Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The University Times facebook.com/universitytimes
Irish Student Newspaper of the Year
The University Times
The University Times
THIRD LEVEL IN IRELAND Inside our special supplement: UT’s interview with Ruairí Quinn Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynksy Max Sullivan on why fees must be re-introduced
Promotions to be pushed through
Leaving Home in Style: An eviction that became art Animal Business: The lives of animal actors Finding Velasquez: Trinity’s masterpiece detective And the best in culture and colour writing
Postgrad grants to be scrapped
My blue eyed Jane
» Promotions yet to be cleared by the Department of Education » Promotions necessary to boost staff morale & retain personnel, says Board
» 40% of postgraduate students to lose government support money
Leanna Byrne News Editor
THE DEPARTMENT of Education is to abolish all existing grants and maintenance support to postgraduate students from next year according to a Sunday Business Post report. Currently 40 percent of all full-time post graduate students are fi nancially supported by the government, a figure which amounted to approximately 9,000 students this year. However, from next year this support will be cut for new students in a bid to save the Department of Education €50 million a year. Students that are presently enrolled on postgraduate degree courses will be allowed continue to avail of the maintenance grants and grants for fees. Postgraduate students who qualify for fee and maintenance grants receive an average of €6,000 a year. The number of students who receive these grants amount
ACADEMIC AND administrative paid promotions are to go ahead, as confi rmed by a College Board meeting on the 12th of last month. Last year, proposals to go ahead with promtions were abandoned by the College. The Vice-Provost and Chief Academic Office, Professor Linda Hogan, encouraged the Board to draw attention to the initiation of the promotions process for academic and administrative, technical and support staff in this academic year. The terms of the academic employment control framework have made provisions for promotions within the confi nements of staff numbers and staff ratios between grades. Last year, The University Times reported that 27 senior academics were
promoted during the public sector promotions embargo. The Employment Control Framework issued by the government in 2008 to reduce staff numbers in the public service prohibits recruitment and promotions except in special approved circumstances. The move was soon withdrawn, but the Board have now found a way to by-pass this issue. Th is year, the Board were confident that there is flexibility for a limited number of promotions as the university has delivered significant savings under the terms of the employment control framework and thus should not be expected to be constrained any further. SU President Ryan Bartlett commented that “staff would not be moving above their levels, they would only be moving within categories.” Promotions would not be made unless there was a
Leanna Byrne News Editor
Couples eye up the competition from the starting line at the Scandinavian Society’s inaugural Totally-UndiscriminatoryActively-Inclusive-Non-Heteronormative-Pan-Gender-Life-Carrying-Competition. Photo: Joseph Noonan number of staff with merit to receive a promotion or else if there was a position available. Furthermore, the proposal is only putting forward the introduction of a process. Despite the scope for promotions being present, the Board agreed that there were risks involved with initiating the process, including fi nancial and compliance risks and limited capacity to reward excellence. To curb any objections, the proposal will undergo a
rigorous review by the Senior Promotions Committee, the Human Resources Committee and an analysis of the full costing of promotions will be undertaken by the Planning Group. In addition, the Department of Education and Skills had yet to respond to the Board’s proposals for an Early Retirement Scheme. Th is suggests that the department have not accepted the promotions proposal and that the proposal may in fact be rejected by the
department in light of the measurable budget cuts that they face. During the course of the discussions there were a number of issues raised by Board members included the fact that without any promotions the staff morale would be lacking. According to staff, even a small number of promotions would boost morale across the board. The promotions would be based on merit and would be open to all staff. It was stated that, to avoid
staff disappointment, it is vital that staff should be clearly informed of the limited capacity for paid promotion in an effort to manage expectations. Regardless of the issues that the proposal faces, the Board approved the ViceProvost’s recommendations on the reinstatement of the promotion process.
to one-third of the postgraduate students, whereas the other two-thirds pay full fees. Speaking to The University Times Graduate Students Union (GSU) President Mary O’Connor highlighted the problems associated with the cuts. “Irish postgraduates have no other choice but to leave Ireland and research abroad. Abolishing grants for new postgraduate entrants, not only will exclude thousands of Irish students from accessing postgraduate education, but will also have a detrimental impact on Irish universities.” Furthermore, the GSU President emphasised that Ireland depends on its universities’ postgraduate research to boost its rankings, economic output and international reputation.
continued on page 2
Minister suggests student cap Second theft in House 6 as » UT interview reveals Minister’s student cap intentions Saoirse O’Reilly Staff Writer IN AN interview with The Univeristy Times on Friday, November 4, Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn revealed that the introduction of a cap on student numbers in third level education has been proposed by the Higher Education Authority following a report by the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn. Under the proposed system, colleges would be given a set allocation of student numbers and a matching budget. The HSE argue that colleges are struggling to cope with the lack of funding available and that education in Ireland is set to deteriorate unless this is addressed. The number of students in third level education has already risen from 120,000 in 2,000, to 160,000 in 2010. The report by HEA showed that funding support for students has declined by 18 percent from 2008 to 2011. The student registration fee has already risen to try and cope with the funding problems. Th is rose in September from €1,500 to €2,000, creating an extra 40 million euro for colleges
in the Republic. According ti thie Minister, this increase has been inadequate in shoring up third level finances. The capping system is proposed at a time when UK fees are rising to £9,000, (€10,500). With this high cost of education in the UK, it is inevitable that demand for Irish University places will increase. It is likely that CAO points will surge dramatically if this cap is introduced, and students may fi nd it difficult to obtain a place on their desired course, even if they achieve the required points. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has strongly objected to this proposal. They claim it would prove “disastrous” if introduced and that it would be negative for the country’s economic recovery. Gary Redmond, USI President, said this was a “short sighted decision” which would have dire consequences. Rachel Barry, Trinity College Student’s Union Education Officer agrees with USI that “this is far too simplex a solution for a complex issue”. Ryan Bartlett, Trinity College Student’s Union
President welcomes the idea that the government are looking at other options as opposed to relying on raising the registration fee. Both Bartlett and Barry disagree with the HSE’s comment that education in Ireland is deteriorating. A detailed analysis by the Times Higher Education Rankings show that Trinity is comparable with the top universities in the world in respect of Research Impact with a score of 92%, and four colleges in the top 20 had lower scores than this. Barry claims that many people still cite Trinity as one of the best in the world in this field. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has however told the Dáil this week that “there have been no decisions made in respect of the Department of Education, or any other department yet, by the Government,” he said.
Mr Kenny explained that the student population was instead going to increase by 10 per cent, meaning more teaching staff will be needed. Th is proposal leaves many questions unanswered.Rachel Barry points out that capping the student numbers will not increase funding needed and that “increasing the registration fee passes the problem on from the government to the student”. Despite Mr Kenny’s comment that no decisions have been made in respect of this cap, it has still raised issues that will have to be addressed.
For the best coverage of tomorrow’s march check universitytimes.ie and follow us on Twitter @universitytimes
USI President Gary Redmond
Sci Fi Soc lose over €1,000 David Doyle Culture Editor TRINITY’S SCI-FI Society has become the second student society this year to have a considerable sum of money stolen from its society room. Auditor, Hannah Lancashire, refused to confi rm how much money was taken but sources have placed the theft in excess of one thousand Euros and given that the money was from membership sign-up fees during Freshers’ Week, the figure could be significantly higher. The theft, which occurred during the third week of term, resulted in the cashbox containing the money being removed from the fi ling cabinet in the society room, which is on the top floor of house six. Hannah Lancashire stressed that the fi ling cabinet, which is used to store DVDs, was a secure spot as it was locked. However, a member of the society has suggested that the cabinet in which the cashbox was stored was regularly left unlocked. The same member of the society told
The University Times that the money had been counted by the treasurer in the society room which was fi lled with members before the cashbox was placed back in the drawer. Th is incident is said to have occurred shortly before the theft itself. Security concerns have also been raised about the fact that membership of people entering the room is rarely checked. The Central Societies Commit-
large bag in the Bram Stoker Room, which it shares with The Phil, in the GMB on the Friday of Freshers’ Week and sometime between then and the following Tuesday, they were removed. The cash which auditor, Justin McCann, described as “a few hundred quid” was in a locked cashbox and the room itself was locked at the time. Only those with keys to the Bram Stoker Room have access to the room and
Sci Fi soc Auditor Hannah Lancashire refused to conﬁrm how much money was taken
tee and the Gardaí were immediately notified by the auditor upon discovery of the theft, as is correct protocol for societies in such a situation and an investigation has been launched. Sci-Fi is the second society to have cash stolen this year following the theft of cash, sweets and flyers from the Theological Society. The items had been left in a
it is not open for access to regular members of the society. The society, which is one of the oldest on campus, is unlikely to be adversely affected by the loss of their Freshers’ Week income due to a large private sponsorship deal. To minimise the impact of incidents like those experienced by both the Theological Society and the
The University Times
Editor: Ronan Costello Deputy Editor: Rónán Burtenshaw Volume 3, Issue 2
Sci-Fi Society, the Central Societies Committee advises all society treasures to keep no more than one hundred Euros petty cash in their society rooms at any one time. However for many societies around Freshers’ Week this advice is not practicable due to cash taken via membership sign ups at times when banks are closed. The two incidents raise concerns over the general security of society rooms and the security measures in place in House 6 to prevent such occurences. Currently it is the responsibility of society members to ensure that their society rooms are locked and that proper provision is made for the safety of all cash and property of the society. There is nothing at this juncture to indicate a link between the two thefts. If anyone has any information regarding either of the thefts, you are advised to contact the Central Societies Committee.
Th is newspaper is produced with the fi nancial support of Trinity College Students’ Union. It is editorially independent and claims no special rights or privileges.
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
Jack Cantillon lists the tell tale signs you should look out for in those you suspect of being in a naked calendar Tomás Sullivan analyses how the Irish media influenced our decisions in the Presidential election.
A week in the life of Trinity’s Twitterati Huw Duffy
In light of Liz Jones we might reassess Kanye West’s long deleted claims that women ‘be getting pregnant on purpose’. Ahead of his time.
Woke up 15 mins before my lecture. Got my teeth brushed, cigarette smoked and coffee brewed; still made it in on time. College Ryanair style
Jeez. I’ve liked Sean Gallagher in his appearances so far, but I don’t actually want him to become the President...
Aoibhín Murphy offers a historical analysis of sexuality and comes to the conclusion that modern society has come full circle with our ancestors
Surrounded by a bunch of Greek PAOK fans on the Luas. 1 of them asked me what I was reading. Showed him the title; ‘Crisis Economics’ #ouch
Postgrad grant comes under fire
Trinity Senator Ivana Bacik says that our abortion laws are archaic and in dire need of immediate reform Rob Farhat continues his analysis of the Irish economy. This time he makes the case for fees as an economic imperative
continued from front page
DIT lecturer Harrry Browne writes about the MV Saoirse and the Freedom Flotilla
TIMESSPORTS The Trinity Player brings some exPremiereship expertise to UT Sports Trinity is victorious at boxing intervarsities. Photo gallery of the day’s events The UT Olympian Ronan Richardson tries his hand at rifle shooting. Keep an eye on the website for the video
Coming week will be the last for this Twitter account. Hopefully I’ll have a Tumblr or other blog set up by next Friday. Details to follow.
Stephen Malkmus was great tonight at the Button Factory. Apart from the weird bit when he was saying all Dublin people were from the suburbs
The University Times
GSU Vice President Martin McAndrew with GSU President Mary O’Connor. Photo: Ronan Costello
Furthermore, the GSU President emphasised that Ireland depends on its universities’ postgraduate research to boost its rankings, economic output and international reputation. The cuts to the postgraduate grants is a reaction to the need for education minister Ruairí Quinn to make savings in his department’s €9 billion annual budget. As the numbers at primary level increase, with further increases due to the high birth rate, the department has encountered significant financial pressure. Third level education is feeling the push as introduction of upfront college fees for undergraduates cutting all grants
to postgraduates seems to be where the money will be coming from. “It’s about the same principles really,” said Students Union President Ryan Bartlett, speaking about access to education. “If we’re not letting people have access to third level education then we have a problem. Access to third level education should be about your ability, not about your finances.” The proposal has put more pressure on Labour Party TDs who are facing vociferous objections to the many education cuts that have been put forward. Although TDs claim that they “do not want to return to a situation where [third level education] is the preserve of privileged kids”, it seems
that with these moves to bring in fees access will be limited. Bartlett expressed that without the support that students need, the standard of education in Ireland will be taking a step back. “Fewer people progress into postgraduate course already. If the government introduce these cuts that will be lessened again.” In the current economic climate Trinity College GSU is now questioning the wisdom of the decision by the government to introduce these cuts as Trinity falls down the ranks in the top universities. Despite this, the government has released a statement saying that they will not be reviewing the proposal.
Rachel Lavin tracks down the Trinity professor who identified a Velasquez masterpiece Michelle Doyle examines the curious life of animal actors We talk to the group of people who turned their house into an art gallery The Culture section features the best student writing on film, fashion and theatre
EDITOR Ronan Costello DEPUTY EDITOR Rónán Burtenshaw NEWS EDITOR Leanna Byrne FEATURES EDITOR Rory O’Donovan OPINION EDITOR Hannah Cogan SPORTS EDITOR Jack Leahy DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR Ian Curran DEPUTY FEATURES EDITOR Tomás Sullivan DEPUTY OPINION EDITOR Max Sullivan DEPUTY SPORTS EDITOR Matt Rye PHOTO EDITOR Apoorv Vyas Magazine Editor Tommy Gavin Magazine Deputy Editor Luke O’Connel CULTURE EDITOR David Doyle CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dargan Crowley-LOng WEB EDITORS Peter Twomey & Melanie Giedlin
Úna Uí Lachtnáin, Uachtaráin an Oireachtas (ar clé).
Daltaí na Trionóide ag Oireachtas 2011 Pádraig Schaler Cumann Gaelach OIREACHTAS NA Gaeilge 2011; dóibh siúd a bhí ann ní gá a thuilleadh a rá. Dóibh siúd nach raibh ann linn, déanfaidh mé iarracht cuir síos a dhéanamh ar roinnt den mhéid gur chaill sibh amach air. 10,000 duine ag bailiú le chéile i gCill Airne le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar ár dteanga, ar ár gcultúr agus orainn féin mar chine. As an 10,00 duine sin: 1,500 duine ag (déanamh iarrachta) damhsa ar an sean-nós ar urlár rinne an INEC ag a 2 a chlog ar maidin, 1,000 duine ag canadh leis na Rubberbanndits, 800 ag breathnú ar Chorn Uí Riada, 600 mac léinn i gcúlaithí bréaga
, 300 duine ag éisteacht le díospóireachta na mac léinn. Agus chuile rud ar fad trí Ghaeilge. Má cheapann duine ar bith go fóill go bhfuil an Ghaeilge ar tí a báis, nach labhraítear í, nó nach bhfuil sí cool, bí linn ag Oireachtas na Gaeilge 2011! Thriall 88 mac léinn ó Choláiste na Tríonóide leis an gCumann Gaelach ar an Oireachtas; an líon is mó daoine riamh a ndeachaigh ann ó Choláiste na Tríonóide, nó ollscoil ar bith eile. Thosaigh an t-ólachán ar an mbus ar an mbealach siar, shroicheamar an áit, ghlacamar seilbh ar an mbrú agus leanamar leis an ólachán. De ghnáth bíonn an tOireachtas ar siúl i rith Oíche Shamhna, cé nach
h-ionann an cás i mbliana níor ligeamar do sin cuir isteach orainn; tháinig na mic léinn ar fad a bhí ann ó chuile charn den tír le chéile don pre-party in Óstán an Brehon. Bhí comórtas ann do chulaithe bréaga is fearr, bhain na ‘daoine gorma’ ó Choláiste na Tríonóide an chéad áit amach agus bhain na Libyan rebels ó Choláiste na Tríonóide an dara áit amach; anuas ar sin bhuaigh Coláiste na Tríonóide an duais don choláiste is fearr don tríú bliain as a chéile. Roimh mheán oíche leanamar ar fad ar aghaidh chuig Óstán an Gleneagle (príomh-ionad an Oireachtais) áit go raibh na mílte duine ann cheanna féin. Sheinn the Dirty Nines,
Bréag, Daithí Ó Dronaí, agus na Rubberbanndits dúinn i nGaeilge fad ‘s a bhí ceol traidisiúnta le cloisteáil sa halla béal doras. Rinneamar oíche go maidin as agus níor cheistigh duine ar bith muid. Is cinnte go bhfuil i bhfad Éireann níos mó ag baint le hOireachtas na Gaeilge áfach ná deireadh seachtaine a chaitheamh ar an drabhlás. I rith an lae bíonn comórtais éagsúla ar siúl, mar a bíodh go forleathan in Éirinn fadó i rith ré na bpátrún, comórtais fhilíochta, scéalaíochta, cheoil, lúibíní, cheol beirte, dreas cainte agus go leor eile. Bíonn géar-iomaíochta ag na comórtais seo, agus ard-chaighdeán de dhíth
le ceann do na duaiseanna móra a bhaint amach. Ach, nílim chun a chur i ngéill gur sin an príomh-fháth go raibh na mic léinn ann, ní hé - ach tá an taobh sin den Oireachtas ag fanacht orainn agus muid ag freastal air i gceann 20 bliain Tá rud éigin faoin Oireachtas a thugann le fios nach bhfuil ort cloí le rialacha an tsaoil agus tú ann, tá sé ar nós nuair a bhí sneachta i ngach áit an bhliain seo caite. Bíonn páistí ag damhsa lena sean-thuismitheoirí go moch ar maidin. Bíonn sean-mhúinteoirí agus léachtóirí ag ól leat taobh le mo dhuine ón aimsir ar TG4 fad is atá na ceoltóirí traidisiúnta is fearr ar domhan ag casadh ar an stáitse. Tugann
na gardaí daoine abhaile, téann daoine ar iarraidh, íslítear agus goidtear bratach, ach glactar leis sin ar fad agus tuilleadh mar ghnáthrudaí. Tá sé fíor-dheacair cuir síos a dhéanamh ar an Oireachtas, go háirithe nuair nach bhfuil cumas na scríbhneoireachta agat, mar sin táim chun sibh a fhágáil le tagairt faoin bhféile a bhí san Irish Times a léiríonn an rud nach raibh mise in ann: “The Oireachtas is our festival. It’s what we do. It is our Haj, our Ploughing Championships, our novena, our Oxegen.”
The University Times | November 15 2011
Trinity wins award at FF conference
The white wizard enchants The Phil
The Phil greeted a very special guest last Wednesday when it hosted veteran actor Christopher Lee. A BAFTA winner, Lee was honoured with the society’s Bram Stoker Gold Medal. The medal was a fitting tribute to the man who played Dracula in numerous Hammer horror
films in the 1950s and 1960s before taking up the role of Bond villain Scaramanga in “The Man with the Golden Gun”. Lee is probably best known to Trinity students for his role as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Looking frail but with his signature baritone still boomimg through the room, Lee said that his work as an actor was to make the unbelievable believable. The 89 year old actor said that there wasn’t much that scared him these days.
MEMBERS OF the Trinity College branch of Ogra Fianna Fail, the Theobald Wolfe Tone Cumann, were in a celebratory mood after leaving Fianna Fail’s National Youth Conference with the prize for Best Delegation for the first time. The Conference, which took place in Cork City last weekend, is an annual event devised as a forum in which Ogra Fianna Fail, the party’s independent youth wing, can shape its national policies and elect new officers, as well as discuss current issues with party TDs, senators and journalists. The Wolfe Tone Cumann managed to pass six of the seven motions it proposed over the weekend, covering issues such as protecting the status of the Irish language in the school curriculum; encouraging links between the Republic , Northern Ireland and Britain; and organising a national awareness campaign to educate people in recognising the danger signs of suicide. The prize was awarded for this work as well as for the Wolfe Tone Cumann’s contribution
to the overall spirit of the weekend. Micheal Martin, attending his first Youth Conference as leader of the party, focussed on three key issues in his speech to delegates on Saturday: job creation, education and the European debt crisis. Martin, directly addressing the party’s main challenge, conceded that Fianna Fail’s crushing defeat in the general election in February was a message from voters that it wanted change and renewal within the party. He took an optimistic stance, asserting that “there are thousands of people in all parts of this country who are determined to work together to rebuild our party and to promote the unique and positive role Fianna Fail has to play in Irish public life”. He also pointed to the party’s modest but significant resurgence in the Presidential and Dublin West elections. “The overall sense was that there is renewal afoot in Fianna Fail, coming from a generation of 18-27 year olds. This group will create a new party whose values
are appropriate to a 21stcentury Ireland,” says Niall Murphy, the Wolfe Tone Cumann’s assistant secretary. Ronan Richardson, Cathaoirleach of Dublin Central’s Ogra Fianna Fail branch and also a student of history at Trinity College, agrees. “To say that you are a member of Fianna Fail often taints you or banishes you to the sidelines of political debate. However, the large number of young people present in Cork last weekend, each with their own opinions, is clear evidence that Ogra Fianna Fail is not, nor will it ever be, standing meekly on the sidelines of public discourse.” Young Fianna Failers are content that theirs is still “the country’s largest national youth movement”, but also recognise that much work is still necessary to rebuild the party’s brand, with a heavy emphasis placed over the weekend on the areas of education and social policy.
Naming rights to bio-med institute could be sold Fionn O’Dea Staff Writer TRINITY COLLEGE’S new, state-of-the-art Biomedical Sciences Institute (BSI) may see its naming rights sold in order to recoup some of the €131m spent financing the project. The project received €80m in state funding with the balance to be paid for by the college. Dr David Lloyd, Trinity Bursar and Group Head of Molecular Design, says that “from inception of the BSI in 2005, the College has been exploring the possibility of individual or corporate philanthropy linked to formal naming of the building”. Whereas in the past, new such buildings may have adopted the names of well-known alumni or famous figures (Samuel Beckett Theatre, Berkely Library to name just two), it appears that the modern day fiscal pressures on universities have encouraged the pursual of new outlets of revenue. The sale of corporate sponsorship within universities is not without
precedent, in fact it has become increasingly prevalent in US universities. The University of Wisconsin offers an online medical course funded by pharmaceutical giant Bayer, in exchange for mentioning the brand’s name during the course. The University of Houston, meanwhile, has resisted the urge to change the name of
of this year by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, hopes the “redefine the scientific landscape in Ireland” and aims to “drive 21st century scientific research for the benefit of improved healthcare”. The BSI has enough ground space to cover eighty tennis courts or three GAA pitches, and represents the second phase of TCD’s Pearse Cor-
Dr David Lloyd has said that the college has been exploring the possibility of selling naming rights
their Enron Teaching Award despite the energy company falling out of existence in 2001. On the other end of the spectrum, it was the University of Phoenix that acquired the naming right to the previously named Cardinals Stadium, Arizona in 2006 for $154.5 million over a twenty year period. The BSI, opened in June
WELCOME TO THE BEST CLUB NIGHT IN DUBLIN
TOMMY GAVIN VENTS HIS OBSESSION WITH THE GOULASH DISKO, A MONTHLY NIGHT OF BALKAN BEATS IN THE TWISTED PEPPER.
ridor Development. Kenny said that it “will help sustain Ireland’s position as an international leader in biomedical research.” Immunology research carried out by Trinity has placed Ireland third in the world while the college ranks in the top 0.01% in the world in neuroscience research. The ideal partner for the
BSI in this venture “would be drawn from a cognate area to the research and education activities underway in the facility”. This could perhaps be similar to the partnership between Washington University (WU) and Pfizer who, in exchange for $25m over five years, get to work closely with WU scientists and jointly propose and conduct projects. Dr Lloyd acknowledges, however, that “there is very little appetite in the corporate world at present for such philanthropy”. The potential sale also represents a growing trend in Ireland whereby naming rights are sold to finance large-scale developments. Two of Dublin’s most high profile redevelopments in recent years have seen the Point Depot and Lansdowne Road renamed the 02 and Aviva Stadium respectively. Despite the difficulties with attracting a partner in this economic climate, Dr Lloyd insists hopefully that the BSI will “continue to explore avenues as they arise”.
The University Times
Institute of Technology Blanchardstown.
ITs announce plans to form University DUBLIN INSTITUTE of Technology, IT Tallaght and the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown recently announced plans to form a new “Technological University of Dublin”. Although talks of this kind have occurred before, with many Institutes of Technology in Dublin and around the country hoping to be elevated to university status, the three institutions have gone a step further and signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the Technological University of Dublin Alliance. Their steering group consists of the chair and president of each institution and is chaired by Michael Kelly, formerly head of the Higher Education Authority. “This will break new ground in the higher education sector in Ireland and offers an exciting prospect for students, employers and the wider community in the Dublin region,” says Mr
Kelly. “It provides a clear opportunity to enrich the quality of teaching and learning; research and discovery; and civic and corporate engagement. Our belief is that, in developing the Alliance, the whole can become significantly greater than the sum of its parts.” In a joint statement, the heads of the three institutions outlined their aims for the proposed university: “We envisage that what may emerge from this Alliance will be a civic and technological university with a nationally unique profile. Complementing and collaborating with the existing university sector, it will be practice-led, strongly informed by research and engaged on many levels with society and with industry. We believe it can constitute a significant addition to Irish Higher Education. Our aim for such an institution will be that it stands with the leaders among the
Technological Universities across Europe and worldwide.” Although the government has not yet officially responded to the Alliance’s case, it is unlikely that it will agree with the assertion that a new university is urgently needed in an already crowded playing field – Ireland has 23 third-level institutions at present, seven of which have university status. DIT has already been rejected once before in its attempt to gain university status, and elsewhere Waterford IT has been campaigning fruitlessly for an upgrade for years, claiming there is a need for a university in the south-east of the country. Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn made his views clear earlier in the year, stating that the concept of a university should not be devalued by simply changing the name of an institution or granting university status for its own sake.
If you want to write news for UT, send an email to email@example.com and join the our team today
The Hunt Report on Higher Education, published in 2010, expressly ruled out the possibility of any Institutes of Technology gaining university status in the future. Despite this, the Report sets out a framework for a possible technological university, with strict guidelines to be met before proposals will be considered. It is this proposed framework that the Technological University of Dublin Alliance hope to take advantage of in order to win university status. The exact distinction between a “technological university” and a conventional one is not made clear; the aim of such a new institution will perhaps be clarified when the Department of Education responds to the TU Dublin Alliance’s campaign.
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
President of UCC calls for fees Gary Hansel Staff writer
Professor John Boland.
Boland wins international academic prize Gary Hansell Staff Writer A leading Trinity professor has recently been awarded an iternational prize. Professor John Boland has been presented with the ACSIN Nanoscience Prize for his contribution to the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. He was presented the award at the ACSIN-11 conference in St.Petersburg, Russia, on October 6th. Along with being
Professor of Chemistry in Trinity College, Professor Boland leads Ireland’s premiere nanoscience institute, CRANN. The institute is host to a team of over 160 distinguished researchers, ranging from over thirty different countries. The Professor was named Laureate of the award for his outstanding work in the development and application of scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy and in the use of these tools to advance our understanding of chemical
and physical phenomena of materials. The ACSIN Nanoscience Prize is an eminent award in the field of nanoscience. Awarded every two years, previous Laureates have included the Nobel-Prize in Physics winner Albert Fert, who won the award in 2005. Professor Boland has a distinguished academic career. Receiving a BSc degree from UCD in Chemistry, he continued his studies in the United States, earning a PhD from the California Institute
of Technology, where he was an IBM graduate fellow. From 1984 to 1994 he was a researcher at the IBM T.J Watson Research Centre, and joined the chemistry faculty at the Universityof North Carolina in 1994. He moved to the School of Chemistry in Trinity College in 2002. On receipt of the award in St. Petersburg, Professor Boland wished to thank those whom he has worked with during his research,including his past
students. He also stated that he was “particularly proud to represent Ireland” and believed that the award would help demonstrate Ireland’s developments “not only in nanoscience but in all areas of science and technology”. Nanoscience is playing an increasingly fundamental role in the Irish economy. With nanotechnology estimated to have a global market value of $3trn by 2015, Ireland has become increasingly influential in
the sector. Over 120,000 jobs are linked to anoscience and nanotechnology, contributing to 10% of the nation’s national exports, over €15bn. It also plays a seminal role in Ireland’s three largest industries; pharmaceuticals, medical devices and ICT. With international accolades being awarded to people such as Professor Boland, the progress of the industry in this country is hoped to continue.
DR MICHAEL Murphy, President of University College Cork, has become the latest advocate for the introduction of third-level fees in Ireland. Speaking to The Irish Times, the former medical consultant stressed that student fees of at least €4,500 €5,000 per year are necessary to maintain the quality of higher education within Ireland. Dr Murphy explained that, due to the fact that third-level graduates gain a significant income premium due to their degree, it was only right that those who were capable of affording fees are forced to make a more significant contribution. Without the introduction of fees, Dr Murphy warned, Ireland faces a “brain drain” of its brightest students. He stated that the only method of preventing this occurring would be if Irish universities were funded in a way that allowed them to compete on equal terms with the best universities in Europe and elsewhere. He went on to say that higher education system in Ireland faced inevitable decline without a substantial funding base. Irish universities have fallen dramatically in the world rankings in the past two years. This is a reflection of the cuts to staffing and other sectors of university resources, which have been imposed across the third-level sector since 2009. Trinity College has been one of the most prominent casualties of the decrease of
expenditure. The University’s dramatic decline, falling from 76th in 2010 to 117th in 2011 according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, epitomises the precarious state of the Irish third-level education sector. Dr Murphy’s university, UCC, seems to be the only third-level establishment bucking the trend, having risen by three places to 181st during the same period, according to the QS World University Rankings. Dr Murphy’s comments come against the backdrop of a major student protest in Dublin this Wednesday, with an expected 25,000 demonstrators expected to attend. The “Stop Fees” demonstration is being organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). The march will highlight what USI calls the “broken promises” of Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn. Whilst in opposition, Mr Quinn signed a pre-electoral pledge ruling out the reintroduction of fees. However, since coming into power, the Minister has emphasised how all options are on the agenda as the government attempts to address the funding crisis of thirdlevel education. Mr Quinn will shortly receive a report from the Higher Education Authority which underscores the paucity of funding available to third-level institutions. The report will conclude that a cap on student numbers may be necessary.
Nurses in last stages of pay negotiations »» INMO meet to discuss government’s improved offer on pay reductions »» Student representatives describe “incredibly tense” meeting with INMO FOLLOWING A renegotiation of the government’s position regarding pay scales for nurses on placement as part of an undergraduate degree, the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) have met to discuss their response to an improved offer. INMO have been lobbying the government since the beginning of the year when it was announced that 4th year nurses would have their pay lowered from 80% of the rate of a staff nurse to 45% before payment would eventually be phased out entirely. 4th year student nurses work the hours of staff nurses and replace them on a 2:1 basis. On 28th October 2011, Michael Scanlan, Secretary General of the Department of Health, wrote to the INMO equivalent Liam Doran to inform him that the Department would instead be offering 60% of the full rate in the 2011-12
academic year and 50% in all subsequent years. The 50% rate, if the offer is accepted, will be maintained until such a point when the Department next chooses to review the system. Under the new proposals, nurses currently in the final year of their degree will receive a basic package of €313.97 per week for their placement with potential for another 23% of that figure should they work premium hours on weekends, evenings, or nights. For subsequent years, that rate falls to a basic package of €261.63 with the same premiums available to some nurses. As soon as the offer was received, Mr. Doran contacted all members of the Union to inform them of a meeting of relevant class representatives to take place on November 9th in the Gresham Hotel on O’Connell Street in lieu of a planned march to the
Department of Health on the same day. Student nurses told The University Times that the meeting was ‘incredibly intense’ and that the tone was set for a disorganised meeting when INMO leaders arrived at the Gresham Hotel 40 minutes late after a confusion over the advertised starting time of the meeting. Trinity College Dublin nursing and midwifery class representatives were mandated to attend the meeting at Student Union Council on November 1st after a motion proposed by Aisling Maher, chair of the Dublin South-East branch of INMO, was carried by Council members. ‘The meeting was incredibly intense, as should be the case with a matter of national importance. This wasn’t helped, however, by the INMO guys arriving at 2.40pm for a 2pm meeting, thinking they had told us to be there at 2.30pm. But,
after some teeth-pulling, we got our business done and I think we’re all happy with how it went’. At the meeting, INMO distributed an information leaflet detailing the proposed payment structure and the options available to student nurses at this point. Nurses were told that the only alternative to accepting the offer made by Minister for Health Dr. James Reilly TD was to continue protests and take strike action, a move that may jeopardise the degrees of undergraduate nurses who undertake placement as part of their degree. Fears were also voiced that any withdrawal of labour would violate the Croke Park Agreement and lead to further losses in pay. ‘If the protest campaign continues over an extended period’, said one such document, ‘issues will arise with An Bord Altranais and compliance with the
Student nurses protesting last year against pay cuts. requirements of the degree programme’. Under the heading of ‘Unions [sic] Opinon, student nurses were informed that ‘the collective position of all three unions, representing student nurses/ midwives’ was essentially that the offer, while lower than the original pay rate, was the product of a long
campaign and was a decent one considering the economic provisions under which the department is operating. ‘In the current climate no guarantee can be given that any campaign, no matter how it is structured, or its duration, will secure further improvements of these pay rates’, nurses and
midwives were told. This would appear to pave the way for student nurses to accept the measures when individual constituencies of the Union meet to vote over the next two weeks. Nurses have voiced their displeasure at working for a pay rate that is lower than minimum wage. Despite this,
the general consensus following Wednesday’s meeting is that the logistics of continuing the fight and the economics of the budget deficit mean that the situation could feasibly have been worse.
The hash tag for tomorrow’s march is #stopfees
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
TIMESFEATURES The Hallow Sessions
Are your friends hitting the gym lately? They’re probably in a naked calendar Jack Cantillon Spoofer-in-chief
OU STAND IN front square at 6am with a group of people from college. There’s that ridiculously hot girl you never got the courage to talk to at BESS ball. There’s that guy from the Phil that always says “hello” but you don’t know his name. There’s that mature student who always asks questions at the end of a lecture. There’s that macho rugby player complaining about how it’s got so cold in November. There’s that whale of a man who insists 3 daily chicken fi llet roles are a dietary must. Then a photographer arrives and tells you all to get your kit off. That’s everyone. Well, apart from that creepy 4th year that insisted on getting up to “supervise”. Welcome to the bizarre world of naked calendars. There has been a surge in naked calendars being used to raise charitable funds every since the release of the movie “Calendar Girls” back in 2003 and Trinity has been no exception. Cancer Soc, Cumnadh na Gaelach and M.O.V.E are all doing their own clothes-free calendar shoots this year. Th is has caused widespread panic on campus as
desperate participants embark on crash diets, daily trips to the gym and hourly trips to the mirror to note their panicked progress. A seasoned Naked Calendar veteran explained why he wanted to be involved again this year – “I just wanted to whip it out for cancer” he joked. “It’s a good bit of fun for a great cause”. While admitting that most participants “generally had good intentions” he raised worries that some people were using the calendar as a “means of self publication”. A new participant to Naked Calendars this year elaborated, “I think some people see it as a way of getting their face out there, but if that involves raising money for fantastic causes such as Cancer Soc, I don’t really see the problem in it”. These calendars raise great sums every year and every participant has to be commended for stripping off for the entire student body’s pleasure. The question remains though, why do people have to be naked? Surely it’s just as easy to do a series of funny photos with your clothes on? The veteran explained, “It’s easier to get a bunch of people naked”. Having your clothes on is just “less interesting”. One ginger source remarked, “Sure, we all
know it’s only done nude so we can see the Orchestra girls in the nip each year”. It appears perving sells and Trinity expectantly awaits a fresh batch of starkers students entering into naked calendar infamy to have a good old fashioned gawk at them. Who is bearing-all this year is a mystery though. Participants have been asked not to tell anybody if they’re involved so the societies can drum up sales. There is however some tell tale signs that people can look out for: 1) The “Diet Coke Changeover”. Friends who have suddenly switched to Diet Coke are very likely to be stripping off in the coming weeks. Look out for excuses like “it’s just so refreshing” or “Diet just tastes better”. They have tried Diet Coke before, if they really thought that they would have switched years ago so unless they’ve got a new job as a rep for Diet Coke, you can be pretty sure they’re in the calendar. Th is is especially true with boys; it’s a scientific fact that no man drinks Diet Coke. Spot a silver can in their hand and you can bet your bottom dollar they’re in it. 2) The “I’ve just got really into the gym lately”. Nobody just get’s
really into the gym lately. These people have just got into the naked calendar lately. The cheese grater is being crafted for a reason. 3) The “I’ll just have salad”. Have you noticed one of your mates taking the light option one too many times recently? Notorious for showing symptoms of the “diet coke changeover” as well, these individuals embark on a crash diet that they hope nobody will ever even spot. Order them a burger and chips on you. If they’re in the calendar they won’t touch a single chip or they will be having a date with a toilet and a toothbrush later. 4) The “I can’t make it out tonight”. Have you got a friend who has just stopped going out? These former party animals that have locked themselves away not because they are “swamped with work” but because they’re swamped with naked calendar fear. Don’t believe them for a second, they’re going to be all over February in a month’s time. Anyway, a true beer legend would never let naked looks get in the way of some vitamin H. 5) The “bleary eyed in the morning”. You’re mate is wrecked and he wasn’t out the night before. Chances are he did an early morning
naked calendar shoot to dodge security. All that talk of a late night study session is bull, it’s November for god’s sake. The only thing you should be studying is the form in paddy power so you can pay for your Ski Trip. Don’t trust them as far as you could throw them. 6) “Photoshop lesson taker” Photoshop skills are key for any naked calendar creator. It’s rumoured that one society diva this year demanded that she would only appear if she was given complete photoshop control. It might be a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, but it’s also a moment on the ‘shop’, a lifetime looking hot. Despite all these signs we will not know for sure who these people are until we’ve excitedly unwrapped our vacuum-packed calendars in December. Who knows what awaits us? The Rowing team naked as the day they were born on top of the campanile? The rugby team having a scrum starkers in the Arts Block? Or the Equestrian club riding off au natural into the sunset? Only one thing is for certain, that pervy 4th year is going to supervise every last flesh-fi lled minute.
HAT CAN FAIRY lights, acoustic music, cushions and pumpkin carving equal? A very chilled out evening in the Parlour with TrinityFM – and all for a good cause. On Friday the 28th of October, to embrace the Hallowe’en season, Trinity FM teamed up with the Parlour to organise The Hallow Sessions, an acoustic festival in aid of the children of Somalia that ran from 2pm until 8pm. There may have been dreary weather outside but emotions were positive inside the Goldsmith Hall. It was all kicked off by Anne Nuding singing beautifully while accompanied by Robbie Kitt on guitar. Th is was closely followed by a set from the incredibly talented Claire Hyland and Aisling O’ Leary, Paddy Dexter and Craig Reynolds – who sang everything from the Cranberries to Lady Gaga to original songs, giving the crowd a warming taste of diversity despite the gloomy conditions beyond the walls. DU Food and Drink were on hand to get everyone in a festive Hallowe’en mood, organising a pumpkin carving competition, with predictably messy, yet creative results. Within five minutes there was a crowd of students perfecting their spooky creations and creating a surreal atmosphere by lining them up along the window-sill. Underlying this relaxed music session was a serious message. At 5pm, Barney, a representative from UNICEF arrived and after a short video on the famine in East Africa, talked to everyone about why we need to step out of our comfort zones, step out of our college life, step out of Ireland and look at issues that are happening across the world. The events that we all dread to talk about and, even worse, fail to pay any attention to. The images that we were watching were not a tale being told from far away but a reality for millions of people, for children, for people our age. The biggest thing that was learnt from Barney was that organisations aren’t just looking for money from people to send off, but to raise awareness among young people by organising talks or volunteer talks or even by simply bringing the harrowing nature of life in the Th ird World up in conversation. The need to give thought and a human identity to the victims of suffering was foremost in the thoughts of the crowd assembled. The festival continued into the evening with soothing sounds from the acoustic duet Kaleidofolk and solo artist Tim Nairn (already on a lucky streak having won TrinityFM’s Digitalism tickets the day before), strong vocal harmonies from Stephen and Colm O’ Loughlin and haunting sounds from Cloud Castle Lake, accompanied by a cellist. TrinityFM and the Parlour succeeded in having a chilled-out event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Parlour, organised by Sarah Mulcahy, Michelle Hanley and Niall Morahan, is a phenomenal event. They have created a space for students to hang out, relax and just enjoy themselves. They have had Trinity Orchestra play Arcade Fire, fashion days, movie nights and acoustic sets and they are continuing to have events every Friday so it is highly recommended that you check them out. Arts Block students that have ignored the Hamilton side of college before now are invited to come along, with top class staff and prices at the JCR cafe; it’s something that should not be missed. TrinityFM will be having plenty more acoustic sessions and events coming to a venue near you, so keep an eye out on Facebook and on the website. If you would like to become a member, get involved or have your own radio show email Matthew Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next open mic week will be from the 21st to the 2th of November. This is an opportunity for students who have never played a show before or would like to do a once oﬀ show.
Women are now ashamed to be called feminists
Emily Flaherty discusses how the concilliatory language of “Gender Equality” has replaced the revolutionary language of feminism.
“ One BESS student said “women are their own worst enemies”, and certainly, extreme feminists or the idea of extreme feminism corrupt the whole barrel of feminism
I WOULDN’T CALL myself a feminist; I’d call myself a humanist because I believe in equality for both genders. Feminism is the equivalent of chauvinism”. That’s what she said; and that’s why I decided to write this – because it was a “she” that said it. A female who very defi nitely defi ned herself as Not a feminist. Why would a woman distance herself from a movement which is proher? Many women are unwilling to identify themselves as feminist. Some are very defi nitely Not feminists. Others claim not to be interested. Those that do identify themselves as feminists feel the need to qualify what they mean; they are only feminists to “a certain extent”. They need time to consider to what extent, because they wouldn’t want to give you the wrong impression. Apparently you cannot just be a feminist – it is necessary to explain what type of feminist you are. It is also necessary to explain why you are a feminist, as in this
country men and women have equal rights. Surely feminism is obsolete if equality has been attained. But has it been attained? Trinity students are divided on this matter. Some worry that we may switch from a patriarchal society to a matriarchal one, implying that we have bypassed equality and may arrive at a new inequality. Others are satisfied with society as it is and suggest that any inequalities are confi ned to statistics. One student, who empathically answered “No” when asked whether she was a feminist, was just as empathic in rejecting the claim that equality had been reached. Matthew Corbally, auditor of the Gender Equality Society, stated that while the society discusses male and female issues, most of their discussions centre on feminism, indicating that it is still relevant to students. Indeed the existence of a Gender Equality Society implies that its members feel that there is no equality; otherwise the society would not need to exist. Whilst many students believe that our
society is equal; enough express discontent as to render feminism relevant. If feminism is still relevant, why do women distance themselves from it? (Whilst there are many male feminists, I’m discussing women’s attitude to feminism, because it is not illogical to assume that most women would be interested in their own rights). To return to what “she” said, “Feminism is the equivalent of chauvinism”, or to paraphrase; feminists are stereotypically moustachioed lesbians who rant about hisstory versus her-story and slam doors in the faces of men who’ve held them open. For some reason, this extreme feminist has become the representative of all feminists. One BESS student said “women are their own worst enemies” and, certainly, extreme feminists or the idea of extreme feminism corrupt the whole barrel of feminism. But how many of these female chauvinists are there? Is the stereotype greater than the statistical reality? Corbally states that
these female chauvinists are very much in the minority and most feminists are “just interested in working against the patriarchal restrictions that hold back society”. Th is is not anti-men feeling and is a type of feminism that would be acceptable to most people. However female chauvinists or the very notion of them drives women away from feminism, until feminism becomes defi ned exclusively as female chauvinism. Furthermore, accordingly to Corbally this stigma allows feminists to be ridiculed and ignored and sidelines the movement. So how does the movement move away from female chauvinism? It is not an unfair generalisation to state that many men dislike feminism, because they mistake it for female chauvinism, which is understandable given the stigma that surrounds feminism. It is also understandable that men would dislike a movement they would perceive as being anti-them. In order to change this perception, feminism needs to be perceived
as being pro-men as well as prowomen. There are male issues, such as the issue of single fathers not having access to their children, which feminism can take a stand on, and thus broaden its appeal. The emphasis should switch from women’s rights to equality. These days, feminism has become the Gender Equality movement, and we have a society of that name. The society said that their choice of title was “a moral decision rather than a strategic one”. While this may be true, strategically it was a good move. It modernises the movement and makes it all-inclusive. The only negative is that people cannot identify with Gender Equality the way they did with feminism, and it is unlikely that the movement will inspire the same fervour that the feminist movement of the’60s did. Gender Equality does not inspire people the way feminism inspired women but perhaps that’s the way it should be, as feminism, whilst it is still relevant, simply does not excite people as much anymore.
The University Times | Tuesday, November 15 2011
How much did the media influence our decision? Tomás Sullivan discusses how the presidential election played out on our TV screens Miriam O’Callaghan and Martin NcGuinness (far right) had a well publicised row after the Prime Time debate, during which McGuinness felt he was being attacked.
E’VE WITNESSED OUR fi rst presidential election with mature eyes. We’ve seen it through the lens of the national media. The role the media played in the election means that, like never before, we’ve gained explicit insight into the role that the media plays in how we perceive national events. Two frontrunners in the polls lost their lead due to so-called scandals. Sean Gallagher’s defeat occurred on live television a few days before the election. Martin McGuinness accused the media of being west-Brits. Dana Scanlon was hounded over the most irrelevant issues imaginable. Both Gay Mitchell and Martin McGuinness used various media platforms to attack each other and other candidates. Professor Michael Gallagher, head of the political science department here in Trinity, explains that in elections of this size, it is the media that provides the primary platform for candidates to
present themselves to their electorate. It’s the media’s job to ask tough questions: We get to see candidates’ reactions, ‘whether or not they get angry, and certainly some of them did become angry’. When this happens we learn something important about their personality. Professor Gallagher says that, ‘the media has done its job, though certain candidates might believe this to be unfair’. Certainly Sinn Fein would hold Martin McGuinness’ treatment to be unfair. It was predicted at the beginning of the campaign that he would be repeatedly asked the same question about his continuous membership of the IRA. Th is is exactly what happened. It provided the second most entertaining event of the campaign with Vincent Brown, during the TV3 debate, piling book upon book on the table, all of which stated that McGuiness was a longstanding member of the IRA, during and long after the Troubles. His response was that one of the writers said a bishop was his uncle. For the most part he was simply asked about his membership of the IRA again and again. David Norris too, was asked again and again to
disclose ‘those letters’. In both cases it was clear that they were going to repeat the same answer. Asking these questions once or twice makes sense, but when you get an answer it’s time to move on, because asking the same question a dozen times does not change the answer you receive. What changes is that candidates spend time on the defensive. Th is means that some candidates were smothered while others could speak more freely. Journalists also have the ability to rapidly distribute information, accurate or inaccurate, in context or out of it. While Dana’s campaign was never exactly promising, the gossip about her US citizenship damaged it. Was that really newsworthy? An American passport simply does not require you to destroy an Irish one. But this tit-bit of gossip was spread about like wildfi re, as was the speculation that a burst tyre was an attempted murder and a few other such stories. While the media has a duty not to censor information, given its unique ability to be heard by others, it does have a duty to deploy common sense. But it’s an absence of coverage that could have had the most serious consequences. There was practically no
coverage of an amendment to the constitution that gave questionable powers to politicians to carry out inquiries. The people of Ireland cannot initiate constitutional changes, so an amendment to the constitution could last forever. Professor Gallagher says that there was no debate for the media to report. There was broad opposition and government support for the amendment and journalists can’t just go on a personal ‘crusade’. Nevertheless, it went unremarked that the government only sent the wording of the referendum to the commission on October 5th. Media ethics are a tricky subject. But what cannot be doubted is that the media wasn’t just a messenger during this election, it played an undeniable role in how we made our decisions.
Toilet door commentators have new forum online Breffny Cogan Staff Writer
COUPLE OF YEARS ago at a Leaving Cert revision course a friend of mine returned to his seat looking defeated. But it wasn’t the comparative text question or ecology that had pushed him over the edge – “if I don’t understand the stuff written on the bathroom walls then there’s no way I’ll ever get in to university’ – Jane Doe is easy as 3.14. - He didn’t. Not to put too fi ne a point on it but in a recent study I have found that cubicle doors are no longer the forums for honest expression that they once appeared to be. Of course, my fi ndings are naturally limited to fi fty-percent of the facilities on campus, a cruel measure of commitment to investigative journalism positioning me somewhat to the left of Anderson Cooper. However, let it be clarified now that I am in no way condoning the defacement of college property, the clean walls are a fantastic reflection – of our evolution, our commitment to the community, our respect for authority. There is also a possibility that the UV drug lighting has made it too difficult to read in there. So where have all the anonymous, oftentimes cruel, most times hilarious tidbits gone, I hear you cry? They’re on the comment
boxes of the Internet – the toilet walls and cubicle doors of the modern age. When asked recently how she feels about reading her own press, ‘Location, Location, Location’ vamp Kirstie Allsopp replied ‘I don’t think everyone who reads the Daily Mail is a nutter, but the people who leave comments underneath definitely are’ – A thought that
above-mentioned journal we fi nd the arts block. A mass audience, dealing with information, which is not particularly life changing or even relatively transferable, but defi nitely the most amusing. For example, in response to the story Rumours that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant after she refuses to eat peanut paste during royal event
Anonymous comments mean that free speech lives on, mostly to the advantage of cyperbullies and the criminally insane has obviously crossed the minds of the DM legal team, considering the banner at the bottom of the hugely popular webpage branded in bold with the words ‘the views expressed in the content above are those of our readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.’ Nice save. Scanning through a few examples, in various publications, helps to illustrate the true extent to which the college bubble is a microcosm of ‘real life’. Grown up versions of every faculty have found their new loo. To begin with the
The University Times
one commentator exclaims ‘Oh my god! I refused to eat peanut butter the other day, does that mean I’m pregnant too?’ The next rung on the ladder, although in reality, quite a large jump – The New York Times. Addressing topics of somewhat greater urgency such as war, famine and human rights violations gives rise to the striking difference that comments are paragraphed. An article detailing the Italian government’s recent agreement to IMF monitoring in order to avoid falling even further into economic crisis
resulted in the prescription ‘Just close the border east of Nice and let Italy fall away festering at itself. They’ll probably still have the money to field a soccer team so for the rest of it who cares?’ Gary, Virginia. Wow, probably a little bit of an overly aggressive response Gary, Virginia. Would I be completely off the mark in guessing you are a lawyer by profession? The Economist boasts much the same variety of rebuttal. However, instead of rooneyfan or chunkylover365 our BESS friends are operating under the alter ego hedgefundguy, a screen name which puts paid to the claim that investment banks are looking to recruit graduates with a broad variety of interests. To sum up with a catch-all sentence for everyone else: doctors are too busy, engineering is a numbers game and anybody with a computer science degree knows where to fi nd better stuff than newspapers on the internet. In a world of political correctness and Facebook status anxiety, anonymous comments mean that free speech lives on, mostly to the advantage of cyber-bullies and the criminally insane, but it does on the rare occasion make for a good read through an arguably less intrusive medium than times gone by.
THIRD LEVEL IN IRELAND Read our interview with Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn in our special supplement on third level education in Ireland
Steve Jobs’s death won’t have as great an impact on Apple’s industrial design as is commonly assumed.
Tech market after Jobs Conor Murphy Staff Writer
HE CURRENT LEADER in mind share in the technological world is indisputably Apple (though its actual lead is small, if it exists at all). Th is is a company whose fortunes straddled the shoulders of a technological titan for nearly three decades. Now that he’s gone there is a real nervous energy around the world about whether it can continue it previous form. To attribute this to the passing of Jobs is to drink from the cool-aid that said someone who was a brilliant salesman and decent manager was anything more. He never designed a paperclip and his real vacuum will be the energy he created around each release. However this is a critical time for all three big companies (Google, Microsoft and Apple). Remember all these companies have a fully fleshed-out suite of products (at least announced) so it is what they do with their current crop of products that will defi ne their next five years in the business. Th is might appear to be wide of the mark, since obvious gaps appear in comparison: Microsoft doesn’t have a tablet, Google doesn’t have a desktop and Apple doesn’t have useful TV software (this will be very important in years to come). However you will notice the convergence as we move through these companies. Where years ago there were several form factors, they’re melding now into transformable products that just get bigger and little else changes about how they work. Originally the successful companies were built on the foundations of legacy and loyalty towards their existing consumer base, which led to the Gates era stagnation, products built out of the Frankensteinian aesthetics (who still loves the start menu?) and a global
domination of business because that’s where the money was. Then Apple, Android and the advent of cheap software engendered a willingness in people to invest their time, money and emotional weight into platforms. The challenge now is in showing that there is a continuing cash crop in these products, not just in the original sale. Apple has a grim few years ahead of it. Google has a meteorically high fi fty-two percent share of the American marketplace, which is still climbing, compared to a stagnant twenty nine percent from Apple. Its phone share has stopped growing whilst it is, at the same time, capitalising fully in all its potential markets. You will never see iPhones in Africa, China or Iraq in any big way. However you can see Android there already (lead by Samsung and LG) and Microsoft have just launched a few great phones with Nokia that will help penetrate Th ird World markets with middle cost phones boasting high end power. iPhone has gone nowhere in the last year and there is no reason to think it will increase market share without some cheaper options (last year’s model does not cut it) or a big redesign. The only real hardware market Apple leads in is Tablets. It has a commanding lead in this market. However, this is a young market, full of idiosyncrasies and no real competitor. Android will by Christmas have a full range of cheaper and more powerful alternatives – expect them to penetrate deeply into the market. It will not eat Apples numbers but will be successful by expanding into those markets that could never afford or even consider the purchase of an IPad. The real dark horse here is Microsoft. They are launching the next Windows at the end of next year. Windows 8 is the single most disruptive technology that has come out in nearly twenty
years from Microsoft. Everything is a tablet now. It is really easy to use and has full productivity power so it will enter the business world in a way Apple never could with its painfully reserved design in IOS. IOS is a UI not meant for the tablet world, it is a lazy effort in need of radical redesign. Use a new android tablet and there is no comparison in the power of the software. Th is inherent power will allow Android tablets to become de-facto desktop software in the next year. iPad is likely to be a small minority by 2013 unless a radical re-design arrives. However the fi nal frontier for these companies to cross is one that is accessible to all: The Television. Apple is most likely prepping a product for next year to penetrate the home entertainment market – an Apple TV that’s not just a fan-boy product. However Google is already on its second iteration of its software. It’s implemented into TV’s at the manufacturer before it goes out of the factory and all it needs is an international ad campaign and market penetration to wipe-out Apple in this field before they have even launched. Microsoft here has a medium-offering which I think it will work on to fashion a broader appeal. The Xbox already has video on demand, Sky player and Netfl ix; and this will be world wide soon – it is already my TV-aid as much as the UPC box is. Coupled with a Minority-Report-style Kinect this could lead to very cool offering in the home. Apple will always have a special place in consumers’ hearts. However it’s becoming likely that the other two will have that even more special place in peoples’ homes, pockets and in their place of work. Unless Apple can reinvent themselves almost to the extent that they did in the nineties, they are doomed to a peripheral role with all of the fame and a fraction of the sales.
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
Modern sexuality is like that of the ancient Greeks Aoibhín Murphy presents a comparative analysis of the sexuality of ancient civilizations and modern Western society
HEN THINKING OF ancient Greek and Roman sex and sexuality, the modern-day mind is immediately drawn to popular modern-day depictions of Greek and Roman sexual-life in fi lms and television such as “Troy”, Alexander” and “SpartacusOf Blood and Sand”. In these renditions men and women are presented as itching to remove their tunics in an attempt to draw in a sexually frustrated, modern-day teenage audience. Th is impression gives one the sense that living in the Ancient World was a lot like being in a soft-porn fi lm, but with lower sanitation. It is true to say that the Greek world was fi lled with sex; everywhere in sight was fi lled with images and portrayals of sex. However, it was not seen to be as crude or as assaulting as it is now, as sex was everywhere in the Ancient World, banishing most taboos and restrictions. From simply reading an ancient publication on the Symposium, an ancient drinking party, one can see that the people of Ancient Greece were constantly surrounded by sex. These parties were mainly drinking celebrations, quite like some of the merrymakings that Trinity revels in during the infamous “Freshers Week”, but with even more nudity. Many Attic vases delight in the showing of sexually explicit scenes, usually occurring at the end of the symposia when spirits and alcohol levels are high – much like the tradition of the post-midnight “Shift and Drift” at nightclubs in modern times. These sexual scenes at the symposium were both homosexual and heterosexual, often depicting group scenes, depicting
the ancient Greek approach to sex as not solely focused on sexual orientation. On a 6th century Kylix or drinking cup depicting “Symposiastic Orgies”, the extent of the vast sexual life in Ancient Greece is brought to life. Nudity was a widely accepted aspect of ancient Greek life. Whilst nowadays it would be almost appalling to imagine an Olympic gymnast in his “BirthdaySuit” swinging around a gymnastics pole, the word “Gymnasium” comes from the Ancient Greek term g y mnós mea n i ng “na-
ked”. A t hletes in the gymnasium competed in the nude, a practice said to encourage aesthetic appreciation of the male body and a tribute to the gods. Th is appreciation was mirrored in Ancient Grecian art and Architecture, where nudity was normality in depicting the human form. Th is was not the case in female depictions, in which women were almost always clothed. The opposite can be seen today as modern day women are often seen as symbols of sex and lust in pornography and the modern-day norm is to see page-three models bearing all whilst having your morning coffee. Rape was also a prominent theme in Greek mythology and was seen in an entirely different light in Ancient Times than it is now. Rape stories could be stories of love, glorification of warriors or just horrific stories of victimization.
Some very popular rape stories include the story of Zeus and Callisto, Apollo and Cassandra and The Rape of Europa. While nowadays the rapist would be the only part to blame in such an attack, in Ancient times the victim was often blamed and usually suffered horrific consequences. Homosexuality in ancient times was vastly more recognised than it is today. It is amazing to think that in the 6th Century B.C, more than 2000 years ago, people were more open and accepting towards homosexuality than they are now. Homosexual love was regarded as one of the purest forms of love and was openly recognized in an-
of 150 homosexual couples who fought against each other by day and made love together by night. Th is indicates that “The well-known principle of Greek erotic life that desire was not defi ned by love object, but the erotic aim”-Paul Cartledge, (Ancient Greece, Cambridge Illustrate d ) . This
contrasts with modern times, when after years of the idea of homosexuality either being ignored or feeling the brunt of discrimination, homosexuality was only legalized in 1993 in Ireland. Even now, while the attitudes towards homosexuality are gradually becoming more accepting and open, discrimination and the idea of homosexuality being “wrong” in a sense is still widespread. Pederastic relationships between men and young boys were also very popular in Ancient Greece. Men and young boys often engaged in courtship and lovemaking. Th is could
cient times. In Xenophon’s work called “The Symposium”, a party hosted by one of Athens’ most prolific patrons, Callias, took place in his house in the Piraeus to honour his beautiful boyfriend Autocolycus. Xenophon’s writings on the subject explored the nature of love in the context of h o m o s e x u a l i t y, heteros e x u a l it y and philosophy. During the battle of Chaeronea (378B.C), the Macedonian and Greek army made love as well as war, with the establishment
be compared to the scandal of the church’s involvement in pedophilia that was widespread in the 1970s and 1980s; however, the pederasty of ancient times was not seen to be sinister in any way and was simply accepted as a social norm. In Sparta, adults and boys belonged to “Syskania” or masses, small groups of men meeting and dining communally which saw institut iona lised pederast y beg i n n i ng
The demise of the icon Claire Neville asks if the screen and music icons of old will ever be matched by the celebrities of today
S A STUDENT in Trinity it’s easy to bask in the prestige and international acclaim of the college. To quote a fellow fresher, “it’s like the Harvard of Ireland”. Central to this reputation are the iconic alumni – Oscar Wilde, Jonathon Swift and Wolf Tone, to name but a few. Recently many discovered that Courtney Love walked the cobbles back in the 80s. One might wonder whether there are any amongst us who will write a classic, go down in the history books, or win Nobel prizes. Perhaps you are sitting across from the next Samuel Beckett in the Buttery or this generation’s Thomas Preston in the Hamilton. Or is it you who’ll have lecture theatres named after you in decades to come? Yet in this fast moving world where fame is not bound to talent is there really any platform for new icons in the 21st century? The exclusivity of Hollywood in the 1900s meant that Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Maureen O’Hara had a cult following that will transcend time and generations. With the growth of celebrity culture and reality stars taking over news headlines perhaps our values have changed to eliminate the prospect of moulding cultural icons. It’s unlikely
that we’ll be gushing to our grandchildren about how we were alive to witness Kim Kardashian’s trainwreck wedding and went to the opening weekend of a Twilight fi lm. But if a historian was to assess these events by means of their ratings and level of media attention, they would be seen to be amongst the most iconic media moments of the early 21st century. Even critically acclaimed fi lms and Oscar winning actors will be drowned by the size and the quality of the i n d u s t r y. With more fi lms being made, more stars are created, but this decreases the likelihood of them obtaining icon status. The landscape of the music industry has greatly changed over the last few decades with new technology meaning that commercial value and image has greater significance than talent. Although this functions to create chart topping hits, it will not make long lasting musical icons. YouTube stars seem to be the main attractors of media
attention, with their rise to fame constituting an almost fairy-tale quality. The reality show has dominated our televisions but with no contestants on the X Factor lasting more than a few years in the spotlight and ratings consistently going down it’s likely that Simon Cowell and his media genius won’t get more than a paragraph in cultural history books. The only hope for musical icons are those who truly focus on the music rath-
cast as backward and uneducated. Yet will the likes of Sebastian Barry and Emma Donoghue be lost amongst the millions of writers selfpublishing on the internet? Blogs, twitter and Facebook are the new means of expression, with publication seen as an aspect of daily life and not a privilege. The sheer volume of books and the onset of the Kindle mean that even great works of art will be fleeting. In this climate it will be difficult to compose a classic. In the past the true ingredient to becoming an icon was pushing boundaries. Forbes 2011 10 Top- earning dead celebrities included Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Albert Einstein, all of whom contributed to reshaping culture and bringing about forward thinking. But in the realms of music, literature and fi lm can we really push many more boundaries? It was partly the censorship board who made Edna O’Brian’s ‘Country Girls’ a classic and Elvis’ controversial swinging hips which turned heads. Most thoughts pursued in the
When I asked students who they thought would be venerated in the future Morgan Freeman, JK Rowling, Woody Allen and Regina Spektor were mentioned er than on immediate cult following. “Florence and the Machine”, “Coldplay” or “The Kings of Leon” appear to fit the bill for some Trinity students. Perhaps Trinity’s most acclaimed alumni are our literary heroes. The world renowned reputation of Irish writing defi nes our culture and has given esteem to our efforts to be seen as an effective and intellectual people who are otherwise often
media have been recycled a thousand times before. Is Lady Gaga really any more scandalous than Madonna or Cher? Perhaps boundaries can no longer be broken. Perhaps this is the end of the icon. When I asked students who they thought would be venerated in the future “Morgan Freeman”, “J.K. Rowling”, “Woody Allen” and “Regina Spektor” were mentioned, though many students “shudder to think” who will emerge from this generation as icons. Perhaps these stars will have cult status with memorabilia and manuscripts auctioning for millions. Often I’ve heard people say they wish that they had been alive to see Queen or the Beatles in concert when they were at their peak. Maybe our grandchildren will be wearing t shirts with U2 logos, longing to have been alive for Live 8. It is doubtful that contemporaries of Bram Stoker speculated that he would gain a fan base spanning generations. With this in mind remember to be nice to your classmates; you don’t want to be cast as the inspiration for the next Dracula.
from the age of thirteen. However, this was seen as a social tradition or rite of passage for the young men, as the older men were seen to be initiating these boys into society as men via a mentoring system of sorts. It is up to personal opinion to decide whether this is detrimental or not. However, these rituals of bringing a boy from boyhood to manhood can still be seen in modern times, just without the sexual aspect. The vase of Pethinos, dating from around 510BC, shows the courtship of young boys by older men on one side and the courtship of women by men on the other side. Th is indicates that pederastic rela-
tionships were as common and accepted as heterosexual relationships. The myth of Zeus and Ganymede, a mythological rendition of Zeus’ love for a young Greek boy could be attributed to this. It can be argued whether or not this was a healthy phenomenon in instigating an open attitude towards sexuality in children from a young age, which could ultimately diminish certain taboos associated with homosexuality. In the Ancient Greek world, women were seen as chaste, virgin creatures that held full responsibility for any lustful outbursts. Th is is a popular theme in Greek and Roman mythology with Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the hunt and her “Six Daughters of Okeanos”, all of whom were virgins and devoted their lives to
chastity. Chastity is a foreign concept to most modernday teenagers, with the average age to loose one’s virginity at 16 – just below the Irish age of consent. An Ancient Grecian woman’s sexuality was seen to belong to their husbands alone, much like the Catholic Church’s take on marriage in modern times. For women, sex was primarily an act of procreation, whereas men were allowed to indulge their sexual appetites as much as they pleased, this is seen in the depictions of the Symposium where respectable females were uninvited and male sexuality was free to
f l o u r ish. Female sexuality was far more reserved in Ancient Greece. Th is can be seen in Greek Art and Sculptures known as Korai (girl) and kouroi (boy) dating from about c.530B.C. A Kore is a sculpture of a woman who was always clothed with a Chiton (equivalent of a modern-day maxi-dress). However, a Kouros or male statue was nearly always designed to be naked. Nowadays, the opposite could be said about teenage girls who are often asked “Is there a skirt to go with that belt?”, in regards to their shrinking skirts by their fathers before a night out. Pornography is and was an integral part of sexual life today and in Ancient Times. However, porn was not as closeted in Ancient Greece and Rome as it is now. One only had to look around at the ancient art and architecture in order to gain insight into the sexual world of Greece. Carved
phalli can be seen in places of worship such as the temple of Dionysus on Delos, while a common Greek artistic feature was the herm, a statue consisting of a male head on a solid cube with a prominent phallus on the front. The Greeks also created the fi rst well-known instance of lesbian eroticism in the West, with Sappho’s Hymn to Aphrodite and other homoerotic works. The main difference between the pornographic culture nowadays and the pornographic culture of the Ancient World is the nature of the art that portrayed these pornographic images. The porn of the Ancient World is seen as being more tasteful and respectful towards sex than the modern-day pornography. Another difference is that modern-day pornography depicts women as objects of lust and desire whereas women hardly ever featured in pornography in the Ancient World. Th rough the years, the history of sexuality has gone through a cycle. The Ancient Greeks adopted an attitude towards sex and sexuality that was open and was influenced little by taboos or restrictions, while we in Ireland went through a period of sexual dormancy up until recent years when we are now developing our ideas of sex to adapt to a new, changing world. Could we now be going back to the basics of sexuality and adopting the Greeks’ attitude towards sex? If so, when will history fi nally repeat itself and where does one draw the line?
JK Rowling: An icon for our times?
The University Times | Tuesday, November 15 2011
TIMESFEATURES Anthony McDonnell Staff Writer
The failure of Fine Gael
N THE 25TH of February this year Ireland had a General Election and 36.1% of people gave Fine Gael their first preference, resulting in Fine Gael receiving their biggest number of Dáil seats in their year history. Since that election, Fine Gael has consistently polled at the 40% mark, as one opinion poll after another show people’s faith in the government and the party. It was then no surprise that Fine Gael was expected to win the up and coming presidential election for the first time in their history. On the eve of the party’s selection convention, three of Paddy Power’s four favourites for president were Mairead McGuinness, Pat Cox and Gay Mitchell (three people seeking the party’s nomination) with FG the clear favourite to win the presidency. On October 28th when the votes were counted, Fine Gael’s candidate, Gay Mitchell, had finished fourth in the election with a pitiful 6.4% of the election vote. Despite their popular success, it seems Fine Gael is not trusted in the Aras. It was clear to anyone following the election that the “Mitchell campaign just never gained traction,” as one party TD put it. Mitchell was an old-fashioned conservative, previously hosting meetings for organisations like the Iona Institute, as well as opposing gay marriage and limiting abortion rights, all in contrast to Ireland’s most recent presidents, McAleese and Robinson, who are both very liberal. Unlike the last two presidents, Mitchell was also very partisan, joining Fine Gael when he was 16, and a dedicated party member for the entirety of his adult life, becoming a Councillor at 27 and a TD at 29. In many ways the differences between him and what are considered Ireland’s two most popular presidents could not be greater. From the start of the campaign, the voting public never took to Mitchell. In the first opinion poll after his selection he gained only 20% of the vote, exactly half what the FG parliamentary party were polling. Many saw this as a platform for him to build on, but as people became more familiar with Mitchell his poll figures dropped. They were at just 13% by the middle of September and a month later down to just 6%, something which continued into the election. The more people got to know Mitchell the less they liked him, showing that perhaps Ireland has
moved on from supporting conservative and religious politicians. His nomination seems a particularly odd decision given that there were two very capable candidates, Mairead McGuinness and Pat Cox, running against him. Private polls conducted by Fine Gael ranking each candidate against then-frontrunners Michael D. Higgins and David Norris suggested that Cox was likely to win, McGuinness would have been a competitive candidate, and Mitchell would probably not win. These polls were widely known about within Fine Gael, as was leadership’s bias towards Pat Cox. Despite that, he came third and McGuinness finished runner up. The party wanted to select the man they knew best and one who had been in the party since he was 16 over two less well known candidates. Many in Fine Gael had believed that their overwhelming popularity would carry any candidate over the line in an election. But this arrogance or complacency didn’t hold true. Fine Gael’s base is weaker then they acknowledge. If the past four general elections have taught us anything, it’s that the party’s popularity mirrors their perceived economic competence relative to Fianna Fáil’s. In this election where ability to govern was irrelevant, the party name counted for little. Economic competence and good governance has garnered Fine Gael support, but the conservative views held by the majority of the party is undermining their popularity. I was formally a member of Young Fine Gael, and at the only YFG conference I ever attended there was a noticeable divide between economically centre-right liberals, often from Dublin universities, and their conservative opposites. On a vote about gay marriage, YFG split down the middle, with 34 in favour and 35 against, with the issue dividing the two groups perfectly. To continue holding sway, Fine Gael needs to move away from the conservative values embodied in politicians like Gay Mitchell, but with a massive number of seats in the Dáil and the appearance that they will be in power for a long time to come there is no real appetite in Fine Gael to ask the hard questions about this election. Instead the election result is being put down to the fact that Mitchell is too partisan, even though the man who beat him has spent twenty nine of the last thirty years as a labour TD. If Fine Gael is this complacent now, the future does not look promising.
The candidates seeking the Republican nomination. From left to right: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman.
Race, sex and some policy in GOP race
Edward Flahavan Staff Writer
HE’S A RACIST, homophobic, xenophobic and he’s a sexist. He’s the perfect republican candidate.’ This was Bill Press’ assessment of Pat Buchanan when the latter sought the Grand Old Party’s nomination. For prospective candidates looking to face down Obama in the 2012 campaign this may simply not be enough. The radicalised right wing of the party means that the ideal candidate must ignite the religious zealotry of the fundamentalists, court the economic ideals of the liberals and satisfy the demands of the conservatives. The Tea Party is to the Republicans what the Intercity football firm was to West Ham Utd. In the heyday of eighties football
hooliganism; extreme, prejudiced and headline grabbing. Yet the disaffected flank of the Republican Party has swelled to such an extent that the voting base that it represents has gone beyond an embarrassment and is now a potent political phenomenon to be tamed. The suburban smile of Michele Bachmann gave face to this movement, though Bachmann is less Wisteria Lane and more Little House on the Flat Earther’s Prairie. Her views on gay rights and abortion (the former is a curable disease punishable by cancer, the latter tantamount to murder) along with her willingness to concoct any manner of story to drum up support made her the glamorous poster girl for far right America. Her initial polling has dropped off in recent
months, nevertheless this is due to her interview performances that have the liberal satirists giddy at the inflow of ignorant ramblings; the pick of which must be her ‘unconfirmed reports’ of Hezbollah missile sites in Cuba. The unrelenting fervour of the right which is partisan at best, bigoted and outright xenophobic at worst have made it impossible for the relatively nuanced moderate Jon Huntsman to register any more than piecemeal support. Huntsman’s former role as ambassador to China for the Obama Administration has ensured his campaign was shot in the foot from the start and he has limped behind the pack ever since, despite being the most worldly of the nominees. Mitt Romney was looking
like the most likely to get the nod, despite his Mormon faith irking Evangelists and his personality failing to excite just about anyone. It was left to a Texan Governor to gallop up from the Heartland to rescue the GOP. While Rick Perry’s predecessor George W.’s good ol’boy image was contrived, Perry seemed to be the real deal. The spurs began to fall off his boots when it became clear that his small government mantra - ‘I want to make Washington D.C as irrelevant to your lives as I can’ - was at odds with his records of high Federal spending and grubby politics in the lone star state. As the flow of support receded from Perry and looked, seemingly desperately for an alternative to Romney, it took an interesting course. Herman Cain
lived an alternative American dream to that of the man whom he looks to depose from the White House. Growing up in a poor black family in Atlanta Georgia, hard work and perseverance have been his attributes, gaining a university degree before climbing the greasy pole of fast food chain management. This culminated in his appointment as CEO of Godfathers pizza. Cain’s CV promises much more than his policies, for one they can be backed up by fact. His plan to overhaul the tax system has quickly been exposed for the ignorant stab at policy that it is (84% of Americans would pay more not less tax). The ‘Hermanator’ has also deliberately ridden roughshod over just about any foreign policy issue, quite correctly assessing that matters at
home not abroad will decide this election. Whether Cain can maintain this level of support as the rumble of the campaign and the intensity of scrutiny increases appears doubtful, after all you don’t have to be Sean Gallagher to understand the folly of polling numbers. Mitt Romney, despite flip flopping on issues and introducing ‘Romneycare’ (essentially Obama’s polarising healthcare reforms) in Massachusetts, looks like being able to weather the Cain storm. In the likely event of a Romney nomination the Tea Party voter will sulk to his support against Obama, better a liberal masquerading as a conservative than a Muslim masquerading as an American, eh?
Better a liberal masquerading as a conservative than a Muslim masquerading as an Amarican, eh?
Tuesday,October 18 2011 | The University Times
LETTERS to the Editor
Harry Browne DIT Lecturer
Letters should be posted to “The Editor, The University Times, House 6, Trinity College” or sent by email to email@example.com We cannot guarantee that all letters will be published. Letters may be edited for length and/or style.
A rebuttal of “Hist treasurer pressured to resign” Sir, I was surprised to read an article in the last issue of the University Times the latter half of which was highly critical of the running of the Hist’s finances during the last academic year. Had the journalist who wrote the article, Leanna Byrne, made any effort to contact either me or last year’s Treasurer, we could have set right the more serious factual errors that you printed, though perhaps not the calculated misrepresentations that remain. First, “the majority of the Hist’s budget” is not spent on “a small number of competitive debaters”. How your anonymous source could have thought he knew such a thing, when the accounts are only open to the Auditor and Treasurer, is beyond my understanding. The majority of the Hist’s budget is spent on Wednesday night debates and guest speaker events, which are free and open to all Hist members. Similarly, external debating competitions run either on open sign-up sheets or open trials, as per CSC regulations, with particular care taken to give new speakers a shot: hence the two Novice Intervarsities, one Pro-Am and National Maidens Competition to which the Hist sends teams. What has the Hist ever done for Freshers, your writer asks? Apart from providing four in-house debating competitions and regular intervarsity trips throughout Ireland, the Society also runs weekly coffee mornings and gives any First Year interested the chance to help organize a debate in Hilary Term. Every year students from all years start to get involved in the Hist, and some choose to put in the hard work, running stimulating events or proudly representing Trinity as competitive debaters. They could not do it without the good will and support of the wider College community, which your mean-spirited and badly researched article sought to undermine. But as debaters well know, talk is cheap. Yours, Huw Duffy Ex-Auditor (2010/11), College Historical Society
The balance of power Peter Kiernan
piece appeared recently in UT which primarily concerned itself with what there was to learn from the decade which has passed since that tragic day in September of 2001. Ostensibly, the American people have learned the lessons of history. Surely it is the American sense of self, the American sense of place in the world which has been tested the most over the last ten years? So it would seem logical to ask ‘where do we go from here?’ and really mean ‘where does the US go from here?’. The privileged position of power and influence enjoyed by the US over the last several decades was brought about by determined historical factors. The first World War shattered the grand, colonial heart of Europe, shredding age-old monarchies, revolutionising Eastern Europe and devastating previously stable economies. The lamentable deployment of atomic weapons in Japan resulted in the pacification of a large sweep of the Pacific ocean. The Iron Curtain fell, creating a political and economic divide and leaving the US with unprecedented influence over the ‘free world’ right up until the collapse of the USSR. Weakened political and economic systems the world over, divided by ideologies from Eastern Europe, Russia and China and all open to the restructuring aid of the US, created the right situation for the America to take a dominant role in world affairs. Close analysis of any presumed autonomy in international affairs demonstrates its implausability. As it seems self-evident that there are changes in the state of peoples, nations and in the global system as a whole; it follows that if there are definite historical conditions that are integral to shaping how the world looks politically and economically at any point, then it is true to say that those conditions degrade and undergo change and that this has a definite effect on the shape of the word. There are two options open to the US as these historical conditions begin to shift in the cold, clear light of the twenty-first century. Firstly the US could adjust and find other conditions on which to base its international dominance or it could
MV Saoirse and the Freedom Flotilla
seek to use whatever means available, necessarily including force, to preserve the previous conditions and retain America’s dominant position. Events outside of the control of the US render the use of force impossible. The collapse of the USSR, the emergence of China as a central part of the global economic system, rapid global integration - these phenomena are outside the control of the US and they undermine the historical conditions which helped to create the hegemony enjoyed over previous decades. Thus it would seem that the only sensible option, given the force of historical change, is to adjust to this gradual global shift. The question then is how the US can reshape itself in the light of its continued centrality to world affairs in the context however of the undeniable loss of its position of dominance. The psychological effect of 9/11 was so pronounced because it demonstrated American mortality; that no world power is invulnerable. Europeans felt this as much as any American. Now we need to react to the diminishing dominance of the US so as to seek out the options that will allow humanity to proceed through this time of change in as constructive and peaceful a manner as possible. To make Europe a cohesive and fair union, to push for stronger international co-operation, we have to shelve the indifferent attitude which in the UK and France rekindles vain aspirations to Empire, which allows Germany and Scandinavia to stubbornly insist that their economic strength comes form their own inherent virtues and which in Italy, Ireland, Greece is used to justify a legacy of corruption and cronyism. It is we in the West who are now having to react - and we cannot do that in this state of slumberous inner turmoil and conflict. If Europeans genuinely feel that the US is not capable of providing for the international structures and the leadership which will be needed in the future - for whatever reasons, economic and social strain perhaps, a sense of moral invalidation as a result of the ill-advised ‘crusades’ of the past decade, or as the inability to engage with a changing world decisively and with purpose - then we are required to step up.
n these days of the 140-character attention span, a Twitter hashtag counts as a vital propaganda tool. So while campaigners here in Ireland and around the world nervously cheered their friends who were sailing toward Gaza with #FreedomWaves, the Israeli PR apparatus countered with the laboured and Orwellian #provocatilla. Meanwhile, in the world beyond Twitter, the reality is of an armada of armed Israeli commandos who hijacked Irish and Canadian boats in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean, endangering the lives of 27 passengers and crew. The media’s relative calm about this act of piracy is an index of how accustomed we’ve become to flagrant abuses of power by certain rogue states. Provocatilla indeed. The reason the MV Saoise was sailing beside the Canadian Tahrir toward Gaza, containing nothing but humanitarian cargo and peace-loving supporters of Palestinian rights, mostly Irish citizens, was not to provoke Israeli attack. As the organisers have explained: “All passengers are required to abide by a code of conduct
that will not bring the humanitarian effort into disrepute. It is the illegal and intransigent policies of the Israeli government that are the sources of provocation.”They sailed to challenge the grip that Israel continues to use to choke a territory it allegedly withdrew from in 2005. As the “international community” stands idle in the face of Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza, ordinary citizens had to step up, knowing the risks they were taking in doing so. A wide range of civil-society organisations in Gaza welcomed their efforts and were prepared to greet them on Palestinian shores. Israel’s “withdrawal” from Gaza is something of a fiction it adopts to avoid its duties as an occupying power. Israel continues to conduct military operations in Gaza -- it has killed some 200 people, including many children, since its last “withdrawal” in 2009. Last Saturday, even as a group of kidnapped international “Freedom Wave” activists sat in an Israeli jail, Israel terrorised Gaza with yet another series of airraids, killing at least one Palestinian militant. A genuinely unoccupied Gaza would be entitled to unimpeded access to international waters and air space. As it stands, the Palestinians of Gaza, mostly refugees or their descendents from other regions of
Israel and Palestine, are the only coastal residents in the world who cannot access their own waters. And they can’t even move between Gaza and other parts of the would-be Palestinian state in the West Bank: it might as well be a giant prison. The blockade began more than five years ago because Gaza’s people had the nerve to support Hamas in democratic elections. The passengers on the Saoirse have no relationship with Hamas nor would they defend the rockets fired by various forces -including the Islamic Jihad members who were targeted by Israel on Saturday -- from Gaza into Israeli territory. The blockade is widely regarded by lawyers and others -- including the UN Human Rights Council, when it reported last year -- as a clear violation of international law, since it amounts to collective punishment of the people in Gaza. A UN report published in March 2011 said the Israeli blockade, which began in 2007, triggered “a protracted human dignity crisis”. Close to 80 per cent of the population rely on international aid in order to survive; 65 per cent live below the poverty line; 52 per cent are food insecure; nearly 40 per cent are unemployed; about 70 per cent of nine-month-old babies are anemic. Such suffering is a direct result of Israeli government policy designed, according to Israeli
officials quoted in Wikileaks documents, to “keep the Gazan economy on the brink of collapse”. The Irish people have generally been prepared to show solidarity with Palestinians. The Government, however, has been weak, even when Israel has been guilty of hostile acts such as the forging of Irish passports and, now, the hijacking in international waters of an Irish-flagged ship -- which was itself sabotaged, almost certainly by Israeli forces, last June when it planned to sail in the larger “Freedom Flotilla”. The treatment of the Irish activists on the Saoirse, including an MEP and other current and former democratic representatives, is dramatic and terrible, but they know it is nothing compared to what many Palestinians suffer every day. And they also know that not everyone is capable of the sort of commitment required to make a voyage of this sort. However, you don’t have to be an intrepid sailor into dangerous waters to make a difference for Palestinians. You can simply boycott Israel. This can be as simple as refusing to buy Israeli goods and complaining about their presence, or people can get involved in the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, a peaceful campaign that is gaining support internationally, including in Israel.
The case for gay pornography Derwin Brennan
ex is nothing more than a male designed tool to trick women into subjugating themselves. The most trenchant criticisms of pornography in modern times tend to come from feminist arguments that pornography is a media that endorses and legitimises the subjugation of women for the purposes of sexually exciting men. Andrea Dworkin tells us that pornography makes women’s lives two-dimensional and dead. I have a solution. Because men are clearly the only participants in pornography who can evidently enjoy the act and the production why not encourage them to make it with one another? It saves potential female porn stars from their unwitting betrayal of the sisterhood . It doubles the pleasure gained from pornography because now both participants enjoy the act, it increases the net social good and doesn’t harm anybody. And if pornography is just a conspiracy by the patriarchy (whoever they are) designed to use sex as a weapon against its subjects, is it not high time for retribution where men cannibalise and debase each other and women can watch from afar? But wait, what about the needs of straight men you might ask? This too is covered. While the first few years of our brave new world may be
somewhat tougher on heterosexual men who must now employ the creative faculties of their imaginations or, heaven forbid, find a girlfriend we can see from prison experiences that ordinarily heterosexual men can become aroused to same sex activities when times become desperate. Men’s sex drives are a biological yoke on their advancement as people. Until men can transcend their desires for the female form is not better to channel this evil drive into one another, sparing the innocent sex from any association with carnal pleasure. Gay pornography is a fundamental expression of sexual equality. Both parties, being men, enjoy sex. Both consent to it and both live in a society where their having sex is valued. If society doesn’t value women for having sex for its own sake then clearly they should not have sex, and most certainly not enjoy it. Like working in mines and being carpenters in the past, pornography too should be left to men. As for power disparities in relationships as we all know these only exist in pornographic movies and only ever skewed against women. Gay porn is immune from this. Even if this encourages men to treat each other as sex objects, that’s all right, because isn’t this what men really want anyway– a world in which sex is easy and transactional. And because when men watch sex they cannot help but take it as a guide as to who to behave in society it should be confined to men to teach them a lesson and to save women from the attentions of men. Men are the only gender which objectify the
other as less than the sum of their various attractive features. When a women looks across a club she isn’t drawn to a man’s physical physique; she looks for his chiselled personality, the bulge of his assorted good deeds and his washboard fundamental humanity. As we all know, it is wrong to ever appreciate the physical attractions of another even if that draw is biologically endowed in people through no choice of their own, men have a moral duty to remove themselves from promoting and engaging in sexual relations with women. As we learn from much feminist thought, this is manifested through porn. If we can convince straight men to channel their base sexual desires towards one another humanity is saved and porn because of its demonstrated normative qualities (no scientific proof necessary) is the means to do so. Because only men are truly capable of enjoying porn, are the only beings which can have nuanced relationships with their positions within the production (women can only be objectified and always hate the idea of being physically desirous unless tricked into it by men) and because women need to be saved from men whose world view is shaped by what they see on the top shelf of a store (honestly, we just can’t help ourselves) it is imperative we encourage heterosexual men to embrace the liberation of gay pornography immediately. Only when men cease to find women sexually attractive should they have anything to do with them.
Is RCSI complicit in Bahraini abuse? Hannah May Boles
ver the past few months the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) have beenslated by the media for their involvement in Bahrain. But has all the criticism been just? Bahrain is a small Arab kingdom in the southwestern region of the Persian Gulf. Its population is mainly Muslim, the large majority of which are Shi’ite. However the minority, including the ruling family, the Al Khalifa, are Sunni. Bahrain is ruled by Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah who became Emir of Bahrain when his father died in 1999. In 2002 he declared Bahrain a constitutional monarchy and himself king. This means that Bahrain now has a king and an elected parliament. The aim of this reform was to ease tension between the Shi’ite majority and the ruling Sunni minority. However most of those still in power today are connected with the Al Khalifa family and the current Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa (who has held the ofﬁce since 1971) is the king’s uncle. This gap between those in power and the Shi’ite majority led to the recent riots in Bahrain. Caught up in the Arab Spring, Bahrain experienced an uprising in February of this year. This uprising took the form of an unarmed protest staged by the Shi’ite population looking for greater political freedom and equality. In order to quell the protests the King of Bahrain brought
in a ﬂeet of tanks from Saudi Arabia and even declared martial law in March 2011. RCSI got involved when riot police opened ﬁre on the protesters and lots of the victims were treated at King Hamad University Hospital, many by RCSI graduates. Some of these graduates then went on Bahraini national television speaking out against the Sunni ruling elite and their treatment of the Shi’ite protesters. These doctors have since been thrown in jail for treason following trials that Amnesty International called a ‘sham’. RCSI have been offering medical education in Bahrain since 2004 when, according to their website, they were invited into the country by the Bahraini government. The King HamadUniversity Hospital is their main teaching hospital. In 2009 a new state-of-the-art campus was opened by our own former president, Mary McAleese, and the Bahraini Prime Minister. Earlier this month editor of the BMJ, Fiona Godlee, suggested that the college’s lack of response to the turmoil in Bahrain left them open to ‘charges of complacency’. However, having been invited in by the government in the ﬁrst place, should they now be expected to leave once that government starts to behave badly? Or should they be coming to the aid of those they educated? Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI and one of Trinity College’s own medical graduates, Professor Sam McConkey, has an interesting view on why it is not the college’s business to interfere on behalf of
their graduates. He argues that the college is there to educate and not to get involved in politics. He offers a striking example; suggesting that if he were to get involved in rebel causes in Sierra Leone, where he has spent time working in the past, he would hardly expect Trinity to come and bail him out if he got into trouble. He also mentions the Troubles in Ireland and how we would not have looked favourably on, say, an American university coming in and interfering. He has a fair point, educational institutions are instigated to teach, not to take sides in political strifes. Students are entitled to their own views but their actions are their own personal responsibility, no matter where in the world they are. For example, nobody has reproached Cambridge for educating the current King of Buganda whose actions inUganda have been less than admirable. Professor McConkey also argues that we have to take into consideration the cultural differences between Bahrain and the western world. Bahrain is technically a kingdom and historically a kingdom meant that one’s loyalty was due to the king and not the country. The press does supposedly have freedom of speech but the 1976 Penal Code still gives the government the power to suppress dissenters - in other words, anyone who speaks out against them. Dissent is not an idea that we, in the West, still credit. Through freedom of expression and freedom of beliefs we are all, by nature, dissenters and we take it for granted that we are entitled to our own opinions as much as those
in power. It shouldn’t be taken for granted however. Democracy is still a relatively recent development in Europe and we mustn’t overlook the fact that it has not been implement everywhere. This is something that needs to be remembered when working abroad. In the interest of international relations someone working in a foreign country ought to respect that country’s culture and adhere to it. But does that mean standing silently by while a king oppresses his people? At what point should one’s natural human compassion for the oppressed kick in and say ‘hang on folks you have gone too far here...’? And when it does, whose duty is it to speak out? Companies that offer goods and services (including, in this case, education), which both the oppressed and the oppressors consume, or inte national human rights organisations? So is RCSI simply respecting the king as Bahraini culture and law dictates or are they being complacent as Fiona Godlee suggested and neglecting the human rights of their graduates? And if they are not to show complacency should they pull out of Bahrain? Undoubtably these doctors need someone to ﬁght their case, no arguments there, but should responsibility fall on RCSI? Should they risk the education of all their other students in such a deeply political battle? These are all questions that I can’t answer but surely a whole school of medical students should not lose their chance at an education because the West does not like the way their government has been acting.
The University Times | Tuesday, October 18 2011
Stop fees or save the grant - It’s a trade off Economise This Rob Farhat Editor of the Student Economic Review 2011
or the fourth year in a row, third level students are faced with the prospect of a cut in government funding for tertiary education, and an increase in college fees or a cut in the grant. After already replacing the €1,500 registration fee with a €2,000 student contribution this time last year, an increase in the student contribution by as much as €5,000 has been floated, though that has since been dismissed. A further cut in the Higher Education Grant is on the cards too, following a cut of 4% last year. So what is the economic reasoning behind these policy decisions?
Let’s look at some facts and figures. We pay college fees of €2000 – ‘free fees’ are a myth, as Lucy Byrne argued in the October 18 issue of The University Times. The government is seriously broke, as I outlined in my article in the first issue of this year’s UT, and will be reducing the deficit by €3.8 billion in the upcoming budget, €2.2 billion of which will come from spending cuts. This still leaves a deficit of 8.6% of GDP, meaning that the government will spend at least €13 billion more than it collects in tax revenue. Education is the government’s third biggest area of
expenditure, at 16% of its total in 2011 or about €8.5 billion. Ireland’s average expenditure per student is far below the OECD and this average is one of the key factors behind our universities’ recent poor performance in the THE and QS University Rankings. There is a conflicting need for both more funding for third-level education, and the government’s need to cut its own expenditure. In an ideal world, college fees would be free for all. As students, it’s very easy, even natural, to insist that a free third level education is our “right”, and that third level spending should be
protected even in a recession. Should we really think that university funding should be protected at the expense of every other area of government expenditure? Is higher education funding really more essential than primary school class sizes? Unemployment benefits? Health care? It would be politically unfeasible for a government to corner off one specific area of expenditure such as third level education as untouchable, then cut the rest. Interest groups exist to argue for policy to be directed in their favour, and that is precisely what the USI and TCDSU does on our behalf. Each interest group tends to have pretty compelling arguments, but if all of them were to have their way, then no government expenditure would be cut. Given that we are beholden to specific deficit targets, the fairest outcome for the general public is in fact for every spending area to be cut at least to some extent. If we take it as given that
university funding will have to be cut along with everything else, what are the alternatives to a flat fee increase or a cut in the grant? One proposal is a graduate tax – where graduates pay an extra proportion of their income in tax that would go directly towards funding the tertiary education. The other is a system of student loans, provided by the government or through banks with a government guarantee, which don’t need to be repaid until the graduate has reached a certain income threshold, the system recently adopted in the UK. Both systems are essentially deferred fees, which make students shoulder a greater burden of the cost of their education once they start benefiting from it while – at least in theory – imposing no barrier to low-income students to enter into third level education. The desirability of such a system is rather subjective – it depends on who you think benefits more from a third
level education: the individual or society as a whole. If the student has benefited most from higher education, then the argument for increasing their contribution has some credence. While in principle deferred fees might be desirable from an economic point of view, such a major overhaul of the system would take time to implement, and would only benefit the government’s revenue a few years down the line once current students start earning. What the government needs is to address the gap in funding now, so they have had to rule these options out. Similarly, a means-tested system takes time and money to implement. So we’re back to fees and the grant. Once again, the money just isn’t there to keep up the current level of funding for fees and the grant system. Fighting to “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” cannot be fully achieved. Very few people would disagree that the most important goal
should be to ensure that no student is denied access to higher education. Both raising the Student Contribution and cutting the Student Grant undoubtedly have an impact on third level access by squeezing students of certain incomes out, but if the Student Contribution was expanded to something close to a full fee – say around €4,500, the cost of some of Ireland’s less expensive private schools’ fees – it would allow for a more adequate amount of money to go into a comprehensive grant system that would ensure that lower income students would not be affected. The income brackets could be raised, the “adjacency” definition (the distance at which a student is determined to be eligible for accommodation supplements) could be lowered, and a graded system of funding for the contribution charge could be introduced – so that only students from the highest income bracket would pay the full amount,
the next bracket would pay €4,000, the next would pay €3,000, and so on. All hypothetical stuff, but through a combination of a full fee and a comprehensive grants system, you could essentially have means-testing without a major overhaul of the system. That way those who can afford to pay significantly more do, and those who can’t are unaffected. Ideally, we wouldn’t have to make any of these choices and college fees would be free for all, but that’s just not possible. We’re going through the worst recession in modern memory, and as hard as it is to stomach, certain sacrifices have to be made. Economics is all about the allocation of limited resources, and when faced with limited resources, you have to make tradeoffs. We can either stop fees, save the grant, or neither, but we cannot do both.
Twitter will change the world. #Wrong Hannah Cogan Opinion Editor
n October 30th, Eamon Delaney published an article in The Independent entitled ‘Loud and Proud Gays Want to Take Over The Rest of Society’. It disgusted thousands of readers who looked for an immediate outlet to vent their frustration; Twitter went nuts. The groundbreaking micro-blogging service is often cast as the communication technology that will fell dictators and spread democratic discourse around the world, but just as earlier generations were disappointed that the radio and the telegraph didn’t deliver on world-changing promises made by their supporters, we haven’t seen an internet-powered rise in peace and love and political engagement, and Twitter hasn’t and won’t ushered in a new age of rational and data-driven public policy and decision making. Constantly sharing links, data, and new ideas, Twitter functions, rather democratically, as a feed of constant information with no source bias. It’s often argued that Twitter has too many unpredictable or biased contributors, though that doesn’t undermine its value. I strongly suspect that the Slavoj Zizek that I follow on Twitter is not actually the radical Slovenian philosopher, but since he introduced me to the marvelous website ‘White People who Study Hegel’, I’ll continue to follow him anyway. On Twitter, even imposters have value, as long as they constantly add to the cloud of information, facilitating new conversations and exchanges. Information today flows constantly; we’ve never had easier access to news and analysis than we do right now. Twitter, along with aggregators like Google News might disrupt the business models of CNN and Sky News, but conversely equalise the playing field for country-specific news sources, helping them reach global audiences. The Huffington Post, AllAfrica.com, and The Asia Times Online all owe recent market success to their online profi les. Indeed, the greatest danger facing foreign news is the lack of respected moderators. The Internet may be a paradise for well-informed news junkies, but it’s a minefield for the less-engaged. Even the most worldly and sophisticated reader might have trouble differentiating The Global Times, a nationalist Chinese daily produced by the Communist Party, and The Epoch Times, a similar Chinese daily produced by the Falun Gong dissident group. During post-election protests in Iran, Twitter was a fantastic resource, but only for people who already new how to use it. If you’d spent several months previously studying the Iranian Twitterverse, reliable news sources were immediately apparent. The rest of us relied on keywords, like #iranelections and #moussavi, and read everything. After a few days, these channels generated so much noise that they became such active targets for spammers and marketers, whilst supporters of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began spreading misinformation, disrupting foreign media coverage. Even the most optimistic tech-nerd has to acknowledge that entrenched political and institutional pathologies are the greatest barrier to public engagement. Technology
simply highlights information that is already available. Establishing stronger connections between information and democratic action requires more than digital advocacy. Better communications can help, but only partly; it’s more often a lack of political will than ignorance that generates complacency. Twitter’s micro-blogging platform has created a new and accessible forum for exchanging opinions and ideas, but any notion of boosting the global appeal and practice of democracy remains unproven. Where some see a renewal of civic engagement, others see ‘slacktivism’, a new favourite pejorative for the shallow, peripheral, and fluid campaigning that thrives on the internet, sometimes at the expense of more effective realworld activism. When democratic action is as simple as retweeting, simultaneously tuning in and tuning out has never been easier. In a year dominated by ranters like Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen and on the extreme end, Colonel Gaddafi, we are quickly learning that agitation pays when it comes to maintaining a high profi le in a seething media environment. The genius of such ranters (Michelle Bachmann and The Rent is Too Damn High guy belong on this list too) is that they seem to understand intuitively that the digital collective intelligence has an affinity for the easily distracted and tangentially involved. Increasingly, the news we read comes from selective sources, which limits the range of information we’re actually exposed to. As traditional news outlets lose market share to the web, the effect is exponentially amplified. Twitter functions on the premise of facilitating just such a selective newsfeed, engendering such selective bias, in the spectra of both political opinion and data. The constant reinforcement of political opinion by a selective group of sources does nothing to challenge or advance opinion, and can encourage a particularly dangerous kind of self-confirming ideological bias. When that self-same bias takes on the role of reactionary media watchdog, it often does so at the expense of real social movement. When two million ‘digital revolutionaries’ took to Bogota’s streets in an unprecedented rally against the brutality of FARC rebels in 2008, they brought real social movement to Columbia. When the same revolutionaries tried to organise a similar march last September, having spread constant reactionary messages that reached a global audience, they floundered. A networked world isn’t an inherently more just or transparent one. Many of the transnational networks fostered by the internet arguably make the world worse. Homophobic activists in Serbia turn to Facebook to organise against gay rights and social conservatives in Saudi Arabia are setting up online equivalents of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Twitter’s constant stream of intelligence can be incredibly valuable, providing information and allowing access to thinkers around the world, but only if it is considered critically. Drawing attention as catharsis for self-righteous outrage whilst failing to engage with or organise around an issue in any meaningful sense isn’t worthless, but won’t effect any practical change and should be acknowledged as such.
For daily opinion and analysis, check out universitytimes.ie, Ireland’s best student newspaper website
Herman Cain, former CEO of the Godfather’s Pizza franchise, has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment.
Will it be Romney, Perry or Cain? Eye on America
his time four years ago, Hillary Clinton was topping all national polls, John McCain had fallen from second place in the polls to virtual last and the prospect of Barack Obama securing the democratic nomination was wishful thinking. With the Iowa caucus only two months away, the media has focused on the battle for the Republican nomination. Similar to the Democratic race four years ago, the Republican Party lacks a candidate to bolster party unity. Each candidate appeals to a certain section of the heavily fractionalised Republican base and almost alienates all other demographics. Front-runners Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, all draw from different factions of the Republican Party, underscoring key contentions among the American political right. Romney, who ran in 2008, has pinpointed his campaign toward the centrist movement in the party. His campaign is centred on jobs and fiscal responsibility,
highlighting his successes as a businessman and Governor of Massachusetts. Romney aims is to attract conservative voters by appealing to them in fiscal terms, arguing that he has the necessary capabilities to revive the American economy. Romney is keen to shy away from social issues as he is seen as a “flip-flopper” and his moderate views on issues such as gay rights is particularly unattractive to social conservatives, which dominate the Republican party. While Governor of Massachusetts, he was responsible for the passage of healthcare reform that largely resembles Obama’s healthcare package, and providing direct government funding for abortions, a make-orbreak issue for the American political right. Romney himself is quoted in saying that he is a “consistent supporter of abortion rights”, refusing, along with Herman Cain, to sign an anti-abortion pledge, severely denting his support with Catholics which make up a quarter of
the republican base. Having retracted these views during the campaign, he is now cast as untrustworthy and unreliable. Romney’s Mormonism, is a serious issue with evangelical Christians, who yield more power than any other religious denomination in the Republican Party. Mormonism is not seen as a true genuine Christian faith by evangelicals, making Romney very unappealing and out of the running for endorsements from influential evangelical pastors. The leader of the evangelical Christians and the Republican party’s conservative base is Rick Perry. Perry is extremely popular with social conservatives and the Tea Party movement, given his very conservative views on both social and fiscal issues. His campaign is based on preserving social values whilst slashing spending and increasing employment, with a proven record of job creation whilst serving as Governor of Texas. In recent months, his campaign has fallen into disarray and he has slipped back in the polls to a mere ten percent, forcing a reorganisation of campaign personnel, much like McCain’s in the last election. Perry has also changed his strategy; focusing more
on conservative states in the primary race. Iowa is where Perry must do well if he is to have any hope of the nomination; however in latest polls he has only seven percent of republican support. Perry’s poor debate performances are seen as the major cause for his slide in the polls, prompting him to produce campaign advertisements stating “I’m a doer, not a talker” as a means to shift the media attention away from his lack of oratory skills. A man that does posses the necessary oratory skills and is topping the latest Iowa polls is Herman Cain. Cain has leaped to the top of the field in recent weeks due to his natural, plain-spoken style and his common-sense approach to politics. He, like Romney, is attempting to garner support by highlighting his successes in business where he rescued Godfather’s Pizza chain in the 1980s. His rags-to-riches life story makes him the embodiment of the American Dream, but he lacks credibility, having never held any elected position. He has tried to recast this as an advantage, but the press and the Republican party are hesitant to take him seriously. When we enter the
real primary season, it will be difficult for Cain to appear as a genuine candidate. Cain’s character has been severely damaged recently by allegations of sexual harassment, with the women in question supposedly received financial settlements which prevented them from discussing the allegations. While Cain is the seen as a tamer version of Obama from four years ago, making inspirational speeches and winning over any crowd he speaks to, such allegations render much-needed media sympathy unlikely. The candidates for the 2012 Republican nomination largely resemble those of 2008. Romney, like Clinton, may surrender his lead just before the primaries. Cain, like Obama, has successfully recast his lack of experience. Perry has revived his candidacy just before the primaries, pre-empting a McCain-style comeback. The Republican party must think seriously if they want any real chance against Obama; party unity will be crucial. This primary season is just beginning but with each candidate possessing serious vulnerabilities, it is any one’s guess who will capture the elusive nomination.
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
Prison system shows society has a greater taste for punishment than prevention Conor O’Mahony
revel in the unwashed masses choking on their cornflakes as they read that headline. On Comment pages and in political forums, Ireland has endured nonsense defenses of its prison system for years. The justification that ‘it’s good enough for them’ is white noise masking serious questions of why the prison system exists in the first place. Is it to take our societal revenge on criminals? To get some debased satisfaction by crushing people who break the law? Is it to point out the error of their ways , hope a firm hand will guide them to a more beneficial path? If so should we be doing anything differently? A gentler approach would be more beneficial not only to prisoners but to society by keeping a much lower rate of recidivism and thus much lower level of expense to our tax payers. There is an old and arguably true tenet that if all the criminals are
locked up, there will be no crime. Repeat offenders account for a big chunk of our prison population, but this path is violently cruel and prohibitively expensive. The average cost of imprisonment per prisoner was €70,513 in 2010. So it’s hardly a saving (financially) on society when we could supply two or three jobs or training opportunities to an impoverished area rather than putting a person from the area in prison. Imprisonment culture is a classist cull. More than 60% of people serving sentences for six months or less live near or below the poverty line. The majority of prisoners have no secondary school education and despite our evangelising against the crimes of the industrial schools, how quick we are to forget that a large chunk of prisoners probably endured years of state sponsored rape and torture in these institutes. It shows our appetite for punishment has always been far greater than our taste for prevention, as the latter requires
actual initiative. It’s viciously telling that during that aﬄuent dream state in the nineties and noughties our prison population doubled and according to John Lonergan, a former governor of Mountjoy, conditions worsened in the same period. Examples of a system built to inflict pain and suffering included building twoman rooms specifically designed
with limited exercise and no incentive toward education. Ireland has been referred to international bodies on torture for the conditions. The Committee for the Prevention of Torture noted that inmates who report feeling unsafe locked up for 23 hours every day for protection. They reported cases where prisoners were regularly made go to the toilet in a plastic bag in Cork, whilst a prisoner undergoing heroin withdrawal, potentially lethal, was left in his shared cell without access to an actual toilet. They also noted a level of unreported abuse that was untenable and noted the need for independent complaints body. Before your mouth dares frame the words ‘they deserve it’ remember that in 2009 a solid third of imprisonments were traffic offences and a further fifth are ‘crimes against property’ with no threat or act of violence whatsoever. If you want to be truly scared note that 6,681 people were imprisoned for failure to pay fines in 2010 in the middle
In March this year Mountjoy had a properly operating capacity of 500 yet it held 710 to be humanely impossible to fit two beds in. In March of this year Mountjoy had a properly operating capacity of 500 and yet it held 710, often forcing inmates to sleep on mattresses on the floor, in rooms that still require slopping out.
of a recession whilst courts are forbidden from accepting payment in installments. The vast majority of these go to Mountjoy where the turnover rate consistently enforces high levels of overcrowding. Ireland’s aim should be to implement a system where in twenty years time we have half the levels in prison we have today, and half the crime along with it. To use actual community service projects and ‘non-destructive punishments’ to reduce rates of crime and repeat offences, and to stop brutalising people so if they weren’t dangerous when they went in they definitely are when they get out. We shouldn’t care about ‘not having the money’ because it’s too expensive to continue as it stands. We shouldn’t care for revenge, we shouldn’t care that rapists and paedophiles will get better conditions if we have proper prison and that murderers won’t be sleeping on the floor, because we’re not sadists. What we should care about is living in a society that prioritises actually reducing crime beyond catching criminals.
Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi on display after he was beaten and then shot in the head by a rebel group.
Rule of law? Not for the bad guys Ben Mitchell Editor, Trinity College Law Review
uammar Gaddafi, Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Aulaqi: three men who became synonymous with human rights violations, abuses of power, and tyranny. They were fundamentalists who were also fundamentally contradictory. Gaddafi justified his iron grip on Libya and his attempt to suffocate the Arab Spring by casting himself as a revolutionary and liberator; the man who brought freedom to Libya forty years ago. Bin Laden, trained and armed by the US, turned his network against them with devastating effect, preaching a puritanical lifestyle from the comforts of his mansion. Al-Aulaqi used his US citizenship and education as a weapon against the US. These latter two also waged wars of terror in purported furtherance of a religion,
a proper interpretation of which espouses peace and tolerance. Their lives were contradictory and their beliefs, at least to our minds, were nonsensical, but in their deaths we see the greatest contradiction of all. The beliefs of all three were characterised by a disregard for life, law and fairness. Summary executions were of no concern to them and for this they were isolated from the “civilised” world. Al-Aulaqi rarely, if ever, bore weapons, but he headed recruitment for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and from this platform he preached the massacre of foreigners and was the motivation behind, among others, the Christmas Day underwear bomber last year. Gaddafi’s madness needs no introduction, but his intolerance for student protesters provides
an unnerving glimpse into his regime. During the early years of his rule many opposition student activists were arrested and detained, usually without trial, until April of each year when public hangings took place in universities across the country. Bin Laden’s al-Qaeda has become the most notorious terrorist group in the world and he displayed no qualms about summary execution for those that got in his way. They eschewed the freedom of speech, in some cases even the freedom to think, and the rights to vote, to fair trial, to liberty and to life. Our system of justice would have been alien to them. But of course they we never brought before our system of justice. Therein lies the ultimate contradiction. We said they were bad guys because they ignored the rule of law. We claimed this as justification for hunting them down but once we found them our systems of justice suddenly seemed less important. All of them were summarily
executed. The Libyans found global support on a ticket of democracy for a region characterised by dictatorships, but when they found Gaddafi they did not kill him during combat or send him for trial in The Hague or Tripoli. They dragged him out of a drain and shot him in the head. The Bush legacy of the “Global War on Terror” reached a climax with the capture of Bin Laden in Pakistan but this was not occasion to reaffirm the universality of the rule of law, it was an opportunity to demonstrate US power because more and more people are beginning to doubt that his killing was anything other than a summary execution. Al-Aulaqi was in Yemen where the US legal system could not reach to convict him for his crimes. The US authorities declared him exempt from the protections afforded to US citizens and used a bomb from an unmanned drone to kill one of their own. In some ways this last case is more ambiguous, in that al-Aulaqi was
not killed as a captive but in a military strike, but it underscores an uncomfortable preference for a swift killing in place of the protracted rule of law. It is often argued that these were war-time deaths, not executions. This is problematic for several reasons. Firstly, we have laws of war that forbid killing unarmed captives, defining such activities as execution. Secondly, to accept this position, we have to relegate the criminal trial to nothing more than a convoluted means of achieving the same ends, namely executions, and ignore its value. A trial does much more than this, however; it stands as an official condemnation of the conduct involved, provides retribution and most importantly, prevents martyrdom. All three of these men are now “casualties of war”, men who died for their cause and around whom their allies can concoct reasons to continue fighting, rather than criminals who were publically and legitimately
disgraced and punished. All three were undeniably guilty and unquestionably evil, but why is that a basis for ignoring what we are supposed to believe in? The right to a fair trial is a fundamental principle upon which the entirety of Western society is built. Apparently they were too dangerous to be kept alive but the law cannot accommodate such views, and the people who carried out these killings are the very ones who would baulk at the existence of such a rule. If we have a legal system it has to apply to everyone all the time. If we can ignore the rules when we are dealing with “bad” people, there is actually no law at all. To argue such is to change our legal system would change into a discretionary set of guidelines, replacing rule of law with dictatorship by the majority.
Sinn Féin here to stay after election
inally, the election is over and as Michael D begins to shelve his poetry anthologies into the space where Mary McAleese’s criminal law textbooks once sat, the nation can pause for reflection on an race that has been, for want of a better word, deceptive. With a circus of candidates and a myriad of gaffes, it was easy to dismiss the election as a farce. This is deeply unfortunate, for it disguised the reality that, as elections go, this one was truly historic. As Fintan O’Toole noted in the Irish Times, the most telling point of the result was that Ireland eventually plumped for Michael D as a steady hand at the tiller. Even the perennial maverick was viewed as the safe bet in a field of liabilities. However, while Michael D may be warming his feet by the fire in the Áras, one such liability provided the marker of a seachange in Irish politics that is likely to reverberate far beyond Higgins’ time in office. Martin McGuinness did not win the election and realistically, he was never going to. Even the most ardent Shinner would have been disingenuous to claim a true belief that he would. McGuinness’ candidacy has, however, changed the Irish political landscape by forcing north to look south and south to look north in a way that neither has done since the Good Friday Agreement was signed. Political settlement in the North has been a strange thing. In some ways, it has divided Ireland more than ever. At the start of the millennium, in the South, the majority were understandably weary of stories emanating from north of the border. The resolution of conflict provided a welcome opportunity to put the North in a box and call a job done. In the North, nationalists had their own concerns. Rather than look longingly towards ‘the free 26’, attention was diverted to the more pragmatic pursuit of building a working system of government. While violence tore us apart, peace has gently divided us. It seems that the North can no longer be safely ignored. With Gerry Adams in the Dáil and Martin McGuinness running for the Áras, the North is no longer a concern that can be easily separated from daily Southern affairs. It has wedged its way into political life; while the territorial reunion of Ireland is still a distant prospect, political integration is an ongoing reality. The most surprising characteristic of Sinn Féin’s reemergence is its simplicity. To alter political will on a seismic scale generally requires a masterstroke. Sinn Fein have focused on infi ltrating mainstream Southern politics at a time when public morale is low and have emphasized their socialist credentials in order to draw support among those most seriously affected by the crash. This is blatant political opportunism and yet it seems to be working. It would be wrong to claim that Sinn Féin’s rise has been meteoric, but it has been solid. While it is true that recent electoral successes have been as much of a protest vote against the political elite as a sign of support on its own terms, claims that their vote is transitory are tenuous. Sinn Féin places emphasis on developing party machinery at a micro level so that a vote gained at one election is rarely lost at the next. Their recent results may well be the beginnings of a new trend rather than a temporary deviation from the norm. Martin McGuinness’ decision to run for the presidency cannot be viewed in isolation. His campaign was just another step in the party’s continuous strategy in the South. This election was not so much about winning as legitimizing the party and pulling themselves off the margins of Irish politics. Of course, McGuinness’ campaign was met with the expected vitriol and his ill-judged ‘WestBrit’ comments will have only added reinforced a resilient media. If the Northern peace process has taught us anything, it’s that political change cannot be affected overnight. There was no singular point when everyone north of Dundalk found Zen. Ian Paisley was never going to go from shouting ‘No surrender’ to tenderly plaiting Gerry Adam’s beard after a weekend of reconciliatory talks. Peace was achieved in the normal way that such things are – through time and persistence. The presidential election provided a microcosm of the same idea. At no one point did the country turn round, smile warmly and welcome Sinn Féin back into the fold as an acceptable democratic party. No-one took Marty by the arm, patted him on the back and offered him a brown envelope to mark his acceptance into Irish political life, but Martin McGuinness polled respectably and the nation said to Sinn Féin, “while we’re not happy to have you in the Áras, we’re happy to have you trying to get there.” This marks real progress and while yes, this may mean progress for Sinn Feín, it also marks progress for Irish politics, through its increasing diversification and finally, a readiness to deal with our shared history and what will inevitably be our shared future in a direct, mature and democratic manner.
The University Times | Tuesday, November 15 2011
The University Times NOW IS THE TIPPING POINT
ur special supplement on third level education was put together because we thought that, now more than ever, students need to be informed about what lies ahead for them. The supplement seeks to contextualise the debate surrounding fees and the campaigning being done by USI and local Students Unions around the country. Whether you’re pro or anti fees there’s no denying that we’ve reached a tipping point in this years-long saga. A recent Irish Times feature on student politics correctly stated that students were preoccupied with relatively banal issues during the boom times. Printers, parking spaces, microwaves and couches in the arts block were all we wanted. The radical student activists of the 60s and 70s seemed quaint. A lot of Trinity students are now convinced that fees are not only inievitable but necessary. Th is is, perhaps, a phenomenon unique to Trinity and has been remarked upon in the local SU and in USI. Trinity students are more reluctant to march and analyse USI campaign materials more than students in other universities and colleges. Th is has lead to a “common sense”
consensus among some students who are actively dissuading others from participating in any protest against the government for reneging on election pledges made in relation to fees and the grant. UT, in this broadhseet and in the supplement, has given a platform to these students. A lot of the frustration voiced by them is directed at USI and the manner in which they have conducted this particular campaign. It’s true that this campaign came together rather late. It’s also true that despite efforts by some sabbatical officers to persuade USI to change the campaign blueprint from last year, what we’ve been treated to is a re-run with a change of colours and slogans. For this they will surely feel the ire of Trinity’s SU and other Students Unions when the protest is done. However, all gripes over aesthetics and rhetoric aside, the corre issue is students’ inability to pay exorbitant fees. Th is has been the issue for years and now we’re at the tipping point. Either we try one last time to derail the government’s fees plan or we fi nally resign ourselves to our delayed fate and accept the fact that some of us won’t be here next year.
POSTGRADUATE GRANT CUTS WILL FURTHER LOWER RANKINGS
he perennial fees and grants debate, once again occupying centre stage in College’s cafes, publications, and debating halls, has extended its reach into the previously sanctified territory of the postgraduates. The growing numbers of students reconciling themselves with a pro-fees position on the back of a pridebattering slide for Irish Universities in the THE University Rankings now find themselves wedged between the rock of the pro-fees ideology and the hard place of a decrease in postgraduate research brought about by pulling the plug on funding. In one sense, it is hard to argue for state funding of postgraduate degrees as the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) continues to propound the number of students for whom undergraduate education is beyond financial capabilities. If were are to extend the mantra that education is a right rather than a privilege into third level education, as we rightly do, do we include specialised study under the same social umbrella? Why does the state support postgraduate study at all? With fees for most postgraduate courses in Trinity ranging between €2,000 and €10,000 and some costing
as much as €28,000, many argue that they are the preserve of the upper social classes with the means for pay such large amounts. However, while the attracting the brightest undergraduate students to study is a high priority for any university, its foremost aim must be to facilitate the study of talented postgraduates whose impact upon rankings and departmental funding is far greater than that of an undergraduate student. It can legitimately be argued that the state’s provision of maintenance and fee concessions for postgraduates led to the ranking zenith around 2008. The fact of the matter, laid so cold and bare by University rankers, is that Trinity’s academic standards are falling relative to the top third level institutions in the world. This College, like every other College the world, is dependent on the research and research assistance undertaken by its postgraduate students. Should Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn fulfi ll reported threats to withdraw all state maintenance to postgraduate students, huge numbers of prospective researchers will find themselves on the wrong side of the ‘Education not Emigration’ dichotomy and our universities will undoubtedly suffer as a
result. If Minister Quinn makes bright but financially incapable twenty-somethings unwelcome here, some other University somewhere in the world will benefit and have the opportunity to improve its ranking relative to Irish universities. The most prevalent argument made in opposition to free fees is made in light of 2011’s disastrous ranking results for Irish Universities. Many argue that to realise the heights of previous years, the country needs a properly-funded education sector and that the only method of achieving this given the economic circumstances is to abolish the unattainable ideal of free third level education. This argument has significant clout among a national student body licking its wounds and nursing its damaged pride. Whatever your views on undergraduate funding, the contribution made by postgraduate students to propping up Irish universities cannot be ignored. We all agree that the downward trend must be reversed, and therefore it is imperative that the state continues to support postgraduate students as a matter of priority.
Legislative cowardice in the way of abortion reform Senator Ivana Bacik argues that legislators’ fear of stirring up the anger of the Catholic Church prevents reform of abortion law. Ireland’s abortion laws are the most restrictive in Europe, dating back to 1861.
It is shameful to know that our own abortion laws in Ireland remain far more restrictive than the most conservative US Republican could imagine
eminists everywhere should be very concerned to read of the recent passage through the US House of Representatives of the so-called ‘Protect Life bill’, which was initiated by a group of conservative Republicans. If it came into law, this bill would restrict women’s access to abortion and would even make it legal for hospitals to deny abortions to pregnant women with life-threatening conditions. However, the bill is not expected to pass through the Senate, and President Obama has promised to veto it. It is a relief to know that this bill will not become law in the US, but it is shameful to know that our own abortion laws in Ireland remain far more restrictive than the most conservative US Republican could imagine. In fact, Irish law on abortion is the most restrictive in Europe. Abortion is a criminal offence under 1861 legislation, carrying a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for the woman or any person who assists her to have an abortion. In 1983, our Constitution was amended to make the right to life of ‘the unborn’ equal to that of ‘the mother’. This means that a pregnancy may only be terminated legally in Ireland in order to save the life of the pregnant woman. There is no right to abortion in any other circumstance; even where a woman or girl has been raped or abused, or is carrying a non-viable foetus. Despite this highly repressive law, abortion is a reality in Ireland. Since abortion was legalised in Britain in 1967, more than 100,000 Irish women and girls have travelled to clinics there to obtain abortions denied to them at home. Yet these women’s stories are never told publicly in Ireland. The cultural taboo on speaking out about crisis pregnancy has been strengthened by the intimidatory tactics of the anti-choice campaigners. Abortion represents their last line of defence, since contraception and divorce were legalised in the 1990s. These conservative lobbyists, many backed by the Catholic Church, have had immense power. Following the 1983 Amendment, these anti-abortion groups took a series of court cases which had closed down women’s counselling centres, depriving women of the right even to receive information on where to obtain abortion abroad. Across Ireland throughout the 1980s, students’ unions became the only organisations willing to publicly provide information about how to access abortion in Britain. As President of Trinity Students’ Union in 1989-90, I carried out Union policy by giving information on abortion to women with crisis pregnancies. As a result I and others were threatened with prison by SPUC (the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) in a marathon court case. Mary Robinson (later elected President of Ireland) stepped in to defend us, and we were not sent to prison, but we lost our case initially and were faced with bankruptcy.
In 1992 came the ‘X case’. This arose when a 14 year-old pregnant rape victim, known only as X, tried to travel to England with her parents to terminate her pregnancy. The State applied to the Irish Courts to prevent her travelling abroad in order to stop her having the abortion, even though she was suicidal. People were understandably horrified at this inhumane response to the girl’s crisis. In the public outcry that followed, the Supreme Court ruled that because X was suicidal, the pregnancy posed a real and substantial risk to her life, so her pregnancy could lawfully be terminated under the Constitution. As a result of the X case, two further amendments to the Constitution were passed in November 1992. The first allowed freedom to give information on abortion, and enabled us, finally, to win our legal case. The second allowed the right to travel for women seeking abortions. The Government also proposed a third referendum, seeking to overturn the X case by ruling out suicide risk as a ground for abortion, but thankfully this was defeated. In 2002, following more pressure from anti-abortion groups, the Government sought to pass yet another referendum to try and rule out suicide risk as a ground for abortion – but again this was defeated after a strong campaign by the Labour Party and pro-choice groups. The law then remained stagnant, until the European Court of Human Rights gave judgment against Ireland in December 2010 in a groundbreaking case, ABC v. Ireland. The Strasbourg Court ruled that Ireland’s failure to allow abortion where a woman’s life is at risk violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case involved a woman cancer patient whose pregnancy, if it had continued, would have posed a real risk to her life. Although she should have been entitled to an abortion in Ireland under the X case, this was not made available to her, and she was forced to travel abroad. The new Fine Gael/Labour Government elected in February 2011 has promised to establish an expert group to examine how best to implement the ABC judgment. Even before the ABC case, opinion polls show that support for legal abortion in Ireland has increased significantly in recent years. The only thing that has not changed is the lack of leadership demonstrated by successive Governments. This cowardice by legislators is due to a fear of stirring up the anger of the Catholic Church and their allies. But I believe that the conservative lobby has lost ground. Now is the time to challenge the culture of silence and hypocrisy. This Government must confront the reality of crisis pregnancy, and legislate to meet the real health needs of women.
Senator Ivana Bacik was threatened with jail when, as TCDSU President, she distributed information on abortion to Trinity students.
Is this as good as it gets? Do you have something you’d like to get off your chest? To join the Opinion team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, November 15 2011 | The University Times
TIMESSPORTS The Trinity Player Clubs work their young players to the bone to encourage an ethos of hard work. Not all of them make it I strolled pensively out of the stadium tunnel whilst pondering how I may perform in one of my first ‘Reserve’ team outings for the club. I was excited about stepping up to this level as an 18 year old and even more thrilled that I would be featuring against some top name players from the opposing team. One particular individual standing opposite me in the tunnel was being referred to in the media as a ‘shoe-in’ for England’s midfield for many years to come. I looked at him and felt extremely fortunate to be sharing the same corridor at that moment. “What the fuck am I doing playing here tonight?” he suddenly exclaimed in his strong cockney accent. In one short statement, he had managed to alienate his ‘inferior’ colleagues and given my team mates a good reason to leave a few late tackles for him... Welcome to the world of reserve team football folks. A setting where everyone that ever existed in football will visit during their careers...for very different reasons. As referred to in my opening paragraph, you will always get the ‘big time Charlie’ who finds it scandalous that he is asked to lower himself to this level. Just for reference, the reserve team leagues in the UK are indeed a seriously high standard. However, results are not really important and clubs will utilise this league for varying objectives. They will always have some young players in the team line-up with the aim of giving them experience of playing at a higher level and to engage them in greater physicality. You will have players who are just recovering from injuries and need to get match fit again. This type of fixture is also always beneficial to assess how ‘trialists’ can perform. I recall a guy from South Africa travelling over for about 6 months on trial with us and not getting any contract or expenses, absolutely nothing. Unfortunately he managed to pick up the nickname ‘OJ’ after the infamous OJ Simpson murder trial which was happening at exactly the same time. The longest trial in history was also taking place at our very own training ground with our South African comrade. Clubs immorally use players like this when squads are becoming depleted by injuries and rarely reward their effort. Another reason why the upper echelons of club management like reserve fixtures is to place their cast outs onto the shop window in the hope that they will be able to find another suitor. In football, if your face does not fit anymore, clubs may use the tactic of putting you in a demoralising environment with the youth team or reserves with the expectation you will hand in a transfer request and depart the club promptly. This treatment was handed out to one of my colleagues who decided to see out the remaining two years of his contract and collect about 50k in signing on fees from his agreed contract much to the annoyance of the club. However, you also have to ask the question whether he damaged two years of his career due to a lack of first team activity. In recent years, the former Chelsea player Winston Bogarde engaged in this type of standoff. Effectively told that he would no longer play for Chelsea and
to look for another employer, he figured that no sane club could ever pay his 45k a week salary and duly ‘honoured’ the last 3 years of his contract effectively as a nonexistent player becoming a multi millionaire in the process. Today, in the era of multi million Euro contracts, I would safely say there are reserve leagues across the UK packed with millionaires whose clubs are desperate to get them off their wage bill. Reserve team football is a fairly ruthless environment. In particular, a clutch of players may be entering the final months of their contract and do not have any idea where their wages will be coming from after the season end in June. You can sense the tension and competitiveness in training. Players have responsibilities off the pitch and absolutely must get that contract no matter what. They do not want a kid from the youth team upstaging them and will make their presence felt to the young upstart both verbally and physically. I remember a reserve team game at home where plenty of my elder teammates in the shop window were being watched by other club scouts. I was a youth team player at the time and was warming up our goalkeeper...a well known nutter at the club, like many keepers. In the midst of practise, I decided to ‘chip’ the goalkeeper which would have looked absolutely fabulous from the watching grandstand and worth the admission fee alone. The keeper in question did not appreciate the elegance of it all and proceeded to sprint the full length of the stadium in pursuit of me. He grabbed me up against the wall and said ‘never ever try and make a fool out of me’ again. I could see his argument in that a scout was due to watch him that evening plus the fact his contract was up for renewal. He got a two year contract extension after this so I think I fired him up that evening! There is definitely a period for many players when you enter the reserve environment and Football becomes a job and not just a passion anymore. Players begin to enter into financial commitments and need the wages to survive. It can be a survival task as players will undoubtedly ‘look after themselves’ and ensure that by the end of the season, they will be writing ink on a new contract and not their teammates. I even found reserve football more cutthroat than first team level as many of the more established players in the first team had longer contracts, appeared more comfortable and possibly knew it would be easier for them to attain a contract elsewhere. It was probably more enjoyable playing in a reserve match as a younger player at the club. Generally you got the opportunity to play at the official stadium of the home/ away team. I remember walking through the famous marble halls of Highbury and marvelling at the history of Arsenal adorning the walls. The underground heating in the changing room was also a treat in contrast to the Siberian type temperatures at our training ground. The attendances at reserve games were hardly stratospheric. The majority of the time you might have one man and his dog observing. On occasion just to make light of the situation, we would enter the pitch and wave to our imaginary fans in the away section. I think you could probably ascertain here that a banished established professional would find it difficult to adjust in this arena. Hence a choice, should I stay
RONAN RICHARDSON: UT OLYMPIAN
Photo by David Cullinan Ronan Richardson Olympian-elect
Under the impression that he’d be hunting pheasant, Ronan joins Dublin University Rifle Club captain Michael Cullinan for a spot of shooting. But will he fire a blank? TWEED, FRESH country air, horses, brandy, fine foods, pheasant… These werethe things that sprung to my mind when my insidious editor told me that my next taskwas to involve shooting. As a man with aspirations towards the finer, more decadent side of life, I must say, I was most enamoured. As one would be. The thoughts of not having to run, sprint, lift things, or indeed, play cricket of all things came as a bit of a relief one must say. Lash on the funny bell shaped hat, the breeches, the plus fours, call to your man to pull, and you’re away with it. Nothing for it afterwards but to troop back to the Big House with your colonial accomplices and quaff and chortle for the rest of the evening. This is Trinity of course; it’s what we do! Or maybe not… My bubble was burst when I was informed that no, we wouldn’t be going out to Lord Henry Mountcharles’ estate, and no, there was no need for the avant-garde attire. For this one, we’d be staying on campus. But, I was informed; this was one I was going to enjoy. Personally, I had my doubts. I heard similar things said about the gym… Off we set to a little known area of campus to meet the Dublin University Rifle Club. Found in their clubhouse, they have a wide range of ballistic and non-ballistic firing apparatuses designed to tingle the senses of any red blooded gentleman (or lady). Although quite hidden away, we were really impressed with the warm and open welcome we got from the club. Club captain Michael Cullinan was there to meet us to put me through my paces.
After being directed away from the fire-powered rifles, I was instructed that it might be more appropriate to start off with an air rifle; I was ever so slightly let down that I wouldn’t get a chance at some of the big stuff, however Michael insured me that the air rifle has killed in the past. BRING IT ON. I was given a run through the basic safety precautions to be employed. Don’t pull the trigger until ready. Don’t point the gun at yourself. Ever. Don’t point the gun at others… Well sometimes. Safety briefing done. We were good to go. Handed a packet of small lead bullets I was shown how to load the gun. Ok. Pull back the handle-pump-yoke thing- check. Lash in the bullet -check. Close it -check. Turn off the safety -check. Don’t pull the trigger. Woops. I pulled the trigger. Nice hole in the roof –check. Minor maladies aside, my attention was directed towards small targets at the end of the shooting gallery. I was deflated that unfortunately the menu wouldn’t involve a course of pheasant, however it’s important to start off small. To begin with, I took my first few shots sitting down, gun leaning against a pile of sand bags. This helped greatly with aim and ensured that I was able to keep my attention firmly focused on the target itself rather than focusing on keeping my body from swaying. Tentatively I pulled the trigger and with a satisfying *pfft sound, the bullet was hurtling towards the target. I took a few more shots and everyone was very surprised. Could this be the first sport he can manage? Well I must say, I’m a humble man but the results were pretty fine. A ten and a couple of nines. I assure you that in gun parlance that’s not too bad. Now to progress to standing up. Very wobbly altogether, very wobbly. Rifle club suddenly didn’t seem as easy as I had thought. However being allowed to wear an incredibly fashionable jacket, which made me look like a cross between Robocop and Johnny Forty-Coats, compensated. Did it do the trick? Well, kind of. I didn’t do too badly… But then again to resort to North side/Southside stereotypes that we’re always being negatively accused of; sure I’m from the North side myself ergo, it’s in my blood to be good at shooting! Our sincerest thanks to the Club Captain Michael Cullinan and everyone else from the club who was there to engage in pleasant banter with us. To be honest, this is definitely one to watch. And as an admission from the non-sporting man, that’s something! Make sure to catch our video from the day in the sports section of www.universitytimes.ie
or should I go.
The Trinity Player is an ex-pro.
Friendly violence: Boxing Junior Varsities photo gallery
Photos by Jack Leahy
The University Times | November 15 2011
Going the extra mile: DU Harriers on what it takes to win Melanie Giedlin Multimedia Editor WHILE COMPETING in any sport at a collegiate level requires discipline and dedication, All Ireland athletes and competitive runners for the Dublin University Harriers and Athletics Club (DUHAC) Liam Tremble and Bryony Treston are of a select few who go above and beyond. Both are frank about the type of training and sacrifice it takes to be two of Trinity College’s top runners, as well as the satisfaction it has given them. Liam Tremble, a Junior Sophister Science student, began running at a local club around the age of 15, and is loyal to middle distance events. Explaining that he is not muscled enough for sprinting and not ‘crazy enough’ for long distance, Tremble says that middle distance events are what most beginning runners gravitate to. Bryony Treston, a final year Medicine student, however, leans towards long distance and set a record in the 2010 Irish National Track and Field Championships for her 11:22:07 time in the 3000m Steeplechase. She notes that she got her start in running after being picked
for her secondary school’s cross country team through hockey, and now runs with both Trinity and the Dundum South Dublin AC. Though their events differ, one thing the two athletes agree on is the need to adhere to a training schedule that most university students would balk at. Treston notes that when she was training her hardest, she would run about 5-6 miles per session 9-10 times a week. Tremble as well trained 6-7 days per week. Highlighting the difficulties of such a rigorous schedule, Tremble and Treston both admit that the goal of training is to work to the threshold of what your body can take. Oftentimes, this can cause many runners to burn out too young, as overtraining is common. The club is not only a place to run, but provides a social backdrop to a fiercely competitive sport. In DUHAC, both Tremble and Treston found a wealth of training partners; he notes he has been taking it easier running ‘with the lads’ this year instead of going to DCU to train. Treston puts in simply in linking this to the ‘work hard, play hard’ mindset saying that, ‘training can be tough at times, and it’s good to have some fun while
Trinity Harrier’s athletes Liam and Bryony stop to chat to Melanie. doing it.’ Treston notes that it ties into the idea of having a consistent routine, and putting more thought into gearing up for the goal at hand. While the athletes have participated in various college and club races, na-
tional championships, both touched upon the future of international competition for Irish runners Treston, chosen in 2009 to compete in the 13th annual SPAR European Cross Country Championships for the Under 23’s womens sec-
tion, says that there are huge benefits in participating in international races. She notes that when competing in Ireland, she generally knows who she is competing against and what place she will come; in the European Championship, she did now
know what to expect which made it a vital learning opportunity. Bryony Treston and Liam Tremble’s approaches to running reveal that oftentimes races are run not only with feet, but also with the mind.
Photo: Bryony Treston
It takes a certain kind of mindset to not only earn the successes they have running with DUHAC and their clubs, but also to make their intense training schedule sound routine. For Treston and Tremble, running is more than a club they
joined Freshers’ Week: it’s a commitment that motivates them to train harder and run faster.
Fiery Premier League title race beginning to heat up Jack Hogan Armchair footballer With something of a lull in the Premier League of late and with the international break grabbing all of the headlines, what better time to take a step back and review the goings-on of the greatest league in the world? Where else can we start than with the monumentalsuper-power-radioactive killing force that has been Manchester City this season. Their signings have finally come to fruition but only time will tell if their money can really buy success. They have some difficult fixtures to come including a trip to Liverpool next week which could see City fall from their undefeated perch. If they can maintain this form over the winter period we could be looking at some new Champions. Liverpool also have some testing fixtures to come, including two trips to Chelsea in 9 days with The Carling Cup and a tricky away clash with the ever-improving Fulham. The Reds have been a mixed bag so far this season with several draws at home in games that they easily
could have won. Luis Suarez has struggled to reach the dizzying heights of last season and once again the price tag of Andy Carroll must be questioned as the big striker fails to produce any any consistent form. They will no doubt add further to their squad in the transfer window in January but will face tought opposition in the race for that highly soughtafter fourth spot. It is likely to be a straight shootout between Newcastle, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham for the final Champions League place but do not rule out another mid-season collapse by Chelsea (now becoming an annual occurrence). The Blues have struggled recently, particularly against the likes of QPR and Arsenal, and the inexperienced Andre Villas-Boas will no doubt come under further scrutiny as manager. At the other end of the table the writing is surely on the wall for Blackburn. Although the boardroom are adamant that Steve Kean is the man for the job, results on the pitch prove otherwise. Do not be surprised to see a new boss at Ewood park
before to long, in addition to some new signings in January as Rovers have something of a mountain to climb. For the first time in a long time the newly promoted clubs look extremely comfortable with QPR, Norwich and Swansea sitting happily mid-table. They have the big teams yet to play but there is no sense of a yo-yo team. Each will look to consolidate their position in the Premier League and build on it next season. At that time of year when assignments and exams loom large, the Premier League has once again proved to be the source of all solace and joy (and at times a convenient excuse not to do essays). With a fully-fledged title race and a fight for survival now on our hands, who could be blamed for choosing Match Of The Day over a late night in the library? There are some seriously tasty pre-Christmas fixtures on the way – let’s sit back and enjoy!
Struggling: Luis Suarez has disappointed this season after last year’s star turn.
IRFU schoolboy doping rules creating a bad mix in the lucrative supplement business Matthew Rye Sports Editor THE IRISH Sports Council’s and the Irish Rugby Football Union’s collaborative effort to enforce anti-doping laws in Irish rugby-playing schools, is a move which has made national media in the last few weeks. The doping tests, which will be implicated at rugby fixtures, are the in line with interntional drug-testing standards, and marks a huge development in the changes in the way the game of rugby is being played. 30 years ago,the idea of enforcing drug testing, or of even taking performanceenhancing drugs would have been bizarre to the world’s prime players, let alone a group of young players in a remote corner in the rugbyplaying world.
It is a topic of debate which many of the world’s leading rugby punits have argued extensively about, but the reality remains that, with the introduction of the professional game and the astronomical increases in size, speed and strength of the modern player, the sport is getting more dangerous. Sam Warburton’s spear tackle on Vincent Clerc at the Rugby World Cup semi final in New Zealand, is a timely example of the level of physicality that the modern game involves. Where this leaves Irish schools is somewhere in between groundbreaking and ridiculous. On one hand, the idea that a group of young males somewhere between the ages of 16 and 18 will knowingly subject their premature bodies to a series of combinations of drugs which will, to an
unknown extent, alter their bodily physique in a hope to improve their personal prowess at a sport, which an incrementally small number of people actually can continue professionally, is frankly, outrageous. However, there is grounds for their intevention. Firstly, and perhaps most worryingly, is that this kind of behaviour does exist. Many students in secondary schools do take performance-enhancers for various reasons, including to progress in their various sport-related endevours. Recent screenings in South Africa have shown a quarter of tested students to be exponentially over the average amount of testorone . Secondly, there is very little evidence of the long term effects of performance enhancing drugs, because of lack of historical content
available to doctors. Males don’t stop growing fully until they’re aged about 25 years old, thus exposing young males to these toxins isn’t the prescribed course of action in order to find out more about the drug. The problem here isn’t that young males are using shortcuts to provide themselves with the chance to perform better at their school level. The problem is, that these people feel the need to adopt extreme measures in order to appease the power of the masses. We’re nuts about schools rugby in this country. With the level of interest, loyalty and devotion in the schools rugby system, it’s no surprise that forms of system gaming followed by stiffer regulations would eventually come to the forefront. No benefit is recieved by the school who wins the SCT final, but yet, you would
find it hard-pressed to find another country which can fill a regional stadium on a schools cup final day. It is not just anabolic steroids which the dieticians and parents have concerns with. The protein supplement amd creatine usage is exploding in Europe, similar to a peak in the United States during the 1990s. What that massive demand eventually resulted in, were changes in regulation to American Football. The NFL now, unlike any other sport, has a “Steroid policy” which allows athletes to take a prescribed amount in a season-long period, and the sanctions are often small and overlooked by the violater’s team. Merely telling young men that something is wrong and will not be tolerated, is seldom a viable long-term plan for the prevention of abuse.
Educating these young men to the gravity of what they are doing will often be a more effective way of getting the message through to them. The myth that anabolic steroids cause heart failure and shorter life spans is one which this current generation X of prospective students is too smart and too resourceful to believe. What must be outlined to them, is that the use of performance-enhancers is unfair, and provides an advatage to those who value short-cuts and cheating as a viable career path. A necessary precaution for the ISC and the IRFU, but whether the perpetrators will stay on step ahead remains to be seen.
November 15th 2011
Inside We give Ronan Richardson a gun
Boxers crowned inter-varsity champions
Trinity’s Graeme Cunnigham trades blows with UCD’s Mark McMahon in their 71kg clash on Sunday Photo: Jack Leahy
Jack Leahy Sports Writer Trinity’s boxers have been crowned Irish Universities Amateur Boxing Association Junior Inter-varsities 2011 Champions after a number of universities pulled out of the event in protest. The boxing clubs of Trinity, University College Dublin (UCD) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) took part in the two-day tournament in Astra Hall, UCD, after UCC and a number of Institutes of Technology withdrew from the contest. The University Times understands that the clubs refused to take part in the competition as a protest against the IUABA and will attempt to form a breakaway tournament.
Trinity’s Luke Healy won a majority decision in his 60kg (lightweight) clash with NUIG’s James Gallagher. Both fighters were warned over their conduct on a number of occasions throughout the bout before Healy’s quick feet and accurate cuts saw him through in the third round. Next up for Trinity was third year Gabriel Corcoran, competing in the 63kg division in the red corner with UCD’s James Wallace in blue. Corcoran put in a good first-round showing, but his career in boxing is all of two weeks old and it showed in the final round as the referee stopped the contest twice before timing Corcoran out in the second. Chris Bayliss, fighting in the 67kg bout, defeated NUIG’s Maurice Kane after the contest was brought to an end by the referee. Bayliss and Kane were sent back to their corners in the sec-
ond and third rounds before the Trinity man’s quick hands proved too much for his Galwegian counterpart. With Trinity momentum now in full flow, Graeme Cunningham took a unanimous victory over UCD’s Mark McMahon in the 71kg division. Cunningham had to withstand a barrage of head shots in the first round as he found himself pinned into the corner by his nimble opponent, but rallied spectacularly in the final two rounds to convince the judges. Cunningham’s bout was followed by an exhibition between two fighters whose clashes fell victim to the mass withdrawal. Trinity’s Ciaran Noonan of the 81kg class and UCD’s 86kg James Brady faced off in what proved to be the most entertaining fight of the schedule. Noonan dragged his opponent around the ring and
dodged to perfection, meaning that by the end of the first round he had only taken three hits. By the time the third round arrived, Brady was exhausted and Noonan took full advantage. However, the judges remained diplomatic and the fight was declared a draw. The final fight of the weekend was for the highest weight division: the 91kg + clash between Trinity’s Paddy Kerr and NUIG’s Martin Connelly. The first two rounds were an even, tense affair. Connelly went as far as covering his face with his left hand for the first two minutes of fighting. Both fighters knew that they had not done enough to secure victory at this stage, and the last round was an accordingly rambunctious clash of high-octane jabs and cuts. With twenty seconds remaining, Kerr landed two hugs hits on Connelly’s jaw and the match was over, the
judges scoring unanimously in the Trinity man’s favour. Despite the politics surrounding the tournament, it was a competition waged in good spirits. There truly was something beautiful about men beating the living snot out of each other for four and a half minutes before embracing at the sounding of a bell. There were also medals for Trinity’s Cian McGrerra (54kg), Tom Seaver (91kg), and Caoimhe O’Leary (60kg), who were denied a final bout by the withdrawal of UCC. UCD’s Eoin Dunbar was declared the tournament’s best boxer just before Trinity, as expected, were awarded the title. IUABA forgot to organize a trophy for the winning side, with one of the judges declaring ‘ah sure, it’s a moral victory’. Despite this oversight, Trinity’s boxers were delighted with the result and rightly so.
Heroic victory for DUAFC colours at College Park Matthew Rye Sports Editor
Dublin University Athletic Football Club managed to hang on
to a narrow 1-0 victory over University College Dublin, in the first colours soccer match of the year, in College Park last Wednesday. Frank Wilson’s first half effort was enough to see the DU side over the line, despite being on the receiving end of a severe barrage of attack from the UCD side. The Trinity side were evidently very pleased with the result, as almost half the starting line-up of the UCD side were present League of Ireland players and had a wealth of talent and experience at their disposal. However, the Dublin University side were able to dig deep, and hold on to secure the victory.
Captain Conall O’Shaughnessy and centre-half partner Killian Lee led from the back to ensure that the Trinity team kept a clean sheet, despite the pressure put on by a well-disciplined University College Dublin attack. Frontmen Dermot O’Sullivan and Frank Wilson were tireless in their pursuit of opportunities, and made life difficult for the UCD defence all day long. James Cotter also tackled vigorously in midfield, breaking up much of the UCD play, and forcing the majority of their territory and possession to slow down. For the majority of the first half, Dublin University were put under geothermal amounts of pressure by the UCD midfield and frontline. UCD midfielder Darren Hughes and his centre-field partner Matthew Collins, part of the League of Ireland contingent which UCD brought to College Park was influential in the first half, creating goal-
scoring chances from the middle of the park, and even striking the post from outside the box from a free-kick. UCD continued to dominate the possession and territory for the majority of the second half, winning no less than nine corners in the first half. The DU defence managed to hold strong however, mostly due to the Trojan work put in by O’Shaughnessy and Lee in defence, and also the solid organisation of the entire team by the Trinity coaching staff. The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes by Wilson, who managed to latch on an errant clearance by the DU defence, beat two UCD defenders with his pace, before rifling a shot past the UCD keeper, to put the Dublin University side ahead, against the run of play. It was a shock to the UCD system to go behind, especially after the fiery start that they did make. They were unable to maintain their
level of dominance for the rest of the first half. Despite having defended in their own half for large parts of the game, the Dublin University side were still in the lead going into half-time. One aspect of the game which DU did manage to eclipse University College Dublin was with the level of fitness that they showed as the colours match moved into the latter stages. The Dublin University players looked in substantially better condition, despite spending large amounts of time chasing the ball and defending resolutely. The UCD players were obviously breathing heavier as the game went on, while O’Shaughnessy and company maintained their level of intensity for the majority of the game. As such, UCD seemed to fade into the latter stages of the second half, as Trinity’s counterattacks looked more and more threatening as the game went on, as Cotter was able to get his hands on
the ball more towards the end of the game. Dublin University’s best chances to increase their lead came from set pieces. Late in the second half, Killian Lee went close with a header from a corner kick. Ultimately however, UCD continued to have more time on the ball in midfield, and Hughes began to run the show in the second half, displaying his arsenal of attacking options around him. University College Dublin right winger Niall O’Gorman caused the Trinity defence many problems in the second half, often getting to the by-line and slinging low crosses towards the goal, to negate the DU aerial superiority. O’Gorman seemed to be upended in the box by O’Shaughnessy late on in the game, and there were appeals from the UCD sideline for a penalty, but the referee adjudged O’Gorman to have dived and brandished the yellow card. One has to admire the ferocity and the
determination of the DU defending, and their attitude to the task at hand. They coped with the UCD attack, by blocking as many shots as they could, often throwing their bodies into precarious positions in order to prevent the shot on goal. At the final whistle, the Trinity sideline erupted in a chorus of cheers, as they recorded their first win in the colours for 4 years. Overall it was a welldeserved win by the Dublin University side, which dug deep and made life difficult for the University College Dublin side. The DU team will hope to build on this win when they participate in their competitive tournaments in the new year.