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uo The University Observer

PRESIDENT deEKS An interview with Prof. Andrew Deeks the new President of UCD

PSYCOLLEGEY the science of why opposites attract ahead of Valentines Day

JIMMY MAGEE The legendary broadcaster talks about his favourite sporting moments

above The 30 hour 3D printer challenge winners at the launch of the Shackleton Lounge in UCD

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Louise Dolphin P13

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photo James Brady

Figureheads on campus back change of SU model Figures of authority on campus have revealed their desire for the UCD Students’ Union (SU) to move from its current format to a structure that resembles the model most SUs in the United Kingdom observe. Problems with the infrastructure of UCDSU have been highlighted since the turn of the decade when the organisation was shown to be in excess of €1 million in debt due to financial mismanagement. These fiscal shortcomings underlined for many a need to change the current system in order to avoid such an issue arising in the future. Furthermore, students felt UCDSU’s efforts focus was too national and while committing to fighting fees with USI, it ignored prominent issues on campus such as the issues with students had with UCD Residences. A shift to this UK Students’ Union structure would see UCDSU fall in line with a more localised ideology that focuses primarily on campaigning for better student services on campus.

» President Deeks backs move to different SU model » SU’s student survey to gauge student opinion on how Union should be run

Students’ Unions in the UK that apply this localised ethos to their work served find such efforts boost student involvement and see further progress made in improving student activities and services on campus, such as more affordable accommodation, more recreational activities and cheaper alcohol on campus. Speaking about the possible shift to the UK Students’ Union model, UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher said, “I would definitely like to see UCDSU move in a direction that sees it constantly adopting international, cutting edge examples of best practice. “Two key ideologies must be adhered to at all times: fair democratic structures and a fully transparent organisation… With UCD’s absence from the USI this year, I have taken to more direct networking with leading United Kingdom Students’ Unions” New UCD President Andrew

Deeks echoed Gallagher’s sentiments, saying he hopes they can be more concerned with the experience of students on campus. “Coming from the Australian system, the Students’ Unions went from a situation where they were a breeding ground for future politicians to a situation where they were much more concerned with student facilities, the student experience on campus, with representing the student body to senior management. “What I would hope is that our SU will adopt that kind of approach that they will be concerned with student experience on campus, working with me and my management team in terms of improving that and that party politics will not be a part of student politics.” During the first week of semester two, UCDSU released their first audited accounts to students, something Gallagher noted as a move towards this complete fiscal transparency that is the backbone of

february 4th 2014 Volume XX issue viIi

JOHN DIMAGGIO Voice actor John DiMaggio talks braving rabid Mark Hamill fanboys

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Killian Woods deputy editor UK Students’ Unions operations. “UCDSU has implemented all examples of international recognised best practice of student representative organisations, such as restructuring into two separate companies; one to manage the shops, and another to look after the representative and entertainment functions” In order to maximize UCD students’ involvement in such an overhaul of structures in the SU, Gallagher hopes that a survey being conducted over the next few weeks will allow students to have their say in what shape they UCDSU. “We are conducting this survey to find out what direction the students of UCD want to take their SU in. It will help shape the strategic plan which will guide the SU over the next two years to 2016. Where necessary it will be used as a reference for possible changes to UCDSU’s constitution.”

CLOUD CONTROL Australian alternative rockers discuss their experiences with Dave Grohl

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Education officer answers for absence on exam results day UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) Undergraduate Education Officer, Adam Carroll, was challenged at the last sitting of UCDSU Council, on January 27th, by a class representative in attendance in regards to his absence from campus during the release of semester one examination results on Wednesday, January 22nd. Carroll was out of the country when the results were released and was not directly available for student queries until the Saturday of that week. When approached by the University Observer for comment, Carroll stated that he had been on a family holiday that had been organised before

he took up the position of Undergraduate Education Officer. When asked if he believed his duties as Undergraduate Education Officer had been fulfilled, he stated, “All of my duties were covered by my sabbatical officer colleagues and all queries [presented personally, by email, and telephone] were dealt with within 24 hours. I am satisfied that services provided to our student members were not affected at all. ” UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher, stated that Carroll’s absence was perfectly within his rights. “I know that the Undergraduate Education Officer is ultimately an employee of UCD Students’ Union and he is entitled to a number of annual holidays.

I respect his employment rights and to be able to take his annual leave.” He also stated that he didn’t feel it was irresponsible of Carroll to have taken his annual leave during such a time and to have been out of country on the day exam results were released. “He very effectively had delegated out his responsibilities to the Graduate Education Officer and the Welfare and Equality Officer and they were more than able to handle any of the queries that came in between them.” As it stands, there are no set days of the year for which all sabbatical officers must be present. When asked whether certain days of the calendar year should be set aside

On exam result day, Carroll’s email sends automated response, “I am receiving a large amount of emails… there may be a slight delay in my response”

The finest outfits that can be gleaned from online fashion outlets Michael O’Sullivan

for all Students’ Union officers to be present, Gallagher stated, “I think organisations should be flexible enough so that if any employee is absent for unforeseeable reasons such as sickness, that the rest of the organisation can adapt and not crumble.“ Although Carroll was elected to office during March of 2013, Mr Gallagher claimed his holiday had been booked in September of that year, by which date the academic calendar for the current year had already been released. Mr Gallagher claimed, “ He received four emails in the week that he was away, so it wasn’t an insurmountable number.”

ucd weather

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An account of the space simulator’s downfall and rebirth Karl Quigley Otwo P7 by cathal nolan







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News News in Brief Eleanor McLaughlin

Three artists selected for UCD Science: Artists in Residence 2014 The artists chosen for the UCD Science: Artists in Residence 2014 initiative were recently announced by UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks. The three artists chosen for the scheme were Cindy Cummings, Sofie Loscher and David Stalling. The three successful applicants come from a variety of backgrounds including dance, music and sculpture, however, intrinsic to the programme is their interest in the link between art and science. Much of their previous work depicts the physical properties of the natural world. There were over 60 applicants for the residency and the artists were selected after a review of their proposals, their work thus far and their history of collaborative work. It is hoped that the programme will encourage collaboration between professionals and students in the fields of art and science. At an event during which the chosen artists were announced, UCD President Deeks explained that the programme would aim to “combine the language of science with the language of art.” The UCD Science: Artists in Residence is an initiative which stems from the UCD Science: Art in Science programme, established following a research partnership between Prof. Lorraine Hanlon and artist Emer O’ Boyle.

UCD Fashion Show hold model auditions Preparations for the UCD Fashion Show 2014 have begun as model auditions got underway in the Student Centre last week. The preliminary auditions took place on Monday, 27th and Tuesday, January 28th in the Red Room, where both male and female UCD students were encouraged to present themselves to the judges. Following the first round of auditions, callbacks took place on Wednesday. Judges and choreographers are now deliberating on the final line up. According to the UCD Fashion Show 2014 Facebook page, this year saw a record number of entrants. This year the UCD Fashion Show is making a comeback to college life after being shelved in the 2012/13 academic year to allow the University to focus its efforts on the UCD Community Musical, Phantom of the Opera. Having become Europe’s largest studentrun fashion show, this year UCD’s 27th Fashion Show will donate all proceeds to the Jack Kavanagh Trust.

Innovation Academy launches Shackleton Lounge The UCD Innovation Academy last Friday opened the Shackleton Lounge in the O’Brien Science Centre. The lounge is named after the Irish explorer Ernst Shackleton who is renowned for his endeavours exploring the Antarctic Circle. Speaking about the opening of the new hub that is intent on sparking innovation on campus, Prof. Suzi Jarvis, founding director of the Innovation Academy, said, “2014 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Endurance expedition of Irish explorers Shackleton and Crean. The Shackleton Lounge is where great adventures begin for our students, staff and external partners and will be a focal point for inspiration and entrepreneurial activity. “Our entrepreneurial education programmes have been developed to provide a combination of action-based learning and skill building, with the ambition of fundamentally changing the way participants think and act.” Coinciding with the opening of the Shackleton Lounge, a 30-hour 3D Printer Challenge that had 40 teams took place over Friday and Saturday. The teams from UCD, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology and the National College of Art & Design were required to build a 3D printer with the materials at their disposal and print out their chosen model. 2 february 4th 2014

EconSoc and Thinking Big to combine efforts Lucy Ryan Thinking Big, a student organised forum has merged with UCD’s Economics Society (EconSoc) who are on the verge of being recognised as a official student society. Thinking Big 2013, which took place in UCD last November, was formulated by a group of UCD undergraduate students, which tackled various challenges facing Ireland and the wider world. Thinking Big 2013 focused its attention on encouraging attendees to reflect on creating a brighter future through a series of seminars, panel discussions and workshops. The Forum addressed some of

the greatest global concerns facing the worldwide community in the 21st century, including energy sustainability, pensions crisis and water scarcity. Sponsored by the UCD office of the Vice-President for Innovation, it involved 19 expert speakers who were drawn from the academic, business and public sector pools of society. The co-ordinator of the event, Eoin Flaherty said, “Thinking Big is about inspiring people and helping them in shaping a better future and we believe that there’s the appetite and good reason to make this an annual event in UCD. “It’s about bringing issues out from

the short term thinking of contemporary discourse and analysing them with the approach of ‘Well, this is where we are. Where do we want to be, and what’s the best way to get there?’” After originally considering to apply for socieity recognition in its current form, Thinking Big has decided to merge with EconSoc, a move that EconSoc’s Samuel Brown feels will benefit of both entities. “I think this conclusion came when we realised that joining forces would bring benefits for both our teams. Last semester the Thinking Big team had an incredible success with the two day event. This showed us that

we are going to have much more on the table with them by our side.” Brown also emphasised the forum’s capacity to organise occasional smaller scale events throughout the year and organise trips to conferences outside UCD. “I think UCD students would be well served by a society that could also inform people about and organise occasional trips to public policy talks and conferences.” Additionally, Brown noted that this bodes well for EconSoc, which he believes is targeting a crucial niche in UCD society life, catering for those studying in the commercial field. “It will for sure become an

asset for all the students that are studying Economics and other courses that involve economics such as Finance and Commerce.” EconSoc has also envisaged inviting many experts from the economic academia to UCD to speak about their respective areas, while also hoping to inspire and guide UCD students in their forthcoming career paths. Brown admits that forming a merger with Thinking Big has inevitably brightened the future of the society as “It is an opportunity to bring something new in EconSoc and deliver a new perspective to the EconSoc team.”

CLARITY Centre-developed fashion app released on iOS stores David Fox A collaborative project between UCD and Dublin City University (DCU) has used research focused on the development of sensor web technologies to develop a fashion application for smartphones. Drawing on assistance from the CLARITY Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, the fashion app, Style-Eyes, aims to refine this technology in order to create an interface whereby users can gain access to a database that will contain information

about the outlets that sell and stock clothing they desire. By taking a photo of a piece of clothing, an algorithm in the app will recognise the design and inform the user where they can purchase that exact piece of clothing or stores where they can find very similar styles to that they took a photo of at possibly cheaper prices. The idea was inspired by a group of CLARITY researchers who want to refine this type of image recognition technology in order to develop the interface for their app. Style-Eyes

gained recognition in July of last year when the app was awarded Enterprise Ireland’s ‘One to Watch’ award. Speaking to the University Observer about the reasoning behind developing such an app, developer Bobby Pringle said, “It is a clever little app that lets you ‘get the look’. Imagine you’re reading your favourite fashion magazine and see a picture of Kate Middleton’s new heels and want something like it, simply take out Style-Eyes, snap a picture of it and Style-Eyes will search through 100s of leading UK

& US highstreet retailers to find similar dresses, shoes or handbags at a budget that suits you.” Explaining the technology behind such an app, Pringle said, “The app uses image recognition technology. Image recognition is the process of training a machine to act in the same way your eyes do. “It is taught to recognise different objects. For example, this a shoe and this is a dress. This is done by feeding the machine 1,000s of images of dresses and bags and over time it begins to recognise

differences between the objects, and then ultimately can recognise one type of dress over another based on its features and dimensions.” An early trial version of the app was released to UCD students and researchers with the purpose of generating feedback, which brings Style-Eyes to a now publicly available app which includes dresses, shoes, handbags and skirts from 100s of different highstreet stores. Currently the app is available from the iOS and Android store.

Smurfit MBA programme slips to 91st in rankings Donal Lucey UCD’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s full time MBA programme has been ranked 91st out of the top 100 in the world in the 2014 Financial Times rankings that were released. This ranking has seen the programme slip ten places since last year’s 81st placing. The rankings focus on two surveys of the business schools and their alumni who graduated in the class of 2010. The MBA programmes are examined and assessed according to the career progression of their alumni, the programme quality and the faculty’s research achievements.

Harvard Business School was ranked first this year; representing the fifth time the school managed to secure top spot. They were one of seven schools from the US that achieved a place in the top ten for 2014. The top European schools include London Business School, which came third, the French school Insead; which was placed sixth, and the Spanish IESE Business School; which was seventh. Compared to other European business schools, UCD’s programme is ranked the 25th best MBA programme on the continent. The school is still the only Irish

business school listed in these rankings, maintaining its status as Ireland’s leading centre of excellence in business education. 48% of the alumni surveyed for the rankings said they had no financial assistance, with the average fees for this portion of the survey standing at $100,000. Meanwhile, 49% of the other MBA programme alumni noted that they had obtained scholarships but still had average fees of $33,000. The UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School’s MBA programmes, full-time and executive, both cost €29,500. 2014 marks the 15th consecutive year that the UCD Smurfit School,

which is made up of 100 staff and over 1,300 students, has received such recognition for the quality of its MBA programme. The school’s dean, Professor Ciarán O hÓgartaigh, commented that their achieving such a place in the MBA rankings is due to the ambition of their students and quality among the faculty. He said, “Our students are competing with graduates from the best schools in the world in an increasingly competitive international market. We are ambitious for our students and we must ensure they are able to compete.” “These ranking results are of

enormous benefit in enabling them to do so. The results help us to attract the very best faculty and students.” Smurfit’s MBA provides Irish students with a globally ranked and accredited Masters of business programme. Students are given the opportunity to learn through case studies, real-world projects and team assignments. There are a number of half-tuition and fulltuition scholarships available. For over 100 years, UCD’s School of Business has educated leaders that have shaped the practice of business on a domestic and international basis. Notable alumni include Colm Lyon, Patrick Kennedy and Michael Carey.

Student Assistance Fund receives €30,000 top-up Josh Murphy Student Assistance Funds nationally have been given a financial boost following the allocation of a further €350,000 for students that are undergoing financial strain. The funding, which was from the Higher Education Authority, has been termed vital to aiding students in financial distress and help keep Students’ Unions nationwide “committed” to the student body in their respective institutions. UCDSU has welcomed the

additional top up of €350,000 to the national Student Assistance Fund, saying that these much needed funds will ensure that at least €30,000 additional assistance will be going to UCD students in need. Speaking to the University Observer, UCDSU President, Mícheál Gallagher said, “This additional funding will be allocated to students in need this semester. The Students’ Union remain committed to protecting vulnerable students and we will

be holding a fundraiser campaign this semester to help raise additional money for student hardship fund.” The negotiation for this initial supplementary top-up of €350,000 for such student hardship funds nationally could potentially rise to €1 million. The funding is being secured from the accrued interest within the HEA budget. Speaking about the securement of this additional financial support, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President Joe O’Connor said,

“This is a positive development which will hopefully go some way towards protecting those students who are in greatest need. “We are confident that IOT’s will make as much funding as possible available to the Student Assistance Fund, and our member Students’ Unions across the country will be working internally to bring this about. “We appreciate the support of the Department and the HEA in making this possible, however we

must now work towards ensuring students are no longer left in dire straits trying to survive in college, and being forced to rely on this Fund.” The Student Assistance Fund is the principle source of financial support for students in third-level education at universities and institutes of technologies who are in need of aid. Applications to the Student Assistance Fund in UCD can be directed towards Francis Rooney (


UCD spin-outs nominated for innovation awards


News in Brief

Megan Fanning

Aoife Cunningham

Three UCD spin-out companies have been shortlisted among the 18 companies for the Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards. APC Ltd, Equilume Ltd and OxyMem Ltd are three companies that have been supported by NovaUCD , the UCD centre for new ventures and entrepreneurs. The 18 companies come from all over Ireland, both in the North and the Republic, and has included innovations as diverse as drug delivery systems to antiallergy pillows. The Irish Times InterTradeIreland Innvoation Awards celebrates excellence in innovation and is now in its fifth year.

Professor Peter Clinch, VicePresident of Innovation in UCD said that he is “delighted” for the shortlisted companies saying that they are “commercialising UCD research outputs” and that one of UCD’s key innovation aims is to “support new high-tech and innovative businesses which have global impact.” APC Ltd is a spin-out from UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering. Based on over 15 years of research, it was co-founded by Professor Brian Glennon and Dr Mark Barrett in 2011. It provides chemical engineering solutions and technologies to pharmaceutical companies, both large and small,

to ensure the delivery of robust and scale-independent processes. The company was the winner of the NovaUCD 2011 Campus Company Development Programme and won the NovaUCD 2011 Start-up Company of the Year Award. Dr Barret said that it was a “great honour” to be shortlisted and notes that it’s “recognition of the fantastic dedication of our team.” It is shortlisted in the Biosciences category along with fellow UCD spin-out, Equilume. Equilume Ltd was set-up in 2012 and has since developed a light therapy solution in assisting global thoroughbred breeders in their aim to maximise the reproductive

efficiency and performance in horses. The extensive research was carried out by company founder, Dr Barbara Murphy, in UCD’s School of Agriculture and Food Science in collaboration with Professor John Sheridan, an optoelectronics researcher in UCD’s School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering. The company is fast building a profile, having won the 2012 Enterprise Ireland ‘One to Watch’ Award and the 2012 Newbridge 200 Business Start-up competition. It is also a finalist for the 2013 Trophées de l’Innovation du Salon de Cheval du Paris. OxyMem Ltd is a spin-out from

UCD’s School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering and was co-founded in 2013 by Professor Éoin Casey and Dr Éoin Syron. It has focused on developing technology for wastewater aeration. Last year, OxyMem won a 2013 Irish Laboratory Award, Innovation of the Year Award. CEO Wayne Byrne said that they are “incredibly proud” to have been shortlisted for this year’s competition and are shortlisted in the Energy and Environment category. The category winners and overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on the 9th April 2014.

Grant Thornton commits to UCD GAA Scholarships Ciaran Sweeney Grant Thornton, the accounting and consultant firm, has announced its intentions to continue its commitment to support third level GAA scholarships. Students and staff attended an event in the FitzGerald Chamber where Noel Delaney from Grant Thornton reiterated the firm’s continued support of GAA scholarships within UCD. Dave Billings, UCD GAA Executive, and Dominic O’Keeffe, the Director of Student Services, spoke on behalf of UCD Sport

and thanked Noel Delaney for their support of UCD GAA. Speaking to the University Observer after the event about what makes Grant Thornton so keen to invest in UCD Gaelic Games Executive, Dave Billings noted that it was due to the untimely death of the late Sean Murray, who was a partner in the firm and also founded the UCD Gaelic Football Graduates committee and was its chairman. “It goes back to Sean [Murray], who was a partner in Grant Thornton and a former UCD player and captain.

We decided to honour his memory by establishing one of these scholarships.” Billings also said that financial support is paramount in terms of students looking to optimise their maximum potential. “Any bit of finance might help the lads by saving them having to get a part-time job for example”. The GAA Executive of UCD Sport was also keen to note that while still supporting these GAA hopefuls to be the best that they can be, he still outlined they are recognised as being students first,

who are here to get their degrees. “[To play GAA in UCD] you have to be doing a full-time course, you have to get your points and you have to get into the college. Obviously [that] helps you treat your players the best you can, but they are students first and players later.” Billings also confirmed that Grant Thornton are committed to this investment on an annual basis and stressed that this sort of financial input is integral to the club and it is important that clubs have benefactors that provide such

sources of financial support. Present at the reception were a number of UCD’s current GAA stars including members of the Dublin All-Ireland winning team such as Rory O’Carroll, Paul Mannion, Davy Byrne and Jack Caffrey. Also present were senior Kilkenny hurlers Cillian Buckley and Walter Walsh along with Tipperary star Noel McGrath and many other wellknown names including Paul Kingston, Eoghan Keogh, Joe Lyng and Matt O’Hanlon.

Students facing further financial hardship Dental nursing and dental hygiene students from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Cork (UCC) have been hit with an unexpected financial upheaval after the Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) grants system labelled the students ineligible to receive financial assistance. The announcement came following a review of the student support regulations published last year. 39 students were informed of the decision via post stating their course “does not lead to a major award at level 7 of the National Framework of Qualifications.” It is not yet known whether these students will be expected to repay the money they were awarded in the last four months of 2013. Furthermore, other students studying a level 7 diplomas may also lose their grant as they are no longer considered “major awards.” June Nunn, head of the School of Dental Science at TCD stated the college was not informed of SUSI’s decision to withdraw payments. Concerns have been raised that the students affected may have to leave their course and apply for social welfare.

Long serving Irish Times Education Editor passes away Journalist, Seán Flynn passed away on January 29th following a long illness. Flynn is a former education editor at The Irish Times and renowned for his influential work in his field. Before taking on the role of education editor in 1999, he also served as a security correspondent and European correspondent for The Irish Times since taking on the role of staff writer at the publication in 1985. Irish Times editor, Kevin O’Sullivan, remarked, “He was an exceptional reporter, correspondent and editor who will also leave a lasting legacy in an archive of original and distinguished journalism generated over almost three decades.”

Dublin City University exceed funding target for Make a Wish Foundation

UCD to host Collingwood Cup Siobhan Copeland

UCD LGBT members to attend Russian embassy protest Cian Carton UCD students have been invited to attend a protest outside of the Russian Embassy at Orwell Road, Rathgar, Dublin on Wednesday, February 5th in conjunction with worldwide events to highlight human rights abuses in Russia just before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The event is being organised by Laura Harmon, USI Vice-President for Equality, who has extended invites to many student groups, including DIT’s LGBT Society, who invited UCD Students’ Union (UCDSU) initially. Sam Blanckensee, UCDSU LGBT coordinator, is fronting UCD’s involvement in the protest. Speaking to the University Observer, Blanckensee called on students to support the event, saying that he will be attending it in his official capacity. He believes that this protest will allow him to express his “feelings on what is happening with Russia,” having already discussed potential options with UCDSU’s Welfare and Equality Officer, Cian Dowling, in respect to both raising awareness of

this issue and taking action upon it. The protest is in relation to the anti-homosexual propaganda laws that were enacted in Russia last year. They ban “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations” among minors, however critics of the laws have alleged that it is essentially a complete ban on the LGBT movement. Blanckensee says, “These laws forbid any promotion of non-traditional relationships [and that] people can be jailed and have been jailed for just talking about their sexuality.” There has also been a sharp increase in attacks on members of the LGBT community in Russia by extremists since then, who appear to be using the laws as an excuse for their actions. A large protest outside of the Russian embassy is supposed to be a way of highlighting students’ “feelings around these laws and the treatment of LGBT people in Russia,” according to Blanckensee, whose main goal is to “convince our government

to speak out against this.” While several international leaders like Barack Obama, David Cameron and Angela Merkel have already condemned Russia’s actions, Eamon Gilmore’s comments from last year, that the government “strongly disagrees” with the laws, has been the only Irish response so far. Blanckensee fully supports Ireland’s participation in the Winter Olympic Games, disagreeing with calls that were previously made on countries to refuse to participate in protest. “[The] Olympics should be used as an occasion to pressure Russia,” remarks Blanckensee, but the athletes should not have to suffer because of it. He says that it would not have been fair on the five Irish athletes “for Ireland to have pulled out” after their significant undertakings to merely qualify for the Olympics, especially as they are preparing for such huge moments in their sporting careers.

The centenary Collingwood Cup tournament is to be held in UCD later this month. The University football event will start on the 24th of February, with the final taking place four days later The location of the tournament was confirmed following a draw held in Newman House by The FAI, UCD, The Irish Universities Football Union, and members of the participating colleges. The Collingwood Cup was established in 1914 by UCD Professor Bertram Collingwood who was a professor of mathematics and a nephew of Charles Dodgson, more recognisable by his pen name, Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland. Since its establishment, The Collingwood Cup has taken place annually. In its first year, the Collingwood Cup only saw four teams compete as UCD took victory beating Queens University Belfast on home ground. The cup received its name in 1940 after the original cup was lost in the late 1920s, after allegedly being thrown into the River Boyne by the team from Queens University Belfast, who took a vow to never let the cup be won by the South again. UCD and Queens dominated The Collingwood Cup between 1943 and 1966 before their monopoly was broken in 1967 by Trinity College Dublin. Trinity were victorious once again in 1979. The next few years saw the cup moving to Connacht and Munster

with Galway winning in 1968, 1970 and 1971 and Cork winning in 1974 and 1978. The 1980s were again dominated by UCD claiming the trophy six times. The 1990s saw three different clubs winning the Collingwood Cup consecutively with UCD winning three in a row, Cork winning two in a row, Galway winning two, University of Ulster also winning two, and St Marys winning one. A Collingwood plate was introduced in 1971 to facilitate the teams who failed to qualify for the final stages of the tournament. The plate was replaced with the Farquhar, Spillane and Duggan Cups in 2006 in an attempt to alter the tournament into a knockout basis. There have been 93 previous Collingwood Cup tournaments with UCD winning 32 in total; more wins than any other university team. 100 years on, UCD are hosting the tournament in a commemoration of their previous success and vying to win their third Collingwood Cup in a row, when they defend their cup on their home ground once again in February. The first round, on Tuesday February 25th, will see DCU play Mary Immaculate, University of Ulster Jordan town play Royal College of Surgeons, and Queens University take on University of Limerick. The quarter-finals will take place on February 26th, semi-finals on February 27th, and the final will be played on February 28th, live on Setanta from UCD Bowl.

DCU students in the Media Production Society have raised over €5,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation by hosting a 24-hour broadcast featuring dating shows, news, cooking programmes and DCU’s version of X-Factor, which allowed for additional student participation via Twitter, where students could vote for their favorite acts. The Santry Sisters were later crowned winners of the competition. The Media Production Society originally intended to raise €4,000 to make the wishes of terminally ill children a reality, however, the society unexpectedly exceeded their target by over €1,000. The society’s fundraising event has highlighted the growing popularity of social media to heighten awareness surrounding the college’s events. The event also managed to become a trending topic on the micro blogging site Twitter when the broadcast began at 10pm, and ran for 24 hours.

TCD aiming to boost their financial assistance Trinity College Dublin has unveiled plans to boost the college’s funding for research projects that could lead to better patient care and further the study of nanoscience. The college is seeing US federal funding to aid these projects, while also aiming to boost TCD’s reputation among its third level counterparts, namely Cambridge and Harvard, renowned for attracting investors, highly skilled academics, and much sought after funding. TCD is seeking to hire contractors who can aid officials who manage federal funding in America and highlight the potential of TCD’s science departments. As an added incentive, the newly hired contractors will each receive bonus payments depending upon the success of the new initiative, and funding offered to the college. The CRANN institute in Trinity, which focuses on nanoscience will become a beneficiary of the funding, as well as the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Unit, which aids biomedical discoveries. The college is also aiming to highlight the potential of these units in the global academic field.

february 4th 2014 3

news analysis international

News in Brief UCD newspaper on verge of extinction

The University California Davis campus newspaper, The California Aggie, is struggling to stay viable and may have to shut down a year shy of its 100th anniversary next year. In 2008, the publication was printed 12,000 copies a day, five days a week and every staff member of the paper was paid. However, the crash of the advertising market for print publications has forced the Aggie to curtail its print run and is now a weekly publication. “In a school that doesn’t have a journalism program, the Aggie is a learning laboratory for future photographers, writers and editors,” said Editor-in-Chief of the publication, Elizabeth Orpina. Orpina is hoping to save the publication by getting the University’s undergraduates to pay an annual campus fee ($9.30) that would in total raise $300,000.

USI shows their true colours As USI publicly celebrates devaluing its members’ degrees, Aoife Valentine asks what the organisation is actually worth to students today

While protecting the maintenance grant may have been the main focus of [USI’s] pre-budget campaign; in their rush to loudly proclaim their ‘win’ on this issue, they completely ignored the many ways in which young people were targeted

Denmark minister hopes to overhaul

undergraduate courses

Morten Østergaard, Denmark’s Minister for Science, Innovation and Higher Education has openly stated in the Danish media that he feels there are too many courses at the country’s universities and that they should be cut down. Speaking to the Berlingske Tidende, Østergaard said, “When we have almost 1,500 higher education programmes including masters degrees, we pose the young with an almost impossible selection situation and employers who will hire the candidates have an over-complex task to evaluate and fine-tune the differences between the education candidates we have today. “That has led us to conclude that we today have too many degree programmes at Danish universities than there is a need for [in the workforce], and we will therefore increase focus on how to develop courses of a higher quality.”

IN AN INCREDIBLY poorly thought out and executed move last week, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) felt it was about time the government found out just how clever they are. Like smug children who feel they know better than their parents, USI jumped into the controversy surrounding the cost of Irish Water’s new logo and branding, with their ‘innovative’ solution: use a micro-job site on the cheap. The official branding cost Irish Water €20,000, but for $5 (€3.70) USI had a logo designed and hefty chunk of change left over. Backed by a policy to highlight waste in public spending, USI shouted to all who would listen about how resourceful they had been. However, in being so quick to attempt to show the government up, they forgot their members. Micro-job sites come with many issues, almost all of which would have become apparent had USI thought for a single second before proceeding. The $5 logo isn’t a unique design, it’s already in use by several businesses, and ultimately, it didn’t pose a solution to USI’s issue with the tender process for the original branding job. The much bigger issue is the devaluation of the design industry and undercutting the worth of good design. While only a small number of their member organisations offer design courses, the students in each of these courses are fee-paying members. It’s their worth USI undercut in a cheap attempt to get attention. It’s the value of their work that USI failed to take into consideration. And it’s the importance of their degrees that USI continued to deny, even in response to criticism from these members. An official apology was only offered after several days of excuses. This isn’t just an embarrassing oversight, it’s one of many signs USI is out of touch with its members. Last year during the USI affiliation referendum in UCD, the main claim made by ‘Yes to USI’ campaigners was that UCD students would be “left out in the cold” and forgotten on a national level if we

absented ourselves from the organisation. We voted to disaffiliate anyway, and it seems we’ve lost nothing. USI are the sole reason the members concerned here have been “left out in the cold” and it’s not an isolated incident. Last October the government released a budget that viciously attacked young people for financial problems we didn’t cause, and USI welcomed it with open arms. While protecting the maintenance grant may have been the main focus of their pre-budget campaign; in their rush to loudly proclaim their ‘win’ on this issue, they completely ignored the many ways in which young people were targeted. Their celebrations left members feeling cold. Groups such as We’re Not Leaving and Scambridge have somewhat taken the reigns from USI on many of the issues that currently matter most to students. While USI have thrown their support behind numerous campaigns run by these groups, the national union certainly isn’t leading the way. The ‘No to USI’ camp in UCD believed last year that USI would fall to ruin without our membership, and that a new, stronger and more efficient national union would form. This hasn’t happened, but it’s not inconceivable that it’s only a matter of time until USI become completely irrelevant. USI has failed repeatedly to capture the attention of its large and varied membership, and it’s obvious it doesn’t know who its members are. When other organisations are managing to rally students using far fewer resources, USI can’t even rely on the age-old defence of student apathy being the root cause of all problems. This week, USI was an embarrassment to its members, and if it can’t value them at more than €3.70, it won’t be long until its members don’t see them as being worth the same. Unfortunately for USI, that’s the approximate cost per student for membership. Without its member organisations, USI is nothing but wannabe politicians, and maybe it’s time it remembers just that.

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The curse of the small party


With the local and European elections coming up, Stephen Heffernan asks if Labour will be dealt a fatal blow

Few things appeal to electorates in general more than the opportunity to punish junior coalition partners at election time. One only needs to look at the fate of the Free Democrats in Germany, who failed to cross the parliamentary vote threshold for the first time since 1949 in the latest general election. While, the Liberal Democrats in Britain have consistently been punished at local and regional elections since entering government with the Conservatives. One of the most important trends in the next ten years of Irish politics will be how the Labour Party manages to recover from its spell in government and how it will present itself in the run-up to the forthcoming elections. The broad statements made in the run-up to the last election such as ‘Frankfurt’s way or Labour’s way’, not to mention ‘Gilmore for Taoiseach’ have come back to haunt them, even without mentioning the vast number of promises made which were later dismissed by Pat Rabbitte on The Week in Politics with more than a hint of cynicism. Their previous attempts to portray themselves as the conscience of a potential coalition government is primary reasoning behind the anger that the electorate feels towards them. The story has become that Fine Gael were elected to make the hard cuts needed to get the country back on the track, Labour were elected to make the process as painless as possible. Similarly, the Green Party attempted to play the same game and failed, bringing 22 years of Dáil representation to an abrupt and undignified end, foisting their policies on an electorate which had only elected them in Dublin, Carlow, and Kilkenny; while failing to ‘rein in’ Fianna Fáil as the economy collapsed. This is not to say that worries over Labour’s future are a new phenomenon. On the contrary, the party’s century of existence in the Irish political sphere is one in

which they have been ravaged by splits, amalgamations and highprofile defections, one of the most infamous being the defection of the erstwhile leader Michael O’Leary to Fine Gael in the early 1980s. However, the defection of large numbers of county councillors in a last-ditch attempt to save their seats is a worrying trend reminiscent of the dying days of the Progressive Democrats, a party which for a brief period in the 1980s had more TDs than Labour itself. While small parties find themselves in a position of power during elections and government formation, this often causes internal discord and alienation from the electorate. The political history of Ireland since the foundation of Free State is littered with short-lived political movements which have served in government, Clann na Talmhan, Clann na Poblachta and the PDs being three of the more prominent examples. Others, such as the Democratic Left, merged into bigger parties. Many believe that they hijacked the Labour Party leadership in the process. Is it any wonder, therefore, that there exists tension between Gilmore (whose political career has brought him gradually closer to the centre with age, starting out in Sinn Féin, the Worker’s Party) and Joan Burton, who would be the most prominent representative of the ‘Old Labour’ camp? This internal strife, in combination with Gilmore’s cabinet post of foreign affairs requiring him to spend a lot of time out of the country, means that his profile as party leader is vastly diminished. As the most important figure within the party, his media presence is vital to any success the party may have in the future. Coupled with this tension between the two main factions is the worrying prospect of most of the party’s front bench coming close to the end of their political careers and therefore

destined for retirement at the next election. Examples that come to mind are Pat Rabbitte, Ruairí Quinn and Emmett Stagg, whose seats for the party were always some of their safest. Even if the party retains at least ten seats at the next election, many of the remaining representatives will lack the experience of their predecessors, while up-andcoming talent like Ciara Conway or John Lyons may fail to be re-elected by their constituents. It must be considered, however, whether the party could do with an internal reshuffle before they next go to the people. It will be necessary to give a platform to their younger elected representatives to heighten their profiles within the media. From a tactical perspective, Labour are lucky to occupy a well-defined niche in Irish politics. Sinn Féin are the only other coherent force in left-wing politics following the spectacular breakdown of the United Left Alliance, and while Sinn Féin will undoubtedly make some gains at Labour’s expense, their party organisation is far less developed than that of Labour’s in much of the country. This niche is likely to mean that Labour will always have grassroots support which parties like the Progressive Democrats and the Greens never had. Their main issues were either not seen as important enough, or were not different enough from the mainstream parties. Though many supporters are disappointed with Labour, they are unlikely to defect to the likes of Fine Gael who are centre right and politically conservative. While the curse of the junior coalition partner will certainly affect the electoral performance of Labour in the coming years, strategists within the party will be well-aware of this and one would expect that they are doing their utmost to minimise the inevitable damage.

From a tactical perspective, Labour are lucky to occupy a well-defined niche in Irish politics. Sinn Féin are the only other coherent force in leftwing politics following the spectacular breakdown of the United Left Alliance

Ireland in recovery With Ireland exiting the bailout, Pat de Brún considers what the long terms effects of austerity will be

For the moment at least, the high-tech sector may be the only thing holding the Irish economy afloat. There is a clear danger in hoping that the world’s most mobile industry doesn’t pack up and leave for a better offer

After years of tax hikes, job losses, cuts to public services and mass emigration, could things finally be looking up? The trajectory of Ireland’s recovery looks as though it will increasingly satisfy the usual barometers employed by economists and ratings agencies. However, being told that we are in recovery and actually feeling that change in our daily lives are two very different prospects. “Your sacrifices are making a real difference. Ireland is now moving in the right direction,” we were told by An Taoiseach on the evening of Ireland’s bailout exit. The partial reclamation of our economic sovereignty, our move out of recession and the long-awaited commencement of the banking inquiry may give some cause for optimism regarding Ireland’s new direction. With bond yields less than a third of what they once were, and our credit score officially out of junk status, the international finance community certainly seems to think so. However, much of Ireland remains less than enthused with the result. The austerity directed by the IMF has left many public services defunded or privatised. While our government spending remains high, more and more is going to short-term fixes such as welfare payments, rather than structural investment in the economy. Education has been perhaps the hardest hit, falling to less than 10% of government spending after having been at a comfortable 14% for decades. This has been combined with an ever-increasing focus on attracting international investment. We’re told that we have to be competitive in order to attract multinational companies and jobs. It’s a safe bet that this means more tax breaks for foreign businesses, rather than trying to support domestic businesses, such

as government-funded industrial research like Germany and the US. Ireland has already been successful in attracting this international investment, with our technology and pharmaceutical industries both showing promising growth. Google, Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have located their headquarters in Dublin in recent years. This appears to bode well for the future, with the provision of plenty of high-skilled jobs and the continued expansion of the knowledge economy. Lack of investment in education, however, raises questions about how many of those jobs are going to Irish citizens. Moreover, even when these jobs do go to Irish citizens, it is exclusively to the well-educated; never to the poorest members of our society. There are few people trying to turn back the tide of foreign billions, no matter what they think about the corporate tax rate, but we are not going to see Ireland transform into a country of software engineers. Companies who create a product that can be replicated infinitely without needing extra workers will not provide many jobs. Those who call this a band-aid solution are not wrong. For the moment at least, the high-tech sector may be the only thing holding the Irish economy afloat. There is a clear danger in hoping that the world’s most mobile industry doesn’t pack up and leave for a better offer. Unemployment seems to have peaked, having dropped back to 12.9% in recent months, but the total number of employed people continues to drop. Instead, the drop in unemployment can be at least in part attributed to some people no longer qualifying for benefits, or emigrating in hopes of jobs overseas. With the youth unemployment rate still over 25%, there is a good chance that many of those reading this publication will be departing the country after graduating.

Emigration has once again become a fact of life in Ireland. At this stage, we’re well used to hearing the media line on this issue, featuring heart-breaking stories of middle-class families being wrenched apart through economic necessity. Yet those of us with friends who have departed these shores can testify that this is not always an accurate portrayal. Long gone are the days of the coffin ship and the once-in-ablue-moon handwritten letter. In their place we have many young people who are eager to travel and experience the world, never more than a Skype call from home. These are people who will hopefully return to Ireland someday, full of life experience and skills. Assuming, that is, we are able to build an economy for them to return back to. Nobel Laureate, and former Chief Economist at the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz, recently stated, “The wave of economic austerity that has swept Europe in the wake of the Great Recession is at risk of doing serious and permanent damage to the continent’s longcherished social model… and needlessly contributes to suffering of the jobless and the poor.” Ireland may be on the way up in many respects, but much of this progress is in the form of quick fixes that leave our most vulnerable still at risk. One in four Irish people are in immediate danger of falling into poverty, and one in ten of us already live in food poverty. The big question in years to come is how we will create sustainable jobs in this country. Cuts to education reduce our capacity to start our own technology sector instead of relying on money from Silicon Valley. We can’t provide manufactured goods cheaply because of the euro. Exiting the bailout has given the government back the power to spend where they need to, now we just have to hope they can figure out where that is. february 4th 2014 5


Education arms race Given the suggestion that a masters degree is the new bachelor’s, Laura Woulfe considers what this means for those who cannot afford one

A recent poll on that asked whether it is necessary for Irish students to emigrate immediately after graduation resulted in 11.9% of students claiming “No, I’ve chosen to continue studying” in comparison to 16.7% claiming “Yes, I can’t afford to continue studying”

Entering the final semester of your undergraduate degree, you are suddenly reminded of the days spent filling out your CAO form to the background buzz of your school career guidance counsellor flippantly assuring that by the time you finish university, hopefully employment will once again be on the rise. However, here you are, three or four years later and ready to take on the world, but the world is refusing to take on you because your Bachelor’s degree is no longer sufficient to get you that dream job. This bleak employment outlook has led to more and more Irish graduates applying for further education in order to boost their employment opportunities and to give them the edge that employers are so keen to find on a two-page CV. While a Bachelor’s degree was once the desired level of qualification by most employers, with rising numbers of young people opting to enrol in third-level education, the Bachelor’s degree is starting to look a lot like the Leaving Cert 30 years ago. The Department of Education and Skills estimated that the higher level of participation is now over 65%, of which approximately 47% planned to continue on to further education. Considering that the majority of full-time Masters courses in UCD are priced between about €5,000 and €6,000, with a number of the courses in UCD’s College of Business and Law costing up to €12,900, the cost of post-graduate education means that for many people obtaining a postgraduate degree is just not feasible. What results is a possible class division between those who can afford to continue onto further education and those who cannot. A study published by The Sutton Trust in England warned that this “development risked edging poor students out of the race for top graduate jobs.” A recent poll on that asked whether it is necessary for Irish

students to emigrate immediately after graduation resulted in 11.9% of students claiming “No, I’ve chosen to continue studying” in comparison to 16.7% claiming “Yes, I can’t afford to continue studying.” It seems that the growing need to validate one’s degree with a postgraduate qualification is more specific to certain fields of study. According to the Department of Education and Skills in the fourth Irish Eurostudent survey report, “Students from Humanities & Arts and Law had the highest percentages of students indicating that they intend to further their studies after graduation (60% and 58% respectively).” It seems that for many hardworking commerce students, who are likely to be swept up in groves into large multi-national companies such as Deloitte or KPMG, further study is still necessary to achieve top positions, but there is higher chance of company funding. Likewise, many science students get offered PhD’s without having to pay any course fee and often get even further funding for living costs due to the large amount of funding dedicated to scientific research. In this sense, postgraduate degrees are not completely unattainable to poorer students, yet there still remains an injustice when a poorer student has to choose between fulfilling their dream of becoming an archaeologist or realising that in the long run they’re better off studying commerce. However, not only can not having a postgraduate degree be a disadvantage to recent graduates, so too can having one. One of life’s many infuriating paradoxes, according to Ann Cahill from the Irish Examiner, one fifth of Irish young people are “considered to be over-educated, the third highest after Britain and Estonia, reflecting people choosing to stay studying rather than searching for jobs that are not there.”

private eyes With privacy being at the forefront of public debates, Conor Kevin O’Nolan asks whether we care about privacy at all

The past twelve months have seen intense debates on the matter of internet privacy. In what was one of the biggest news stories of 2013, documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal the massive extent of internet surveillance by the Five Eyes (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). While most recently, lawsuits have been filed against Facebook because of its alleged breaches of various laws regarding the usage of user data. Although these two incidents refer to similar issues, there is an important distinction to be made. One is the secret, systematic invasion of privacy by government agencies and the other is a company making alleged illicit use of its users’ data. It’s safe to say that over the past two decades, the way that humans communicate has been revolutionised. Before the mass proliferation of internet-usage, communication was relatively private and secure. It was possible to intercept phone calls, but expensive and difficult, often prohibitively so. Exchanging documents by post meant that unless a letter was completely repackaged, it would be easy to notice if it had been tampered with. Faxing was relatively insecure, but it was fairly difficult to tap without specialist equipment. Email changed all of this, and when companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo started providing free email addresses it became very easy to start communicating this way. There is a lack of an international statement on the limits of privacy, the closest being Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states ‘No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence.’ There are similar provisions in the European Charter of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The legal test for privacy in the US, UK and European Courts is whether you had a reasonable expectation

6 february 4th 2014

of privacy. This can more easily distinguished when the situation you are considering is a journalist taking a picture of you in your garden using a long-range lens. However, on the internet the distinction between public and private is often blurred. Ad-supported businesses, like social networks and email, rely on access to user data to allow them to present relevant ads to users. Serving targeted advertising is the only way companies can expect to make a profit from these kinds of enterprises without some subscription fee. The latest issue for Facebook is the accusation that it analysed users’ private messages in a bid to serve more relevant ads. Facebook is a free to use service, it costs Facebook money for a person to use it, so naturally Facebook is going to try and make money via advertising. However, people generally expect their private messages to remain private. Is it reasonable to expect this sort of privacy on a social network? The main question is what you sign up for when you agree to the Terms of Service agreement. Gmail analyses your messages and what you mark as spam in order to serve you ads. Very reasonably, Google offers an opt-out of this. Facebook does too, however, it consists solely of not using Facebook. Because you theoretically have the choice not to use Facebook, does this mean you consent to having any data you put on the site used for advertising? It’s no secret that people, by and large, don’t like targeted advertising because it is invasive. A famous example of the inherently creepy nature of this behaviour monitoring is an American father who learned that his teenage daughter was pregnant as a result of targeted advertising. His daughter discovered she was pregnant and started looking at baby related items on the website of a popular retailer. An algorithm calculated that there was a high chance that she was pregnant and

a catalogue and coupons for baby related items was dispatched to her, which led to questions and the eventual discovery of her pregnancy. What about where the data is not used to make a profit, but to stop terrorist attacks? The Snowden leaks revealed the incomprehensible amounts of data being collected and analysed by government organisations globally. The NSA ran the most famous of these operations called PRISM, which in part involved secret court hearings that forced companies into providing the NSA with data that was related to court approved search terms. The British Agency GCHQ also ran a program called Tempora, which intercepted massive amounts of British internet traffic. These programs, and the others that have been revealed, systematically invade the privacy of users of the internet. We live in a terror-obsessed, post 9-11 world where the protection of basic human rights comes second to the protection of national security. The real question we need to ask ourselves is if we think privacy is an important right which requires protection. If so, where does privacy begin and end? Should the government be allowed to see who you called? Can they download the data you put on your Facebook wall, or look at who you email? Can they look at the contents of your email? At what point do we say enough? Despite these overwhelming invasions into the privacy of internet users and the initial uproar as a result, there’s no indicators that there has been any real mass change in online behaviour. People still use Gmail, Facebook and Amazon. Privacy might be a human right, but it seems to only be a serious concern for people if their daily lives are actually being altered as with airport security checks rather than being watched. Judging from our behaviour, we seem to care very little about privacy.

We live in a terrorobsessed, post 9-11 world where the protection of basic human rights comes second to the protection of national security. The real question we need to ask ourselves is if we think privacy is an important right which requires protection

So even after you worked two part-time jobs and took out a hefty student loan in an attempt to buy your future job, a job still isn’t guaranteed. Now, not only are you unable to get a job in The Irish Times, but McDonalds won’t hire you either because you are considered over-qualified and likely to get bored with your MA in Journalism. The reality remains that in many cases, regardless of whether you have a Bachelor’s degree, a Masters degree or a PhD, there just aren’t enough entry-level graduate jobs in Ireland for the amount of students graduating each year. Often a long list of educational qualifications can also put off employers of high position jobs as while they may not deem you overeducated, they may fear that the seven years you spent in college was just a way to avoid getting a real job. It seems that you just can’t win. According to many employers, what they look for in graduates are the skills gained outside the classroom. The necessity for communication and team building skills seem to appear in job specs more often than postgraduate requirements. Therefore internships can be just as beneficial for getting your dream job as a postgraduate degree. Over the last few years an increasing amount of junior internships have been advertised for recent graduates and while unpaid internships have received a lot of criticism for seemingly taking advantage of jobless graduates, taking on a nine-month unpaid internship role is still a lot less expensive than a postgraduate course. According to gradireland, only 10.7% of leading graduate employers “weight postgraduate qualifications more heavily than relevant work experience.” So even for the students who can’t afford to pay for a postgraduate degree do an internship, apparently they are worth more but cost less.


Rise of the left? With wins for the left in mayoral elections as well as a perceived win over the budget shutdown, Emmet Lyons asks whether we are seeing the end of American ultra-conservatism

Over the last three decades, the fiscal policies of both the Republican and Democrat parties have leaned to the right. The 1980 election of GOP candidate Ronald Reagan prompted a radical scaling back of government influence on the US economy. Although the modern political era has been largely defined by a debate of Clintonism versus Reaganism, both administrations in many regards served a right wing economic agenda. In layman’s terms, the division of America’s political philosophies has been one of a right wing approach versus one of a centrist approach. Although more regulatory in his approach, President Clinton operated within the landscape that President Reagan had created. Faith was placed in the individual as opposed to the collective. Indeed, in his 1996 State of The Union address, President Clinton declared that the ‘era of big government is over.’ The direction of the United States was, and has since been, largely dictated by free market economics. However, we are starting to see the landscape change in American politics. There is evidence to suggest that a stronger leftist stance is building momentum across the US. As is tradition, New York City leads the progressive charge. Bill DeBlasio’s overwhelming mayoral election victory last November is a major buck in a recent trend in the Big Apple. Republican candidates Rudy Giuliani and three-term mayor Michael Bloomberg’s hard-nosed, business style of governance over the last two decades was put to task in the last election cycle resulting in a large leftward turn for the city. Crucially, the DeBlasio campaign ran not on the typically moderate view from the DNC playbook, but on the rhetoric of disillusionment

with income inequality, rising house prices, aggressive tactics and lack of affordable housing. In a city that gave birth to the ‘Occupy’ movement in recent years, the public decisively determined that another conservative mayor was not a viable option. DeBlasio’s victory may come to serve as a symbolic victory for a turning tide in the U.S.; after all, the conservative G.O.P are in self-destruct mode. The Tea Party movement, which had proved so useful in Republicans gaining a House majority in the 2010 mid-term elections have in hindsight, undoubtedly, caused the party some lasting damage. As a result of a Republican House majority represented by predominantly Tea Party candidates, little or no legislation has passed through Congress in the last four years. The anti-tax, small government mentality that has determined American legislation for the past three decades has become radicalised by these extreme right-wing politicians who now seek to block the Democrats and President Obama at every turn. Deeply embedded partisanship has taken hold on Capitol Hill and compromise is now a dirty word. This extreme turn right has hurt the GOP in the polls. 2013 saw the 113th Congress become both the least productive and least popular in American history. Polls have shown that the American people lay the blame firmly at the feet of the House Republicans. Constant attempts by House Republicans to repeal or defund President Obama’s signature law, the Affordable Care Act, last year highlighted both the Republican Party’s sharp turn to the extreme right and their growing irrelevance among the American public. This is exemplified by the fact that the roots of the bill as a reform of US healthcare were initially proposed

In a city that gave birth to the ‘Occupy’ movement in recent years, the public decisively determined that another conservative mayor was not a viable option

during the 1996 presidential election by Republican candidate Bob Dole. The dogged attempts to repeal the law culminated in a nonsensical two week government shutdown last October. During this time, Gallup recorded a GOP approval rating of only 28%, the worst rating Gallup have ever recorded for a political party. Both the DNC and President Obama’s approval rating remained largely intact. Studies of President Obama’s re-election in November 2012 suggest a change in the nation’s voting demographics, which can only serve to help a liberal agenda. President Obama’s large margin

developed as a direct result of the free market economics that remains integral to the GOP philosophy. An aggressive conservative stance on immigration has also isolated the country’s fastest growing demographic, the Latino community. Equally, the House Republicans’ aggressive opposition to distribution of female contraception in the Affordable Care Act made a significant contribution to Obama’s large margin of victory amongst college-educated female voters. Trends suggest that we are seeing the rise of a new liberalism in the US. Polls have shown that the most important voters for the future of

over GOP candidate Mitt Romney amongst non-white voters proved decisive to his election victory. A coalition of college-educated women, Latinos and AfricanAmericans was integral to President Obama’s re-election. With all three demographics growing, the future of the US electorate is leaning left. The GOP message of conservatism is becoming increasingly antiquated as the US electorate changes. The Republican Party continues to completely rely on the white vote and this is not a viable option in a rapidly diversifying country. Income inequality between the black and white middle-classes has

the country are leaning left. As long as the GOP message remains so stale and outdated, ultra-conservatism in the US will continue to decline. The Tea Party movement’s legacy may be a lasting damage that puts the final nail in the coffin of a Reagan style of governance. Obama’s re-election and DeBlasio’s victory in New York may well be symbolic of a country whose political direction is swiftly changing. It may well be that the era of small government in America, if not over, is ending.

Tarred with the same airbrush Looking at the overall treatment of women in modern society, Fionnán Long asks if the media is still failing its female market

The internalisation of these body and beauty images of women that mass media creates are massively harmful. You are made to define your own self-worth on a metric you can never win on

Last year was remarkable year for women in the media. The 65th Emmy award ceremony saw more female directors nominated than ever before. More and more TV shows, such as New Girl and Parks and Recreation, are written and directed by women. Malala Yousafzai, famous for her struggle for women’s education, was named one of Time’s Most Influential People of 2013. Undoubtedly these are positive signs for gender equality. Overall however the media has again failed women in 2013. For women, the ideal that the media creates is one of both of beauty and passivity. These are incredibly harmful to women and gender equality. The image of beauty that is projected is based on fantasy. It is an ideal cannot be fulfilled by anyone. Advertising media is almost universally photoshopped. The viral video Body Evolution demonstrates this perfectly. It shows woman posing before the camera. She’s beautiful and skinny by anyone’s standards. Professional lighting, makeup are added and while a hair stylist does their work to boost the images towards the desired quality. Then the photo is taken and we see it being treated on a photoshop computer program. The model’s eyes are enlarged and her face is distorted to become symmetrical. Tummies are tucked and legs, arms, neck and hands stretched. Parts of her stomach and leg are cut out. Even her skin tone changed. By the end of the process it is as if we are looking at a different person. Advertising based on these unattainable standards of beauty is all pervasive. For women, it is used to play on insecurities of self-perception created by the

divergence between reality and a fantasy in order to sell products. “Buy this and you will become that person and then you’ll feel better” is the unwritten injunction. When targeting men, the advertisement is based on sex appeal. This further fosters unrealistic expectations. The internalisation of these body and beauty images of women that mass media creates are massively harmful. You are made to define your own self-worth on a metric you can never win on. The pursuit of this self-worth at its most extreme drives people to eating disorders, a set of conditions that disproportionality effect women and have quadrupled in their prevalence since the 1970s. The harm from the traditional role of passivity is perhaps greater. It is true that this is a trend that is slowly being subverted. In music videos, women are ancillary to the rapper, eye candy on a yacht or dancing in the background of a club. Female singers tend to be preoccupied with a male love interest. If they are a position of dominance like in Miley Cyrus’s ‘Wrecking Ball’ it is usually derived from their sexuality and by implication their appearance. The charge of “hysteria” is a recurring motif in current affairs. The current Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbot, described former Prime Minister Julia Gillard as a “bitch” to the glee of the Australian media. Fox’s Megyn Kelly was told she shouldn’t be so dominant on her segment on women as breadwinners. Photos of Hillary Clinton looking furious in the wake of the Benghazi affair were used to undermine the former Secretary of State. What is interpreted as authority or passion in a man is still described as hysteria in a woman.

Femininity was seen as something negative in the media. Pundits criticised more female presence in sport and the army as ‘feminisation’, using this as a bad word. Women with real views or grievances were also belittled. Rape was dismissed or blamed on the victims. Wendy Davis, famous for her filibuster, which blocked a law trying to ban abortions after twenty weeks, became known as “Abortion Barbie”. The harm of this is enormous. Any role model a young girl may identify with in current affairs tends to be labelled by popular culture as defective. Strong females are all too rare in today’s entertainment. This also causes society to find the idea of a strong female alien. This severely limits the freedoms of women, even if there is full legal equality. The media occupies a special role in society. It communicates a message directly from its source to a wide audience. Mass media frames our political, social and cultural discourses. Not only is this discourse framed through the editorial decisions of news broadcasters, it is also framed through entertainment. When we consume entertainment, we tend to be passive. We are there to enjoy, not to learn. It is because of this that we are more uncritical and accepting of the premises put before us. Our expectations determine what we express approval of or disapproval of. This reinforces social norms by influencing people’s behaviour. These social norms are then picked up by media and the feedback loop begins. What we see is that media is far-reaching and collectively defines our expectations of both ourselves and of others. february 4th 2014 7


CEO of Barnardos, Fergus Finlay, claimed in 2012 that the charity only received an average of two complaints a month on this topic. It would seem that there are little or no official complaints against chuggers, despite the public uneasiness towards them

president in profile After taking over as UCD President, Professor Andrew Deeks speaks to Killian Woods about the his academic career in Australia, addressing HEA funding at third level, and balancing the international relations with efforts domestically Beginning any new job can be daunting. It can be difficult to know where to start, how to remember every face you are introduced to, and even get accustomed to a new schedule. These three factors are magnified further when that new job is taking the helm at Ireland’s largest university. Professor Andrew Deeks took over from outgoing UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady, at the beginning

of this calendar year, becoming the ninth President of UCD. His selection represents arguably the most progressive appointment to the President’s office, as Prof. Deeks is the first external candidate to get the role and also the first non-Irish head of UCD. The importance of UCD having a new president should not be underestimated. Students, more so than the staff of UCD, may

That gives you a significant advantage over someone who has had a long history with the institution and has certain bias and experienced certain things. I’ve been able to come in and see UCD, where it is now, then start working with the leadership team to see where we want to go

8 february 4th 2014

especially feel that there is little change to observe. If there are no drastic differences to their everyday college experience, then in their mind nothing will have changed. It is even questionable if more than half than the student population know there is a new president since the beginning of the new year. Even if their sole interaction with the UCD President is a generic handshake when they attend their

graduation ceremony, there should be a certain level of respectful consideration for the role this university’s president. The president is a vital aspect of any university. They are a leader, an ambassador, and a potential ally for the students. The aforementioned ‘progressive’ nature of his appointment is the main question on most minds that are interested in what lies ahead for the University. To some,

a progressive appointment may mean bringing in a president who will shift the flow of funding in favour of Arts over Science. Or maybe, progressiveness means a wholly international approach to boosting this college’s reputation and putting local issues on the back burner. The following interview with Prof. Deeks looks to gauge his opinions on the three major

aspects of UCD that will demand his attention most over the course of his tenure: education, student services, international relations. Meanwhile, the personal aspect of the interview attempts to give students and staff alike a chance to learn more about Prof. Deeks as a person and tell the story of how a civil engineer eventually found himself as the head of Ireland’s largest university.

and similarities between the three different places. When I went from Australia to the UK then it seemed like everything slowed down, it took longer to do everything. Now I’ve come to Ireland it seems like everything happens really quickly here. It’s a bit of a reversal.” For Deeks, the draw of this position was the chance to affect change and deal with the education policy change. “UCD is a big part of the Irish government. There is an opportunity here to not only work with what is happening in UCD, but to influence Higher Education policy for all of Ireland in a positive sense; bringing to the table my experience from both Australia and the UK. I think that is something that makes the opportunity more exciting than another UK university, because those opportunities wouldn’t be there.” As the first external candidate appointed UCD President, there may be an added pressure to perform, however, Deeks doesn’t feel an added weight of expectation. “I don’t feel added pressure. “I’ve already gone through the process of moving from one country to another to take on an academic leadership role. Of course, I had previously a leadership role in the

university I has worked up in. “I have found that moving to a new university, coming into the position of responsibility is better, is easier, because you come in and see things as they are now and also the people there see you as you are now. “That gives you a significant advantage over someone who has had a long history with the institution and has certain bias and experienced certain things. I’ve been able to come in and see UCD, where it is now, then start working with the leadership team to see where we want to go.” ‘Where we want to go’ is very much on President Deeks’ mind. Speaking about the advice he has been taking about the role, it is interesting to note that he hasn’t spoken to his predecessor, Dr Hugh Brady, but has primarily sourced his advice from people directly associated with the University. “The current members of the University Management Team have been giving me advice on the various aspects of the University. I’ve also been having meetings with several of the influential alumni of the University and getting their perspective and their advice, but I haven’t met with Dr Brady since taking on the role.”

biography Prof. Andrew Deeks was born in the United Kingdom in 1963, but his family emigrated to western Australia when he was six-years-old. His career path reflects that of an ambitious academic. Not one that is necessarily trying to climb as high as he can for the self-satisfaction of being in positions of power, but the kind of ambitious academic that needs each career step they take to be a different and unique challenge. He was educated in western Australia, attending the University of Western Australia (UWA) to study for his Bachelor of Engineering. After graduating, he entered the workforce, but his passion for academia brought him back to education and when his former lecturer he suggested he should go back and apply for a senior tutor position at UWA that became available, he did. Reflecting on reentering academia, Deeks spoke of how he “decided to go back and basically never left. The combination of teaching students and doing original research was exciting and kept me interested.” After receiving his Doctorate from UWA in 1992, Deeks spent another 17 years at the university, progressing from his senior tutor role, to lecturer, to the Deputy Head of School in the Civil & Resource

Engineering wing of UWA, and finally to the Head of School in 2004. Each progression so far has been a measured step up, and when the opportunity presented itself to move abroad and take on that next challenge as Pro Vice-Chancellor of Science at Durham University, Deeks felt it was the natural move to make. “It was the opportunity that came up at that time,” says Deeks. “I had some existing research collaboration with Durham University and I had just reached the end of a five-year term as the Head of School at UWA when my research collaborator from Durham told me of the advert for the Pro Vice-Chancellor position… so I applied and the rest was history.” The role of Pro Vice-Chancellor brought new challenges that Deeks took in his stride. However, when a recruitment agency called about possibly applying for UCD President, his interest in a new challenge was again piqued. “I looked into the University more, I wasn’t familiar with it at that stage. I looked into its history, its standing within Ireland and within the world and decided that this was a very interesting opportunity. “It’s an interesting process going from Australia to the UK to Ireland, and seeing the differences

STUDENTS “It was a running start,” says Deeks of his first few weeks as UCD President. “Over the first three weeks, working with the Registrar [Mark Rogers] I did a review of the University Management Team and as a result we proposed a much simpler structure that we are in the process of implementing. That includes a student experience group that reports directly into the University Management Team.” At such an early stage in his tenure, this is welcoming news to hear that Deeks is not afraid to overhaul old systems and simplify the bureaucracy, which can slow down the process of actually affecting change. The links between the top level of management at UCD and students have been tentative in recent years. This move that will see students have a direct line to upper echelons of management will hopefully help both sides gain a greater understanding of each other, avoiding the trend of students’ trust levels plummeting when they struggle to find common ground on key interests with the University. Deeks is keen to work with students and hear what they have to say, but dealing with student groups that are purely breeding grounds for future politicians doesn’t seem to interest him. It appears he’d welcome dealing with a Students’ Union (SU) that is more focused on improving student life. “Coming from the Australian system, the SUs went from a situation where they were a breeding ground for future politicians to a situation where they were much more concerned with student facilities, the student experience on campus, with representing the student body to senior management,” says Deeks. “What I would hope is that our SU will adopt that kind of approach that they will be concerned with

What I would hope is that our SU will adopt that kind of approach that they will be concerned with student experience on campus

student experience on campus, working with me and my management team in terms of improving that and that party politics will not be a part of student politics.” Also important to Deeks is that all students are on a united front. The perception that Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will be left in the wake of other faculties is not his end goal. A combining of all efforts to improve the University, with each faculty contributing equally to this vision, is one of the major changes he feels UCD could benefit from. “There is an opportunity to integrate things far more in UCD. Great progress has been made on many fronts, but there is a need to integrate all this to ensure research and education, the international agenda are all brought back together. “[They should be] complimentary to ensure that the University itself see ourselves as one community, including Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering, lawyers, business people all see us as one university pushing in the same direction.”

INTERNATIONAL Generating a reputation on the international stage is the key these days to securing those vital foreign investments from abroad, but also the gateway to ensuring a steady flow of foreign students to the University. Deeks believes, “UCD’s reputation abroad, where people know it, is very good. The issue is that it is not widely known. The people that have had contact with UCD know how good it is. There is that dichotomy.” He reflects that this is the first stumbling block that all colleges struggle with and that UCD’s reputation will gain momentum when the strategy for 2020 is in full effect. “When we go through developing the new strategy to 2020, then we will be looking particularly at the international strand of that and assuring the things we do internationally are going to ensure that the University becomes much more widely and better known. “That is one of the challenges of moving up the rankings, of improving this reputation and to have reputation you need to be known. It is a great University, we need more people to know about it.” UCD students have shared sentiments in the past that efforts focused on improving the reputation have resulted in the domestic affairs being ignored. This is a problem Deeks is acutely aware. “The internationalisation should always be complimentary to what we do here in Dublin on the main campus. So all the globalisation activities, in the end should support what is going on here and should support the education of our domestic students. “I will be looking, as we develop this next strategy, to ensure the strategy is integrated. What we do in terms of internationalisation, what we do in terms of research all supports in terms of what we’re doing in education and student experience. “Exactly what that will look like, will have to develop together as the institution, but I’m convinced that internationalisation is necessary, but it needs to compliment the experience of the home students and bring benefits to the campus.” With regards to improving UCD’s placing in international university rankings such as the World University Rankings release by Times Higher Education,

The internationalisation should always be complimentary to what we do here in Dublin on the main campus

Deeks also feels that, like the internationalisation complimenting efforts domestically, the rankings must be improved upon by focusing on achieving excellence in all areas. “For UCD, I see us pursuing excellence in all activities, the rankings being a key performance indicator that follows, rather than something we focus on. If we are concentrating on excellence in student experience, excellence in education, excellence in research, then the ranking will follow.” When addressing the major challenges faced by UCD in terms of boosting its international reputation, Deeks draws the discussion back to following through other national efforts such as addressing the funding of third-level in Ireland. “We need to get our funding for universities right, such that we can compete in that international space. Clearly we want to attract the best academics from around the world to come and teach our students, to do research and contribute to the Irish economy. It’s more the challenges are domestic, so we can compete internationally.” He continues, “In terms of the international market, again, the challenges are that other countries are putting much more resources into their higher education and the developing countries see higher education as an important part of their economic growth. “Therefore they are funding it very well and putting great facilities in place. So, increasingly, we will be challenged by the higher education systems in those developing countries.”



past presidents Hugh Brady 2004—2013

I would like to see a move towards a system where universities are free at point of entry to the students and the cost of the university education may be shared between the state and the student

The allocation of funding towards respective faculties is an apparent issue that a lot of students, and staff alike, have reservations about. It is perceived that the scientific research in UCD gets preferential treatment when it comes to the distribution of funding because this is the best avenue through which to boost the University’s reputation. Concurrently, this is thought to take away from other aspects of the college, such as the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Speaking about these hesitations surrounding funding of faculties, Deeks reiterates his desire to see the University aspire for excellence on all fronts. “To me it is very important to have a strong Arts, Humanities and Social Science focus within the University, but to be a world-class university, one has to have this breadth of disciplines. I’ll certainly be working with those colleges to ensure the issues that they see being the case are addressed. “We are already seeing a vision for the precinct of the Newman Building and the James Joyce library and to see what could be done to bring it up to the standard that we see in other parts of the campus.” These issues with funding should take centre stage in the coming years as Deeks’ UCD will be forced to back-up the aforementioned commitments. However, the issue on most students’ minds is that of full third-level fees being reintroduced. Deeks spoke openly about his feelings behind what system Ireland should move towards with regards to this. He emphasised that resolving this issue is crucial due to the crisis surrounding the funding of universities in this country. “The whole issue of university funding is one that needs to be addressed within Ireland. At the moment, the amount funding per student that comes to the universities is well behind our competitors. “If we are going to have world-class universities, then we need to be funding the universities at a similar rate to our competitors. That is something we have to look at very closely. “Having grown up in Australia and gone through the system there, the contribution system whereby the education is free at point of entry is an important principle in terms of equity. “I would like to see a move towards a system where universities are free at point of entry to the students and the cost of the university education may be shared between the state and the student, but only after the student benefits from the education. “After they graduate and they get a good job and are on a good salary, then they are in a position to pay back their contribution to their education [through the taxation system]. If they don’t benefit from it, then they shouldn’t have to pay it back.” Imposing such a system could lead to a brain drain of domestic academic talent, an issue that Deeks feels should be offset by the immigrants coming to Ireland who have already paid for their education, which Ireland will now benefit from. “The immigration into Ireland and the ability to attract young people from the UK and Australia are coming into Ireland with an education that has already been paid for by their particular government. “As long as we can assure that the Irish economy is strong enough that we are attracting in the same number of educated people that we are losing through emigration, then it should be a net balance.” During the conversation, a significant number of hurdles that UCD student will have to navigate over the course of his tenure crop up, and it is difficult to assert what will be the paramount challenge to students. Deeks feels that the main challenge the University and students will face jointly is resolving this problem of sourcing where thirdlevel funding will inevitably come from. “It’s really being able to work with the HEA and the Department of Education to ensure that the vision of the government doesn’t impede and restrict actually our delivery of that vision. “They have a great vision, but when they’re too managerial, then it affects our ability to deliver it. There are a couple of specific things that I referred to; the problem of the funding to universities per student is something that has to be resolved. “And another thing is the connection of the academic pay scale to the public service pay scales. While those two are linked in that way so that our academic scales are no comparable with our international competitors, then it restricts the ways we can build the universities in the way actually the government would like to see them built. “So we have to resolve the tension between the government’s ambition and the way the Department of Education and Skills and the HEA are trying to realise that ambition and in the process, restricting it.”

Art Cosgrove 1994—2004

Patrick Masterson 1986—1993

Thomas Murphy 1972—1985

Jeremiah J. Hogan 1964—1972

Michael Tierney 1947—1964

Arthur W. Conway 1940—1947

Denis J. Coffey 1908—1940

february 4th 2014 9


chug life

They cause us to tackle the city streets like it’s an obstacle course, but Róisín Finn asks if chuggers are really the problem as she talks to a former chugger about the tactics they employ to get donations

They’re a familiar sight across the city. For some, they do vital work in raising awareness and funds for worthwhile charities. For others, so called ‘chuggers’ are nothing except an irritating modern phenomenon. Gleaning their nickname from the popular theory that these individuals are akin to ‘charity muggers’, questions surrounding their credibility and methodology have arisen. Does this form of fundraising border on harassment? Should street and door to door fundraising be banned completely? The case could be made that fundraising campaigns require a certain element of intrusion and bluntness to be successful. The characteristic that seems to aggravate the public the most about both chuggers and door to door fundraisers is the scripted and manipulative approach used to promote sign-ups. Anne Marie Byrne, UCD Law with Politics student, who has previously worked as a door to door fundraiser for Oxfam, told the University Observer of the “objection responses” she was taught. “The most common [objection] was: ‘I’m signed up with another charity’ and that one I found difficult to overcome. A lot of people were signed up with Concern, so we were supposed to say that they were more focused on the nutrition aspect, whereas Oxfam are focused water and hygiene, then go through awards Oxfam has won. “Another would be, ‘I have too many direct debits, I can’t commit to any more’. I found this response to be fake and not genuine, as we would have to say, ‘Oh don’t talk to me about direct debits, I have them coming out my ears. I can promise you when you look at your statement at the end of the month, this is the only one that will make you smile.’” These scripted responses further blacken the reputation of chuggers. Being trained to rebut any protests or reluctance, while

perhaps a clever sales technique, simply translates as intimidating. It would seem that street fundraising has mushroomed in the recent past, which has sparked reactions from certain town councils in the UK, such as Watford and Islington, who are currently taking measures to prohibit, or heavily regulate street fundraising. One suggestion may be to prohibit chugging and solely allow door to door fundraising, which has yet to come under much public scrutiny. However, this method undeniably requires an element of intrusion, and is slowly becoming a source of contention. When asked if she ever felt she was intruding on someone’s home, Byrne says, “Yes, following a certain time in the evening, it did. People were coming back from work, had had a long day, putting their kids to bed or making their dinner; having their own lives. “With old or disabled people, they usually wouldn’t answer their door late at night. They might come to the window and might have been put off or scared, then we were supposed to show them our badge. But I still felt bad for giving them such a shock.” This issue of intrusion is the number one problem most people have with chugging, but these people usually aren’t aware that there are clear and cohesive procedures should someone want to complain about an organisation’s method of street fundraising, or even a chugger in particular. Concern, for example, has a specific page on their website dedicated to such complaints, as does Barnardos. Another method would be to directly contacting the Fundraising Standards Board, who regulate such charities. More than 60 charities have also signed up and pledged alliance to the ICTR’s Statement of Guiding Principles of Fundraising, with Oxfam notably absent. However, the CEO of Barnardos, Fergus Finlay, claimed in 2012 that

the charity only received an average of two complaints a month on this topic. It would seem that there are little or no official complaints against chuggers, despite the public uneasiness towards them. This draws the question, do chuggers really irritate us that much, and is this hatred nothing but a fleeting annoyance as we attempt to navigate Grafton Street or Henry Street? The media frenzy surrounding the use of charitable donations to provide top-up payments to board members of the Central Remedial Clinic has darkened the attitude of the public towards the worthiness of donating to charity. Fundraising Ireland stated charity donations had plunged 40% in the wake of the top-ups controversy and also warned about phone calls coming in on an hourly basis of people cancelling donations. It cannot be denied, however, that charities do some substantial good in improving the quality of life for the people of Ireland and communities abroad. Concern, Oxfam, Barnardos and many more, are all reputable charities that use street fundraising to raise funds and awareness. While we have certainly established that ‘chuggers’ are bothersome and door to door fundraising can be intrusive, what’s the alternative? There is simply no other means of fundraising that produces such volumes of ‘regular giving’, which is the backbone of most charities, as once off donations simply do not go far enough. Regular giving allows charities to react to crisis quickly and effectively. While ‘chuggers’ may transform our streets into military-like obstacle courses and inspire eye contact evasion and intense pavement staring, it cannot be denied that the work they do is incredibly worthwhile. Do they irritate us to our very core? Yes. Can they be rude and intrusive? Yes. Can they do some extraordinary good in the process? Indeed.

CEO of Barnardos, Fergus Finlay, claimed in 2012 that the charity only received an average of two complaints a month on this topic. It would seem that there are little or no official complaints against chuggers, despite the public uneasiness towards them

narrowing students’ horizions As passing by compensation starts its second semester of a total phasing out process, Nicole Casey ask students whether UCD is starting a trend to improve learning on campus or creating a problem

Without compensation, I’ll definitely be sticking to easy modules that I know I can do well at. Unfortunately broadening my horizons will have to be put on hold

10 february 4th 2014

Examination results are released and, shock of all shocks, you’ve managed a pretty decent result. Oh, except for that one E grade. However, thanks to passing by compensation, that’s nothing you really have to worry about. Over the years, passing by compensation has no doubt saved many UCD students the €230 it costs to repeat a module. Prior to September, UCD allowed compensation on modules where the student had failed with an E grade and had an overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or above. A student’s performance across all attempted modules in a stage was reviewed by the Programme Examination Board to determine eligibility for compensation. Where compensation was allowed, E grades were converted to PC (pass by compensation) and assigned a GPA value of 1.6. These modules did not need to be repeated or re-sat. The exception to this rule was dissertation, thesis and research modules with a 15 credits value, which were never passable by compensation. However, over the next number of years, students who receive lower than a D grade in any module will have to repeat or resit, regardless of overall GPA. The changes to compensation, which began in semester one of this academic year, saw compensation being phased out by module level rather than year group. Should the phasing out have been implemented based on year group, two students sitting the same module would have been assessed differently. Rather, it is the modules, based on level, which will be affected by the phasing out process. At present, modules at level zero, one, four and five are no longer passable by compensation. From September 2014, level two modules will also be exempt from

compensation, and September 2015 will see the completion of the phasing out process as level three modules will also be incorporated. There is a mixed reaction among students about the changes to assessment. Many view the phasing out of compensation as a negative plan to put in place, and one that will have a detrimental effect on their learning and the outcome of their final degree. Aisling O’Riordan, a second year Arts student, believes that eliminating compensation will make students less likely to take full advantage of the electives UCD offers to its students. “When I started college, I thought it was great that we could choose electives from any subject area. I took many different electives; some good, some not so good. Last year I took a veterinary science elective, but by the time I realised I was out of my depth it was too late to switch subjects.” With an abolishment to compensation, O’Riordan is certain she will be less open to new electives in the future. “I failed the module, which was no surprise. I managed to pass by compensation though, saving me the time and cost of a repeat. Without compensation, I’ll definitely be sticking to easy modules that I know I can do well at. Unfortunately broadening my horizons will have to be put on hold.” While some argue that compensation allows people who make little or no effort throughout the semester to progress to the next stage of their degree, some situations which utilise the ability to pass by compensation, such as that experienced by O’Riordan, are not the result of little effort during the academic year. Another student who has benefitted from passing by compensation is final year Commerce student Patrick Jordan. “Commerce

involves taking modules in many different business subjects, some of which are harder than others. “For me, the accounting modules were always difficult. It’s just something I can’t get my head around. Last year I failed an accounting module, but my GPA allowed me to pass it by compensation.” When compensation is completely abolished, the only option for students will be to repeat or resit the failed module. But as Jordan explains, that won’t always work. “If I had to take that accounting module again, I’ve no doubt I’d fail. I don’t think another semester of lectures would help me pass.” If repeats and resits of exams are to be the only option for students, it is hoped that the cost of these will be reduced in the coming years. At present, UCD has the highest cost of repeating an exam across all Irish universities at €230 per resit. This is in stark comparison to Trinity College Dublin, where students who have failed an exam must undertake a supplemental examination, which is free of charge. If students are to be expected to repeat or resit any module where higher than a D grade is not achieved, this amount will have to be dramatically reduced. Students are already suffering from hikes in fees and student contribution levies, and many will be unable to afford to pay for repeats if they stay at the same high price. Compensation is a facet of many third level institutions, and UCD will be the first of Ireland’s seven universities to abolish it completely. The question that begs an answer, however, is whether UCD is about to start a trend that other universities will soon follow, or if the university is taking things a step too far. Come September 2015, will UCD be the only university without compensation, or just the first of many?

science Do calories count? The science behind calories is simple, says Karen Emerson as she argues that we should start viewing our food as essential meals and not a way to lose weight

In the face of the obesity epidemic, we have become calorie obsessed. In a bid to regain consumers’ trust, food companies have resorted to putting the calorie content of their products on menus, on websites and firmly into our consciousness when choosing what to eat. How important is a calorie? What does it mean? Is our calorific equilibrium, or inequilibrium as the case may be, the reason we are the size we are? For something that has become so central in public health consciousness, many people know surprisingly little about what a calorie actually refers to. In brief, a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. To measure the calorie content of a specific food, the food sample is burned in the presence of oxygen in a bomb calorimeter. The rise in temperature correlates to the amount of calories, or more correctly kilocalories, in the food. This method was originally introduced by French physicist Nicholas Clément in the early 19th century during lectures describing heat engines. The question obviously arises: how relevant is this to the metabolic processes that occur in our bodies? The answer is perhaps not very. Our bodies are not simple heat furnaces. Each macronutrient is treated differently by our digestive systems and triggers individual sequences of events that will have varying effects on how our bodies look and feel. We are taught that to maintain a healthy weight our energy input (the food we consume) must equal our energy output (energy for normal body functioning), thermogenesis (energy required to digest food), and physical activity. The equation for a svelte physique

could not be simpler, yet in Ireland the Department of Health states that 39% of Ireland’s population are overweight and almost a fifth of the nation is obese. Considering that in 2013 a record number of runners competed in the Dublin marathon and we are currently undergoing a cardio and cross-training revolution similar to that of the 1980s, it is difficult to comprehend how the population’s health is deteriorating faster than an eight minute mile. In an effort to promote healthy eating and to steer the public away from high sugar foods, which in excessive amounts are known to lead to type 2 diabetes, public health officials have warned us from indulging in ‘empty calories’. This insinuates that it is not the calorie content that is the problem, rather what they are lacking, such as vitamins and minerals. However, it is the content of these ‘empty calories’ that drive weight gain for many people. Dr Robert Lusting, paediatric endocrinologist in the University of California and author of Fat Chance; The Bitter Truth About Sugar, was one of the first highprofile health professionals to declare that “a calorie is not a calorie.” Dr Lustig has since become a YouTube sensation with his 90 minute scientific lecture on sugar and the metabolism of fructose gaining over four million views; a clear indication that the ins and outs of nutrient breakdown and their effects on the body not only interests the scientific community. A recent UK government study found that the British population is consuming up to 600 less calories per day than their counterparts 30 years ago. Somewhat counter-intuitively, within the same timeframe Brits have gained an average of eight kilograms

each. The latest stats from the NHS claim that over 60% of women in the UK are considered to be overweight. The proof is in the pudding, as is the weight gain. The same study also found that British people today consume almost 70% more calories outside the home than in 1980. While Ireland’s figures may not have reached the same dramatic heights yet, it can be assumed that we will soon follow our neighbour’s footsteps. Despite having clear, concise dietary guidance, the obesity epidemic has become an international crisis, with babies as young as six months old being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. All parts are not equal when it comes to food consumption. So it’s ‘you are what you eat’ rather than how much you eat. For example, wholemeal products have higher calories than their more processed versions, yet your digestive tract will thank you in years to come for providing extra fibre in your diet which reduces the risk of bowel cancer and diverticulitis. Food intake is the one aspect of our health that we can improve instantaneously and feel the benefits from often immediately. Our diet is more than just a numbers game. If we become less concerned with striking the elusive balance between energy input and expenditure, we can start to view our meals as essential fuel that will help us ward off both physical and mental illness. Focussing on the inclusion of healthy foods rather than a restriction to 1800 – 2500 kcal per day can promote a healthier food ethos, which inspires a more positive relationship with food and encourages a hands-on, home-cooked approach. Foodies have no fear; health is not synonymous to hunger.

A calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise one kilogram of water one degree Celsius. To measure the calorie content of a specific food, the food sample is burned in the presence of oxygen in a bomb calorimeter

Bitter pillness to swallow Assessing the benefits of our society not relying on medicine for every medical emergency, Dónal Ó Catháin explains how taking painkillers for a flu may actually just make you sicker

It is a common enough reaction to reach for the appropriate medication when one is undergoing the onset of an ailment. Cough medicine for the eponymous affliction, antacids for heartburn and so forth. New research brought to light by David Earn of the McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada has called into question, however, the medical benefits of following this status quo. In his study, he earnestly refers to studies that have displayed the lowering of a fever, due to flu medicine, leading to prolonged viral infections and increasing the amount of virus we can pass on to others. It is an interesting discovery that raises the issue of modern life perplexingly leading to more sickness. For instance, cleaner environments mean one’s immune system is given less of a workout and becomes weaker. This is the so-called ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’. It is a theory which would explain why athsma is the most common chronic disease in the developed world. Kids aren’t being exposed to enough bacteria in their formative years these days, seemingly. An experiment was carried out on lab mice, who were divided into two groups, raised in different conditions. One was exposed to bacteria akin to that which would be faced in the real world. The other was placed in a sterile environment. Those raised in the germ-free zone succumbed to more maladies than their dirty counterparts due to their weak untested immune systems. Thankfully all was not lost for the sheltered group, if they were innoculated within the first few weeks of their rodent lives their immune system could catch up in strength with that of their more dirty friends. It is for similar reasons that Dr

Edward Pursell of King’s College London recommends giving painkillers to children under the age of five only to relieve pain, he says, “Fever won’t hurt… it might help.” On the other hand, the head of respiratory diseases at Public Health England, Professor Nick Phin, is of the opinion that Earn’s study is overly-reliant on non-human data. He says that painkillers are safe and effective against flu. There is an interesting debate on the extent to which people should employ the use of external substances in their bodies. Some disagree adamantly to the upsetting of the body’s natural healing processes. In this example, painkillers taken for a flu can reduce fevers, but fever is thought to be an antiviral weapon, due to the fact that many viruses have difficulty replicating above the standard body temperature of 37 °C. The research is unclear of the effect this has on recovery. Similarly, natural sleep is better than its hypnotics-induced counterpart. The latter runs the risk of sleeping pill addiction as well as ‘rebound insomnia’, the worsening of the original insomnia related to tolerance. In many cases, medication is obviously needed to return the patient to full health. Look at the remarkable effect of polio vaccines and the gargantuan amount of lives that have been saved since their introduction in the 50’s. Where previously, hundreds of thousands of people died each year from the disease, it now results in less than a thousand deaths annually. For this and similar diseases, the body’s natural response is insufficient and an absence of medical intervention would just lead to prolonged bad health, or worse still, death. Naturopathy, a sort of natural

medicine, promotes vitalism; a belief that a special energy guides bodily processes. A naturopathic approach to sickness typically favours noninvasive treatment and generally avoids the use of surgery and drugs.  A total rejection of biomedicine and modern science is common among naturopaths. Scientific basis for the existence of this vital force is somewhat lacking. It is not an Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM). An EBM basically comprises the latest empirical research to advocate methods which achieve the greatest health outcomes for their patients. Naturopathy and others like it are instead labelled pseudo-scientific forms of alternative medicine. Some may find the term pseudoscientific medicine to be somewhat oxymoronic seeing as medicine is the use of actual scientific methods to prevent, cure and treat diseases. The acknowledged widespread effectiveness of placebos could perhaps be persuasive in convincing even the most scientific minds that alternative medicine may have some benefits. Placebos are blank capsules given to patients who believe it is actual medicine, which will improve their condition. A surprising number of placebo patients report an enhancement of their condition despite there being no physiological basis for an improvement. It is unclear whether this stated improvement is a subjective perception of a therapeutic effect or whether there is really a physical basis to it. All this serves to say that the next time you feel sick and reach for medication, ask yourself if you really need it. Consider the ironic notions that it may just make you worse and that you might be better off just taking a blank capsule.

It is for similar reasons that Dr Edward Pursell of King’s College London recommends giving painkillers to children under the age of five only to relieve pain, he says, “Fever won’t hurt… it might help”

february 4th 2014 11

science Progress a heartbeat away A type of battery has been invented that uses muscle contractions to generate enough electricity to power pacemakers and other devices, Aoife Hardesty investigates

We’ve all heard that ‘energy cannot be created or destroyed’, so by using the natural vibration energy generated when muscles contract, the harvester can store and use the bodies natural power

Pacemakers, cochlear implants and internal defibrillators are just a few of the implanted devices that people have come to rely on to maintain their health and quality of life. Other such devices that act upon the nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy, also work to significantly diminish, through the use of deep brain stimulators and neural stimulators respectively, the symptoms associated with these diseases. All of these devices (and many more) require surgery to be implanted inside the body, and subsequently more surgery just to replace the batteries powering these devices. Would it ever be possible for implanted devices to continue functioning normally in human bodies until death? The answer is looking like a resounding yes, and not just by creating and building longer life batteries. A type of battery-like device has been created that is powered by muscle contractions, dubbed a mechanical energy harvester. We’ve all heard that ‘energy cannot be created or destroyed’, so by using the natural vibration energy generated when muscles contract, the harvester can store and use the bodies natural power. Dr John Rogers, of the University of Illinois, and his colleagues have built the harvester and recently tested it in animals. The harvester is based on the piezoelectric effect. This effect results in particular materials becoming electrically charged when under pressure. For the harvester, a material called lead zirconate titanate (PZT) was used in its crystallised form. The PZT was made into an ultra-thin, flexible ribbon and was then sandwiched between two layers of silicone.

Dr Rogers has done work on silicone in the past, and he and his team have found that by splitting the silicone until it is several times thinner than the width of a human hair, the silicone loses its rigidity and becomes flexible and bendy. The overall flexibility of the harvester allows it to move with the movements of the body organs rather than against them. Within our bodies, movement is constantly taking place. In the recent experiments performed on cows, sheep and pigs, the harvester was stitched onto the surface of the continually moving heart, diaphragm and lungs. The idea of using our own natural, bodily functions to power implants is not a novel one. A wave of research has cropped up dedicated to harnessing the energy within our bodies. While other scientists looked into using glucose breakdown and fluctuations in body temperature, Dr Rogers and his team focused their efforts on harnessing the power of movement from muscle contractions. What really makes this breakthrough stand apart from other previous experiments is that the harvester was here shown to work on organs of cows, sheep and pigs, organs that are comparable in size to those of humans. What has been demonstrated means that it is possible that the harvester will work in the human body. In the experiment, the harvester was able to release enough energy that would power a pacemaker. The silicone coating also appeared to be biologically compatible with the animal’s organs. The harvester has been shown to last for half a day, but in order for it to be a better alternative to current battery powered implants, it must be able

to last for at least ten years. Although the results of this experiment are promising, they may not be a true reflection of the harvester’s ability to work in normal, everyday situations. The conditions in which the harvester was tested were very controlled, the animals were under heavy anaesthetic and their chest cavities remained open. It is unknown how the harvester will function when the entire body is moving. It is possible that friction could occur from other bodily organs and that this friction could interfere with the performance of the harvester. It is also possible that in high stress situations, when the heart is under pressure and contracting at high rates, too much electrical energy could be generated that could cause the implant to be overloaded with power and stop working. To examine these concerns and others, further testing on the harvester is required. The team have received permission for a long-term project for the harvester to be inserted into animals. The harvester’s activity would be regularly monitored, allowing the researchers to assess the functionality of the device, and see if it would be a viable long term option. If successful in these tests, the harvester may advance to human trials. The harvester could be used with implants to keep the battery fully charged and operational or it could be used as a replacement for batteries to directly power the implant. The end goal is that with devices such as the mechanical energy harvester, patients with batterypowered implants will never require subsequent invasive surgery for battery replacement, thus improving the patients’ quality of life to no end.

The unpalatable scandal With the recent fox meat scandal in China, Kate Conboy-Fischer examines why exactly some cultures find some meats so abhorrent

“In Heaven there is dragon meat, and on earth there is donkey meat” The above is a saying in the Gansu province of China and its bordering regions. It is a phrase may seem bizarre and even comical to westerners, especially given the recent horse meat scandal. Horse meat is taboo in most English-speaking countries or countries considered to have “western” ideologies. In stark contrast to this, China consumes the world’s largest amount of horse meat, recorded at 421,000 tonnes in 2005. The examination of what makes certain foods seen as ethically wrong and just downright disgusting in some regions, or akin to the ambrosia of the gods in others, cannot be condensed into a single factor. Rather it is a combination of various cultural and societal elements that most of us are unaware of and could now cause businesses, who illegally mix their products with these foodstuffs, millions of euros. Investigations by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) resulted in Ireland being the first EU state to report the presence of horse meat in beef products and make public the results. The FSAI notified the five offending retailers, Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Aldi, Lidl and Iceland, with their findings, all of them chose to withdraw the contaminated products. The media and newspapers turned its focus to one particular burger that tested positive for 29% equine DNA. While some argue that it is the issue of the undeclared nature of the horse meat that makes these products so offensive to our sensibilities, the reality is that horse meat has never been considered clean and is almost as abhorrent to us as eating dog. Horses in Ireland have a long history of companionship and are often presumed to have a level of intellect and sensitivity akin to dogs. This history makes eating either species unthinkable for Irish people. One of the contributing factors 12 february 4th 2014

to our disdain for eating horse meat is Ireland being inextricably associated to religion. Horse meat is considered unclean in certain sects of Christianity, namely Catholicism, and in 732AD, Pope Gregory III instructed Saint Boniface to suppress the pagan practice of eating horses, calling it a “filthy and abominable custom.” Horses were revered in pagan religions where they were sacrificed and then eaten, so naturally Pope Gregory seeking to suppress all traces of paganism, made eating horse meat a shameful and disgusting practice. Astonishingly, since this decree, consuming horse meat is still considered an unthinkable choice of meal. Considering the vice-like grip that Catholicism held over this country for centuries and how much influence still lingers it is perhaps hardly surprising, but the furore over the recent horse meat scandal was unprecedented and very telling of the ingrained conservative values people still hold. Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, was forced to recall donkey meat sold at some outlets in China after tests showed the product contained the DNA of other animals, including, alarmingly, fox meat. If eating horse meat is repulsive to the Irish, then eating fox meat is equally so, and if fox meat was discovered in our Tesco value burgers, the damage caused to the Tesco brand would be irreversible. Eating fox meat is not only ideologically repellent in Ireland, but considered vermin by Irish people, the equivalent of opening your happy meal to a rat meat burger. Wal-Mart will reimburse customers who bought the tainted Five Spice donkey meat and is helping local food and industry agencies to investigate its Chinese supplier. The scandal could dent WalMart’s reputation for quality in China’s $1 trillion food and grocery market where it plans to open 110

new stores in the next few years. While food fraud isn’t anything new, it’s beginning to feel like our television screens have been filled with piles of suspicious looking meat from unappetising sounding companies with names like Comigel for an eternity. What is new is the sheer volume of these stories coming to light in recent months. Last May, Chinese authorities arrested nearly 1,000 people for “meat-related offenses,” including a gang that made millions of dollars passing off fox, mink and rat meat as more expensive lamb. Even more bizarrely, another group of suspects made fake beef and lamb jerky from duck. Why are huge companies like Tesco and Wal-Mart risking their reputations for what may be substantial savings, but unbelievable risks? The simple and unpalatable truth is because they could. No one knew that these burgers contained up to 100% horse meat until they were tested. The Chinese customer who discovered the fox meat, known only as “Mr Wang”, claimed to have tested the meat after it “looked, smelt and tasted funny.” If it were not for his suspicion, this scandal may not have come to light, and this is so frightening to us that we were forced to overreact the way we did. There is also, arguably, a certain amount of culinary snobbishness and racism at play here. The unspoken truth here seems to be that certain cultures hold their culinary traditions as superior to others, the Chinese have donkey and the Irish have beef. When either one is mixed with supposedly “inferior” meats each one is forced to face the fact that there are very few Mr Wang’s in this world. Most people trust their food suppliers and unthinkingly accept what they are given, and with very little difference in taste or nutrition this snobbishness is down to societal norms and not flavour.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s largest retailer, was forced to recall donkey meat sold at some outlets in China after tests showed the product contained the DNA of other animals, including, alarmingly, fox meat


Smog Exportation

A recent study has shown that US factories in China are churning out smog that is making its way over to the west coast of the United States, writes Conor de Paor

We’ve outsourced our manufacturing and much of our pollution, but some of it is blowing back across the Pacific to haunt us

Psycollegey —Science of attraction With Valentine’s Day drawing near, Louise Dolphin asks why it is that opposites are so damn sexy For more than 30 years the US has been outsourcing many of its manufacturing lines to China and studies have shown that despite this move in production, global winds have been bringing Chinese factories’ air pollution right back over to the US. Chinese production costs are a fraction of their American equivalent. What has literally gone up in smoke, however, is the notion that harmful pollution would be removed from the US to the other side of the Pacific. Much of China’s energy is generated by coal-burning power stations. The by-product of burning coal is the formation of a smoky fog, or smog. Smog is a cloud of soot, sulphur dioxide and many other components. The volumes being produced are such that in 2013, the north-eastern city of Harbin in China was so smothered in smog, that roads, schools, and the airport had to close as a result. Jinai Lin, a professor of Beijing’s

Peking University, and his colleagues have been studying these Chinese emissions. They looked at emissions generated in China for the production of goods consumed there and for goods that were exported to the US. The team’s study was the first to quantify the effect of Chinese emissions on the US. It focuses on data obtained in 2006 and by using various complex computer simulations they have determined that between 17 – 36% of Chinese smog comes from factories that are producing goods for export. One fifth of these goods are manufactured for the US market. Combined with atmospheric modelling, the team have realised that trans-Pacific winds, also known as westerlies, bring this smog to the west coast of the US over cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle. According to the study, it takes around six days for the pollutants to reach American soil, often arriving before the

exported goods which caused them. This is called Consumption On a daily basis during 2006 it Based Accounting and it has been was found that up to a quarter of argued that consumers should sulphate pollution over the western bear some of the responsibility United States originated in factories for environmental damage in China that were manufacturing associated with goods that have goods for export. Particulate been manufactured for them matter, of which sulphate is a major abroad. However, the UN and the constituent, is quite hazardous to Kyoto Protocol look at emissions human health and can easily cause from a Production Based respiratory disease and lung cancer. Accounting view. This considers The team draws the conclusion all emissions produced in a that “outsourcing production to China country to be the responsibility does not always relieve consumers in of that country alone. the United States, or for that matter “We’ve outsourced our many countries in the Northern manufacturing and much of Hemisphere, from the environour pollution, but some of it is mental impacts of air pollution.” blowing back across the Pacific The US actually surpassed China to haunt us,” said Steve Davis, a in emissions in 2008 according to University of California at Irvine a study by the Carnegie Institute scientist and a co-author of the of Science in Stanford, California. study. “Given the complaints In the study, emissions associated about how Chinese pollution is with goods produced in China for corrupting other countries’ air, the American market are tallied in this paper shows that there may America’s overall carbon footprint. be plenty of blame to go around.”

Apple to appease disappointed customers Did you buy an app you didn’t mean to for your iPhone? Now you can get a refund, writes Michael O’Sullivan

Have you ever let your infant cousin play angry birds on your iPhone only to later discover you now own Farming Simulator ’14, Where’s my Water, and 15 million in-app purchases that allow you to sow potatoes with a brand new Massey Ferguson. Fear not, for a solution to your financial woes has arrived. Apple was recently forced to shell out over $30 million in refunds to its App Store users for App Store

purchases made without the users’ knowledge. That’s roughly the equivalent of 31 million lollipop hammers in candy crush. Think of all the levels you could pass. On a more serious note, it is about time something like this happened. The App Store makes it all too easy for the average schmuck to buy half a dozen apps just by aimlessly mauling the screen with a single digit. Perhaps this development will

spur Apple on to developing a system like iTunes, where purchases can only be made after a password is entered. The sheer scale of the payout ($30 million is the minimum they expect to have to reimburse) highlights the sheer greed of a company that has no right to be greedy. Clearly Apple knew people were making accidental purchases, but because each individual transaction only involves roughly

$5 per purchase, people were willing to put up with such accidents. If enough people are complacent, however, this means megabucks for Apple. Moral of the story; if you accidentally purchase a karma sutra app and end up deleting it after an embarrassing hospitalisation, you can get a fiver back off apple to ease your pain. Emotional pain, that is.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, I never knew love until I found you.” Yet again, shops are stocked with glossy balloons, teddies extending cuddly love hearts, and the ‘emblems of eternal passion’; red roses. While some embrace the excuse for extra romance, others disregard the February 14th festivities as an unnatural, forced expression of feelings, or a con invented by the greeting card companies. In fairness, Valentine’s Day contributed around $18.6 billion to the US economy last year. Either way, with Cupid time upon us, I find myself wondering about the forces at play behind human attraction, romantic relationships, and love. Attraction takes many forms, but a seemingly essential ingredient in the initial chemistry between two people is physical attraction. One need only look to the skyrocketing subscriptions to dating apps like Tinder, which sees 3.5 million matches per day, to confirm that we can rapidly make snapjudgments based on appearance. And these “attraction judgements” are very often made in under one second. Some evolutionary theorists argue that relying on attractiveness to evaluate strangers may be inherent to our biology. This is because attractive features are often reliable cues for good physical health (e.g. having clear skin, good teeth, and lustrous hair). Other attracive traits seem to have more to do with aesthetics, such as preference for symmetrical faces, and features of average size and shape, with extremes in either direction being undesirable (I don’t know where Angelina Jolie fits into that one). While physical attraction is often the catalyst in a romantic relationship and remains important, it can often take a back seat in comparison to our attraction to the personality, character and attributes of a person. We all know of situations where people end up falling for someone who they thought was parked safely in the ‘friend zone’; where chemistry and attraction are not immediately obvious, but develop over time. There are some psychological theorists who hold that familiarity breeds liking and those who are familiar to us become more attractive. This renders Hollywood’s cliché of opposites attract very dubious. How often do we sit through a film where two characters interact like oil and water, only to realise, as the plot thickens, that they are actually madly in love and destined to a life of amorous bliss together? Alas, the world of science has yet to prove much reality in these tales. Undoubtedly, opposites may experience initial attraction to each other. People who are very different from us seem exciting and alluring. Using common sense, we feel our lives will be enriched by connecting with others who have traits and abilities we don’t possess. But research suggests that, in

fact, similarity (particularly in terms of personality) is the ticket to a long lasting relationship. People with opposite personalities may be attracted to each other at first, but it seems that for long term success, conflicting personalities are ultimately incompatible. A 1990 study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology used longitudinal data from the University of California, Berkley, to track couples over time. The researchers found that couples who are more similar on 100 personality related descriptions (e.g. “has a wide range of interests” and “seeks reassurance from others”) were likely to report higher rates of marital satisfaction and lower rates of marital conflict. Furthermore, the results suggest that partners with similar personality profiles were more satisfied together and demanded less behaviour change from one another. Similarly, data researched from the online dating site eHarmony, shows that similarity between partners is the key to a lasting relationship. The study of thousands of couples uncovered that opposites, while initially attracted to each other, generally become frustrated by their differences and struggle settling disputes in an equal manner. Can’t we all think of examples of couples who seemed to have all of the necessary ingredients in place, yet it all fell apart. They had well-matched personalities, they were attracted to each other but eventually that wasn’t enough. The real answer to what lies behind human attraction and romantic love is one that humans have been seeking for and struggling with for a very long time. History and literature are packed with tales of the intoxication of romantic love: the love between Paris and Helen provoked the downfall of Troy and “never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” Poets, philosophers, songwriters, authors and just about everybody else have pondered the meaning of love for centuries and this fascination continues in modern science. Recent psychological studies tell us that love-emotions make us feel warm and spark activity throughout our entire body. Neuroscientists have shown that intense feelings of romantic love are associated with activation of dopamine-releasing regions of the brain on fMRI scans. It would seem, however, that there’s a long way to go before we fully understand the mysterious ways in which love really works. Be it a lucky Tinder swipe, a re-evaluation of your friends, or a dopamine-induced love rush, what harm is a little extra romance on February 14th? Valentine’s Day has been associated with romantic love since the Middle Ages. Fuelling its 21st century commercialism is not essential to appreciating its potential charm.

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opinion LGBT Outreach—A personal God, a personal love story Although some find it hard to reconcile their sexuality with their faith in God, Isaac George says it is possible

I am a gay man and I believe in God. Though it seems simple, it has not and probably will not always be easy to accept and reconcile these two facets of my life. Even today I am still faced with questions and decisions that sometimes cause me to doubt my own conviction in accepting both sides of myself. It has certainly been a long journey getting to where I am confident of my faith and sexuality, and I am just as certain that this journey is far from over. I had a very religious upbringing, and so naturally, my belief in God was cultivated at a very young age. I grew up with a pair of staunch Catholics as parents, the whole family would go to mass every Sunday and there was no excuse in the world that could get out of having to go for Sunday school as a child. I was taught to say grace before every meal, and kneel down and pray and read the Bible before I went to bed every night. Despite all the rigid routines, I did develop a genuine interest and love for God from a young age, and my faith has since been a huge part of my life. However, the struggle in my journey only began around the age of thirteen, when I soon discovered my sexuality. It was quite a daunting experience realising I had different interests from my friends in school, and it was terrifying to hear awful things about others like me from the people I cared about. I was told that my honest self was a sin; that I would lose the promise of salvation, which is a big deal to us Catholics, if I didn’t accept that it was a sin and repent. I was told I was an abomination. It was difficult having to face all this at a tender age. It was slightly easier to tell myself not to let the words get to me when they were coming from the pulpit, but it was unbearable when they were coming from the front seat of the family car. I began to hate going to church.

I began to hate myself for crying on Sundays. I began to hate God for what he made me to be. After countless solitary nights of praying to God asking Him to take it away from me, it suddenly dawned on me, I can attribute this to nothing else but divine intervention, that all the hurt I was feeling was not from Him but from people who just did not understand. I realised I had put the hateful words of others into his mouth and it was them who failed me, not Him. So I chose to trust and rest in Him, and not let what the world said about God affect my faith in Him. Since making the decision to accept His love for me, my journey of self-discovery has been significantly easier. Flash forward to 2012, when I began studying in Ireland. It was a new and completely different environment (I was able to drink from the taps here) and I was excited to face everything that life had in store for me. I settled into university life well and… I met someone. This someone wasn’t your average Joe; he and I would continue on to become good friends and we’d share good discussions over various topics. But one day, in one of our conversations, he asked me how I could believe in a God that tells me and other believers that what we both were was innately wrong. After explaining to him the journey I’ve made to bridge my faith and sexuality, he then asks jokingly, “So you believe in a made-up version you call a personal God?” While I brushed it off in a similarly jovial manner, it did strike a chord with me. I was once again questioning my convictions. This would not be the only time I experienced such a challenge of faith in my life in Ireland; many people whom I met in the LGBT community had questioned how I could subscribe to my faith; that I could believe in a God that is intolerant towards LGBT individuals.

I began to hate going to church. I began to hate myself for crying on Sundays. I began to hate God for what he made me to be In complete honesty, I felt slightly isolated because of my personal views, and I did not expect to feel this way with the LGBT community. However, the answer to the bothering question seemed simple after some introspection. I had come so far from that sleepless 13-year-old boy with being comfortable with who I am. I had been blessed with a loving and understanding family and an equally compassionate and supportive group of friends. He had seen me through my biggest fear, living an open and honest life that seemed impossible before coming to Ireland. And funnily enough, the answer I was looking for took the form of an even bigger question; how could I not believe in a God who loves me? With that, I continue my self-exploration and search of spiritual fulfillment. The journey I have embarked on has had its ups and downs, but it has been nothing short of colourful. I may not know all the answers to all the hard questions I may be faced with in the future, and the hard questions are only going to get harder from here on out, but I know where I can find the answers should I choose to look for them: in my personal God. To all those who are in similar situations of faith and struggle, I hope and pray that you find the courage and strength you need to see your journey through. I have been fortunate enough to realise His love for me despite the world. I’ve seen and I believe, and I hope you do too.

How to be cool with Conor O’Toole The Art, Design & Technology Director has a hard on day and everyone feels sorry for him

As I discovered whilst laying out page four of this paper, the USI (Union of Silly Idiots [Jesus christ, who am I, Talleyrand? {I’m not Tallyrand}]) have said that Irish Water shouldn’t have spent €30,000 on a corporate identity and instead should’ve made a shit one for a fiver on the internet. I understand that design students from the IADT (Intellectual Academy of Designers and some Twats [It’s 4am and I’ve got 700 words to write]) were unhappy about that because it’s belittling to their skills. It’s also a dumb thing to say for a bunch more reasons too. For instance, I can buy lots of things for a fiver on in the internet, like heroin or abortions, but I think we all know it’s worth shelling out that little bit more for the real stuff. As much as it seems like logos are abstract nonsense, there is usually a logic behind them, often derived at extremely long and tedious meetings about how cats can mean bad luck as well as good luck and aren’t just cats and they’re not dogs or bunny rabbits and so don’t really convey what it is to be a local veterinarian. ‘Corporate identity’ sounds like something made of evil, but it’s actually quite important for consistency across a business. You don’t want to be the chump business with the inconsistent use of fonts, who the hell would hire a company like that? Plus, the logo that they ‘designed’ online for a fiver was shit. Sure, the Irish Water logo isn’t going to win any awards for grand innovation in logo design but at least the type is 14 february 4th 2014

well set and they had the restraint to use blue alone in the logo for the water company like a normal person. The USI-made logo uses purple along side blue, I suppose in order to remind people that sometimes Irish Water might fuck up and give you the wrong colour water. Also, the spacing between individual letters in their logo is abhorrent, and would never get by an actual designer, with eyes and thoughts and so on. The logo is comprised of poorlylaid text, accompanied by what I assume is meant to be a water droplet composed of smaller water droplets. Although, the smaller water droplets aren’t shaped like water droplets, they had a big bulb at the top and a thinner, tail-like section out the back, kind of like a tadpole. Or an inverted comma. I’m beating around the bush here. It looks like jizz; like a big load of semen hurtling towards your face. It has also got a disgusting blue gradient on it. I suppose I shouldn’t expect the USI (Union of Suckers and Iosers [the I in USI is actually a lowercase L]) to care or realise why the implication that the government is ejaculating into our drinking water could be a negative image to attach to an already probably evil company. The USI are, in my experience, a big bunch of dumbs who are at best an embarrassment. I think you should disaffiliate, if you haven’t already. I know some college did that already. Maybe it was UCD. I can’t remember. So I got up to speak against the motion, which is mortifying, obviously, but this is what one must do to prevent USI from

giving to charity. I don’t remember what I said, probably something sensible, but DITSU collectively rose fromtheir seats and all lined up to tell me how wrong I was. So many people wanted to tell me I was wrong that they had to form a queue, and then tell people that the queue was full and no one else was allowed join the queue to tell me I was wrong. It passed, obviously. I suppose I just have a black heart, and my belief that money designated for improving student welfare is not better spent on a random charity is going to get me visited by the Ghost of USI Councils Past one of these days. I guess making those idiots feel happy in their tummies technically improves the lives of students, for the USI hacks that are actually still students, anyway. Working as a designer in UCD is fun, in much the same way that watching the movie Hostel is fun. In other words, it is not fun. But I seem to be tolerated here, and being that I only work at the weekend, I rarely have to talk to the contributors. Oh lord, how many more Features writers must I talk to about Syria before you are appeased for me breaking my pledge and leaving the Pioneers? Anyway, this is issue seven or eight of our print run of twelve, so if you are a recently privatised national service, please do get in touch. I’ll have very little to do come May. Hell, I’ll make you a logo for only €10,000. That’s a saving of over twenty percent!



Reports on Sunday night of the death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman have got me thinking about addiction and how society treats those who struggle with it. The events of Sunday night are a stark reminder that we have a long way to go in how we view and treat those with an addiction. Immediately after word of his death spread around Twitter, people began posting links to their favourite scenes of his and writing eulogies of an incredibly talented actor who could make you despise him or love him simply by changing the cadence in his voice. A few minutes later, the news broke that Hoffman had died of a drug overdose, having been found in his apartment with a needle containing some heroin still in

his arm. Suddenly, the tone of the conversation had changed. People began expressing their anger at the “selfishness” of Hoffman. How dare he indulge himself like that and leave his family behind? One person on my timeline tweeted “I hope those momentary highs are worth the cost, addicts. Young kids, wife, left alone for a fix.” The problem with statements like this is that it is an incredibly simplistic view of what it means to have an addiction. A real addiction (not the “addiction” to Red Bull or coffee many students claim to pick up around exam time) is an illness. Nobody chooses to become an addict. Why the hell would they? When people call someone selfish for giving into an addiction, what they are telling the whole world is

that they think addiction is just a fancy word for wanting something. It has parallels with depression, where people mistake it for just being really sad. Addiction, just like depression, is not something that can simply be overcome by sheer willpower. Proper structures need to be put in place to prevent a relapse. Our attitudes to mental health are changing, but there is still a long ways to go. In particular, Irish society has a real problem with its willful ignorance around the issue of alcohol addiction. It’s no secret that this country has a problem with alcohol. Over the weekend, two young men died after taking part in the “Neknominations” trend that has been infesting social media over the last fortnight or so. If you’re lucky enough to have missed them, allow me to explain.

The concept is pretty simple: once someone nominates you, you have 24 hours in which to post a video of yourself downing a pint of your choice. At the end of the video, you nominate someone else. As happens with any sort of meme, people quickly began trying to one-up each other and drink more ridiculous things in a more ridiculous fashion. Unfortunately, this led to two people dying, one after drinking a litre of vodka and the other after jumping into a river at the end of his attempt. Irish people, particularly students, are incredibly immature in their treatment of alcohol. For some, a night out is a test of how much they can drink. The social pressures to take part in things like neknominations are indicative of this sort of dangerous drinking culture.

This is hardly a new revelation either. The caricature of the Irishman abroad is focused on his love of drink. We know this, but we do very little to do anything about it. In fact, if anything, we encourage it. We have a tendency to get either defensive or dismissive when our cultural problem with drinking is brought up. It is literally killing people, but sure it’s all in the name of a bitta craic. It’s a problem that’s sometimes hard to see from within the culture, but you only have to look at the fact that our government doesn’t trust us with the ability to purchase alcohol for off-premises consumption after 10pm. The changing of a culture won’t happen overnight. The single most important part of changing the culture is that the Irish people need to want to do it, and it’s not clear that we do.

the university observer


Editor Kevin Beirne Deputy Editor Killian Woods

Ahoy cunk stains,

pulls through this health scare, which is akin to SARS epidemic of Double ahoy to Cian Dowling. 2004 that followed Hugh “Call Me” Talleyrand was sternly dismayed Brady into UCD. And before you ask, to hear that illness came knocking Talleyrand does not care how out of on the door of his beloved Son of date either of those references are. If Stars last week and wishes him you’re reading this, it’s pretty much nothing but a steadfast recovery. guaranteed that you are some sort Now Ci-Ci, Light of my Light, of SU hack and so Talleyrand wants Talleyrand is talking to you directly. less than nothing to do with you. Just as we requested, the printers Anyway, back to the present day. will use the special ink on this part Everyone in UCD knows that it is of parchment. We are alone now. essential Cian prevails because he You must answer Talleyrand’s text is so clever. He seems like the kind messages that are being sent on the of boy that you would want your morrow every morrow. Without an daughter to marry, provided that update, this old columnist has no way you don’t care about your daughter of truly knowing if he should mourn and are more interested in having a your loss or celebrate your recovery. son-in-law who has more than her. Nevertheless, Talleyrand has In the most selfish act of any SU been sacrificing puppies from Officer in recent memory, Adam the rehoming centre just outside “I Forgot My Permission Slip” Finglas in order to sate the gods’ Carroll is back from his holidays appetite for death. Talleyrand has and didn’t bring presents. Not even been doing as you instructed for one for Cian who has been such a such a situation; finding as many good friend to Carroll all year. labrdoodles as possible to disembowel Their friendship is usually at popular Irish monuments. quite beautiful to behold; Adam Talleyrand really hopes Cian communicates solely through the use

of two syllable words (apart from that one time he said the “McChicken Sandwich”, but the debate still rages on if that was actually him having a stroke after he stood on a piece of Lego and thus entirely unintentional) while Cian does all his work for him. They are like a modern day Fry and Laurie, or Baddiel and Skinner, but who cares about them because they are crap and haven’t done anything since they re-released that song in 1998 that they had actually made in 1996. Also, that song is enjoyed by football fans everywhere, so it is clearly a force for evil. How will the likes of Carrolol survive without Cian when he passes... his course? Who will Adumb delegate his work to when he has a mandatory family holiday and Cian isn’t around anymore because he’s dead... sick of doing all his work for him? Cian won’t be around forever you know, some day he’ll die... of Hyper-Active Testosterone Syndrome (HATS), because he is so manly. Talleyrand is not usually one to indulge himself on a tangent about

letters to the editor Send your letters to editor@ Dear Sir, Having attended the L&H’s debate last week concerning students’ confidence in this year’s Students’ Union, I was thoroughly disappointed to learn that the Undergraduate Education Officer, Adam Carroll, was out of the office when exam results were released. With UCD’s repeat system a source of mystery to even hardened students and such high fees to be paid for those repeats, it is unacceptable that our Education Officer was unavailable during one of the busiest and most confusing periods in the year for students, without explanation.

The Education Office goes largely uncriticised each year, despite failing repeatedly to really achieve very much. Baring this in mind, it does not seem much to ask that Carroll at least turn up to work at the one time of year he might actually earn the wages students pay him. It seems unlikely he failed to foresee the issue before taking annual leave and as such, his decision shows complete disregard for students. To fail to provide a satisfactory explanation only adds insult to injury. Yours, Tom Weldon Stage 3 Engineering

It doesn’t surprise me at all to see neknominations portrayed in the media as being an indication of today’s youth being out of control rather than being a product of a culture in which the Guinness Storehouse is ranked the number one tourist attraction in the country. We live in a country where people dream of playing in the Heineken Cup or appearing in the Jameson Film Festival. We have embraced Arthur’s Day. Think about that for a minute. In a country where history is supposedly so important, we happily celebrate a faux-holiday that was created in 2009 to celebrate Diageo’s victory over the stout market, so long as it means cheap drinks. Perhaps this is why we are so dismissive of those with addictions, because we feel partly responsible.

another man’s physique, but it is almost Valentine’s Day and this old hack is feeling rather... unfulfilled. It sometimes gets lonely living inside of this paper. Talleyrand just wants you to hold him, just for two paragraphs more. More importantly, who will be around to tell Carroll that he should just claim he was sick so he can avoid work and not have to answer questions about why he wasn’t in the country during the most important day of the year? Cian is a good officer, who does good work, and gets good results. Using technology he can make this happen. Like inventing the #jobfairy hashtag. Can you imagine? Can you? No, you can’t, because only someone with the imagination of #CianCan. Not even Lorcan with all his sauviosity or Míchéál with all his Geneva Convention-breaching torture techniques can match the invention of the first UCDSU Officer to ever take a selfie.

Art, Design & Technology Director Conor O’Toole News Editor Yvanne Kennedy Comment Editor Elizabeth O’Malley Features Editor Nicole Casey Science, Health & Technology Editor Michael O’Sullivan Sports Editor Shane Hannon Chief Sports Writer Amy Eustace Otwo Co-Editors Steven Balbirnie Jack Walsh Games Editor Niall Gosker Film & TV Editor Laura Bell

Dear Sir, I picked up a copy of the University Observer yesterday. While I was very impressed by the new design of Otwo’s cover, I take umbrage with some of the other design changes in your magazine. It appears, for some unfathomable reason, you have reduced the font size to the point it is unlikely I’d be able to read it even through a microscopic lens. I realise the newspaper business is not a profitable one in today’s economic climate, but I’m sure a whip around among your readers would garner you the couple of euro necessary to add a page or two to house the extra words you feel are so necessary, you must squeeze them in, in your minuscule font.

Music Editor Rebekah Rennick Fashion Editor Emily Mullen Chief Otwo Writer Emily Longworth

Staff Writers Louise Dolphin Eva Griffin Fionnan Long Jack McCann Aaron Murphy Dónal Ó Catháin Conor Kevin O’Nolan Karl Quigley Aoife Valentine Laura Woulfe Contributors Cian Carton Kate Conboy-Fischer Mark Conroy Siobhan Copeland Aoife Cunningham Pat de Brún Conor de Paor Sadhbh Deegan Robert Devery Karen Emerson Megan Fanning Roisin Finn Ellie Gehlert Aoife Hardesty Sean Hayes Jamie Headon Stephen Heffernan Jonny Howson David Fox James Kearney Donal Lucey Emmet Lyons Eleanor McLaughlin Declan Moran Ian Mulholland Josh Murphy Sarah O’Shea David Reddy Aine Rickard Lucy Ryan Ronan Schutte Esther Shan Lin Hor Ciaran Sweeney

Chief Stylist Christin McWeeney

Illustrations Emily Longworth Rory Mullen Michael Vance

Thanks Alex, Sorcha and everyone at the L&H. Orla Gartland. Foil, Arms and Hog. Orla and Rory at MCD. Eugene, Maeve and Stephen at Smurfit Kappa. All the Student Centre staff. Aoife. Canada.

Photographers James Brady Erica Coburn James Healy Joanna O’Malley

Special Thanks The Seattle Seahawks. James and Michael.

Is mise le meas, Michaela Ní DhúillGallagher.

february 4th 2014 15


16 february 4th 2014

sport Only 5% of sports media coverage features women. For every 53 articles written about sporting men, there is just one about a sportswoman, while women’s sport receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income into sport

Unlevel playing field With female sports receiving much less funding and attention than they deserve, Jack McCann speaks with Cliona Foley of the Irish Independent about the prevailence of sexism in sport “You throw like a girl.” Anyone who has played any sport in their life has more than likely heard this phrase being directed at them or somebody else. However, since the onset of the 21st century, the tide has begun to change with regards to attitudes towards women’s sports. Now, the constant campaign to push for women to be universally accepted as being on an equal playing field in all aspects of society, not just in sport, is in full swing. This sort of progression has made us question whether we should really be accepting even a minor amount of discrimination of women’s sports? Certain sports like rugby and football are seen as a man’s game, but sport in general has been seen as the domain of the man and in days past women were thought of as only good for making the tea at halftime. This incorrect stereotypical view that women are physically inept at playing sport is completely unwarranted and goes against the clear evidence of womens’ sporting success over recent decades not only here in Ireland, but worldwide. In Ireland, athletes such as Derval O’Rourke, Fionnuala Britton, Sonia

O’Sullivan, Annalise Murphy, Katie Taylor, and the Ireland’s senior women’s rugby team are household names. While on a global platform, personalities like Jessica Ennis, Li Na, Serena and Venus Williams, Lindsey Vonn, Linda Cohn and Danica Patrick are top of their respective fields. Cliona Foley of the Irish Independent spoke about sexism in sport at the National Media Conference at Trinity College in November of last year. Foley says the wording is key in the argument about misogyny in sport. “I think a lack of respect for women’s sporting skills and achievements is the big problem. I also think there is a lot of sexism, formal and casual, in some sports but misogyny is a strong word, which implies hatred of women and I don’t think that’s widespread.” When asked what can be done to change the attitudes of certain people Foley replies, “You won’t ever change someone who is truly misogynistic, but I think women athletes are increasingly so stellar that it has become impossible to ignore them. In sports where they

compete directly with men, such as horse racing and three-day eventing, some women have smashed the preconceptions and stereotypes and earned respect by proving that they can compete equally at the top level.” In a recent Twitter Q&A session, British Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle was subjected to horrific and completely unnecessary abuse from online trolls where she was asked questions such as, “Are all sportswomen lesbians?” and “Do you think pregnancy is a poor injury excuse and women should be able to run it off?” The questions came about on the ‘Women in Sport’ program on Sky Sports News that takes place every Tuesday morning. Tweddle was of course expecting to be answering questions about gymnastics and participating in London 2012, where she won a bronze medal on the uneven bars. The abuse was condemned by Sky Sports, but very little action can be taken due to the fact that the abuse occurred on a social media platform where it is very difficult to properly identfy the mysogynistic culprits.

One of the only cases where there were serious consequences for the offenders was the one involving pundit and presenter Andy Gray and Richard Keys. In the 2010/11 season during the game between Wolves and Liverpool, both men were caught on microphone talking about the female assisant Sian Massey saying, “Women just don’t understand the offside rule.” Sian Massey was officiating only her second ever game at the top level, but had started officiating when she was 15-years-old and rose through the ranks in the ten years that followed. Gray was duly sacked and has ended up working at Talksport as a radio pundit. Richard Keys resigned after apologising to Massey. It is now three years since this high profile instance of sexism, and it still follows both presenters around. In recent weeks, there was significant disapproval from a lot of quarters about Gray returning to punditry on BT Sport. His appearance coincided with the popular podcast, The Football Ramble, releasing an unseen video of Keys and Gray making a sexist slurs at presenter Claire Tomlinson as they did a soundcheck before

a game at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff in the early 2000s. Foley feels the increased number of women working in sports journalism might help the matter. “The greater numbers of women now working in sports journalism and broadcasting has probably helped to shift the balance as they are more likely than their male counterparts to be aware of female athletes and raise their achievements at editorial level.” She also highlights the incredibly long journey it has been for women at the Olympic Games. “For centuries, women’s place was in the home and sport was played by and primarily watched and reported on by men. “It was 1928 before women were allowed take part in track events at the Olympics and the women’s 800m was subsequently dropped and not introduced until Rome 1960, the year I was born. Women weren’t allowed run a marathon in the Olympics until 1984.” Sexism will continue to be a problem unless sporting associations take serious action against the culprits to show that it is not acceptable to ridicule female athletes. They have

the deserved right to showcase their talent on a level playing field. The statistics are truly worrying. Only 5% of sports media coverage features women. For every 53 articles written about sporting men, there is just one about a sportswoman, while women’s sport receives only 0.5% of the total sponsorship income into sport. As long as prejudices against women exist in the sporting world, the Dark Ages are not over. Women should be duly hailed for their achievements their efforts whether that be on the field of play or as an official, as well as in punditry. Sports reporting and in the stands for their opinions and thoughts on the world of sport. Foley says that change is happening, but there is still a long way to go. “Twenty years ago women’s boxing and rugby was still in its infancy. Now Ireland’s only current Olympic champion and Grand Slam champions are females. The progress in standards and recognition received by women in the past 30 years ago has been immense, even if it’s slower than many women would like.”

Head to Head—Should fighting in ice hockey be banned? Arguing the efficacy of fighting in ice hockey, David Reddy and Robert Devery explore if this element of the game should be banned or kept in place



Robert Devery

David Reddy

The key argument for the support of fighting in hockey is that it is an integral feature of the NHL. It not only attracts fans, but provides players with a way to vent their frustrations and it has been a central part of the sport since its inception. While these are all seemingly valid points for those wishing to defend fighting in hockey, on closer inspection it becomes clear that they are not. Fighting as a way to attract fans may seem like a positive concept, especially to promoters of the sport. If people wish to see two men fighting, then why not go to a boxing match? Fans should attend hockey games to see the remarkable skating and puck control and, of course, the other physical aspects of ice hockey. Physicality is a fundamental part of any contact sport, but it’s the skill and control that players demonstrate in the face of this physical pressure that’s most impressive and attractive. It should not be reduced or limited in favour of unwarranted violence. Supporters who argue in favour of fighting due to its ability to help vent frustration are towing a miserable line by any standards. Even children are taught that fighting settles nothing, and this makes hockey a poor model for courage against adversity. When the game isn’t going a player’s way, they shouldn’t resort to violence. Instead they should summon up their own resolve and attempt to improve on their performance.

Understandably this is easier said than done, but these players are professionals and they should conduct themselves as such. A mature attitude to difficulty is far more admirable than knocking someone’s teeth out when things aren’t going your way. Finally, viewing fighting as a central aspect of the sport is simply an outdated, backward-looking perspective. I hold nothing against tradition, but nor am I opposed to change where it’s needed, and in regards to fighting in hockey, we must consider the personal implications it can have on a players’ long and short-term health. There has been much debate recently about brain injuries in sports and the affects they can have. Serious trauma caused by a series of blows to the head during a fight have been proven to cause various brain injuries. If more deaths like those of famous hockey players such as Derek Boogaard and Bob Probert, who both suffered from degenerative brain diseases, are to be avoided then fighting needs to be curtailed. Player safety and fair play should take precedence over tradition and this is what fans, players, and the NHL as an organisation must understand. If fighting is removed from ice hockey, we are left with just pure skill and talent for the fans to enjoy, and an undeniably safer sport for the players. So should fighting be banned in the NHL? The answer seems obvious.

It’s the skill and control that players demonstrate in the face of this physical pressure that’s most impressive and attractive. It should not be reduced or limited in favour of unwarranted violence

From 2012 to 2013 only 37% of games contained a fight. Fighting is engrained in the sport and although a vital aspect, it is not the game’s primary draw

Ice hockey is an intense combination of speed, skill, and physicality and these factors are both the origins and beneficiaries of the hockey fight. Comedian Rodney Dangerfield once quipped, “I went to a fight the other night and a hockey game broke out.” The joke encapsulates non-hockey fans’ view on why people attend games. This is far from the truth. From 2012 to 2013 only 37% of games contained a fight. Fighting is engrained in the sport and although a vital aspect, it is not the game’s primary draw. It is also a misconception to view all fighting as random acts of senseless violence. NHL veteran Jarome Iginla sheds light on this. “There is a purpose behind almost every fight I have fought.” Reasons for fighting range from providing an emotional lift for teammates to standing up for a teammate on the wrong end of a dirty play. Fighting is the players’ way of self-policing the ice. Serious illegal stick work, such as slashing, which is missed by officials will result in the offender being held accountable by opposing players. It seems counter-intuitive, but the most skilled players profit due to fighting acting as a counter to dirty play. There is also etiquette to fighting. A franchise’s enforcer will almost exclusively fight another enforcer. This will often be instigated with a verbal agreement. Such

informal rules mean that those players who consider themselves more lovers than fighters will most often not be targeted. Fisticuffs do not go unpunished by the NHL. Reprimands include match penalties, fines, and suspensions. It seems strange to say, but the NHL has made fighting much safer through new regulations. These include a ban on players removing their helmets when fighting, two men per fight, and finally the outlawing of fights after games have ended. Presently, concussions sustained during play are the biggest health concern for players and the NHL. There is no doubt that sponsors and broadcasting networks would prefer a game free of fighting, but this would be to the detriment of the sport. Soccer provides a glimpse in to a possible future for ice hockey. A suppressing of physicality in soccer has allowed cheating and the conning of officials to become the norm. There is something noble about the hockey fight, a past-time taken up for the good of the team or the protection of a teammate. An act devoid of cynicism that reflects the league’s working class inception sculpted in the harsh Canadian winter. Commenting on a recent NHL general managers meeting concerning the debate on fighting, Red Wings General Manager, Ken Holland remarked, “I think the consensus in the room is that we like it the way it is.” february 4th 2014 17

sport Magee was the subject of a Late Late Show special in 1989, an indication of just how highly regarded he has always been in this country

Jimmy Magee—Different Class Legendary Irish broadcaster Jimmy Magee has covered every football World Cup since 1966 and every Olympic Games since 1972. From his sporting highlights and the Ronaldo-Messi debate, to personal tragedy, Shane Hannon speaks with the Memory Man

Born in New York City in 1935, Jimmy Magee is considered to be one of this country’s greatest ever sports broadcasters. Raised in Cooley, County Louth, the young Magee would run around the fields at home commentating on his own imaginary games. He notes himself that “at the age of seven I was going to be the next greatest thing ever. Although I didn’t want to be great, I just wanted to do what I was good at.” One of the first things that hits anyone who meets Jimmy Magee is his unparalleled modesty. When asked which broadcasters in this country he would rate ahead of himself he replies, “Nearly everyone: Gay Byrne, Pat Kenny. Men who are dead and gone like Michael O’Hehir.” The latter was of particular importance to Magee’s career, and he notes, “Only for Michael O’Hehir, none of us would be in the game, certainly in my generation anyway. O’Hehir was the bee’s knees really.” Magee was the subject of a Late Late Show special in 1989, an indication of just how highly regarded he has always been in this country. Through the years there have been less than twenty of these special shows, and along with Magee various big names such as Micheál Mac Liammóir, Ronnie Drew and the Dubliners, Christy Moore, Johnny Giles and Westlife have been honoured for their contributions to their respective fields.

18 february 4th 2014

Magee secured a full-time clerical job with Dundalk, Newry and Greenore Railway, but sports broadcasting was what he always longed to do. He recalls that radio was the big entertainment provider in his younger days and “on the day of a big game, people would all congregate in the house that had radio and if there was more than the capacity of the house there they’d be outside with the window open listening. Amazing times, and it’s in my lifetime, it’s not all that long ago.” Magee joined RTÉ in 1956, having started out as a reporter for the Radio Éireann Junior Sports Magazine, while still working for the railway. He ended up doing the very job he envisaged himself in as a kid, and Magee says, “I’m now convinced you can do anything you want to, if you put your mind to it. You have to have a modicum of talent or something to keep going, but if you really want to do something you actually can do it, there’s no doubt about that.” Magee is very well-respected in the sporting world, both in this country and further afield, and his opinion on sporting matters is quite often taken as gospel. When speaking with current Dublin footballer Bernard Brogan, Magee was asked if the Dublin-Kerry All-Ireland semi-final of 1977, in which Brogan’s father played, was one of the greatest ever, but in his opinion “the Dublin-Kerry match last year was the

best game ever played in Croke Park.” Brogan himself told Magee that it was “an honour and a privilege to be on the same field as ‘Gooch’ Cooper.” Magee too rates the Dr Crokes clubman very highly indeed. “Cooper is sensational. If he was born in a different country he’d be an international footballer, there’s no question about that.” One aspect of GAA commentary Magee feels needs to be re-introduced is the commentator giving the clubs of the team. He says, “It was a very good idea. The people who lived in that area would get a kick out of hearing their own parish.” It would be an excellent way for children to learn too, he claims, “I learned geography out of that without meaning to. I’ve often told that to teachers, any students who like sport can learn without realising they’re learning.” One of the most-discussed contemporary sporting debates is that regarding Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. The two are considered the greatest footballers in the world today, but the question of who is number one is compelling. Magee is unwavering in his opinion. “I think Ronaldo is the best player in the world without a shadow of a doubt. In a conjuring sense with the ball at his feet, I think Messi is unmatchable, but in the general flow of the game it’s Ronaldo.” When at Manchester United, the

media were too harsh on Ronaldo in Magee’s opinion. “It was said he was a waste of space, a one-trick pony. Brain-dead was said one evening. That’s outrageous.” Magee is glad the Portuguese man has shut his doubters up with his performances for Real Madrid. “How could you be better than Ronaldo? The best markers in the world are employed to mark him and kick him if necessary and he’s still able to score 50 goals a season. I hope he has a great World Cup.” In his years as a broadcaster, Magee has been fortunate enough to meet many of the greatest sporting legends of the twentieth century. However, he only ever asked two for their autograph; Pelé and Diego Maradona. As manager of Argentina at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Maradona was often seen on the sideline in his lavish white suits. Magee recalls watching the Argentina goalkeeper warm-up before one of their games at the tournament when Maradona lined up a shot from outside the penalty area on the right hand side. Magee says he “hit it with the outside of his leather shoes and beat the national keeper, who applauded him.” Although a highly controversial figure, Magee says, “It’s nothing to do with drugs, he could just play.” The 5’5” Argentinian will be forever remembered for the ‘Hand of God’ incident against England in the 1986 World Cup quarter-final, but Magee says the English should move on. “Peter Shilton is a big man who spent all his spare time body-building. Six feet tall, huge upper body, experienced goalkeeper, and he was able to jump and handle the ball and he couldn’t beat this little fella who was 5’5”. And they’re complaining about a handball?” Maradona’s second goal in that game when he dribbled 60 metres past five England players was voted ‘Goal of the Century’ by voters in 2002. Jimmy Magee’s commentary of the goal where he described Maradona as “different class” is almost as memorable as the goal itself. Having covered eleven Olympic Games so far, Magee has many highlights which stand out for him. His greatest Olympic moment came at the Atlanta games in 1996 when legendary boxer Muhammad Ali lit the torch at the Opening Ceremony. Magee says, “The whole story of him came to my mind. He’s from the southern United States, neighbour

of Atlanta, Georgia, from the next parish. Here he was in his home place lighting the torch. That was the greatest moment in all the Olympics for me… I was as near as I’ve ever been to crying on the air.” Although famous for covering a variety of sports in his career, Magee is probably best known among younger people in this country as being the voice of boxing. In his 2012 memoir Memory Man, Magee says of Katie Taylor, “She is just unbeatable. In my opinion she is Ireland’s greatest contemporary sportsperson.” It was Taylor in fact who launched Magee’s book for him. “I asked her the day she won the semi-final [at the 2012 Olympics] to launch it. She was there and did. It was the first gig she did after the Olympics.” Magee’s love of boxing shines through in his enthusiastic commentary, and he reveals he always knows who has won the fight after the final bell rings out. “I know who’s going to win nearly all the time and I’m nearly always right. It’s helpful to me and it’s surprising that I’m seldom wrong. I have some internal counting system that works it out.” One of his most memorable boxing moments was when the ‘Clones Cyclone’ Barry McGuigan beat Eusebio Pedroza at Loftus Road in 1985 to win the WBA World Featherweight title. Magee somehow managed to worm his way into the ring immediately after the fight to speak to the victor and McGuigan’s first words to him, now immortalised in sporting lore. “Ah Jimmy, it’s a dream come true for me.” Although he has, without question, had a fantastic broadcasting career, Magee’s life hasn’t been without personal tragedy. In 1989 his mother and his wife Marie died within a couple of months of each other, and in 2008 his younger sister passed away four weeks before his son Paul succumbed to motor neurone disease. Magee is a national patron of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association and he says he is “concerned about raising awareness of it.” The neurological disorder affects motor neurons, the cells that control voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, swallowing, and general movement of the body. As Magee points out, “Nobody knows what causes it, and if you don’t know what causes it you can’t fix it.” In his son Paul’s case, the time from diagnosis to death was just one year and five months.

Although famous for covering a variety of sports in his career, Magee is probably best known among younger people in this country as being the voice of boxing

The disease truly can affect anyone. “It was nothing to do with lack of fitness. He was never sick a day in his life.” Paul even played League of Ireland football in his prime, winning a League Cup and an FAI Cup with Shamrock Rovers. Magee had experienced tragedy early on in his life too when his father died of tuberculosis, when Magee was just 15-years-old. “My Dad died when he was only 43-years-old. I was the only visible means of support for the family. Not very visible, but I was the only visible means of support.” He has more recently been working on a song that he plans to soon release into the Irish charts, titled ‘These Old Eyes Have Seen It All’. He says the song is nearly finished. “It has actually turned out well. Properly recorded with backing tracks, voice dubs, various musicians appearing in it. It’s almost ready. All proceeds, if any, will go to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.” Looking ahead to his future plans, Magee is hopeful of attending more international sporting events. “A lot of them are God’s plans, but my plan is, with his approval, to be in Brazil this summer [for the World Cup], then to be in Rio for the Olympic Games [in 2016], and then to be in Russia in four years’ time for the next World Cup. Maybe I’m just greedy.” One stand-out quote from Magee’s book that says a lot about why he went into broadcasting is, “I realised that the greatest players didn’t last a lifetime, but commentators lasted forever.” Jimmy Magee truly is a great and his contributions to sports broadcasting will last forever. There is, and will only ever be, one Memory Man. Please visit for further details about the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.


A games of ice and ire As the Winter Olympics are set to kick off in Russia this Friday, Donal Lucey reminds us of what’s on show

Luge is one of the most dangerous sports in the Olympics and the athletes who race down the icy, highbanked track can travel at up to 140km/h

contenders for a medal and you should expect to hear his name a lot over the coming weeks.

Speed skating

Speed skating has been featured as a sport in the Winter Olympics since the first winter games in 1924, while the women’s events were added to the Olympic program for the first time in 1960. It is essentially a competitive form of ice-skating in which the competitors race each other around a track. Few people in the sport have ever been as dominant as Canadian long track speed skater Christine Nesbitt. The 2014 Winter Olympic games The 2010 1,000m gold medalist and three-time World Champion are scheduled to take place from has had an enormously successful February 7th to the 23rd, in Sochi, career. Why then, is she going into Russia. These games are without a these games billed as an underdog? doubt the most talked about winter Nesbitt’s story is one of the most games in recent memory. Despite all fascinating aspects of this year’s the negative press that the Winter games. Since winning her gold Olympics are receiving, the games medal, she has broken an arm will be going ahead as planned, after being hit by a car and been with some specific sports more diagnosed with coeliac disease. This likely to catch the public’s eye. has led to a series of frustratingly sluggish skates on the international stage and she is currently LUGE performing way below her best. Her competitive fire has never been Luge was introduced into the games in question, as Nesbitt showed when in 1964. It is a small one or two winning her gold medal; coming from person sled in which one sleds supine behind in the last two laps to win. (face up) and feet-first. Steering is This is what made her practically done by flexing the sled’s runners unbeatable in those years when with the calf of each leg or exerting she dominated the sport. A podium opposite shoulder pressure to the seat. place remains well within her grasp It is one of the most dangerous and it will be very interesting to see sports in the Olympics and the which Christine Nesbitt turns up. athletes who race down the icy, high-banked track can travel at up to 140km/h. Lugers compete Alpine skiing against a timer and are timed to a thousandth of a second, making Alpine skiing is one of the most luge one of the most precisely popular sports in the Winter timed sports in the world.  Olympics and gets a large portion German athletes dominate the of the television coverage. It made competition, winning 70 medals its Olympic debut at the 1936 across 39 events since its inception. games in Germany with a men and At the 2010 games, Felix Loch women’s combined event, featuring of Germany made history as a downhill and two slalom runs. the youngest gold medalist in Winning in alpine skiing is Olympic luge history. In the four based on two factors: speed and years since, Loch has matured composure. Particularly when it and grown as a competitor and comes to slalom, skiing downhill at it’s scary to think what he could those speeds and remaining on the be capable of at these games. Loch is one of Germany’s strongest right course is extremely challenging.

Nowadays, alpine skiing at the Winter Olympics consists of five disciplines: downhill, slalom, giant slalom, super G, and combined. Despite being 36-years-old, skier Bode Miller is one of the USA’s top contenders for a medal. Miller’s career has been filled with extraordinary highs and disappointing lows. Tipped for multiple medals in 2006, he returned home emptyhanded, but he followed this with three medals in the Vancouver games four years later. He may be getting on in age, but expect the always exciting Miller to be up there challenging to repeat his 2010 heroics in what could be his final Olympic games.

Snowboarding Snowboarding was first included in the 1998 Olympics in Japan. It was one of the five new sports to be added to the Winter Olympic program between 1992 and 2002. In 1998, four events, two for men and two for women, were held in two specialties. The first was the giant slalom, a downhill event similar to the slalom in skiing. The other was the halfpipe, in which competitors perform tricks while going from one side of a semi-circular ditch to the other. As of 2014, there are now ten events, five for men and five for women. In the men’s half pipe event, Americans have taken six out of a possible seven medals since its introduction. This is largely thanks to double medalists Shaun White and Seth Wescott. It’s impossible to talk about the Winter Olympics without mentioning Shaun White at some point or another. The two-time gold medalist is the best snowboarder in the world and there is no doubt he is a heavy favorite to bring home his share of medals during the 2014 Winter Olympics. White holds the record for the highest score in the men’s half pipe at the Winter Olympics. He set it in 2006 and improved on his own record in 2010 to 48.4 points out of a possible 50. It will be interesting to see whether he can further improve this incredible feat at this year’s games.

The Badger

This week, The Badger discusses the sudden surge of American Football fans in Ireland, BOD, and hideous sporting kits

As a part-time Manchester United fan, the Badger is delighted at the recent record-signing of Juan Mata from rivals Chelsea. The Spaniard is a welcome addition to what looked to be a sinking ship at Old Trafford and the Badger thinks the top four might be just within reach for the Red Devils. He really was hot property at Chelsea over the last couple of seasons. Speaking of hot, everyone seems to be talking about the Superbowl. This is the week where every Irish man and woman around the country feigns interest and knowledge in American football so that they can impress during the Superbowl. In reality, these jokers couldn’t tell the difference between a quarterback and a quarter-pounder. The Badger thinks the Broncos will win because they have a really great fourth-down de-fence. Okay, maybe the Badger is bluffing too. Those American footballers really do have serious bods though. While we’re on the subject of BODs, the Badger feels it’s only right to give a special mention about the great Brian O’Driscoll in this week’s column.

Arguably Ireland’s greatest ever rugby player, the Leinster man is heading into his final Six Nations tournament. It would be great if the boys in green could send off O’Driscoll in style, although perhaps our chances of victory would be greater if it were just the ‘Three Nations’ with ourselves, Scotland and the mighty Italy. Ireland could bring the panache to the Three Nations, the Scots could be the stereotypical tough nuts and the Italians are always good for a strong fashion statement. This fashion was exemplified by Serie A club Napoli when they recently revealed their new camouflage kit. In the Badger’s esteemed opinion the kit looks like a combination between used boxers and stale cheese; it truly is awful. The Badger has been around for quite some time and vividly remembers the hideous grey Manchester United kit in 1996; the one they had to change at half-time of a game because the players claimed they couldn’t see each other. Now there’s a kit designer who was more than likely relived of his duties. That shade of grey was nearly as dull as this winter that the Badger

Sports Digest Esther Hor

water polo On January 24th and 25th, UCD competed in the Water Polo Intervarsities hosted by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Falls Leisure Centre, Belfast. Despite putting on up a good fight, UCD men’s team lost narrowly to NUI Maynooth in a tightly-contested quarter-final. They

eventually placed fifth in the meet. Brothers Fergus and Colum Crowe forged an enviable partnership, while newcomer Vinog Leavy made waves by creating some fantastic opportunities in the water for team mates Cormac Reddin and Dean Smal. The ladies team fared similarly, succumbing to defeat at the hands of perennial rivals Trinity College Dublin in the semi-finals. The team

has been forced to weather, and now his fat supplies are running low. He’s relieved that this it’s nearly over. Spring can’t come quick enough and although the Badger has the Winter Olympics to look forward to in Sochi, there is no hiding the fact that the Badger is eagerly anticipating the World Cup in Brazil this summer. It’s about time the great Cristiano Ronaldo had an impressive international tournament to add to his already impressive CV. Another highlight in the 2014 sporting calendar for the Badger is undoubtedly going to be the Ryder Cup, which takes place in Scotland in September. The Badger always enjoys the tournament that breeds good comebacks. Good comebacks mean good odds on underdogs. Anyway, here’s hoping Europe can pull off another impressive win. The Badger thinks there is a real sense of togetherness felt when you get to support an entire continent. Now would you look at this, the Badger is getting all soppy and emotional. That definitely means it’s time to wrap it up. Badger out.

featured a good mix of novices and senior players, with the return of experienced players Katie Ryan and Ciara Murray from Erasmus programmes a much welcomed asset. Catalina Parga gave an outstanding performance in the semi-final, while Eimeir Walsh showed her prowess in the water against this year’s champions DIT. Next up for the water polo squad, especially for the more experienced players, would be hopes for selections for the Celtic Nations team for the competition scheduled to take place in Galway this year. For those interested in joining or trying out water polo for themselves, training

takes place on Mondays from 9:00pm - 10:30pm in UCD swimming pool.

Equestrian It was a day to remember for the UCD Equestrian team recently when they took on rivals Trinity College Dublin in Colours in what turned out to be a heavily one-sided affair. Katie Nolan overcame stiff competition to emerge first in dressage and then combined effectively with Ian Cassels and Jamie Nolan to beat Trinity into second best in team dressage. Show jumping saw UCD’s James Keane outperforming the field.

On the night itself, an exhibition match was held between UCD and Fitzwilliam. As keepsakes, cherished memorabilia such as autographed menus from the 1958 Intervarsity Dinner and a replica of the O’Brien Men’s Club Championship trophy were presented to UCD Tennis Club. The Ladies Perpetual ChampionRowing ship Cup was presented to the club by Geraldine Barniville on the night UCD Tennis Club celebrated its of the dinner for permanent display 100 year milestone by organising the in the Sports Centre. The UCD Men’s Centenary Year Celebration Dinner. Championship Singles Challenge The dinner took place at Fitzwilliam Cup, presented in 1922 by Patrick LTC on Friday, January 24th and was J. O’Brien and won outright by Joe attended by past and present members MacHale in 1942, was presented to from all corners of Ireland and beyond. the club by Mrs Carmel MacHale.

He was joined on the podium by second-placed teammate, Max O’Reilly Hyland. In the team event, UCD’s team of O’Reilly Hyland, Ian Hickey, and Darragh Magner gave a solid performance to see off the opposing Trinity College side.

february 4th 2014 19

sport ucd overcome alex to advance to semifinal KILLIAN WOODS


18 Tiffany Ellis 2 Sarah Greene 10 Brenda Flannery 14 Niamh Atcheler 5 Caroline Hill 23 Sarah Robinson 3 Leah Ewart 16 Jeamie Deacon

17 Emily Beatty 11 Kate Collins-Smith 22 Elaine Carey 12 Katie Mullan 7 Nikki Evans 15 Anna O’Flannagan 28 Deirdre Duke 27 Gill Pinder

UCD 2 old alexandria 0

UCD Ladies hockey team took on Old Alexandria at the National Hockey Stadium in Belfield last Saturday in the quarter-finals of the Irish Senior Cup, looking to secure a berth in the next round. The home side opened the game with a positive attitude as they sought to intensively pressure their opponents high up the field. UCD’s Nikki Evans started the game lively and linked well with Anna O’Flanagan down the left wing as UCD controlled the game in the opening ten minutes while their opponents struggled to match the pace of the game set by the home side. As UCD dominated the game in the opening stages, their first goal actually came from an initial lapse in concentration that allowed Alex to jump to life as they found themselves in on goal with just the goalkeeper to beat. UCD’s keeper Tiffany Ellis managed to keep her cool and got down well to smother the shot and prevent Alex taking a surprise lead. From the clearance of this first threat on the UCD goal, the ball was worked well up the right wing as Evans picked out Anna O’Flannagan. As she closed down on goal, Mullan managed to poise herself to slot the ball past Pamela Smithwick. Her weak shot had just enough power in it to trickle under the on-rushing goalkeeper and go over the line to give UCD a deserved lead. After taking the lead, UCD sought to maintain this momentum they had built up at the start of the game, with Jeamie Deacon, Anna O’Flannagan and Deirdre Duke pressuring especially well high up the field to limit the opposition’s time on the ball to develop attacks and find holes in the UCD defence. As the game developed, Alex began to string some passes together, but UCD also continued to probe and

UCD pass first Sigerson test but hurlers lose opening tie Jamie Headon

20 february 4th 2014

of the third quarter. A goal from Shane Quinn and a point from Colm O’Brien gave the Midlanders a glimmer of hope, soon dashed by Jack McCaffrey’s brace and another fine score from Heslin. Cathal Shine of Athlone finished the scoring by blasting his goal attempt over the bar to leave the final score 0-17 to 2-7 in favour of John Divilly’s charges who in a fortnight’s time will face a quarter-final tie at home to either DCU, IT Tralee or NUIG. It proved to be a very different week for the UCD hurlers compared to that of their footballing counterparts, with the Belfield outfit suffering an elevenpoint loss in last Friday’s Fitzgibbon Cup group B opener away to UL. After taking an early 0-1 to 0-3 lead, UCD soon found themselves struggling to keep up with the hosts who subsequently hit a purple patch of 1-6 without reply. Cathal

Keane helped UCD peg back the Treaty City outfit’s lead by raising a green flag on 28 minutes, however, an over-dependence on the dead ball prowess of Wexford star Jack Guiney for scores consequently saw them trail the hosts by seven at the interval on a scoreline of 1-11 to 1-4. Guiney raised a second green flag for the visitors six-minutes into the second period, but from that point on the Munster men began to pull further and further away with their prolific forward six of Forde, Heffernan, Collins, Malone, Stapleton and Glynn all chipping in to give their side a comprehensive 1-23 to 2-9 win. Next up for UCD’s hurlers is their tie with Mary Immaculate, with a win essential to keeping their chances of making the quarter-finals alive.

1 Pamela Smithwick 4 Sarah Canning 10 Shirley McCoy 13 Erika Hinkson 5 Laura Gray 6 Rachel Gray 7 Liane Costello 12 Danielle Costigan

used a combination of short and long passes on the right wing to try and unravel the Alex defence. UCD’s intensity in attack began to wane after 20 minutes and their discipline came into question when a repeated number of offences deep in the Old Alex half saw the referee reach for her pocket. Both O’Flanagan and Mullan received yellow and green cards during the first half respectively. Alex won their first corner after 11 minutes, but couldn’t convert the chance. While a few minutes later, the visitors had an attempt just glide wide of the UCD goal as no one could get the vital touch. Despite being pegged back in their own half of the field for a large portion of the first half, UCD still looked dangerous on the counter attack. Following a corner to Alex on 25 minutes, the hosts countered quickly and created an overlap on the right wing. The chance resulted in O’Flannagan getting a shot in on goal, but Smithwick got down low to save her attempt. As the game edged closer to half time, UCD were forced into some last ditch defending, with Sarah Greene staunch in defence as she blocked a shot from close range. The first half ended with a corner to UCD, but they couldn’t make the chance count and Alex cleared the ball as the referee called for the interval. After the break, the home side hit the ground running again and showed initiative to bring the game right back into their opponents’ half. They dominated the second half in much the same fashion as they did the first half, with Anna O’Flannagan again leading UCD’s pressuring of their opponents high up the field. O’Flannagan’s pressure nearly paid off as she won the ball back on the edge of the circle and laid the ball off to the on rushing Nikki

9 Siobhan Scott Nielsen 15 Sally Campbell 20 Abigail Russell 11 Emma Duncan 14 Ava Beatty 8 Vanessa Winn 16 Lauren Kingston 3 Emma Russell

Evans whose shot was blocked. Alex had to wait until the 50th minute until they got their next attempt on goal and a chance to level the game, but from that point on, matched UCD in attack and defence as tried to keep possession and create an opening. Katie Mullan continued to be one of the home team’s best attacking outlets on the wing as the UCD counter attack continued to put Alex on the back foot whenever they managed to regain possession. Now deep in the second half, Alex began to make very poor probing passes forward and they nearly fell further behind when O’Flannagan again pilfered the ball. An excellent exchange of passes between herself, Mullan and Pinder made a chance for the latter on the edge of the box, bit Pinder dragged her shot to the left of the upright. Another ever-present in UCD’s attack during the second half was Evans, who with a weaving run on the right wing created a chance for Deirdre Duke to have an attempt on goal, but Duke was closed down. As the game entered the final ten minutes, Evans was unlucky to not get her own name on the scoresheet. A great through pass from Mullan on the left wing directed towards Evans in the centre was inch perfect, allowing her to take the ball in her stride. Evans cut across goal on the move and laid off a pass to the right for a give and go with Elaine Carey. She received the ball back at the far left post to slot home, but her goal was disallowed. UCD firmly had Alex on the back foot as the game came to a finish and they bagged the all-important second goal to put the game out of reach of their opponents late on. A quickly taken free by Duke was spread to Evans who passed across goal to O’Flanagan who grabbed her second goal of the game and sealed victory for UCD.

Swimming club win five medals in Sweden Swedish Grand Prix 1 (Uppsala)—UCD Results:

UCD GAA footballers booked their place in the Sigerson Cup quarter-finals last Tuesday with a 0-17 to 2-7 first round victory away to Athlone IT (AIT). UCD started brightly, taking a two-point lead courtesy of Paul Mannion and Conor Sheridan, before Eoghan Keogh was called upon to save a penalty from Athlone’s Ger Egan. Following a period of nip and tuck scoring, James Dolan raised a green flag for AIT just before the half-hour mark to give them the lead for the first time. However, points from skipper John Heslin and Mark Hughes ensured UCD went into the half time interval level with the hosts. UCD began the second period with a bang, kicking five unanswered points in the half’s opening six minutes. They soon began to pull away, establishing a seven-point cushion by the end

old alexandria

100m Freestyle Men 5th Brian O’Sullivan 53.25 6th David Prendergast 53.30 8th Seamus Stacey 54.28 100m Butterfly Women 3rd Shauna O’Brien 1:03:07 100m Backstroke Men 5th Brian O’Sullivan 59.19 7th David Prendergast 1:01.32 50m Backstroke Women 14th Dayna Clegg 33.49 200m Butterfly Men 10th Jack Keogh 2:16.95 200m Medley Women 1st Shani Stallard 2:21.52 400m Freestyle Men 4th Seamus Stacey 4:09.25 50m Freestyle Women 6th Shauna O’Brien 27.60 800m Freestyle Women 4th Lisa Comerford 9:27.08 200m Backstroke Women 7th Shani Stallard 2:29.55 10th Dayna Clegg 2:30.44 100m Freestyle Women 9th Shauna O’Brien 59.79 200m Freestyle Men 9th Seamus Stacey 1:56.9 50m Breaststroke Women 10th India McGlynn 5.43 400m Medley Women 2nd Shani Stallard 5:03.5 100m Butterfly Men 11th Jack Keogh 1:00.75 50m Backstroke Men 9th David Prendergast 28.80 200m Medley Men 7th Brian O’Sullian 2:12.84 50m Freestyle Men 3rd David Prendergast 24:58 8th Brian O’Sullivan 25.25 11th Michael McCarthy 25.19 50m Butterfly Women 2nd Shauna O’Brien 28.31 11th India McGlynn 29.42

Jonny Howson

The UCD Swim team competed at the Swedish Grand Prix in Uppsala, Sweden on January 25th and 26th. The competition is the club’s first experience competing on the international stage and the 11-strong team broke multiple club records over the course of the two-day event. The meet, which was held at the Fyrishov In Arena, saw UCD’s Shani Stallard bag herself a gold medal in the 200m individual medley swim and a silver in the 400m individual medley event. Speaking about her preparations for the competition, Stallard, who was a member of the Irish team at the European Championships last year, highlighted the hard work that was put into the training camp paying off for all involved. “There was a two week period that was just so tough, both physically and mentally, but we all stuck through it and I feel we got our first bit of reward for it.” Other team members also had a successful event, with Shauna O’Brien winning bronze and silver in the 100m and 50m

butterfly event. David Prendergast, meanwhile, also bagged himself a third place finish and a bronze medal in the 50m freestyle. Speaking about the team’s performance at the competition in Sweden, UCD Swimming coach Earl McCarthy said, “The atmosphere was exactly what I wanted the team to experience, that feeling of swimming fast abroad and racing some of the best.” The UCD Swimming Club’s next competition will see them traveling to Bangor, Co. Down to participate in the Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala, which will take place between February 28th and March 2nd. The Dave McCullagh Memorial Gala provides the club with further competition experience before they go to the National Championships in April. Before that event in April, UCD Swimming Club will have a two week training camp overseas where they will undergo their final preparations before attempting to qualify for the European Championships, which are being hosted in Berlin in August of this year.

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