking to steamroll their way to their lofty projections. The sky is the limit for these young teams. That said; write off Tipperary and Waterford at your peril. This year’s Munster final was the first since 2000 that featured neither the
Premier County nor the Déise. Wounds will be licked and co-ordinates set for ambush in 2014. While Gaelic football has continued to hover its finger over the ‘self-destruct’ button with its glaring cynical fouling and negative defence-orientated tactics, hurling fans have good reason to look forward to 2014 with nothing other than
eager anticipation. The playing field has levelled considerably whist keeping the high standards set by the likes of Kilkenny and Tipperary over the last few years. Once we catch our breath from this year’s engrossing season roll on 2014.
2013-2014 Premier League Predictions Eoghan Wallace
Although the 2013-14 Premier League season it still young it seems inevitable that the top four will remain unchanged from last season. The general consensus among many critics is that first place will be a tight battle between Chelsea and Manchester City, with Manchester United and Arsenal trailing behind them. Tottenham, for all the progress they have made under André Villas-Boas, never seem like a finished article and even if Gareth Bale does decide to stay in London it seems like another fifth place finish is on the cards for Spurs. Regardless, this could potentially be the tightest race in years. So here’s a rundown on my prediction for the top five. At the time of writing, Spurs have really signalled their intent; cracking the top four by splashing the cash this summer. They have already spent in the region of £60 million on new players, including Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Willian. That said if Bale leaves for Madrid they will make that back, plus an additional £30/£40 million. It seems like Tottenham are spending the income from Gareth Bale before he’s even agreed terms with Madrid. Regardless of whether he leaves or not it looks like being another agonising fifth place finish for Spurs, despite their aggressive recruitment campaign this summer. Prediction: 5th
And the team in front of Spurs, it has to be North London rivals, Arsenal. 1994-95 was the last time Spurs finished above the Gunners. A time when the name Arsène Wenger meant nothing to English football fans, Gareth Bale was six years old and Blackburn were league champions. Under Wenger, without fail, Arsenal have never finished outside the top four. Despite whatever “crisis” the club is undergoing, and in recent years there has been a few early on in the season, remember the 8-2 drubbing? Arsenal’s intent on spending heavily this summer seemed their most legitimate claim in years but has yielded no marquee signings. That said, the opening weekend defeat will seem a distant memory come May when Wenger orchestrates yet another top four finish season, even if it is another season without a trophy. Prediction: 4th It looks like the most realistic result David Moyes can expect in the league as United’s first new manager in 27 years is third-place. City’s resources and Chelsea’s rekindled romance with José should see them occupy the top two places. Moyes has pretty much the same squad that won the league last season, the only difference being that Fergie is no longer around. The Fergie factor has had an enormous bearing on United’s success in the league in the last few years, particularly the 2010-11 title. Moyes’ transfer policy has been a strange one, one which smacks of desperation. No Fabregas, no Fellaini,
no Baines either. Ronaldo may return to Old Trafford in the event of a Bale sale to Madrid, in which case a 21st league title is not beyond the realms of possibility. That said at the time of writing CR7 remains at the Bernabéu in which case third-place seems the most likely finish for Moyes in his debut season. Prediction: 3rd How do you solve a problem like City? They possess a plethora of talent, but still lack a cohesive, regular starting XI. Their abundance of riches is both Man. City’s strength and weakness. The competition for places among the strikers seemed to have eased with the departure of Carlos Tévez, on top of Balotelli’s move in January. Still though, if Man. City are to be firing on all cylinders they will need David Silva to rediscover his form from 2011-12, as well as having Yaya Touré and Vincent Kompany fully fit and playing to the best of their abilities. In Pellegrini they have a manager with a proven track record, having taken Villarreal to the semi-finals and Málaga to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, both of whom have far less talented squads than City. While I feel this will not be City’s year in the league, progression from the group stages of the Champions League should prove a certainty under the Chilean. Prediction: 2nd And who will be lifting the Premier League trophy next May? My money’s on Chelsea. Having broken their taboo in Europe, without his assistance, Chelsea
The “Happy One” has said he’ll walk away from Chelsea if they fail to win a trophy this season. will be once again focusing all their energies upon winning a fourth league title of the Abramovich era. Mourinho is relentless; he wins trophies, pure and simple. Last season with Madrid was but a minor blip on his CV, finishing a first professional season without a piece of silverware. It matters not. While the spine of Čech, Terry, Makélélé, Lampard and Drogba is no longer there in Mata, Oscar and Hazard
Mourinho has a triumvirate that can make magic happen, and in Romelu Lukaku he has the perfect young striker to mould into the next Didier Drogba. They won’t run away with the league but the Mourinho factor coupled with the resources they possess should be enough to see the Blues give José a third Premier League title. Prediction: 1st (Double winners)
Vol. XXII, Issue 1
10th September 2013
Jones the destroyer, Kagawa the creator P/22
What next for Hawk-Eye?
For all its infallibility it was human error that cost Limerick’s minors a point.
Eoin Scanlon So Hawk-Eye has failed to do what it was brought in to do. It was supposed to remove the possibility of human error. And paradoxically its failure was, we are told, down to just that, human error. We were supposed to be done with the contentious decisions, the uncertain glances between umpires and referees, and the almost weekly discussion of such on The Sunday Game. Back in the summer its launch was
heralded as a solid step in the right direction, its inevitable success would see its introduction into all GAA venues around the country and all would be well. So what next for HawkEye? Let us suppose its malfunction was a once off (not like that be of much consolation to Limerick’s minor hurlers), and Hawk-Eye resumes with full confidence in 2014. It will have a year left on its two-year trial run at Croke Park. Then surely the next step must be an installation of Hawk-
Eye at all national venues. At present, with only a modest percentage of games being adjudicated by HawkEye, technically we are playing a GAA championship under two different rules. Is it fair that Dublin and their fellow Leinster neighbours get the luxury of Hawk-Eye each game, while teams further from the Pale have to make do with the ‘old-fashioned’ technique? To install and successfully manage the score-detection system at all intercounty championship grounds will
come with a colossal price-tag (let’s not forget this is an amateur organization). It just doesn’t seem feasible. So what are the other options? One is to leave it at Croke Park, reserved for the Dubs and their entourage, and the big championship days in August and September. And really, Limerick minors aside, HawkEye worked fine in Croke Park in 2013. For the most part it went about its job diligently. Another option is to scrap it altogether. Tell the bosses at HawkEye thanks, but no thanks. It means
going back to a system fraught with the chance of human error, but still it’s a system that’s served us adequately enough for over 100 years. The decision is one which rests upon the shoulders of the GAA directors, and one we’re likely not to see until after the dust settles on Hawk-Eye’s trial period, which expires this time next year. Until then all we can do is hope that Hawk-Eye displays no more of its unfortunate human traits.