Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The University Times Irish Student Newspaper of the Year The Big
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The Sex Issue
UT Goes to Wez/Irish Models/Polishing the Diamond/First bra/Burlesque re-examined
“They can keep sipping their hater-aid” » Alchemy promoters in row over sexist advertising Rónán Burtenshaw Deputy Editor MIDNIGHT PRODUCTIONS company has become embroiled in a row over the “sexist and dangerous advertising” of one of its nights at the club Alchemy. The night in question, run with the byline ‘If You’re Not Up for It, Don’t Cum’, takes place on Monday nights in the Temple Bar venue. An advertisement for the night was posted online on
On Saturday, after a number of comments were posted on the ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ page and deleted, a Facebook group was set up to “end [the night’s] sexist and dangerous advertising”. Posts on the page initially featured the images and a blog-post, titled ‘The Sex Sells Myth’ and printed in this paper’s opinion section, which accused the group of “blatant objectification and abasement of women”. At the time of writing the group
Midnight brand manager Dan O’Brien said that his quotes in this article were “very good”...
Friday. It features the event’s byline with a picture of a girl in a skirt. The girl is bending over to reach for her underwear, which are around her ankles, and the image also shows a can of beer on the floor. Midnight’s name and website address is featured in the left foreground with the Alchemy brand logo appearing at the top. On Friday evening a poster on the ‘Mondays at Alchemy’ page, named Anna Candy, criticised the picture and campaign as “a perfect example of sexist advertisement against women”. In response the administrators of the Facebook page suggested to her that “maybe [she]’d be more suited to a nightclub like the kitchen”.
had over 600 members. At about 4PM on Saturday a series of Facebook profi les identifiable as associated with the Midnight productions company joined the group and began to interact with others involved. These included Dan O’Brien (Brand Manager), David Strong (Manager), Ciara Sherlock (Brand Manager), Alex McGonagle (Social Media), Anna Byrne (Promoter) and Darren Scanlon whose Facebook occupations referenced positions inside the organisation. In addition a number of other posters gave indications of involvement with Midnight. Dan O’Brien began by criticising the group, saying that the idea that “sex sells”
» Staﬀ defend “sleazy” promotions despite heavy criticism
was “abundant”. He also referenced a night by north Dublin venue ‘The Big Tree’ which is called “Ride Her Like You’re Late For Mass”. Orla Byrne, who is also employed with the company, followed this with a comment which characterised the campaign as “simply an advertising technique”, saying that Alchemy was “known for getting the shift” and that this was its selling point. Another Midnight employee then posted a comment thread which was later deleted. The employee in question, whose name featured in the original online version of this article, has had his name removed from it in print as a result of a written apology submitted to this paper which appears in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ section. His original post said that the night was “run by 2nd years”, was about “having fun” and “being a bit bold”, and that people could choose not to go to it just as he chose not to go to nights associated with “heavy drug use” and “homosexuality”. That thread continued with the employee saying that concerns about the advertising campaign were unfounded because “girls only really receive [sexual harassment] problems when they are dressed to attract it”.
continued on page two
» Critics say promotions legitimise “rape culture”
His father’s son: Rory Dunne and family celebrate his election as SU President
Photo: George Voronov ABOVE IS newly elected President of Trinity College Students’ Union Rory Dunne with his proud father and sister. An emotional Rory Dunne Snr told The University Times, “I am delighted for Rory and I admire the way he and Edward organised and ran so effective a campaign.” The win came as a huge relief to the Dunnes, as both father and son paced the hall outside the
count room while the ballots were being tallied. Tensions were high as the Presidential count was delayed by a recount in the Communications race. But it wasn’t long before the competition for President became a head-to-head between Kelly and Dunne, as John Tighe was eliminated after the fi rst round. His votes were then redistributed. Dunne was fi rst past the fi nish line, with a margin of 247 votes between
himself and Kelly. However, Dunne has not spent all his time celebrating. It seems that next year cannot come too soon for Dunne. Following his win he has already arranged meetings with the newly elected sabbats and hopes to sit on relevant committees for the rest of the year to learn as much as he can before he takes office. Leanna Byrne
Night of tight counts as SU Trinity Ball lineup announced officers for 2012/2013 elected » Friendly Fires, Labrinth, Marina and the Diamonds to play the Ball Fionn O’Dea Senior News Writer
Jack Leahy Deputy News Editor A TENSE and tearful count night at the Mont Clare Hotel on Merrion Square resulted in the announcement that Rory Dunne, Dan Ferrick, Aisling Ní Chonaire, Owen Bennett and David Whelan had been elected to the five sabbatical officer positions in Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). For all five of the races, voter turnout figures are in the region of 3,600, down on last year’s ~4,500. 3,600 corresponds to about 21% of the student population of 17,000, a figure likely to disappoint the newly-elected officers who will consider their mandate to be strong regardless.
Junior Sophister Immunology student Dunne was elected president on the second count with 1,767 votes, 247 more than History Society auditor James Kelly after John Tighe’s 326 fi rst preference votes were redistrib-
position. A recount was required in the fi rst count of votes for the position of welfare officer, with Ní Chonaire, Andy Haughey, and Emma Walker separated by just 207 votes. The recount confi rmed the
Owen Bennett is now editorelect of The University Times. He brings experience from Trinity News and The Bull.
uted following his elimination. Ferrick, running unopposed for the position of education officer, earned 2,973 fi rst preference votes, some 1,200 above the quota. There were 481 votes to re-open nominations for the
original tally and Walker was eliminated, despite drawing more than 1,000 fi rst preference votes. The ensuing redistribution went in favour of senior sophister psychology student Ní Chonaire, whose 1,530 votes just saw off Haughey’s 1,400.
Trinity News business editor Bennett took the communications race with 1,489 votes, defeating James Hagan by 84 votes after Hannah Cogan was eliminated on the fi rst count. Of Cogan’s 980 fi rst preferences and 123 votes to re-open nominations, 578 were nontransferable. The evening began with a sorting of votes, after which the votes for Ents officer and Education officer were counted. Ferrick’s victory - which never looked in danger - was the fi rst to be confi rmed by the returning officer. Team Whelan campaign manager Jack Cantillon watched on nervously as the Ents votes were tallied and Whelan continued on page four
Apology We at UT would like to apologise to the Trinity News staff for ever thinking we could beat them at football. We have learned our lesson.
THREE-PIECE ENGLISH band Friendly Fires will headline this year’s Trinity Ball, playing alongside acts ranging in genre from rapper Professor Green to the Trinity Orchestra, with plenty in between. Ahead of yesterday’s release of the line-up, Ents Officer Chris O’Connor commented that the decision to book Friendly Fires was made after he attended their concert in the Olympia Theatre. “They said themselves that it was one of their favourite ever shows” he said of the gig, “I couldn’t get over their performance. Really energetic and exciting.” The band’s self-titled début earned them nominations for two Brit Awards and the Mercury Prize, awarded each year for the best album
from the UK or Ireland. Rivalling Friendly Fires for the title of headline act is Professor Green, described by O’Connor as “the biggest name in British hip-hop”. Professor Green returns after playing the ball last year. “He’s come a long way since then so I can’t wait to see what he has in store” continued O’Connor. Specifically, the last year has seen him reach No. 2 in the Irish Charts with his single ‘Read All About It’. However, he went one better in his homeland to occupy the top spot for two weeks. Th is followed his 2010 collaborations with Lily Allen and Ed Drewett that reached no. 5 and no. 3 respectively. English singer-songwriter Labrinth fi rst grabbed the headlines in 2009 when he became Simon Cowell’s fi rst non-talent show signing in six years. His 2010
collaboration with Tinie Tempah ‘Pass Out’ reached the top of the UK Charts while his October solo effort ‘Earthquake’, described by O’Connor as “one of the biggest songs of the year”, climbed to no. 2. Labrinth performs this year having worked as a writer or producer with the likes of Pixie Lott, Gorillaz, and fellow Trinity Ball performer Professor Green. Welsh singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis, known by her stage name of Marina and the Diamonds, will play the Ball a matter o f
The University Times
Editor: Ronan Costello Deputy Editor: Rónán Burtenshaw Volume 3, Issue 6
weeks before the launch of her second album ‘Electra Heart’ following her début ‘The Family Jules’ which settled in the top ten both continued on page two
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, February 21 2012 | The University Times
TIMESFEATURES Rory O’Donovan asks whether anyone pays attention to the promises sabbatical officers make Rónán Burtenshaw talks to Helena Sheehan about the Occupy University movement
A week in the life of Trinity’s Twitterati Carla Simone
Voting for SU officers is today for me out in James’. Have still only met one candidate. In three years of Trinity life...
Would love to hear them defend it, rather than prevent posts on their facebook page. @AlchemyDublin ‘If you’re not up for it, don’t cum.’
Value is a subjective term. Yes, USI could do more in areas, but throwing the baby out with the bath water is too easy.
Aoibhín Murphy casts a critical eye on relaity TV and concludes that it’s porn without all the sex
An anonymous student writer discusses the perception of rape in Irish society and our sexual attitudes in general Rob Farhat continues his analysis of the all things economic with a look at how Facebook makes its money Jack Leahy on why the USI referendum on disaffiliation hasn’t happened yet
TIMESSPORTS The Trinity Player brings some exPremiereship expertise to UT Sports Trinity ladies soccer team put four past their UCD rivals Matt Rye and Cal Gray discuss the Suarez v Evra scandal and the wider issue of racism in football
The University Times
Rachel Lavin went to the infamous Wez junior disco to see how the kids are doing it these days Emma Keaveney discusses the phenomenon of ‘Irish Models’ Emily Carson talks about that most taboo of taboo subjects: female masturbation 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 Matthew Rye DEPUTY NEWS EDITOR Jack Leahy DEPUTY FEATURES EDITOR Tomás Sullivan DEPUTY OPINION EDITOR Max Sullivan PHOTO EDITORS George Voronov & Joseph Noonan Magazine Editor Tommy Gavin Magazine Deputy Editor Luke O’Connell CULTURE EDITOR David Doyle CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dargan Crowley-LOng WEB EDITORS Peter Twomey & Melanie Giedlin
Small Ireland too often resort to “favours for mates”. Not just in politics or banking, I see it everywhere, not least in the arts world.
Kenny confirms fee increases stating ‘quality education must be paid for’
France making ineffectual last-minute decisions about how to react to a poor climate. Does explain the Euro crisis. #6nations
Alchemy promoters in hot water after accusations of sexist advertising continued from front page Ciara Sherlock continued the defence of Midnight by its staff, advising those posting not to come if they “don’t like it” and to “shut up moaning about it”. Mr. O’Brien then added the following comment to the page: “Since this group went up there have been 100 extra sign ups to our Cheaplist App for Monday night. Thanks. You’ll be taking our jobs soon enough.” Further comments supporting Midnight came from employees Conor Cruise, Alan McGonagle and Hollie Smyth-Curran. The former suggested that women “want too much” and that “the problem is the people in this group”. McGonagle blamed “uppity students” for the campaign against Alchemy while Smyth-Curran said the page was “pathetic”.
Response TCDSU ENTS Officer Chris O’Connor had been on Joe Duffy’s Liveline radio programme in late 2011 condemning an event held by Midnight in Tramco. The event, which was referenced on the page by Midnight employees, was called ‘liquor for knickers’ and encouraged women to trade in
their underwear for shots at the bar. Mr. O’Connor called this “sleazy promotions” at the time, a comment backed up by last year’s unsuccessful Ents candidate Elaine McDaid on the Facebook group Saturday. TCDSU sabbatical officers Rachel Barry (Education) and Louisa Miller (Welfare), who both also posted on the page, issued comments to The UT. Ms. Barry said that it was “important that the SU take action” on the connection between Trinity and the organisation. Pursuant to this, she added, the issue would be discussed at Student Council on Tuesday and anyone “involved or affected should show up”. Ms. Miller took issue with the “misogynist tone” of the advertisement – calling it “absolutely disgraceful”. Sexual assault was a “serious issue”, she said, with many cases going unreported. Jamie White, co-Director of Midnight with Mark Jacobs, spoke briefly with The University Times on Saturday evening. He said that the issue had been referred to the group’s solicitors. He was unhappy, he said, at some of the comments posted on the page – calling them “inciteful [sic]”. This was particularly the case for those that were “directed at
individuals”. The University Times asked a series of follow-up questions to the company by e-mail but have yet to receive a response. Following the controversy Saturday the Facebook page for ‘If You’re Not Up, For It Don’t Cum’ was taken down. It has since been replaced with an event called ‘Hate It or Love It’, an apparent riposte to criticism of the original night. A series of posters on the Facebook group ‘End Monday’s [sic] at Alchemy’s sexist and dangerous advertising’ indicated that they had complained about the campaign to the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland. Following the publication online of this article on Saturday evening a number of Midnight employees did respond through unofficial channels. Dan O’Brien responded to criticism of Midnight on his Facebook page with the comment, “they can keep sipping their hateraid”. He continued that the article was a “great read” and that his quotes were “good”. Conor Cruise, commenting underneath the article, said that “there are plenty of women who enjoy the night and don’t think they
are being discriminated against.” Co-Director of Midnight, Mark Jacobs, also then ‘liked’ a comment on The University Times’ Facebook page which called the online article “sensationalist nonsense” and a “storm in a teacup”. He and Dan O’Brien did the same to a comment critical of University Times writers (none of whom have been involved in our coverage of this story) who had written in the Facebook protest group. Further investigation by The University Times revealed that the byline for the original event and the imagery in its advertisement have been used on more than one occasion. The promotional image for Midnight’s Monday in Alchemy in summer of 2011 featured the text “if you’re not up for it don’t bother coming”. It also bore the slogan “get laid or die trying” over a picture of a girl in heels who also had her underwear around her ankles. In this image, in which only the models’ feet and legs are showing, the girl was in a bathroom beside a sink and a man is behind her with his jeans around his ankles. Another promotional poster bears the phrase “if you’re not up for it, don’t
come at all”. The picture is of a young man kissing a girl who is against a wall. He has his hands down her underwear, which are showing. Midnight had also used the byline “trick or creep” for one Monday night at Alchemy. The group’s Facebook page said that the group was “on the creep” for the “best/boldest” photos from the nights. In October Broadsheet.ie featured a photo album from Monday at Alchemy’s Facebook page showing a couple kissing. The girl’s dress was pulled up, exposing her underwear and backside, with the boy’s hand down her underwear. Midnight’s Alchemy night has also promoted using the byline “party like a rockstar, ride like a pornstar”. One promotional advertisement featured the slogan “down a shot, grab your mot” over an image of a young man kissing a girl while holding up a drunk friend who is unable to stand. The group also ran a night called “Wezz on steroids” featuring a picture of a girl in an imitation school skirt bending over and showing her underwear. In addition, Midnight’s Facebook page features images of condoms bearing the company brand. On February 15th , two days before the “kitchen” comment to
Anna Candy, it asked “are all women like this?” Posters underneath - apparently unattached to Midnight responded, “yes”, “they are all mental” and “bitches be loco”. A tweet posted by the Midnight company’s Twitter account at 3:27PM on February 18th, the day after “The Sex Sells Myth” blogpost and a half-an-hour before the arguments began on the Facebook group, drew criticism online also. It featured a video of two children, one a girl and one a boy. In the video the girl attempts to force the boy to kiss and is pushed away. The comment posted with the video reads, “oh how the tables turn when you get older.” A number of Midnight employees wrote to The UT denying us their permission to quote them, post pictures of their comments or refer to them by name in the article. Following legal advice the above piece has not been affected by those communications.
Additional reporting by Ronan Costello.
Friendly Fires set to electrify Trinity Ball continued from front page here and in the UK. “Besides being incredible vocally she has an edge to her style which is unique” said O’Connor, singling her out as one of the most exciting acts on an illustrious bill. O’Connor highlighted Brighton duo Rizzle Kicks as one of the acts playing the Ball whose performance he most anticipates, calling them “one of the most exciting young talents to break in 2011/2012.” Fans have, in the past interpreted the lyrics of Rizzle Kicks’ top ten single ‘Down with the Trumpets’ literally, flinging their underwear onto the stage. This being the Trinity Ball, it seems difficult to rule out a repeat! O’Connor claims that it was that very song that made him determined to book this act so Trinity Ball security can consider themselves warned to look out for for a partially-clad Ents Officer. DJs TEED, Enrol Alkan, and Fake Blood enhance an English contingent that
also includes Dot Rotten, nominated in December for BBC’s Sound of 2012 award, previous winners of which include 50 Cent, Jessie J and Adele. London’s The Milk, best known for their single ‘(All I wanted Was) Danger’, complete the overseas lineup. 30 year old Ryan Sheridan arguably leads an Irish bill that also includes The Kanyu Tree, currently up for a Meteor Award for their song ‘Radio’, and The Original Rude Boys who gained critical acclaim with last year’s single ‘Stars in their Eyes’. Monaghan-born Sheridan’s past audiences include President Barack Obama, while his recent charity recording of the Christmas classic ‘Walking in the Air’ surged to the top of the Irish itunes charts. Sheridan joins past Oxegenperformers Consumer Love Affair and Belfast bands Cashier No. 9 (referred to by the BBC as a “staggering, non-chalant talent”) and The Dead Presidents, who complete the home-grown bill.
Trinity College will be represented on stage both by the winners of Trinity’s Battle of the Bands, and by Trinity Orchestra who O’Connor believes “will add to the atmosphere in a great way, in one way taking it back to what the ball used to be.” The bill doubtlessly contains a host of big names and O’Connor is delighted with the final list. “I think this year really has something for everyone and the acts on the bill are huge already if not on the cusp of being massive in the coming months”, he noted before ending by saying: “To sum it all up, I’m dangerously excited about this years Trinity Ball line-up!” Tickets for Trinity Ball 2012 go on sale this Wednesday priced €80.
The University Times | February 21 2012
TIMESNEWS The dark side of the moon: Trinity Orchestra play Pink Floyd
Photos: George Voronov
Green Week 2012 kicks oﬀ
Mini Maker Faire in Trinity
Hilary Grubb Staff Writer
Fionn Ó’DeÁ Senior News Writer
TCD GREEN Week 2012, in what will be its tenth anniversary, has turned into the longest running green week in Ireland. Organisers have formulated an agenda for the week that will challenge all aspects of the College Community to make a positive contribution to environmental protection. Events arranged for the week include a visit from the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Mr Phil Hogan. Th is year, the annual project has adopted the theme of “Green Flag
Campus – Th ink Global, Act Local”, focusing on the idea that efficient environmental protection is derived from the individual as well as on a large scale level. Environmental protection in Ireland has never been more important, as socio-economic developments, such as population growth and changing consumer patterns , has lead to increased pressure on the environment. The cumulative effect of inefficient environmental protection is detrimental to the physicality of Ireland, and creates a burden on the economy. College Recycling and Environment Committee
(CREC) have underlined sectors of the environment that college individuals can make a significant impact on by themselves. The Committee is asking all College attenders to make ‘one small change’ to their behaviour every day. Green Week focuses attention on different aspects of environmental issues, including climate change, biodiversity, and waste management. A incentivising message line relating to sustainable transport reads: “Remember, cycling burns fat and saves you money, driving makes you fat and costs you money.” Events include a lecture
by Simon Perry on Sustainability in the Science Gallery where Comedian Abie Bowman and Special Guest Minister Phil Hogan will be present. Th is will run at 6.20pm on Tuesday night. On a less serious note, there will be a ‘Big Green Pub Quiz’ in the Pav this Friday night at 5.30pm. Green week will begin this Monday, the 20th of February at 1.15pm in the Front Square, and will be opened by Senator David Norris and the Provost, Patrick Prendergast. Further information is available at www.tcd.ie/ greenpages.
THE TRINITY College Science Gallery, in conjunction with NUI Maynooth, the Irish Robotics Club, and TOG Hackerspace, has issued a call for participants in Dublin’s fi rst Mini Maker Faire, to be held on July 14th. A “vibrant, fair-style event”, the fair is the fi rst of its kind to be held in Ireland and will incorporate stalls, talks and workshops. Organisers have billed it as a chance for DIY and science enthusiasts to interact with each other, to share ideas, and to show examples of their work. The open application for socalled “makers” extends to everyone from tech enthusiasts and crafters, to educators and students. The event is part of the broader “Maker Faire Family”, a movement that has gone from strength to strength since the inaugural 2006 fair in San Mateo, California. The aim of the Maker movement is to “inspire, inform, connect and entertain thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers of all ages and backgrounds” by bringing
together “anyone with a doit-yourself attitude to technology”. Created and supported by the prestigious ‘Make’ magazine, highlights from past events include a human-sized Mouse Trap board game, a kinetic squid sculpture, a bicycle-powered music stage, and a solar-powered chariot pulled by an Arnold Schwarzenegger robot. Though never before held in Ireland, such fairs have been held in the UK since the fi rst Newcastle Maker Faire in 2009. However, the movement has not been confi ned to the Englishspeaking world. The separately run Maker Faire Africa, most recently held in Cairo will have its fourth instalment this year. The New York edition has become the de facto World Maker Faire and in the past has attracted over 100,000 attendees. Whereas traditional editions take place over the course of two days, Dublin’s “mini” version will be a day-long event. The event will be part of the Science Gallery’s ‘Hack the City’ festival, itself a centrepiece event of Dublin’s tenure as European
City of Science. ‘Dublin City of Science 2012’ was officially launched on February 2nd by Minister Richard Bruton, Lord Mayor Andrew Montague, and comedian and UCD science graduate Dara Ó Briain. Speaking at the launch, Montague acknowledged the “great scientific history in Dublin that is known the world over.” As part of the year-long celebration, over 160 events are expected to be held. Aside from the predictable debates and workshops, more adventurous events, likely to attract more mainstream interest will be held such as treasure trails, fi lm festivals and “science busking”. The year’s main event, however, is to be July’s week-long Euroscience Open Forum, the last edition of which attracted over 4,000 participants from 82 countries to Torino, Itlay. Speaking about the upcoming fair, Science Gallery’s Ian Brunswick said, “We are excited to already be working with a vibrant community of makers, doers, hackers, crafters, and innovators in Dublin.” He made it clear that the
organisers hoped to see proposals not only from “hackerspaces and clubs” but from individual makers from Ireland as well as internationally. The event follows nineteen others that have been held at the Science Gallery since its opening in 2008. In that time, over 850,000 visitors have come to the gallery to attend events “ranging from light to love, from sustainability to infection.” Late last year, Google announced a €1m investment in the gallery as part of their commitment to establishing eight science gallery hubs around the world by 2020. Brunswick said that in order to make Dublin Mini Maker Faire “an unforgettable event”, organisers will be relying on “volunteers, equipment, fi nancial support, workshop leaders, exhibitors, and much more.” He encouraged anyone with an interest in making to get in touch, visit www. makerfairedublin.com. The open call for makers runs from February 15th 2012 to March 15th.
Med School formally moves USI aﬃliation referendum to new Pearse St building stalled with no petition Cormac Shine Saoirse O’Reilly News Writers
Leanna Byrne News Editor TRINITY COLLEGE Students’ Union is set to push back a referendum on its affi liation with USI till the new academic year. The decision was made by TCDSU President Ryan Bartlett as there are difficulties collecting signatures to approve the referendum. When asked about the status of the referendum, Bartlett told The University Times that although the minimum amount of signatures have been collected, no record of the signatures have been kept. “There is no status [on the referendum] to be honest,” said Bartlett. “I’d say the signatures have been collected, but I never got those pages back so there’s no record of them.” Following the USI Disaffi liation Debate that hosted Gary Redmond and Phil debater Dave Byrne Trinity students showed their dissatisfaction by passing the motion “Th is house would
disaffi liate from USI”. All students were invited to attend. Unlike the previous Town Hall meeting on fees, the turnout was high. During the debate, a petition to hold a referendum was passed around by attendees. However, the the signatures were never delivered to Bartlett. Another sheet of signatures was also misplaced following the
Union is, at present, a member of USI. It is viewed as a sovereign entity in its own right bearing in mind the confederal nature of USI. Each Students’ Union is free to join, remain in and leave USI following the wishes of its student body. Asking the students of TCD their opinion on this subject is their right and is not something that USI would object to.”
SU President Ryan Bartlett says that the USI referendum probably won’t happen this year
most recent Student Union Council, where a significant number of class representatives expressed their desire to disaffi liate. Colm Murphy, Deputy President of USI, expressed no objections to the possibility of a referendum. “Trinity College Dublin Students’
Nevertheless, Murphy did hope that TCD students made the decision to continue being a part of USI. “Being a member of USI allows students, through their Students’ Unions, to have their concerns and views expressed on a national level with a strength and
regularity that individual Students’ Unions could not achieve on their own. I hope TCD will remain in USI, but that decision rests with the members of TCDSU.” Murphy also maintained that “USI enacts the policy and campaigns as set down by USI Congress, made up of student delegates from across all affi liated colleges.” There is no question as to whether USI does not represent the students of Ireland as “National Council, made up of the officers of the Students’ Unions affi liated to USI hols officers to account and implements campaigns and policies decided by the membership.” At present, the status of the referendum is now being put on the long fi nger for incoming SU President Rory Dunne to take on. Due to misplaced signatures, the process of looking for a minimum of fi fty signatures is likely to take place again.
SEAN SHERLOCK, Minister of State for Research and Innovation, opened the new premises of Trinity College’s School of Medicine last Wednesday. The project was paid for with €21m of funding from the Department of Education and Skills and the Higher Education Authority. Th is was the largest single project Trinity has undertaken since the college’s foundation more than four centuries ago. The €121 million investment was funded partly by a €21 million contribution by the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education and Skills. It is the fi rst time that the Medical School has its own home under the one roof. All 700 undergraduate and 550 postgraduate medical students will all be taught in this world class institute. Their tuition will take place in this multidisciplinary environment with the latest technologies. The centre aims to give students a fi rsthand experience of some of the most advanced medical
research in the country. Mr Sherlock said that these extensive facilities, which include a specially designed Anatomy Dissection room and teaching laboratories, “allow students to relate to what happens in the lab to the patient.” Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast maintains that “The primary aim of Trinity’s School of Medicine is to develop medical graduates who will contribute to patient care and medical science. Our students have the advantage of leading edge facilities for medical education and research in this magnificent new building, which will have a real impact on the training of future generations of doctors and researchers and ultimately improved healthcare”. Th is ‘innovative research environment’ was one of the recommendations of the 2003 Buttimer and Fottrell reports on how medical education in Ireland should be
improved. Th is centre integrates professionalism into the Medical curriculum which seems to successfully blur the line between medical school and practice. Trinity College Dublin’s Medical School has become internationally recognised from contributing to major scientific discovery and research. Trinity researchers delivered technologies that underpinned the nicotine patch but also identified newS genes for diseases such as childhood eczema and new ways to control malaria. Th is centre hosts three innovative research centres which will look at cancer drug discovery, immunology and medical device technologies. The future research conducted in this new centre will continue to make major improvements to human health and the standard of healthcare in Ireland. Taoiseach E nda
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Kenny who attended the opening, said that it will put Trinity and Ireland “at the very highest level” for the quality of its research output. He acknowledges that investment in research pays off as “The impact that this is going to have in the future on the lives of millions of people is incredible.” Not only will it improve research and training, but in this current economic climate it will create jobs and improve public health. Prof Dermot Kelleher, Head of the School of Medicine and Vice Provost for Medical Affairs told Irish Medical Times in June 2011 that “Our critical challenge is to translate this into new treatments, by working together in a building where we have medics, pharmaceutical chemists, bioengineers and biochemists all working together, to produce new strategies for developing new treatments for disease. It’s a very, very exciting time for us”. The long term benefits of this investment unimaginable but will only be evident with time. Left: Minister Sean Sherlock
Tuesday, February 21 2012 | The University Times
Count night report continued from front page was nowhere to be seen, but the 21-year old from Laois managed to arrive in time to hear his name announced, with only 604 RON votes cast compared to his 2,805. Walker, Haughey, and Ní Chonaire were next to be tallied, with the tension in the room almost tangible as counters produced almost identically-sized bundles for each candidate. So narrow was the margin between the three that the electoral commission (EC) ordered a recount of first preference votes, but the recount only reallocated one vote to Walker and the Spanish and Sociology Junior Sophister was eliminated on the first count. This meant that her 1,034 votes would be reallocated to the second preference indicated by each voter, and Ní Chonaire’s superior performance in that
regard saw her over the line. Next to have their nerves shredded were the communications candidates and it soon became clear that the second round would pit Bennett against Hagan as Cogan failed to reach the 1,000 votes mark. Hagan benefited greater from the redistribution of Cogan’s 980 first preference votes, but the initial count returned a verdict of Bennett 1,489, Hagan 1,405. After a recount performed at Hagan’s request, no votes were found to have been incorrectly allocated and Bennett was deemed elected to the role of communications officer and editor of The University Times. Last to be counted were the votes cast for president. Initial sorting produced similarly-sized piles of Dunne votes and Kelly votes as Tighe and RON were eliminated on the first count. With Dunne 236 ahead on
the first count and only 431 votes to be redistributed, it became clear at that stage that victory for Dunne was likely. His election to the top position in Trinity student politics was confirmed after a swift redistribution of those few votes for Tighe that indicated a second preference. Kelly did not attend the announcement, with campaign manager Darren O’Gorman taking his place in the count room. The deeming elected of the five candidates marks the end of an intense if somewhat uninspiring twoweek period of campaigning that has seen college littered with t-shirts, posters, and manifestos. With the elections period now completed for another year, the focus will once again be on Trinity’s continued affiliation to the Union of Students in Ireland.
Anticipation, joy and devastation
Reaction: The winners and losers Cormac Shine Senior News Writer DAN FERRICK was the first officer elected. Running unopposed, he was returned in the first count. “I’m delighted and very thankful to everyone involved – especially a few people: Sinéad Leydon, my campaign manager; Ryan Bartlett, Caitlin Sherry, Ashley Cooke, Jen Cooke, and the entire Education Committee, as well as my campaign team.” David Whelan, Ents Officerelect, was also returned unopposed in the first count. “I’ve had a fantastic two weeks, met some wonderful people in the form of the other campaigners and experienced a lot of the ups and downs the campaign trail had to offer. In the end the positives far outweighed the negatives. I am very grateful for all the support and kindness shown to me by friends, family and random drunken nightclub goers. Everyone from the graphic designers and photographer to the manifesto folders and canvassers, I’m eternally grateful! Of course special thanks and praise has to be given to my campaign manager and organisational guru, Jack Cantillon. He kept me on my toes
Left: SU President Ryan Bartlett laughs with the Electoral Commission, who are tasked with the running of elections and the tallying of ballots.
Top right: Dave Whelan (left) and campaign manager Jack Cantillon (right) wait in anticipation for the Ents race to be called.
Middle right: (from left to right) Andy Haughey, Emma Walker and Aisling Ní Chonaire in the count room as they’re told that Ní Chonaire has won the Welfare race.
Bottom right: Hannah Cogan is consoled by a friend as the Communications count goes against her.
Bottom left: Dan Ferrick and campaign manager Sinéad Leydon wait for the results of the Education Officer count. Ferrick’s lack of opposition made the count rather relaxed.
Photos: George Voronov
during the campaign and constantly reassured me that everything was ‘pure good like’. “Finally, cheers to everyone who voted for me. I will work tirelessly next year to represent and entertain you to the best of my ability. I’m very excited for the year ahead and look forward to carrying on the great work done by previous and current Ents Officers.” The Welfare candidates stayed true to form, each giving gracious and supportive comments to the other candidates. Victoria O’Brien, campaign manager for Emma Walker, who was the first eliminated in a very tight race, reflected her team’s disappointment: “Emma just wants to thank everyone on her campaign team. She knows it was a tight race, and she’s happy it was that way. It wasn’t even that she came last, but that the race brought so much awareness to welfare; she’s definitely proud of that. It doesn’t matter who wins, you won’t be able to keep her out of House 6!” Andy Haughey, who placed second, echoed these sentiments. “We definitely had a good race on our hands. I look forward to working with Aisling in the next year,
she’s an absolute sweetheart.” Aisling Ní Chonaire thanked a long list of people including her campaign managers, Donal Browne and Margaret Dee; her brother Cormac and Stephen McIntyre for their help with campaign materials; coordinators Aine Travers, Niall O’Mahony, James Doyle, Stephen Garry and Sarah Ward and many more involved in different ways with her campaign. Finally, she added a thank you to her supporters: “I want to give a massive thank you to everybody from my wonderful family to each and every person who wore a t-shirt, handed out manifestos, spread the word and was so supportive.” The Communications race was the most tightly fought race in the end, with only 84 votes separating James Hagan from the victor, Owen Bennett. Hannah Cogan, who came third, was stoic in defeat. “980 votes is about 950 more than I was expecting, so I’m happy with the reaction I got and definitely happy with my campaign. Hopefully UT’s in good hands.” “It was a very tight race, which reflects on the three candidates,” said Bennett
moments after his election. “Next year I’ll try to fulfill what people want. It’s hard to say much else really, there’s a lot of emotions to deal with at the moment!” James Hagan’s campaign manager, Leanna Byrne, issued a statement saying that “James is extremely grateful to all his campaign team for their hard work and dedication. Although there is no denying that we are disappointed with the result, we congratulate Bennett with the win and wish him all the best for the future.” Rory Dunne, TCDSU’s President-elect, was excited about the year ahead. “I’m obviously very happy, it was an extremely tough race. Firstly I’d like to thank students - I think they seemed to make their choices based on policies rather than anything on the periphery causing a massive effect on the result, which was definitely good to see. Obviously it was a night of congratulation for few and commiserations for many, so I’d like to recognize the work of everyone involved: all the candidates, campaign managers, and especially every campaign team member, for their tireless work. “Obviously I have to get my exams out of the way
first, but I’m planning to get to work straightaway; Ryan and I will be doing a long handover to ensure a smooth change. I’ve spoken to everyone on the new team bar one, and we’ve got the makings of a strong team, with contrasting weaknesses and strengths. Thanks again to everyone!” John Tighe, who came third, declined to comment. However, he apologised for the delay on facebook and posted a status saying: “Congrats to Rory, Aisling, Dan, Owen, David on their wins and their fantastic campaigns I have every confidence in you to do a great job next year, commiserations to Emma, Hannah, Andy, James, James and of course RON always there I think he should keep trying”. The Runner-up James Kelly could not be reached for comment, but like Tighe, put up a status commenting on the results: “Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. It has meant the world and more to me. Thank you so much to my campaign team as well - you have been my rock! I have full faith in Dan and Aisling to do a fantastic job next year - do us proud.”
Tuesday, February 21 2012 | The University Times
Why don’t we care? Rory O’Donovan Features Editor
Gauging reactions to last week’s campaigns, clearly evident was the vast number of students who don’t engage with the affair at all, don’t find it interesting or important, don’t vote and, in many cases, don’t care.
...you guys think many of them pay attention to what we do all year?
What does this say about us? What does it say about the candidates? What does it say about student politics in Trinity College? And most importantly, if we don’t hold our representatives to account, who will?
NE STUDENT I spoke to declared ‘I have experienced first-hand a generation of sabbatical officers who haven’t affected my life at all’. Whilst many would suggest this summary is a harsh one, even if only one student expresses these concerns (and there are certainly many more), there surely exists the need for an examination of why this is the case. Are previously ineffective or unpopular sabbatical officers to blame for student apathy regarding the SU? Are the unsuccessful officers of the past and their unfulfilled election pledges to blame for creating an uninspired student body with an ambivalent perception of the union? In 2011, voter turnout for the national general election was just over 70% - evidence enough that a significant majority of the population deemed the office in question to have the potential to meaningfully impact their lives. Voter turnout amongst Trinity students in the same year for the Student’s Union elections was approximately 26% - is this evidence that nearly three quarters of Trinity students truly don’t care who represents them in university? In addressing these questions I talked to apathetic Trinity students and many directed me towards the concept of accountability – or the apparent lack of the concept from student
politics in Trinity. In the sphere of national politics, critics point out that politicians often go-back on election promises and when bombarded by journalists a favourite excuse offered by these offenders-in-office is that ‘these things take time’ (which can be considered barely justifiable if, say, the excuse was offered by a politician in the first of a four year term). This excuse is not and should not be available to Trinity sabbatical officers – all of whom campaign in the knowledge that they will serve in office for just one year before choosing whether or not to face the vote again. Yet election promises are broken here in Trinity – in fact, many are comprehensively ignored and never mentioned again past February. National politicians are said to be held accountable by their voters in terms of the power voters have regarding their re-election. As voters in Trinity SU elections, we can’t claim this power. Effectively, once a candidate is elected to the SU they become practically unaccountable. Sabbatical officers can serve consecutive terms, but it hasn’t happened for at least a decade. Why? Is it because noone wants to be re-elected? Or because no-one would be re-elected? Either way, the notion is a worrying one. If the former is fact then we have been led by sabbatical officers who don’t care
enough to serve another term. If it’s the latter, not a single candidate in a generation of sabbatical officers has achieved success to the extent that they would be reelected. Assuming re-election is not a cultural norm, this not only dilutes the power of the voters, but it also rids the equation of any rewards for success in office. A cynic, or those of a realist persuasion, might say that if sabbatical officers underachieve (or, indeed, achieve nothing), they will not be removed from office, they will still go on to reap the benefits (for example, in terms of their CVs) of that office and they will still get paid. If a sabbatical officer can’t be (or, at least, wouldn’t normally be) re-elected and can’t be (or, at least, wouldn’t normally be) removed from office, what motivation do they have to deliver on their promises? If voters in any election see elected officers as delivering on election promises only sporadically and they perceive them to be unaccountable, why would they vote? The issues of electiontime pledges and accountability are central themes in national politics all over the world and perhaps it is because these ills have come to be reflected in our micro political system that so many Trinity students, when asked who they want to represent them answer ‘We Don’t Care’.
Promises, promises... Below are summaries of some of the policies mentioned in the election manifestos of our current sabbatical officers. I would encourage you to consider them and ask yourself if you believe they have delivered. Ryan Bartlett – President - Fixing the College internet - Extending the Deal of the Week - Protecting us from cuts - Ensuring transparency in the SU - Publishing of SU documents - Extending library services
I feel it is important to note some things in consideration of the above:
Rachel Barry – Education - Attempting to bring about the reintroduction of Christmas Exams/ adressing semesterisation - Protecting us from increases in fees - Improving Library services Chris O’Connor – Ents - No more than e5 entry to Ents events - A European Mystery Tour - Live Acts once a month - Live music and comedy at the Pav - 40ft screens outside the Pav - Forums and Polls on the Ents website - e4 naggins Ronan Costello – Communications - Town Hall meetings - ‘Professionalise’ deal of the week - Increase video output on the UT website - A careers section in every SU email - New graduate opportunities on Facebook - An appointments page in the UT (see careers supplement, Ed.)
Louisa Miller – Welfare - Improve Welfare facilities - Establish Welfare Clinics - Improve the Welfare Team
- In my four years at Trinity I have never seen an examination of the serving sabbatical officers’ performances. I have certainly never seen an examination that compares their performance with the election manifestos produced during their campaigns.
- Perhaps in the past people have been willing to allow our serving sabbatical officers to complete their term before criticising their performance, but February comes around quickly, a new SU are elected and before you know it another set have left office without seeing a comprehensive critique in print, despite countless election promises left unfulfilled.
- This exercise is not intended as an attack on anyone, particularly the current sabbatical officers, but is an attempt to make the assessment of sabbatical officers’ performances (measured by, amongst other things, the fulfilment of their election manifestos) the norm. By ensuring our sabbatical officers are more accountable, we can promote a new breed of candidates and a better, more responsive Student’s Union.
Reality TV - pornography without the sex Aoibhín Murphy Staff Writer
EALITY IS THE world we live in. The strange and challenging ins and outs of life that we are faced with and the authenticity and truthfulness that comes with it. Is this still the case for us today? Or has our culture taken reality and warped it with popular culture, cultivating it and forging it into something that is contrived, artificial, disturbing and annoying. Reality television is a pet hate of mine. In my opinion, reality television is mindless money and time-wasting rubbish on screen that features people who aren’t interesting or talented and represent a section of society that serves as an embarrassing exception or even a foil to the rest of culture. When I say reality television I mean television shows that should be placed in the genre of “Reality T.V”. By this I mean television that has clearly been staged and contrived in order to provoke an increased audience rate. During the reign of Hitler in the Third Reich, reality television or documentaries served as informative propaganda that influenced and saturated society. Is the reality television of today really
different? Take the reality show “Tallafornia” for instance, which explores the world of seven 20-something year olds based in a flat in Dublin. If television statistic professionals love anything it is blatant sexual promiscuity- it shoots the ratings up sky high (if you can excuse the pun). The show invites prospective couples to lounge around and engage in sexual contact (while being filmed) in a room named the “score room”. The notion that this is a reality is then leaked out into our society, provoking the idea that this is an accepted sexual norm. An article by Deirdre Reynolds was recently published by the Irish Examiner exploring the idea that “Tallafornia is “porn without the sex”; constructed reality TV is television at its most basic”. “Tallafornia is a bit like porn without the sex- complete with hot tub action, constant bikini-wearing, stilted conversation and orchestrated scenarios”. In order to research this article, I watched countless reality television shows and it was seriously painful. The idea that a whole television programme be made about these people is surprising, appalling and downright humiliating for the participants which makes me question what kind of people would enjoy seeing human beings embarrassing
themselves. What is even more surprising however is the fact that people actually watch these shows. People seriously have nothing better to do with their lives other than watching talentless, free-loading , fake-tanned adults acting completely juvenile and what’s more, being blatantly disrespectful of serious issues like sex, infidelity and relationships. Other reality television shows seek to orchestrate a world which is unobtainable to the people who watch it, thus guaranteeing an ample audience. A prime example of this is Channel 4’s “Made in Chelsea” documenting the lives of a host of heirs and heiresses and sometimes self-made millionaires dealing with their (sob) ‘challenging everyday issues’ such as which billionaire man to choose or what outfit to wear to the next charity gala. I understand that during the economic crisis we are living through, wrought with depression and anxiety, that escapism is necessary. What I do not understand is how people can watch this and believe it is reality and wonder why this reality is not their own. Every single detail of the show is contrived in every manner; the outfits are picked out by a stylist, their hair and makeup is styled perfectly and they must have a location manager.
What really makes the show however is how nonchalantly these people view money and the issues related to it. I ponder now and have pondered ever since seeing the show first why there is someone in the world who believes that this could make substantial entertainment that portrays “real life”. Reality television should be about showing interesting, talented and passionate people who encounter real and interesting problems, not 20-something people blowing millions of pounds on useless material possessions and talking about their “pressing” problems in their infuriating dulcet London accents. In fact, it was reported that one of the character’s father killed himself some months ago without any indication of grief from the “actress”. Other shows such as “The Only Way is Essex” and “Geordie Shore” portray the same thing. A recently broadcasted reality television show that actually announced that aspects of it were staged was “Dirty Sexy Things”, exposing the lives of young adults trying to make it in the challenging world of international modelling. What was depicted however, was the idyllic and unattainable world of young and beautiful adults who were handed an unbelievable opportunity for being good looking and willing
to expose themselves in any way, shape or form. Is this really what we as a society want to be remembered for in years to come? Will we let our well-educated first world civilization be portrayed in such a manner? I realise how harsh all of this may sound and how important reality television has become to our society, but I cannot help but ask myself why someone would consider wasting their time watching a television show that boasts “reality” when in reality it is a contrived tangle of worthless nuances and meaningless situations that do not serve any purpose to us or our culture and simply provide a clouded and warped view of what reality really is. Is this what we will subject ourselves to? Of course the exceptions to such reality shows include the programmes that show us the inner workings of various airports, police stations and prisons such that can be better described as documentaries. I can do nothing but plead with society to not lose their grip on reality and let themselves succumb to the culture of the fabricated and nauseating world created by fat-cat television producers whose sole motivation is to pollute our society with these fake-tanned, hair extension-clad untruths.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 21 2012
A bluffer’s guide to technology Conor Murphy Staff Writer
ID YOU HEAR? Geeks are cool, so if that makes you downright melting, here’s the bluffers guide to all the tech you wanted for Christmas but didn’t get and don’t understand ... As the most important tool in procrastination since Tesco Value vodka, the Laptop is a vital and expensive part of our lives. But if all you can do is grin inanely when best sold something in computer shops you need a quick shot of survival lessons before you become the Bear Grylls of PC World. If, like most, you don’t do anything fancier than Word and Facebook, then 600 to 700 euro is about the ceiling for top quality and a very fast 400 euro laptop is perfectly accessible. So for you mid range people here's the list of target “specs”. RAM (short term memory): I was asked by an average (young) buyer a month ago what’s the difference between 4GB and 6GB, “a scam” I replied. That’s basically all you need to know about RAM, get 3 or 4 GB, no practical difference. Hard drives (the storage space): If you actually use more than 500GB, get off pirate bay already. There are
different speeds but that is mostly irrelevant. Processors: There are two brands, if it’s Intel there are only three names to consider, i3, i5, i7. They all have various speeds but the big jumps in speed come between the name change itself. For example a 1.3 Ghz (the speed, kind of) i5 is way faster than a 2.3 Ghz i3. Generally speaking i5 is really fast and i3 is grand. If you don’t have particular requirements i7 is a nonsense, nothing more. If the chip is called AMD, it’s a bit more complex, which basically means Google it. It’s a complete unknown why they don’t bring in a simpler naming system but hey, geeks run geeky companies. Just to touch upon the fruit flavoured Elephant in the room. Apple is, for the average not rich person, an unnecessary status symbol. For the Richie Rich characters out there, they have very decent build quality and look pretty. There, you found a tenuous reason for Daddy, now bugger off you DnG glasses-wearing trendsetter. Now, the most important point - The point you’ll all ignore but really really shouldn’t, the solidity, screen and sound quality and battery life are all far more important than all
that other stuff. Bring in a USB with your music, your films, and also use the keyboard for at least five minutes before you buy it. A bad keyboard will annoy you much more than a slightly slower processor and general screen and sound quality is more important to spend good money on than two GB of pointless RAM. Also a point to note, you don't need paid Anti-virus. Windows Defender is properly free and full featured for home use. So the next time you’re in PC World if anyone even mentions RAM as the most important thing, staple this guide to their forehead and tell them to just fill that spec list. The other little computer you might want to grab is a smartphone. Smartphones come in three flavours, Android, Apple and Windows Phone 7. One note before I get all the complaints – they will all have pretty awful battery lives. Talk to actual people for half the day and not squeaking red parrots and you’ll last the day and that’s basically it. In Android the pretty pictures are made by Google but the actual phone is made by any of about a dozen companies. My personal recommendation is the
Galaxy Nexus, best designed phone with some really nice extras, but its on limited networks and expensive, if you go down the range the Xperia Ray is the best mid range phone, small but quick with a very solid build. IPhone is a top of the range phone with a top of the range price, the 4S is a very good phone if you can get past the now not very big screen compared to other smart phones of the same price, don’t bother buying the earlier 3GS, for that price you can get a much better, much newer phone in the Android range. Windows Phone are actually easily the best designed phones of the bunch, the software is light-years ahead in functionality of the IPhone and looks much slicker than either IPhone or Android, however if you go that route wait a few months because the phones are a little old now and there'll be much better ones (and this range will be much cheaper) in that time. Especially with Phones, Google is your friend, lots of easy to read reviews. Just a note on network deals, all the bill pay plans are fairly bad, however, you'll probably need them to afford a smartphone. On pre-pay the all out winner is Three Network hands down,
This Apple isn’t one of your five a day... no one else can compete with the free texts and unlimited Internet for 20 euro deal they have, get all your friends to switch and just Skype each other over the network and you won't even
touch that twenty euro all month. The general advice with technology is to Google don't be afraid to read a few blogs, Engadget is a good site for all tech and GSM Arena
is great for just phones. So get that stapler out when you head out to buy your next piece of technology, you will often be sold nonsense (they're ridden by their bosses) that you don't
need. But bring this guide and in no time you'll be the one eyed King in the blinding world of consumer technology.
(reputed to be Ireland’s best university) and the class divisions that are present here, reflect the middle class dominance of Irish society and politics, and social divisions throughout the country. So why is our society so divided? Simply Ballymun is not equal to Blackrock, in reputation, resources or political reach. There are too many differences in environment, education, economic situation and even mentality. Obviously these differences shouldn’t exist, but they do. Differences create distance and distance breeds stereotypical
definitions. Unfortunately too often the stereotype becomes the reality – as evidenced by the behaviour of the Blackrock boys on last year’s ski-trip. Was “The Northside” always “The Northside” or did it become “The Northside”? Snobbery is a poison that is born of stereotypes, and breeds stereotypes. On a social level, it reinforces class division and social tension; on a personal level, it hurts. It is both a result of social inequality and propagates social inequality. It is also part of the competition that is life, something else we’ll have to learn to endure.
Snobbery in Front Square Emily Flaherty Staff Writer
YOU’RE FROM TALLAGHT? Should I stick a syringe in my arm to make you feel at home?” so said one Trinity student to another. This was not an isolated incident. “People from ________ are scumbags!” “Oh, you’re from ________? Are you here on TAP then?” (The implication of this remark is that someone from ________ would not be sufficiently intelligent to gain entry to Trinity without TAP). “You’re from ________? Oh, I’m sorry.” Using Ballymun, Tallaght, Finglas, or that vast indistinct generalisation that is “The Northside”, fill in the blanks in these direct quotations from Trinity students. Snobbery is alive and kicking, and living in Front Square. It seems that quite a lot of students are unaware of this issue; none of the candidates in the SU election referred to it, and it is never
debated in the GMB. The Hist and the Phil find it easier to laugh about Trinity versus UCD, or argue about fee-paying schools, rather than discuss the problems in their own backyards, the ramifications of these debates. We attend a university that is, according to league tables, a predominantly middle class institution. But does this middle class institution welcome people from working class areas? Working class Trinity students often find themselves coming up against prejudice. Sometimes this prejudice is articulated in an obviously hostile manner, as in the quotes at the start of the article. More often it is expressed in a more subtle way, with jokes about people from Finglas stealing the spoons, or stories about that friend who wasn’t allowed to cross the Liffey. One student describes snobbery as more of an attitude, that “look” she gets when
she tells people where she’s from. Not every student is a snob; however there are more than enough of them. Some might argue that the remarks quoted at the start of this article, while offensive, are unimportant and best forgotten. But it’s not a matter of what is said; it’s the fact that it is said, and said often. The first encounter with Ross O’Carroll Kelly is amusing; the fiftieth is considerably less so. To return to that “look”; it seems paranoid to search for snobbery in people’s eyes. But this paranoia is the effect of snobbery; once you encounter it, you expect it. If Ross thinks like that, does everyone else think like that? One student is in the habit of telling degrading jokes about her area. Another student, from Rathfarnam, repeatedly describes it as gangland central. Both demonstrate a sense of inferiority towards their home ground, and are using the “if you can’t beat them; join
Ross O’Carroll Kelly ‘s South Dublin schtick becomes less and less entertaining every time you hear it
them” idea as a defensive measure against snobbery; only this type of self defence seems self destructive. Other students prefer to fight prejudice with prejudice: “They’re all little rich kids”, said a TAP student about his fellow Trinity students. (His status as a TAP student seems to question TAP’s success as a means of breaching class division and promoting inclusiveness). Such are the fruits of snobbery: inferiority complexes and reinforced class divisions. In Trinity most class division hinges on the Dublin Question – “What school did you go to?” One Kilkenny
student was completely thrown by this question, as it seemed irrelevant. Incidentally, something I haven’t explored within this article is the bias against non-Dublin students – I use “non-Dublin”, because I’ve been informed that they dislike being defined as being “from the country” when many are from towns and cities. However, non-Dublin students have one advantage; namely because they are not from Dublin they usually escape being categorised as either working or middle class. Nonetheless, they are often well aware of the class divisions
in Dublin, and join in the conversation to agree that “The Northside”is “dodge”. Dublin class division is stereotypically reduced to Northside/Southside equals working/middle class. Dubliners are divided into two stereotypes; the Dub and the D4, and you are defined as either – it seems in Trinity – by where you went to school. Having only two stereotypes works, because Dublin is so small that everyone knows each other, and more importantly everyone knows their place. Obviously this is not conducive to social mobility. Furthermore the middle class dominance of Trinity
Digital Arts and Humanities (DAH) structured PhD programme Information Evening 6-7pm Thursday 8th March 2012 ATRL building (corner of Macken St and Pearse St, Dublin 2) • If you have completed an undergraduate degree in arts or humanities and would like to step into the digital world come along and speak to current DAH students and staff • Part-time options will be available for full time employees who wish to take part in this programme • Part-time schedules can be discussed with management (private and public sector) who may consider placing an employee on the programme For more information please An Roinnvisit Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation www.tcd.ie/longroomhub/DAH/
An Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta European Regional Development Fund
An Roinn Post, Fiontar agus Nuálaíochta
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Tuesday, February 21 2012 | The University Times
Teach-in’ the revolution
Rónán Burtenshaw talks to Helena Sheehan, Professor Emerita of Philosophy in DCU, about Occupy Univeristy’s teach-in programme and their attempt to re-shape political education
SAT DOWN WITH Helena Sheehan, one of the organisers of Occupy University (OU), on a bracing, but pleasant, February afternoon in Trinity College’s Front Square. Mirroring the ‘teach-in’ format of OU our interview was conducted outside – on the steps of the Dining Hall. Dr. Sheehan had just come from the second day of a symposium in the college, hosted by the Professor Darryl Jones from the School of English, on ‘The Idea of a University in the 21st Century’. Occupy University may be a small project but it stands out a mile in the landscape of Irish political education for its anti-orthodoxy and engagement with fundamental critiques of the system. Significant enough, too, to warrant a namecheck by TCD Chancellor and former President Mary Robinson at the symposium’s roundtable. Occupy University began together with Occupy Dame Street (ODS), and the unprecedented wave of global protest that together made the Occupy movement, in early October. Its first leg held seventy-eight talks in the often difficult conditions of Dublin city centre in an Irish autumn, with nine talks being held in various forms since. The left-leaning list of its speakers was predominantly populated by academics, politicians, journalists and activists but also included comedians, students, architects and tech experts. More diverse was the scope of its discussion – from The Wire to NAMA, fracking to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and immigration to trade unions and drug-pushers. “The kind of discussions we really needed weren’t happening in our universities,” Dr. Sheehan said, “and that was a big encouragement to us. The topics and talks were meant to be university standard. It wasn’t some academic snobbery thing. It’s because of the importance of political education. There were a lot of more flakey things going on at time at ODS that we felt weren’t really educating people or fostering discussion. What
we did, I feel, stands up intellectually. It was of a more rough and ready, certainly less standardised, variety than university lectures. And the criteria were somewhat intuitive. But we tackled big ideas in difficult circumstances.” The project itself is run by a loosely-connected working group, in part mirroring the autonomist, leaderless structure of the Occupy movement. Helena, “at home” with teach-ins because of her involvement in the 1960s New Left movement in the United States, is joined by student Moira Murphy, activist Aubrey Robinson, film studies lecturer Eamonn Crudden, journalist Harry Browne and blogger Richard McAleavey. There are, however, some important differences with Occupy. By its very nature the prominence of the working group is at odds with the strident, ocassionally fundamentalist, non-hierarchical attitude of Occupy. And this did lead to some arguments. Were intellectual standards enforced or was it political discrimination? Was the group too attached to what some of the more post-political members of Occupy call the ‘old politics’ of right and left? And how did this all fit with democracy? Political arguments became especially defined when it was proposed that Eoin Ryan – leader of the Green Party – would speak at OU. “We objected to that,” Dr. Sheehan said, “quite strongly. He was trying to talk about ‘energy without politics’. What is that? How can you divorce the green agenda from politics? What he really meant was that his talk would be from a capitalist perspective but just not acknowledge it. Some of the people in ODS who didn’t want to be associated with trade unions or leftwing parties were happy to have him. But I wasn’t. He spoke but there was a lot of division about it.” OU has also had problems with the Occupy Dame Street camp itself – and echoed frustrations heard from many formerly-involved activists, particularly on the left. “All of these
social movements attract some people who are just crazy, or deranged. But ODS seemed to get a lot of these and they became prominent as time went on.” She was particularly critical of “currency crazies”, a pejorative term for radical monetarists, and “flouride fanatics”. Those influenced by hardcore conspiracism and theories of the New World Order were present too. “It was not always easy dealing with that stuff. Even if you don’t include them in the talks people can show up for the questions which follow – and they would often just go off on their own rants.” Despite this OU has attracted some excellent talks, and featured some high-profile speakers: Paul Murphy MEP, Irish Times columnist Fintan O’Toole, ‘Sins of the Father’ author Conor McCabe, NUIM media critic Gavan Titley, feminist activist Ailbhe Smyth and leader of the recent Irish flotillas to Gaza, Dr. Fintan Lane. “A lot of the talks have been really well-focused. It was bracing to do it on the street, with the noise and the passers-by, the occasional interruption from alcoholics and drug-addicts. You got people coming up saying ‘get a job’, of course – and everyone thought they were the first – but then some of those would stay and engage.” Dr. Sheehan, who holds a PhD in Philosophy from Trinity and is a Professor Emerita in the same discipline in DCU, is of the belief that ODS has “degenerated”. “You’ve got the camp now. A really insular attitude. And the problems I mentioned. I think what we really wanted to see was a movement. That’s not what ODS is at the moment.” Accordingly Occupy University has begun engaging with other social movements, holding talks with groups like Unlock NAMA and at the ‘Carnival of Resistance’ organised to protest the last payment by the government of unsecured, unguaranteed Anglo bondholders. “We’re still open to ODS, but we’re looking in other places,” she says. Moving into universities is
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something the movement is keen to do. Many of the 1960s most important teach-ins – on issues like the Vietnam war, civil rights, gay rights and feminism – took place on college campuses. May 1968’s protests in Paris, as well as a number of traditional left-wing manifestations beforehand, were also tied to universities and student populations. While Sheehan said the audience at the talks had been diverse, Occupy University were “clearly disappointed” that more students weren’t involved. “It would be nice to see more students, of course. But there is such depoliticisation. Look at ODS, for example. There were so few Trinity students who even went down to listen to one talk. It was two minutes down the road – while all this upheaval was going on in the world. That’s sad, I think.” Despite this “pop-up teach-ins”, on university campuses, are something the group would like to do. Linking up with other social movements was a hope they had but, she ackowledged, there was a special importance to be placed on getting young people engaged. Occupy University wouldn’t seek permission for its actions, though. “I don’t do these things because they’re legal”, she said, “I do it because it’s moral. We must start asking ourselves if things are moral or immoral again and stop being so concerned with authority. Trinity College belongs to the nation – we pay our taxes for it. Maybe I’m just a child of the sixties but when we were engaged in activism we just did it. I think that’s an important spirit to have.” “We wouldn’t be looking to occupy a campus, I don’t think. It would be about bringing what we’ve been doing to universities. Hosting radical talks about the global financial system: hedge schools versus hedge funds. When I gave a talk about the New Left of the 1960s and Students for a Democratic Society’s Port Huron Statement I could see young faces in the audience surprised when
I said it included ‘participatory democracy’. There was an impression that started in the global Occupy movement or that this wasn’t something that’s been a goal of many social movements. I’d like us to be able to bring to students what they aren’t finding in their classrooms: analysis of the system, rigorous critique, a dialogue of challenge.” For Helena Sheehan, in her fifth decade of activism, Occupy University has already had a tangible effect. It has, she thinks, helped some people to “articulate what’s actually going on, resist and look for ways to develop a new narrative and politcal consciousness.” It can go on in the short-term, too, and grow the group thinks. Although probably not at the break-neck, 3-talks-a-day, 78-in-two-months speed it once did. And interactions with universities, as well as social movements, are crucial. “It’s important for universities, too. To have young people questioning things again. Universities are part of society – they interact with it. And many disciplines are effected, changed, created or destroyed by social movements coming from below.” Has the project been a success thus far? “Yeah, it has. Maybe a very small one. But there are some questions you ask with these things, y’know. Is it worth doing? Is it possible to do? And, crucially, would anyone have done it if you hadn’t? I think we wouldn’t have had this if the group of people didn’t come together to organise those talks. And that’s something.” Systems don’t often yield to ‘something’. But apathy, depoliticisation and capitalist realism might just be occupying the public consciousness a little less comfortably. Occupy University can be found at http://occupyuniversitydublin.tumblr.com..
The University Times
The University Times | Tuesday, February 21 2012
All structures, great and small Tomas Sullivan Deputy Features Editor
HE MYTH GOES that the plan was to recreate the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, a wonder of the world. The tired, steplike sequence of shrinking floors is certainly reminiscent of the shape, but what happened to the flowers? Kate Richardson has heard of three whispered explanations for the barren front of the Art’s Block. First, that it was more expensive than people fi rst realised. Second, the materials on the roof killed the plant life. And third, that they didn’t put down the correct sealant, resulting in water and plant roots damaging the roof, possibly explaining the ominous stains on the fellows square side. Whatever the case, she knows how she feels about the exterior of the building. ‘Some paint would be nice. Some whitewash would lighten things up and wouldn’t cost a fortune.’ She also said, ‘The only person I’ve come across with anything good to say about it was my mother, though she wasn’t overly positive.’
Of course this begs the obvious question about modern art, architecture and design: do we simply not ‘get it’? Do we need to take a deep breath, take a degree in architecture, read a book and come back with a fresh perspective? The tired ‘elevation’ of the building and the rest of it is part of the aptly named Brutalism style, which is very prevalent, and controversial, internationally. A Brutalist library built in Birmingham in the midseventies (just before the Arts Block), appeared to Prince Charles (who notoriously only likes styles named after the reigns of his ancestors), as ‘a place where books are incinerated, not kept’. The term comes from a French word for ‘raw concrete’, and uncovered concrete is obviously the most overt unifying theme of the building you’re probably reading this paper in. Th is style of building is facing demolition in Britain, the Birmingham library already being replaced. Sean Findley Scott actually did take a course in Trinity architecture and overall feels that the building is a let
down, though not because it’s ‘ugly’ or not. Though stark, the elevation is graceful in his opinion, and it doesn’t overshadow Fellows’ Square. The concrete of brutalism is covered with granite on the Nassau facing side, merging its façade with the Usher’s. He feels granite, never mind flowers, could have been used to cover the Fellows’ elevation. ‘The failure to use granite panels, as the Berkeley did, to tie the building back into the colour scheme, history, and landscape of the college is unfortunate.’ Sean feels the interior is in a whole different category though, ‘Inside, lack of light is a major problem. The building is of course horribly constrained by its linear nature. The upper floors are horrible, long windowless corridors and low ceilings, featureless concrete, claustrophobic, airless and lightless classrooms.’ While the lecture halls are fit for purpose, he adamantly tells me that, ‘classrooms need light!’ Ultimately the building is outdated. It was built in 1978 for a much smaller student body, and, for those of
The Arts Block was inspired by the hanging gardens of Babylon...
our readers who have never stepped foot in the Arts Block, it’s overcrowded. Other considerations of aging are the immense changes in technology. Concrete makes the ‘huge amounts of extra wiring and ducts’ difficult to install, and most of these ‘are inelegantly bolted
on to the concrete, since due to the nature of the structure they can’t be hidden.’ Charlie Kerrigan has had a more positive experience of the building. He says, ‘It hasn’t stood up to history like Front Square has’, and he doesn’t fi nd it nice to look at. But he feels, ‘It does
the job’, and particularly likes the sixth floor which has floor to floor windows, plenty of natural light, and a view onto the old library. Sean also admires this floor, though it’s important to remember that it’s the smallest of all and many students have probably never been
up there. The lobby and concourse area on the fi rst and second floors, however, is a favourite of both. Charlie thinks it was successfully built as ‘the focal point of college’, a comfortable place where everyone comes together. He has a point, to be sure the concourse is right
up there with Facebook for making it difficult to lose touch with/avoid people you know. Who needs a student centre when you have the Arts Block lobby?
Excuse me... I may have over-imbibed Ciaran O’Callaghan looks at our relationship with drink and concludes that it may not be healthy
WO WEDNESDAYS BACK (8th February) the front-page of the Metro Herald ran the headline ‘Last orders for drink adverts?’. The article that followed reported how the government had considered the complete eradication of alcohol-sponsorship of sporting events. By all accounts the call for raising the price of cheap booze was also tossed around. The commentary in the piece inevitably went on to regurgitate a heap of statistics that portrayed booze in an extremely negative light – it would make one want to lock away the whiskey in a cold dark miserable cabinet for good. Succeeding this, on Friday 10th, John Waters wrote a piece for the Irish Times entitled ‘The real reason why drink crisis will persist’. Waters’ article focused on the socio-economic reasoning behind the mass-consumption of alcohol in Ireland and whether Ireland’s “lethal” relationship with alcohol will continue. He concluded the piece by proposing the notion that the booze “crisis” is the real reason why Irish citizens are not “marching in the streets or pulling the gates of Government Buildings off their hinges”. For Johnny, it seems, people will not revolt, protest or generally be angry at the government so long as ‘the cure’ is readily available and oh-so-cheap to purchase. His final words were poignant: “Ireland left undrugged will never be at peace”. Perhaps this reasoning is logical; one can imagine the monologue: “Ahh jay-sis they’ve increased VAT again… now I’ve to break into a tenner to buy a pint… Ah sure I’ll smash up the Dáil big style cos they’re a rake of fools. But I’ll have the pint fi rst…” Ten pints follow and the only thing this imaginary being smashes is a Donner Kebab soaked in mayonnaise, curry sauce and a load of chilli into his mouth. I don’t blame him and the Dáil stays intact (I suppose he is my imaginary character so I can’t really be getting angry at him - that would be odd). The question has been posed many-a-time. Is alcohol a problem in Trinity? Are we restraining ourselves from consistently being out on the streets organizing uprisings due to the fact we’ve all had one too many West Coast Coolers (don’t knock-em) the previous night? I’m not entirely sure this is the case. I remember in my fi rst year, the fees protest, lads and ladettes were strolling around with naggins essentially nagging those who rule over us to not introduce fees. Perhaps Waters is wrong – perhaps the case is the opposite. Drink fuels unnecessary fi res. In TCD, there are posters in the places we defecate and urinate telling us to ‘drinkaware’. Should we even have to be told to be aware of when/what/ how much we are drinking and what it is doing to our bodies!? Over-Imbibing – that is to intoxicate oneself with liquor to the point of saturation – has many interesting synonyms around Trinity. The words and phrases people employ for getting drunk are outrageous. When I asked a mixed demographic of arts-block-look-at-me-loiterers for
their specific terminology for drinking heavily the replies were varied, creative and inexplicable: “Shteamed”, “Off my looper” and “Rat-*rsed” were commonly used – whilst “Tore myself a new a***e-hole” and “Slept-in-a-digger” were a couple of the more unusual responses. One atypical reply, coming from a gentleman wearing a spiffi ng cricket jumper, chinos and a barbour jacket was quite hilarious/ ridiculous: “Oh rightio, yah, I see, so you mean becoming jolly? A tad squiff y? Getting knocked for six? O yah sure yah that does happen yah… chunklety-vomcano and all that frivolity…” Well, it seems the desire to pollute oneself with booze transcends the cliques and classes we have at this noble institution. When interviewing one international student about the pleasures of drinking in Ireland he replied: “It eez very good to drink with zee friends here in Trinity. Zee Guinness is great and the craic is always…how shall I say… mighty! But some of zee people I see drinking… non… no style man, no style. All zey do is drink quickly and zey drink lots. Zey do not taste ze vin.” He is French –he loves sipping on wine and mulling over international politics, social affairs and rugby. His ideas about alcohol are intriguing – “I’m not saying zat all of zee Irish are drinking too much – the French who are around my age, zay drink too much also – but no, it eez just zat I’m a bit older now and I like to taste zee Guinness rather than see it vanish too quickly. It costs too much to do zat no?”. He told me how French students love a good protest. Are they
alcohol fuelled? My guess is oui. Most of us have done it, most of us have quoted Christy Moore – jay-sis never again – in some way or another. Such an assertion is usually swiftly followed by bile… lots and lots of bile. Why do we not stop drinking when are suitably inebriated? Surely it can’t be the taste – a mouldy concoction of cough-syrupy Buckfast mixed with the arse-end of a tepid can of Bavaria-laced-Druids (a mitzy-turbo-shandy) is not palatable in the slightest. First year excitement over such interesting concoctions soon die off though. So is it age? Again, I’m not sure. There are plenty of post-grad lads and lassies who love a good session on the apple sourz. Is it the never-ending drive for heightened masculinity? Surely it’s a contributing factor. But I know of many a lady who could easily sink twice as many cans as myself (which makes it just the 4) without a stagger a stutter or even a flutter (of the fake eyelashes). Is it solely because of the fact that we have one and if that one is good, then one leads to many? Many is entirely arbitrary. Sure even Theobald Wolfe-Tone, in his astounding memoirs, wrote on the 25th March, 1796: “At night sent for a bottle of Burgundy, intending to drink one glass. Began to read (having opened my bottle)… After reading some time, found my passion at a particular circumstance kindled rather more than seemed necessary, as I flung the book from me with great indignation. Turned to my bottle, to take a glass to cool me – found to great astonishment, that it was
empty. Oh ho!” Well Theo lad, time for you to hit the hay – there would be no getting into Krystal after a bottle of Burgundy. Oh no! Wolfe Tone came to Trinity – and at Trinity he drank. His memoirs also reveal that whilst he was in a political club he co-established upon these very grounds it was in fact a prerequisite to bring a bottle of red (Claret or Burgundy if you’re being pedantic) and an essay upon political affairs to the meetings. The agenda: sip-on and discuss. However, it is essential to note that after one occasion, Mr. Tone, most probably in an awful state, wrote of how he felt that political discussion fuelled by alcohol was unproductive – to say the very least. Yeats came to Trinity. Yeats enjoyed a casual drink. Accounts suggest that he indulged in other substances also. His poems are the most celebrated in Ireland – and additionally around the globe. Th is article isn’t trying to argue for or against over-imbibing. It is merely pointing out that, despite the negative press, drink can - when consumed in a thoughtful manner - be extremely beneficial to society. Tone died a tragic death – Yeats not so much. But neither of them were truly accountable to booze. They drank wisely. I’m sure that they would both concur that a drop of wine is good for the soul and the mind. I’m not sure, however, what either of them would think about ten pints of lovely creamy Guinness or a few mitzi-turbo-shandies. It’s worthless even trying to speculate. The Metro’s article was all doom and gloom. Waters’ article was interesting. He was not wrong – however he was not entirely right. If people can think about what they consume before they consume more than enough to be able to think, then the‘crisis’ may not be apparent. Eventually, perhaps, we will be out on the street - ranting instead of rioting and singing instead of smashing things up. Yeats said this: “Wine comes in at the mouth And love comes in at the eye; That’s all we shall know for truth Before we grow old and die. I lift the glass to my mouth, I look at you, and I sigh.” I wonder if he was looking and sighing at a pint of Guinness when he wrote this… whilst sipping on wine and nailing back the mitzie-shandies. I doubt it. It was probably Valentine’s day when he wrote it - he loved mots. It’s time for me to go to the pub and have a pint / sip on some wine with my French friend and continue to discuss. One won’t lead to many as I’ve only a tenner. Bloomin’ VAT!
Tuesday,February 21 2012 | The University Times
The People versus Providence
LETTERS to the Editor
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.
An apology from Midnight staff member Sir, I recently wrote a stupid and sexist comment on a Facebook post thread in an online discussion about the promotion strategy of a club night. I should not have said what I said and regret it entirely. It was offensive, misogynistic and completely unacceptable. I realized immediately upon reﬂection, that my comment had unintentional connotations with the unjustifiable belief that victims of sexual harassment are somehow responsible themselves for attacks. I removed it after two minutes for this reason but I did not realize that people were taking pictures of the comments, so it was included in an article published by The University Times. To be clear, this belief is wrong, sexist, offensive and very dangerous – and I do not share it in any way. There are no circumstances whatsoever in which sexual harassment is ever justified. It is often the case that people post things on Facebook without thinking and remove them when they realize this, but this does not justify the remarks I made. A sexist comment is a sexist comment, whether made for private, public or quasi-public consumption. I should not have said what I said and I wrote it without thinking of what it meant. Had I been more careful, nobody would have had to read these offensive words and I am very sorry to those who have had to do so. Yours, Rob Walsh
Max Sullivan Dep. Opinion Editor
couple of students sitting at a stand - a table, really - in Trinity’s Arts block, with a large sheet affi xed to it, on which is written, in black permanent marker, something about opposing drilling for oil in Dalkey. This, I suppose, is how decade-long campaigns like Shell to Sea’s opposition to the Corrib gas project in Mayo begin: with a few anxious people attempting to quickly form a front against something which they feel to be so unmistakably wrong. And there is something unmistakably wrong about how Ireland deals with oil companies: They own all of the oil they extract, can sell it back to Ireland at an un-discounted rate, and are charged almost no effective tax on their profits, as they can write off the paltry 20% taxation (compared to an international average of 68%) against any and all costs they incur in or outside of Ireland. At a time when the people of Ireland could do with personal and national cash injections, we might be interested to learn that Dublin-based company, Providence Resources, and their Malaysian partners, Petronas, are seeking license to carry out exploratory drilling off the coast of Dalkey. Providence commented that it is at a “relatively early stage” and that further licensing would be required,
should there prove to be commercial quantities of oil or gas available. At a meeting in Dalkey in late January, organised to discuss local opposition to the project, Tainiste Eamonn Gilmore reiterated the differences between the permission for exploratory drilling currently being sought, and the application for extraction, which would have to be sought separately. It is disappointing to see an elected official’s statement concur fairly uncritically with that of the interested party, because Providence’s comment is designed to placate the local people, to delay the organisation of their resistance. In fact, the success of the “relatively early stage” of such a project would set up a relationship between companies and the local government which would be difficult to break. In Mayo, Shell’s purchase of large tracts of land from Coillte and the planning permission they received for an inland refinery put the Corrib gas extraction project on very strong feet, even though no planning permission had at that point been given for the pipeline itself. Businesses like Providence are not concerned with the environmental implications of the “Dalkey Island project”, and once they have begun to invest in a project, it is, as Shell have shown in Mayo, impossible to get rid of them. Providence’s share price jumped 33% on their announcement, over a year ago, that the field in Dublin bay could yield up to
French political trajectory causes further uncertainty for Eurozone Donal Griselwood Kennedy
continued effort to further a resolution to the Eurozone crisis and an increasingly overbearing German hegemony means that the future of Europe will feature significantly in the debate and discourse around the coming French Presidential election campaign. The incumbent President’s main rival is the Socialist Party’s Francois Hollande. His manifesto, if implemented, will have ramifications for the ongoing efforts to save the Eurozone. A key facet of Hollande’s European policy is to renegotiate with Germany the “Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union”, commonly referred to as simply “The Fiscal Compact”. He intends to recalibrate what he perceives as the Compact’s narrow focus on budgetary deficit limitation, in favour of typically Keynesian fiscal stimuli hoped to realise sustainable growth while simultaneously decreasing public debt, albeit in a less aggressive manner than that which is proposed in
the Compact in its current form. Hollande’s characterisation and interpretation of the pact is grossly disingenuous. The Treaty’s purpose is first, to prevent states from running unsustainable budget deficits, accordingly limiting their budget deficit to less than 3% of domestic economic output and to keep public spending in line with growth. For growth and employment initiatives, the Euro Plus Pact of 2011 the Keynesian economic renewal which Hollande cries amiss in the Fiscal Compact. The Euro Plus Pact’s background lies in the broader “Europe 2020” initiative which fosters investment in R&D, facilitates the diversification in the skills profi le and linked flexicurity, and aims to culminate with an ambitious 75% employment of Europeans between the ages of 20-64 and 20 million citizens lifted out of consistent poverty. One of the five limbs of the Pact, sustainability of public finances, plans a streamlined and higher retirement age in Europe, attempting to resolve
a current average disparity of five years in the typical exit age from the European labour force. However, the success of the Euro Plus Pact is subject to state’s voluntary cooperation, as it was agreed in accordance with the EU’s policy on Open Method of Cooperation (OMC). A European co-determined introduction of a retirement age, likely to eventually reach 67, seems unlikely when the putative next President of France is promising to re-establish a legal retirement age of 60 years, apparently to be financed by merely a 0.1% rise in employer and employee social contributions, and a new capital and bank tax. Arguably, there is greater scope for longer working lives, with a life expectancy to reach 84 years and 82 years for women and men respectively by 2060. Although circumventing the inconvenient truth that the contentious statistic which alleges “one in every two children of school going age will be a 100 years old” only applies to females, Sarkozy accurately dismissed Hollande’s plans for a return to a retirement age of 60 years as “a folly”. Hollande’s plan to reduce France’s large structural
deficit to 3% of GDP by next year is equally unrealistic. French economic growth remains sluggish and in 2012 the budget deficit stands at 4.5%, with two austerity plans already having been introduced, including 24 new largely consumer and service based taxes in addition to massive cuts in public expenditure. An even greater degree of uncertainty can be found in the second part of Hollande’s plans for modification of the Treaty: to submit this revamped treaty to the French Parliament, without whose approval it would not be implemented. At the moment, the treaty is signed but not ratified entirely. He declared that the Fiscal Compact would not take effect until after the French Presidential Election. Meanwhile, both Sarkozy and Merkel have solemnly announced that in case of political regime change, the Fiscal Compact is not up for renegotiation, apart from agreed yearly revisions. Although a fair degree of this pre-election manipulation is merely playing to a resurgent wave of French populist Germanophobia, it may not be entirely improbable that the Fiscal Compact will encounter further obstacles in the path of its
870 million barrels of oil. So while Dubliners may be banding together to talk about plans for opposition, their failure to stop the project is already assumed by a market economy which demands the extraction of that oil. Around this time, Providence CEO Tony O’Reilly Jnr., commented that “The partners have agreed on a focused work programme aimed at further de-risking this prospect, prior to any drilling programme”. This is of course the spiel given by the company’s smiling face: safety is our greatest concern. Planning permission for Shell’s project in Mayo was only granted subject to the following of a number of conditions. In December last year, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources sent a letter to Shell outlining two breaches to this agreement – the discharging of contaminated water into the estuary and noise pollution caused by machinery and vehicles associated with the project. Many local residents are taking legal cases against Shell and the security company employed to police the construction sites for alleged instances of assault during protests. So while the PR machine of such companies may present a considerate face that is concerned with the community, and politicians may baulk under their pressure, communities and the environment generally seem to suffer. It will be interesting to see how the drilling of Dalkey unfolds in comparison to
the project on the other side of Ireland. How will Dalkey’s campaign differ to the one still being waged in Mayo? How do the increased population and wealth of Dalkey change the nature of the conflict? As my friend recently said to me: “It will never go ahead. Do you know how many lawyers and judges live in Dalkey?” Certainly the area’s wealth, high value properties and natural beauty will make any drilling project highly contested. But it’s not just the residents of Dalkey who have reason to be weary. A video on YouTube entitled “My Oil and Gas” sees an Irish interviewer question Norwegians about their country’s relationship with oil and oil companies. “We Norwegians, think of that particular natural resource as ours” comments one man. Another man, at being asked how he would feel if Norway gave away its oil, as Ireland does, thought “that would be a sort of reason for a war, wouldn’t it?”. When Norway’s oil was discovered, the government formed Statoil. 90% of their profits go to the state, which helps to provide a standard of healthcare, education and other public services far beyond what we in Ireland have, despite comparable populations and natural resources. Statoil is one of the companies which benefits from Ireland’s ridiculous extraction conditions. Thus, as Fintan O’Toole has noted, drilling for oil benefits ordinary people, but “all of those ordinary people are Norwegian.”
“Thank you!” is the vox pop from the streets of Norway in this video, who also offer us some advice: “I think you should demand that the Irish government have at least over 51% shares... You as a people own your country, you own the natural resources.” I don’t know if I go quite that far. Just because a State should be lucky enough to enclose liquid gold within its borders shouldn’t give its people or their representatives the right to do what they want with it. Elected politicians, concerned with short-term re-election are incapable of thinking long-term, which is what is required for combating the causes of anthropomorphic climate change. The Irish people, if willing, can think long-term. That could mean lobbying and protesting to change our relationship with oil companies, or resisting the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels generally; motivations which are very different in outlook. But whatever happens, we can’t let such an exploitative relationship continue, and we can’t let a smiling Dublinbased company providentially pave the way for international oil giants like Shell. Again. Whether you’re interested in our economic recovery or climate change, you have reason to concern yourself in what’s happening in Dalkey. To those lads in the Arts block, I salute you.
Will he be as smug this time round?
realisation. Talk of such modifications has provoked the ire of Angela Merkel, who announced that she will be appearing with Nicolas Sarkozy on the campaign trail. For Merkel to assist Sarkozy in campaigning may well further repulse tentative Sarkozy voters who see their President as obsequious to German interests. The Left has pungently suggested Sarkozy would be better off running as a candidate on the far side of the border, as he repeatedly invokes Germany’s superior business competitiveness to justify his radical reforms to workers’ pay and contributions and shakeup to the labour market, citing the disparity in worker’s pay and conditions on different sides of the border. The implications of victory for Hollande’s may ring closer to home if he honours a key element of his plan for Europe: to renegotiate the recently agreed Fiscal Compact. Such a move would cause increased uncertainty in the markets and frustrate states’ attempts to reduce deficits in the face of external inertia.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 21 2012
The Economics of Facebook Economise This Rob Farhat Editor of the Student Economic Review 2011
n the minds of the average user, Facebook is just a website – maybe the website they spend the most time on. They use it to communicate with their friends and the world – in other words, to “socialise” online. But really, Facebook is a business, and just like any other business its primary objective is to make profits, not to provide users with a utopian platform for their social networking needs. Facebook has made headlines recently for its longawaited initial public offering (i.e. selling shares on the stock markets) worth $5 billion, putting the value of the
8-year-old company at between $75 and $100 billion, a truly astronomical amount for such a young fi rm. For comparison, the well-established Google, Microsoft, and Apple are worth $190bn, $250bn, and $425bn respectively. It’s active monthly users stood at 845 million at the end of 2011, with that number sure to hit 1 billion this year - a seventh of the world’s population - despite the fact that Facebook is largely cut-off from China. That means, at least in theory, that each user is worth almost $100 to the company. So does it deserve this high valuation? And how did it
get here? Facebook generated revenue of $3.7 billion in 2011, netting a profit of $1 billion. In contrast, Google, which is only valued at twice as much, earned over ten times that, suggesting that Facebook’s valuation is massively inflated. Many economists are suggesting that we are in the midst of an internet bubble, after abnormally high prices in the relatively low-profit Skype and Groupon’s recent sales. That said, Facebook’s 2011 profits were a 65% increase on 2010, and if its high price is warranted it is undoubtedly down to the site’s potential future
dominance of the internet. Facebook benefits from the natural tendency of social networking to create monopolies: once a significant amount of your friends use one social network, you want to use that same one. Using a competing network that nobody is on would be pointless. Initially, with the quick rise and fall of MySpace and Bebo, it seemed that dominant social networks would come and go in quick succession, but Facebook has managed to constantly evolve, keeping up with and sometimes setting the social networking trends. There may be a small uproar every few months when Facebook changes its layout, but in hindsight many of these changes make sense and they drive very few people away. The odd competition that has come its way has either failed to make a dent or has merely been made redundant by a new Facebook
feature. When Quora, a questions-based social network, started gaining attention in early 2011, Facebook promptly introduced its Questions feature, and in reply to the popularity of the location-based network, Foursquare, developed “check-ins”. After a couple of miserable forays into the social networking market, Google fi nally made a decent effort with Google+ last summer. However, it does little that Facebook doesn’t, other than its layout being somewhat more intuitively designed. It seems to be too little, too late. Twitter is Facebook’s only successful competitor, but it is really a more niche micro-blogging site and does not match Facebook’s all-encompassing nature – nor is it turning much of a profit. So, if Facebook is providing users with a product that they seem to prefer to all other options, need we be concerned by its dominance? Well, yes: Facebook’s
The USI Disafﬁliation Debate: The House voted to propose the motion
users whose tastes fit their product, the more they will be willing to pay for those ads. But how far is too far? Facebook has indicated that we may see ads come up on users’ actual timelines – the new major feature which is unpopular enough as it is. We can also expect the recent addition of “frictionless sharing”, e.g. news stories that friends have read on sites like The Guardian automatically being displayed, to be used more explicitly for advertising purposes, as well as advertising on Facebook’s increasingly popular mobile apps. Whether you have a problem with any of this is down to personal taste and how much you care about your privacy, but I suspect that most users are not fully aware of how much their actions on Facebook are contributing to an increasingly targeted advertising system. Not only do the things you “like” influence what is being advertised to you, but
also what is advertised to your friends. Have a look on the right side of your Facebook home page, and you may notice an ad which goes something like “Friend X likes Brand Y. So should you.” These are all essentially new examples of the abuse of monopoly power which economics has never seen before because the internet is still relatively young. Users who care would do well to check their privacy settings, always avoiding the assumption that the default settings are acceptable. And while you’re at it, why not give Google+ or another social network a try – there’s nothing like a bit of competition to keep a company in check.
Photos: George Voronov
Where’s the referendum on USI disaffiliation? Jack Leahy Deputy News Editor
t has now been nearly two months since the a series of apparently impulsive occupations prompted TCDSU President Ryan Bartlett to call for a referendum to be held on his Union’s membership of the Union of Students in Ireland. Despite Bartlett’s constitutional neutrality forbidding him from canvassing Union members, it had been assumed that the mood of disapproval at recent USI actions by Trinity students would render the collection of 250 referendum-inducing signatures a mere formality. Had this proven to be the case, Bartlett would have been able to hold the referendum at the crest of engagement with student politics during the ongoing sabbatical officer elections. However, the petition remains incomplete, raising a number of questions as to whether or not students really want the schism of Unions to happen.
Why has there been such a delay in acquiring the necessary signatures?
Proportionally, the number of signatures required to force a referendum in Trinity is quite low. Only 250 of the Union’s 17,000 members need to indicate formal consent for a referendum to amend or remove a constitutional article, whereas the likes of IT Tralee require 300 signatures of a student body of 4,000. As such, that the signatures have not been collected over the course of two months (albeit comprising a month-long Christmas break) has come as a shock to many. In theory, an opinion need not hold significant clout for members to be put to ballot on its inclusion in Union policy. In truth, however, collecting signatures is not as easy as it might seem on the surface. Most of us have mindlessly offered our signature on a petition to the Central Societies Commission as part of a society-forming crusade, but this is a far more dense issue. The polarised nature of the USI affi liation discourse has informed the misconception that a signature constitutes firm support for the disaffi liation campaign, which may be the deterring factor for those who, despite disillusionment, remain open to persuasion either way.
Both sides agree that any decision on affi liation to the national representative body must be born of information – information whose distribution will be postponed until enough of those who perceive the necessity of formal debate confirm it in signature. Furthermore, the TCDSU constitution only allows for members to be balloted on a question with a yes or no answer, meaning that the arduous process of holding a referendum will have to be be repeated should members want re-affi liation a few years down the line. There is no possibility of an article requiring a once-infour-years reconsideration in the manner proposed by the UCDSU constitutional review committee, effectively disenfranchising those whose grievances are open to appeasing should the actions and impulses of the current leadership fail to prove hereditary.
Who’s collecting the signatures? This in itself may prove to be another reason for delay. The small group currently collecting signatures from the Hamilton end of campus have kept a low profi le, thus requiring students to actively seek a place to sign their name. Aobhinn Brady, believed to be the coordinator of the collecting
group, was hastily brought to SU Council on January 24th when a number of members expressed an interest in signing the signature. Nonetheless, she failed to acquire the fifty or so remaining signatures from the 150+ attendees despite her presence being mentioned by Council chair Siobhán Fletcher. Those attending the USI affi liation debate between Gary Redmond and Dave Byrne were also offered the opportunity to sign. While sabbatical officers are constitutionally bound to remain neutral on matters of referendum and thus cannot facilitate the acquirement of signatures, I really cannot have imagined that this level of difficulty would be encountered.
Does the difficulty encountered in collecting signatures mean that Trinity students don’t want to disaffiliate? No, it doesn’t. While the exact extent can only be verified by the result of a referendum, the appetite for disaffi liation is greater than most can remember. For example, last year Max Sullivan brought a discussion item to SU Council on the subject of USI disaffi liation and was
comprehensively dismissed by Council members and executive officers alike. Fast forward 15 months and the SU President is calling for a referendum on the matter in response to concerns brought to him by students. The massive and relatively sudden shift is telling, but whether it now represents a majority view is another matter.
Can there still be a referendum? Even though the opportune time for the referendum to be held has passed it by, there is nothing stopping the referendum from happening this year; once the 250 signatures are confirmed by Bartlett, the vote must take place within five weeks.
What difference does it make that the referendum will not be held with the sabbatical officer elections? Having now spoken to more than 100 students and all eleven sabbatical officer candidates, I can safely say that the only
commonly-held opinion is that information is essential. The danger is that students will ignore the essential literature produced by the pro- and anti-disaffi liation campaigns having been subjected to an often unwelcome barrage of sabbatical officer campaign material only a few weeks previously.
representatives are sure to be met with a degree of hostility. There is no question that, if still affi liated at this stage, TCDSU will send its delegates to the fiveday meeting. There is likely to be a mutual hostility: USI will say that TCDSU doesn’t engage properly while TCDSU will claim that USI doesn’t listen.
This will have an obvious effect on voter turnout; the SU cannot rely on the vote of those who have approached the polls so as to vote for a sabbatical officer candidate but have taken the USI disaffi liation ballot paper as well. It extends the period of voting-related campus chaos into the traditional resettling period and asks students to continue considering matters of student politics when the time for exam study begins to encroach on student life. The President has no power to postpone a referendum, even if the date of submission requires him to hold it while exams are going on.
Will the SU face additional costs for holding the referendum apart for the sabbatical elections?
If the referendum is delayed much further, TCDSU could find itself even further isolated in the USI decision-making process. USI sabbatical officer candidates are due at the next meeting of SU Council on February 21st for what is sure to be a tense session of hustings. At the same meeting, Council members will elect a delegation to attend USI National Council, at which Trinity’s
The principle of economies of scale does not apply to any significant degree in this case. Regardless of when the referendum takes place, the SU will still have to fund the pro- and antidisaffi liation campaign teams equally, print ballot papers, and distribute pamphlets and other such material so as to inform potential voters. The only additional cost that will be incurred is the hourly rate paid to the eight supervising members of the Electoral Commission, who are contracted so as to ensure neutrality. Although, depending on the number of hours polls are active, this could add up to be quite costly.
Tuesday, February 21 2012 | The University Times
The myth that sex sells Valerie Loftus
I swear to god I will lose my mind if I hear the “sex sells” fallacy one more time. Sex does not sell. If sex sold, we would see penises where we see boobs. Naked men would be on everything that naked women are on. Sex isn’t what they’re selling you. They’re selling you an impossible, pornographically-fueled misogynistic idea of the perfect woman.” I found this quote floating around on Tumblr. I don’t know who the originally posted it, but it perfectly summarises how I feel at the moment. Earlier this evening, Alchemy Nightclub posted an advertisement on their Facebook page. It depicted a woman pulling down her underwear with the slogan “If you’re not up for it, don’t
cum” written across the top of the image. A female user commented: “Wow – this is a perfect example of a sexist advertisement against women” to which the Mondays At Alchemy page administrator replied “Maybe you’d be more suited to a nightclub like the kitchen.” It was at this moment that I became so enraged that steam literally began to emanate from my ears. There are so many things wrong with both the poster and Monday At Alchemy’s comment that I fi nd it hard to begin. To me, the poster says that your presence in Alchemy on Monday nights means you’re “up for it” – basically giving everyone the right to say “But she was asking for it! If she doesn’t want to be pawed and groped, why did she ‘cum’?” I don’t even need to list the ways in which this is wrong, but I’ll just say that it further reinforces the idea that we live in a culture which teaches
us “not to get raped”, instead of “don’t rape”. At the time of writing, the number of likes on the “kitchen” comment has now risen to twelve. Th is comment is offensive not because of its content, which is pretty standard let’s-all-ridicule-the-feminist fodder,
a shrill, bra-burning harpy. The fact that so many people agree, basically telling her to sit down and keep her dirty opinions to herself, is extremely disheartening. It’s apparent from the response to the poster and comment that we are completely desensitised to the ob-
The thing about talking about stuﬀ like this nowadays is that you are constantly told that you are “overreacting” but for how it completely trivialises the issue, making it impossible for her to reply without seeming like
jectification of women in the media and advertising. We see it so often, it has to be right, doesn’t it? Sex sells,
we all know this. But, as said in the opening quote, sex doesn’t sell. If sex sold, the Alchemy poster would have a man unbuttoning his fly or undoing his belt, maybe. Sex doesn’t sell. The “pornographically-fueled misogynistic idea of the perfect woman”, who doesn’t have any of those annoying opinions and is ready to be used at will, sells. Recent ads for Ryanair and the mobile phone service provider 48 are further proof of this. Alchemy is not the only nightclub that uses an unhealthy attitude to sex to promote itself. The Big Tree in Drumcondra has club nights with names like “Forget the Shift, I Want the Ride” which say the same thing: you’re here, which means you want sex, which means I have license to do whatever I want to your body without needing to ask. Th is, frankly, is frightening to me as a woman. You may say that people have respect, that
they don’t take stuff like this seriously, but I’ve been felt up enough in nightclubs to know this is not true. Being a woman in a nightclub is already difficult enough without the clubs themselves giving permission to grope the female patrons. The thing about talking about stuff like this nowadays is that you are constantly told you are “overreacting” or being stupid, that this is just a funny joke. The fact is that this is not funny at all, and I don’t feel I’m overreacting to what is essentially a command to shut up and accept the blatant objectification and abasement of women. If saying this makes me a shrill, braburning harpy and the subject of a hundred “get back in the kitchen” jokes, then so be it. Valerie Loftus is a journalism student in DCU. This post appeared on her blog ‘umyeaok’ (umyeaok.wordpress. com) on February 17th.
Where would you obtain Emeli Sandé’s latest effort? Tower Records at premium price, Amazon at a discounted price or free on a torrent site?
Buyer’s Remorse, Stealer’s Satisfaction Max Sullivan
hat would you think of a friend if they told you that they had just fi lled their bag with CDs, DVDs and games from HMV, and walked out of the shop without paying? You might think they were a bit mental, or in need of merchandise to sell on for money. This is the kind of question which a proponent of stringent copyright enforcement might ask of you to make you reconsider the culture of illegal downloading which is, in most social circles, if not an activity engaged in by all to some extent, then one which attracts little or no reproach. Not so with walking into a shop and stealing stuff. That certainly would attract a little negative attention. But there are differences between stealing products off the shelves and downloading the content of those products onto your computer, and its necessary to think about what they are in order to understand the morally quandary in which such a juxtaposition might place us. The distribution streams of physical products like CDs are costly, as are the high-rent retail spaces in which the products are sold, and the people who sell them to you. The margins which can be made on such products are still large, considering the extremely low production costs of the actual units. I imagine HMV on Grafton Street, all things considered, takes in quite a bit of money every day. But the set-up costs, rent, wages and so forth do not decrease dramatically the more HMVs there are in Dublin. Bigger shops mean more profitable economies of scale, but no HMV can fit everyone who buys from the iTunes store into it at once. The economies of scale are far more favourable for online distribution, which incurs none of the costs concerned with physical retail. To state the obvious, you don’t need to pay more programmers to sell more digital copies of
Rihanna’s latest album, just bigger servers. However, the price difference between the same albums, digital and corporeal, does not quite account for the disparity in the cost of production and sales; the reductions are not passed onto the customer. Emeli Sandé’s latest album is going for €15 in Tower Records on Wicklow Street. If you buy it on Amazon, which benefits from less staff and retail space, you’ll get it for around €10, including delivery. Following this logic – that the elimination of a cost for the retailer should result in a saving for the customer – you’d expect the digital-only edition to go for around €5. Less, even. And yet the same album is €10 on Ireland’s iTunes Store, the most popular place to buy music online. Granted the MP3 costs around €7 on Amazon’s digital store, but once presented with such flagrantly excessive pricing, why not just download it for free? What’s the worst that could happen? You bought the laptop, you bought the expensive MP3 player or iPhone... You don’t have money to pay for music as well! In fact, you may never even have paid so much for your device if it didn’t guarantee you unbridled access to illegal content. The stigma and fear associated with stealing from shops is created by habit. We become, from a very early age, accustomed to the process of paying for what you plan to walk out of the shop with. It’s not merely a fear of being stopped or caught, but a ritual whereby a thing that was once someone else’s becomes yours. Its hard to think of something like a pair of shoes as yours until you have had that transaction ritual. There aren’t many places in Dublin or anywhere else, that I can think of anyway, that you can take an otherwise saleable product without paying for it, or giving something in return. That same habit, system, doesn’t apply in the same way when we’re on the internet. On the internet, the proliferation of free (and illegal) music, fi lms, games and software pre-dated the existence of legal and priced equivalents, as record and fi lm
companies were slow to compete with the black market on its home territory. Thus, at least for this generation of internet users, a ritual of legal purchases is not ingrained in our consciences. Illegal downloading is a world in which there can be no indefinitely reliable source of content, as sites like mininova.org and megaupload are taken down or made to post only legal content at the behest of interested parties, usually large media-related companies whose finances are hobbled by such services. While we may sympathise with the artists, actors or programmers whose pockets feel the effect of such downloading, the copyright lobby who would have you obey copyright law do themselves no favours by pursuing ridiculous litigation. The Record Industry Association of America, which represents firms like Sony Music and Warner, stated in early 2011 its intention to sue LimeWire, a former distributor of popular peer-to-peer fi le sharing software, for $75 trillion in damages. To put that in perspective, $75 trillion is considerably more than the world’s GDP. It’s more than all of the money in the world. RIAA claims that the number of downloads facilitated by LimeWire represented lost potential earnings amounting to the above figure. A Manhattan federal judge correctly labelled the organisations estimation “absurd”. The case was later settled out of court for $105 million. If you, reader, have ever downloaded from LimeWire, perhaps you feel a little responsible for a small chunk of that sizeable figure. But chances are, you’ll still never have to pay for any of it. Individual downloaders who are prosecuted are few and far between, and are meant to serve as examples to the rest of us. Chances are, you’ll need a better reason to stop downloading. One argument against copyright theft is that it makes it much more difficult for struggling musicians (always the choice example), as well as programmers, actors, directors and so forth to make a living. Many individuals have
responded in innovative ways to this problem. Radiohead released their 2007 album In Rainbows on their own website, allowing downloaders to give whatever price they saw fit. In 2011, Comedian Louis C.K. discouraged illegally downloading his ‘Live at the Beacon Theater’ video by selling it for only $5 on his own website and releasing it without any restrictions, meaning it can be burned onto discs without hassle: “I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent [a type of downloading] the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in anyway they want without “corporate” restrictions. Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I’m just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can’t stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.” It’s so compelling, and such an innovative response to the situation, that it could remain an entirely viable means of releasing material. However much user mightn’t love the prospect of downloading something illegally, it feels worse to pay a giant like Apple who maintain extortionate relationships with their artists. On top of that, it’s illegal for you to format a song that you paid for on iTunes so that it will play on a non-Apple MP3 player. This, coupled with their pricing scheme, makes many feel pretty justified in breaking their rules. Re-establishing a connection and feeling of mutual responsibility between the artist and the consumer may be the most profitable and user friendly model. With the recent surge in eReaders and tablet computers, pirated
books are also a means of escape from Amazon (with Kindle) and Apple’s market dominance. However, there are innovative firms which are still deserving of your money. OR Books is an innovative and ideologically driven new publisher, based in New York, which prints a select catalogue of books on-demand and releases ebooks only in platform-neutral (or “platform-agnostic”) formats. Their pricing structure is fairer, benefiting from a direct relationship with the customer and offering a discounted price for purchasing the printed and ebook format of a book together. While illegal downloading has forced certain people in certain industries to become more innovative, it seems to have encouraged others to employ regressive means of generating profits. The inescapable fiend that is “3D” cinema is a genius marketing ploy which provides an experience which you can’t (and wouldn’t want) to sit through at home. The 3D-tax added onto the normal price of your cinema ticket, usually around €2, makes absolutely no sense, because it doesn’t cost the fi lm studio a vast deal more to fi lm in “3D”, or as is more common, to render a fi lm shot normally into a “3D” experience. These superficial innovations, format restrictions, increased efforts to prevent piracy, and intense litigation when it fails, means that funding the big guys has never been so unattractive. Paying up for the little guys, by comparison, often has genuine benefits, and gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling which buying from an online superstore lacks. So, if you are downloading, should you stop? And if you aren’t, should you start? Well, you should know I can’t answer that, because like many recently downed sites, I would be conspiring to commit copyright theft.
orthern Ireland is a peculiar journalistic phenomenon. Years of bloodshed disguise the fact that, for the most part, very little happens in the six counties. Life in the North is essentially constituted of prolonged periods of tedium, punctuated by events that are not only newsworthy but genuinely historic. We are, at the moment, in the midst of tedium and that is, in itself, a good thing. In a region that has primarily been drawn to the world’s attention by virtue of the bomb and blast, no news is good news. However, having settled into a period of relative stability, it seems that the political sands are once again shifting in the North. While it is Nationalism that has undergone wholesale change in recent years, Unionism is about to be brought into sharp focus. The prospect of a referendum on Scottish independence threatens to completely skewer the constitutional debate and calls into question the very basis of Unionist ideology. It is highly unlikely that Alex Salmond will be successful in his desire to secure independence by 2014 but events north of Hadrian’s Wall may mark the first steps towards the eventual severance of Scotland from the rest of the UK. The implications of Scottish independence for Unionism in Northern Ireland are colossal. Any links that Northern Ireland has to the rest of the UK in terms of culture and tradition are routed almost entirely through Scotland, stemming from the Ulster Plantation by Scottish Protestants in the 17th century. Modern Unionism in the North highlights its Scotch heritage as its ideological basis for remaining part of Britain. The Scottish connection has been emphasized by successive Unionist leaders as a direct response to the increasing indifference of successive Westminster governments to the retention of any part of Ireland. The Ulster-Scots tradition has been heavily promoted, to the extent that some now claim that Northern Ireland’s true affinity is with Scotland, not necessarily the union, and that if Scotland were to break away, it should take the North with it. While this is patently ridiculous, it only serves to bolster the argument that Scottish independence would effectively sweep the carpet from under the feet of Northern Unionists. Scotland’s union with Britain may not be a prerequisite for the continued extension of the union to Northern Ireland, but it is certainly important. The reality is that Northern Ireland, while maintaining perhaps the strongest Unionist tradition in the United Kingdom, is the weakest constituent member. Northern Ireland is effectively an unhappy outlier from the rest of the UK. It does not form part of the identifiable British landmass and is thus economically isolated when compared to the other three constituent nations. The North has yet to prosper as a constituent part of the UK, has a massively inflated public sector, a wholly inefficient system of government and huge ongoing security costs. One economist has calculated that keeping Northern Ireland as part of the Union costs each person in Britain £5,300 per year. When Peter Brookes, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, stated in 1989, that Britain had no ‘selfish strategic or economic interest’ in Northern Ireland, he was diving headfirst into the waters of political understatement. Unionist leaders know that if the UK were to lose its secondary nation, the continuing existence of the union itself would be called into question. Scotland’s departure would render the UK consisting of nothing but England and a double-act of micro satellite states – not quite the grand imperial notion of Britain from days gone by. Of these two states, Wales may be sufficiently integrated with England to retain some political link but Northern Unionists fear that the temptation to cut Northern Ireland adrift may be overwhelming. The fact that, under the Good Friday Agreement, the power to trigger the border poll on reunification lies, not with the NI Assembly, but with the British Secretary of State, legitimizes Unionist fears that reunification could yet be hoisted upon them. David Cameron’s recent declaration that he is ‘a passionate Unionist’ will do little to allay these fears. While the coalition government appears keen to frustrate the Scottish Nationalist agenda, it must be questioned whether Downing Street would be clambering over itself to retain Northern Ireland with such vivacity. Scotland offers more to the Union in terms of wealth, size and stability than Northern Ireland ever could. The prospect of Scottish independence has already sparked mutterings within the Unionist community. Former UUP leader, Reg Empey has even warned that an independent Scotland could reignite the Troubles in the North. While it is hoped that Northern Ireland has progressed beyond that particular juncture, the reality is that Northern politics have entered a phase where the future is again unpredictable. Tedium, it seems, is on its way out - for better or worse.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 21 2012
The University Times ELECTION TURNOUT DOWN 20% - WHY?
raditionally the apogee of engagement with the Students’ Union, this year’s election period has proven to be a damp squib. Th is newspaper has made this assertion on a number of occasions and has come in for criticism for doing so. Now, with votes cast and tallied, we have the figures to prove it: around 3,600 votes, or 22% of the electorate. Down around 20% from last year. Never in the long history of democracy has a 22% turnout been a cause for celebration. That these lamentable numbers came at the end of a campaign period during which candidates made a number of direct appeals to the disillusioned makes the embarrassment all the more acute. The eleven candidates and their teams must not shoulder the criticism alone; the much-propounded axiom that students just do not care about their SU is gaining credibility with results like this and it now cannot be denied that the Union has work to do to re-engage itself with how its members are thinking. That said, the decrease of 900 on last year can be explained by the apathy often shown by the candidates themselves. Among other factors, it was the
TIME TO CALL OUT DEGRADING CLUB PROMOTIONS
t has not been a good weekend to run a nightclub in Dublin. In addition to a hugely popular campaign to boycott NV Nightclub on Leeson Street, a furore of sorts has been raised over the manner in which Midnight Events promotes its Monday night event in Alchemy nightclub. Though it does not detract from their relevance, complaints in the ilk of the latter are nothing new; objection is raised to almost every ad campaign that connotes that the night’s female clientele are “up for it” or features suggestive images of females. The new and unwelcome addition to the dialogue is that of the company’s promoters and management team, who rallied to defend their cause when a number of Facebook groups were established with the purpose of “[ending] Alchemy’s sexist and dangerous advertising”. Reporters from this newspaper have been members of such groups since their formation and have been witness to the input offered - and subsequently removed - by a number of individuals associated with the company. What is most shocking of all is the collective unwillingness to engage in any
fiercely-contested Ents race between Chirs O’Connor and Elaine McDaid that drew students to the polls. Th is year, the lack of opponent for David Whelan in the same race engendered a degree of complacency; Whelan’s campaigners were conspicuous for their absence rather than their energy and Whelan himself was, on some days, a rare sight. His damage-limitation style of campaigning was emulated by other candidates. Despite its mention on a number of occasions, the lack of joke candidate was not the major factor in the fall-off in voter numbers. Rather, it was the lack of an Aaron Heffernan-like figure whose campaign opened student eyes to the election period. His name was mentioned throughout the campaign period and will continue to do so as long as these important elections draw in dismal numbers of voters. All of the candidates must surely have been aware of Heffernan’s mark on student elections. If any one of them set out to emulate him, their failure was dramatic.
meaningful dialogue on the subject; dissenters were accused of all sorts of motivations for their protest (including ‘looking for the ride [sic’) and ordered by a senior representative to ‘shut up moaning’. No one seemed to care to debate the ideologies that inform both the complaints and the advertising. This company evidently does not understand the implications of its advertising. Whichever of the numerous and diverse opinions on the matter one subscribes to, what is evident here is a stance informed by a refusal to engage, and therefore informed by ignorance. The claim, since retracted, by a company representative that women attract unwelcome sexual attention ‘when they are dressed to attract it’ is perhaps the most egregious transgression of them all. The connotations of a club night being advertised under the tag-line “If you’re not up for it, don’t cum [sic]” are perhaps further-reaching than those who penned the line understood. This is not an excuse. It is difficult to imagine that, until those selfimbued with responsibility move beyond meaningless and childish rebuttals such as “they can keep sipping their hater-ade”,
any change will come of the vile message that this sort of advertising propagates. While our Education Officer and Welfare Officer have come out strongly against this promotion, this newspaper has urged USI President Gary Redmond to condemn it as well. This is not a campaign that is unique to Dublin. Not only that, but this kind of campaign is deliberately and almost solely targeted at students. Redmond and USI need to come out and condemn this for the attitutdes which it seeks to promote. The issue is also due to be debated at SU council, where an emergency motion can arise from the discussion. We have seen this already this year, when Council decided to ban sales of The Irish Daily Mail from SU shops. If the discussion becomes heated at Council, which is likely, then a similar motion may arise, perhaps forbidding the Ents Officer from dealing with Midnight on Trinity’s behalf. Is such a motion desirable or would this be another instance of Council attacking a problem with a sledgehammer rather than a scalpel? Perhaps a more nuanced approach would be to mandate the Ents Officer to associate the SU with promotions that don’t threaten to degrade and debase women, full stop.
We need to talk about rape An anonymous writer talks about how rape is perceived, the harmful attitudes that society has towards sexual violence and how rape victims are treated
I am a rape victim myself. My case never got to court and was never reported in the media. Some of my friends I told. Some I didn’t.
ape and sexual assault is something that confronts each part of our society. Within this university community, last semester, a specific instance was reported to the Junior Dean. Interestingly, I doubt most students know what the Junior Dean chose to do after the ensuing investigation. More recently the controversy surrounding how we discuss rape, explore issues with victims and the justice they may (or more often than not, may not) have access to got coverage because of the activities of Justice Carney. He placed the accuser in the unusual position of having to make a dock identification, that prompted a suicide attempt. She was later arrested because of her refusal to give evidence due to the shock. Rape and sexual assault is obviously one of the most horrific things that can happen to a person. This article isn’t about what rape is, nor is it going to rant against Justice Carney even though many will consider his actions despicable. Instead, it will look at how we talk about rape and what that means to people - victims, defendants and wider society. When rape is reported in the media, the claim is that it is in the public interests, that people have a right to know to increase awareness and safety. And obviously public security is important. But the reality is that most rape offenders are not strangers who are repeat offenders but someone the victim knows. So, the question then becomes does the reporting of one case help awareness to the degree that people will be more protected? My inclination would be to say no, because onlookers to rape case reports in the general media will make assumptions, which with a bit of thought are blatantly false: Assumption 1. The victim is a girl. Assumption 2. The victim and offender are strangers. Assumption 3. Everything will be done to put the offender behind bars. Assumption 4. Perpetrators are/will be repeat offenders. Assumption 5. If someone is accused they did it. Unfortunately, it isn’t true that all accusers tell the truth - sometimes alleged offenders didn’t do it. Thankfully this is a rare occurrence. What is more common is the
following: two people go out, get drunk, go home together and have sex. There wasn’t official consent insofar as ‘yes’ wasn’t said. At least one of them definitely feel like they didn’t consent. But the other person thought it was fine, not because they were predatory, not because they objectified the other person, but because ‘No’ was never said that clearly, there was a bit of messing around or they don’t really remember what happened. It’s also possible neither feel they consented because they were pissed and it just kind of happened and they wouldn’t had they been sober - who counts as the rapist or victim then? Most people reading this probably know someone who’s been in that situation, if they haven’t themselves. Under such circumstances would you go so far as to label them a rapist? Some would. But the intention wasn’t there. This should in no way undermine the harm felt by the victim. There is no such thing as ‘lesser’ date rapes and ‘serious’ rape; the harm felt is the same. Being unsure if you qualify as a rape victim is also traumatic. However, should the ‘perpetrator’ be condemned through societal ostracisation or prison when the problem of rape is far more nuanced than the current court system allows for and how we discuss rape seems to be generally limited to the same ideas? Controversially, and unfortunately, when it comes to sex crimes there can be clear victims without clear perpetrators. How we punish with that in mind isn’t something I have an answer to, and is a topic far too complex to do justice to in 1500 words, but a glib solution isn’t it. This is the sort of grey area which people need to be more aware of to ensure their own safety, not the dodgy guy lurking in an alley waiting for an unsuspecting female to walk past - people are far more likely to be raped by someone they know. I would hope that if people were more aware that this kind of victimhood, then maybe they would do more to make sure consent was gained, even just ask, are you ok with it? There is the scary risk that someone says yes, not because they mean it but because they feel they should. And it’s not just the other person who can pressurise, but friends and wider society. The pressure to play up to an image, particularly one where individuals feel enforced to be totally fine with casual sex (and it is fine
to be ok with casual sex), is one shown by the recent Alchemy advert, with the tag line ‘If You’re Not Up for It, Don’t Cum’ coupled with a picture of a girl with her underwear around her ankles. This nuance is not what first springs to mind when we talk about rape. But its pervasiveness is just as terrifying as the stereotypes we think about. These stereotypes are brought up in court and checked for by police when they question victims during an investigation. They ask about sexual history, alcohol consumption, if the victim knew the perpetrator, had they had consensual sex before, one-nightstands in the past, and terrifyingly what clothes were worn. If answers are not satisfactory then the victim may be advised not to bring charges because the traumatic court experience. The burden of criminal proof is (rightly) so high when it comes to evidence that any modicum of doubt and there will not be a guilty verdict. That doesn’t mean that victims should feel invalidated in their victimhood because they can’t prove it in court, nor should they receive less help. But there is a very real impact when newspapers write ‘there was a verdict of not guilty’. That verdict is no longer purely a private trauma which the victim had to view in court, but a trauma now subject to public consumption. Ireland doesn’t have the ‘not proven’ option of some courts, like Scotland, and not guilty can all too easily be translated as innocent. Not only does that harm the victim but it also doesn’t help with public awareness and can lead to the demonisation of those who bring forward rape allegations. At the other end of the spectrum, and bare in mind both can happen simultaneously, there are those who believe that an allegation of rape means it happened. As mentioned above that isn’t necessarily true and it is harmful when reports of allegations aren’t followed up. This can happen when the report is overtaken by a more interesting news issue or finding out whether its ‘true’ or not just takes too long for the story to maintain the interest of readers. Particularly in small college communities it is easy to find out the parties concerned if you ask the right people, even if names aren’t mentioned. Readers can even put mental scare quotes around the word ‘alleged’ in articles, considering it a legal lets-cover-our-backs maneuver by the paper. Even if no one does
know, that doesn’t stop the parties involved feeling like the public gaze is upon them and they will forever be judged because of that knowledge; they loose control over how they relate to society because newspapers, be they university or national, think its in the public interest. The very same gaze can cause problems when trying to administer justice because of public pressure. Jurists sometimes read about a case, despite being told not to. Regardless of whether they do or don’t ideas about similar past reports in the media can impact verdicts. Rape is particularly private. It is impossible for us to imagine what it might be like to be raped, and even harder to actually understand and fully conceive of all the relationship, identity and psychological problems which victims experience. Very rarely does newspaper reporting appear to take the effort to consider those involved and when that reporting affects the perceptions of people so directly they have a duty to do so. This is probably the point where I should admit my own bias because the chasm between those who talk or write about rape and those who have been is huge; I am a rape victim myself. My case never got to court and was never reported in the media. Some of my friends I told. Some I didn’t. Some I didn’t tell but other people thought they should know anyway. By telling they took away my control that I wanted back, making my private events public in a way I couldn’t choose. The title of ‘rape victim’ effects me beyond my own comprehension - even my own parents don’t know how to talk about my partners with me, or whether to turn the news off if a report comes up. Recently I heard of someone ‘coming out’ as being raped. This is something I admire them for, because it was a testament to their control of their identity. Being able to choose to be anonymous should be part of that control too. Because the problem is, both for accuser and defendant and everyone else, that when a case becomes public knowledge events take over and everyone else feels like they have a right to know what happened to you; whats worse is they think they do know. They don’t.
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Tuesday, February 21 2012 | The University Times
THE SUAREZ INDETERMINANCY Cal Gray and Matthew Rye discuss their opposing views on Luis suarez, and on racism in football
Cal Gray Proud Scouser RACISM IS disgusting. I won’t argue that. But we’re going to have to take this whole Luis Suarez ﬁasco in context. Suarez has just returned from his 8 match ban after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, the Manchester United defender. This was a ban that Liverpool Football Club did not appeal. Therefore, I can only go with the belief that Suarez did racially abuse him. Which is disgusting behavior. No argument. But the most unfortunate catalyst in Suarez’s punishment may indeed have been timing, as it occurred within weeks of John Terry being accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. Authorities of football may have seen the two, almost concurrent events, as a sudden surge of racism, and cracked down harshly, but there’s no surge.
One of the most iconic images of English football is John Barnes, a former Liverpool winger, back-heeling a banana that had been hurled at him amid chants from the Everton supporters of “Everton are white.” Can anyone defend that? No. And nor should they. Racism has always been present in the game. It’s a sad fact, but it’s a fact. I understand the FA wanting to take a strong stance against it, and they’re right to. 8 matches is acceptable to me, I would have gone with 5, but that’s Liverpool supporter bias. The £40,000 ﬁne is also ok with me, as that’s pretty much pocket money for these people. But what I can’t take is some of the behavior of both players when Liverpool and Manchester United met this weekend. Luis Suarez shouldn’t have had to shake his hand, higher powers were wrong to tell him to. If someone had put me out of work for 6 weeks, I wouldn’t shake
their hand either. No matter what the context was. That’s one point. Another notable event was after the half time whistle, when Luis Suarez booted the ball into the stands, where United supporters sat. This was wrong of him. It was entirely out of frustration, but it is still unacceptable. Alleged handbags in the tunnel to the changing rooms followed too, which is sheerly childish. Grow up lads. The match ended 2-1 to United, which of course isn’t the result I wanted, but I did like that Suarez marked his return with a goal, politics aside, he is a great football player. I’m also sure that he will be happy this goal was against rivals United. Now what I can’t stand, genuinely can’t stand, is how Patrice Evra celebrated following the ﬁnal whistle. Evra jumped into the ams of Rio Ferdinand, as if he’d just won the World Cup, then proceeded to do a lap of honor of sorts, making sure to celebrate exuberantly in front of Suarez. If Suarez was childish, then surely this is infantile. What have you done Evra? This wasn’t a win against racism. Sure, players might be slightly more put off racially abusing someone on a football pitch in the future, but you’re not going to change someone’s disgusting mindset. You didn’t even play well in this match, Patrice. Suarez even ran right by you before Ferdinand came to your rescue. All
you’ve done Patrice is cry to the FA. You were wronged, I agree, and the culprit was punished, but what has given you the right to celebrate in this manner? Since Suarez refused to shake Patrice Evra’s hand, Alex Ferguson has said he should be put out of the job by his club, that he’s a disgrace. Nothing has been said of Evra. Kenny Dalglish and Suarez have both issued formal apologies following the United match, no doubt having their arms twisted vigorously. I can’t accept this. I want an apology from Patrice Evra. I want him to come out and say he acted like a stupid child after the ﬁnal whistle against Liverpool, and I want him
to thank Suarez for not punching him square in the face when he celebrated in front of him. Surely this is what’s wrong with the game of soccer. The playacting, the overexuberance, the unnecessary celebrations. This is the principle reason why people who don’t play or follow soccer , find it difficult to comprehend players being dishonest. When Patrice Evra shows he can apologise, then maybe, just maybe, we can put this behind us. Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Game.
Matthew Rye Red Devil I’VE HAD reservations about Luis Suarez since I fi rst encountered the man. As a keen supporter of Ghanaian football, his intentional handball in the semifi nal, preventing a goal by Asamoah Gyan, didn’t land me into his good books. Ghana went on to miss the resulting penalty and lose the game. As a Manchester United supporter, he signing for Liverpool five months later didn’t help his case. However, I cannot be the only one to think that his behaviour, both in the alleged racist incident, and in the Handshake That Never Was: Part 2, fall far below the standard required of an athlete who competes on an international stage. FIFA president Sepp Blatter famously said last summer that there was no such thing as racism in football. As the Luis Suarez/Patrice Evra tornado begins to gather tread, following this weekend’s action, what was perceived by many at the time to be a misinformed opinion is now looking like an issue which FIFA are ignorantly trying to sweep under the rug. The mudslinging contest which has occurred between the players two respective clubs has dragged on for weeks, something which neither club would have wanted. The issue unsurprisingly, has brought out a plethora of comments and opinions
from players, managers and pundits alike, with both Suarez’s behaviour and FIFA’s lack of response in the whole handshaking issue and the fore. However, Manchester City’s banter merchant Mario Balotelli, former Liverpool captain and aspiring model Jamie Redknapp, and Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish all attempted to shift some of the blame to Patrice Evra for his behaviour. Even United diehard-turnedanalyst Gary Neville commented at the half-time critique, “If you don’t like someone don’t shake their hand. That’s not a problem for me.” What seems to evade Mr Neville’s logic is that children aren’t raised learning to shake the hand of someone they like. The symbol of handshake embodies a settling of disagreement, truce. It symbolises respect, not amorous feelings of any description. Perhaps one of the more poignant examples of why this is the case comes from the biopic “Remember the Titans”, starring Denzel Washington. Those who are familiar with the movie understand that Washington’s character is forced to coach the efforts of a newly desegregated school in 1970’s Virginia. One of the more substantial lines in the picture said by Washington’s character Herman Boone, is “I don’t care if you like each other, but you will respect each other.”
My slightly laboured point is that while Suarez may not like Patrice Evra, there is a bare minimum level of courtesy you must show to your opponent, not matter what the sport. Luis Suarez hasn’t met that standard, and that is inadmissible. Despite the alleged racist comments, Suarez had an opportunity to put his mistakes behind him, and didn’t take it. Gary Neville probably had it right when he said, “He hasn’t done his football club any favours.” But the Suarez issue could be just the tip of the iceberg, should FIFA fail to, for want of a better word, kick this type of behaviour out of the game. Sky Sports’ Redknapp, following the match, said that he didn’t think racism was a problem in the UK, at least not as much as it in in European continental countries. Foreign players in Spain and Italy are subjected to horrendous abuse, from fans, other players and sometimes coaches. This level of intimidation is out of place in the most raciallydiverse football league in
the world. As for Patrice Evra, I must admit that it is difficult for me to condone the somewhat childish behaviour that he displayed after the match. But spare a thought; he’s been racially abused, and then completely snubbed on live television by this man. He’s allowed some sort of rebuttal. Gary Neville was fined 5 years ago for supposedly enticing football hooliganism by kissing his United badge purposefully in front of a crowd of Liverpool supporters. The rookie pundit claimed he thought it was the most ridiculous fine he’s ever had to pay. Evra’s actions were tame compared to what Neville did. Celebrating a win in a severely contested local derby, in front of your own supporters, isn’t an offence that deserves punishment. It isn’t even an offence. It’s an action to be encouraged. Let’s kick the racism out of football, but keep the competitiveness.
Level of sporting competition condusive to drug use Emma Tobin Sports Writer There is never ending pressure to win in professional sport. It’s not a hobby; it’s not a way to relieve stress, or something to do when you’re bored. It’s a job, and to get paid you need to win. To win you need to be the best. You train to the point of obsession, physical injury and exhaustion. And so does everyone else. Eventually, no matter how hard you train, you hit your peak and raw talent is all that’s left to set you apart from the rest. Sometimes that’s not good enough. Sometimes desperation for the win kicks in and athletes turn to performance enhancers – drugs. It’s the scourge of modern sport and has contributed to the rise and fall of many sports starts. Alberto Contador, the Spanish cyclist who won a Tour de France title, had his title take away after he tested positive for clenbuterol. Lance Armstrong has had dogged dopping allegations on and off for years. Michael Phelps admitted to cannabis use. Rafael Nadal has been subject to scrutiny over alleged substance use. Drug testing is being stepped up on the rugby circuit after multiple scandals in South Africa. The main offenders are cyclists, and surprisingly, baseball players. It’s an ongoing debate in sport as to what performance enhancers are and are not allowed. Creatin
was allowed for a period in rugby, but it is now suggested that it too will be banned. Amphetamines have long been forbidden, yet cyclists after cyclists takes the risk in using them, goes on to win the Tour de France, only to have their title taken away a few months later. It begs the question, what’s the point? The competitiveness rife in sport is part of why it’s so popular. Competitors love the thrill of the win, the glory that comes with it and the pay off at the end of the day. Audiences love to throw themselves into the sports, their personal favourites and experience the joy that comes with their winning. The use of performance enhancers can help guarantee a win. But this is all dented when someone is caught with anabolic steroids in their system. They find themselves banned from a sport, stripped of their titles, without a career and a talent goes to waste. In the case of temporary suspension, a career remains marked and the questioning on natural ability will follow them for the duration of their career. Health is put at risk. The danger of doping is well documented. From aggression, hair loss and ulcers, to insomnia, renal failure and permanent damage to reproductive organs and fertility, the side effects are
lengthy, and in many cases uncertain. New drugs are snatched up almost as soon as they are available, often without full trials or screening. Those substances that are permitted in sports are so because they passed lengthy checks and adhere to regulations. The reasoning behind the increased drugs testing in South Africa came after the realisation
ment of sport as a result. Those who take substances without getting caught would no longer have an unfair advantage. If the substance is legal all athletes would have the opportunity to avail of it. Competition is enhanced and the standard of the sport increases, while proper checks on health can be maintained. To legalise the use of
It’s the scourge of modern sport and has contributed to the rise and fall of many sports stars that young rugby players had started using growth hormones to increase muscle build up and gain that professional rugby build earlier in their career. School kids were taking illegal substances in order to emulate their idols. The damaging effects of injecting foreign hormones into their body weren’t a consideration. They didn’t have a team of doctors to monitor their intake, or check their vitals. They were damaging themselves in an effort to achieve a dream. The arguments in favour of legalising the use of some forms of doping generally address the dangers of unchecked drug usage and the general improve-
performance enhancers in sports opens up a Pandora’s Box of sorts. Firstly it wouldbe a legal and logistical nightmare, as the purchasing of drugs in such large quantities would surely have a greater cost than benefit weight. It would stop being about which athlete is the most talented and becomes about which has the best sponsorship deal, and which pharmaceutical company has the best chemical combinations. The push to get the strongest drugs, the newest drugs would become almost as important as the training itself. Corners would be cut. They always are when competition is involved. Human bod-
ies, already pushed to the pinnacle of performance in professional sport, would be pushed above and beyond what it’s naturally capable of. One could argue that strong regulations as to what substances could be used would be implemented. Stringent health checks and drug screens would become the standard order. This is the most common model set forth by those who favour the use of performance enhancers. Still, every athlete, in order to compete, would be left without the option not to use these substances. So every athlete will be doped. And under the regulations in place every athlete would be subjected to limitations on just what substances are and are not permitted, so surely the optimum drug would dominate? Does that not bring us back to the original scenario? Where each sportsperson has hit the maximum level of training, performance, and now drug usage, and once again everything falls back to raw talent? I ask again, what’s the point? Sports bodies already allow the use of certain substances. There are reasons these are allowed and others not. Some medical terminology that sounds vaguely
intimidating to anyone not familiar with it is used to qualify these decisions. I’m going to be extreme and say I trust the decisions of the doctors in charge of this stuff. Just like I trust them in most other medical scenarios. Just because our competitive streak is involved, it doesn’t mean we know better than medical professionals. I know from firsthand experience (and two reconstructive surgeries), you should listen to doctors when sports is involved. They generally have your best interests at heart.
The beauty of sport is seeing just what the human body is capable; how far it can run or cycle, how high it can jump, how many times can it flip, twist and turn while still nailing that perfect landing. Talent and perseverance is what creates a sports star. Not doping. An interesting case to take into account would be that of former Olympic and World champion, and world record holder, Canadain Ben Johnson. Johnson was the world record holder for the 100m and 400m men’s sprint. He
Disgraced Tour de France winner Alberto Contador
was famously stripped of his record time and his medals (obtained during the 1988 Seoul Olympics), following allegations, and a incriminating drug test. To this day, Johnson denies any deliberate intake of performance-enhancing drugs. Would he be reinstated as a Olympic winning sprinter, should some sort of regulation be imposed? It’s very hard to argue against the case of Johnson, whose career was defined by the incident. Nonetheless. it’s difficult to see any sort of such regulation being implemented.
The University Times | Tuesday, February 21 2012
The Trinity Player One of a professional footballer’s most memorable day is their first team debut. It’s their childhood dream, the fruit of all their hard labours, and it offers an opportunity to advance oneself a step closer to something they have always dreamed of becoming. But they are seldom as glamorous as you would imagine.
‘WHO THE bloody hell is that’ the fans seemed to roar in tandem as I scored a goal on my unofficial debut during a pre-season friendly at one of the local non league clubs. My manager introduced me with about 10 minutes to go in this match where I replaced an English international legend. The fans were confused about the identity of who scored the goal because I was given a jersey with no name or number on my back. In fact, some people could be forgiven for thinking I was an over enthusiastic fan who just ran onto the pitch. This episode was a taster of what playing in the first team was all about, even if it was a meaningless pre-season friendly. The next objective for me was to become a first team regular and have a long term career in top flight soccer. That’s every kid’s goal. To crack this next level in Professional football is difficult to say the least. There are a number of variables that will determine whether you will have a long term sustained career in the Premier League. Some of which are your attitude, determination, confidence, desire, technical ability, physical ability, timing, hunger and sometimes luck. For the minute percentages who meet all this criteria, they are more likely to have careers in the top flight for a number of years. In my own situation, I was just biding my time and eager for an opportunity to advance. My opportunity to play Premier League football was mainly due to an injury crises at the club and I made the Manager aware I could step up to the selection plate. The club were struggling at the foot of the table and results were needed for survival. I was playing well in the reserves at the time so my inclusion to the squad for our match against the mighty Liverpool (my heroes) was not a huge surprise. It was a strange weekend as a number of my close friends from Ireland had travelled over to meet me and I was expecting to watch the match in the grandstand with them. However, my unexpected promotion meant they could be possibly cheering me on. The dressing room experience before any First Team game is unique, especially when Liverpool FC are in town. If you were a fly on the wall, you would observe many characters. I remember everything about my debut day. For our kit-man, this was his
club Chaplain goes around and individually blesses everyone. “Alright Rev!” is the shout from some of the cheekier chaps on the team to the slightly embarrassed Reverend. There is a real sense of tension at this stage as the Manager barks out his final instructions and wishes us all the best. Finally, the loudest Fire Alarm in existence reverberates throughout the dressing room for a five minute warning. Starting on the bench and sitting in the vicinity of the home fans, you get a sense of what playing Professional Football is all about. You look around and realise how each fan is completely ingrained in their club. They love this arena, it’s their culture. I could smell the pork pies coming from behind the bench and where the quintessential football family all dressed up in the club merchandise were willing the team on. My manager was nervously and furiously chewing on the Wrigley’s gum to keep calm. Then it’s my turn to make an appearance. One of our legendary foreign comrades took a tumble and I stepped up for my debut during the 2nd half. On this occasion I am wearing a name and number on my back, so there is no hiding today. Quite honestly, the pace of the game on my debut against Liverpool was unbelievably quick. It may have been something to do with their sheer pace in numbers on the break. They had McManaman who had ability to run with the ball at pace from deep within his own half. Jamie Redknapp, who was continually spraying the ball around with such precision and of course Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen in attack. Michael Owen was 17 years of age that day and was the best player on the park. Every time he was in a position to run with the ball, you could see the look of sheer terror on our defenders faces. The away fans had a new cult hero and it was worth every penny of their journey down south to witness a boy wonder in action. Performance wise, honestly, I didn’t do a whole lot wrong that day. I was perhaps in awe of the whole occasion and possibly more excited that I played the 2nd half as a sub instead of coming off the pitch disappointed that we were on the end of a complete 3-0 demolition by the mighty ‘Pool’. Instead of tearing into us after that performance, I distinctly remember our high profile Manager taking a calmer approach and just asking us to ‘learn from it…and what will you do better next game?’ I think he recognised that Liverpool FC were in a different league to us and we needed to get the result out of the system ASAP. This was a special day I will not forget no matter what the result was. You are on a high for a few days and allow yourself to start dreaming about bigger moments ahead in football. All of a sudden the club PR person wants you to do a match programme interview and even your local radio station back in Ireland is making a few enquiries. This is the dream; this is what you have worked for. Then all of a sudden – Bang, I have to snap out of it. My Reserve team manager orders all the substitutes against Liverpool in for training on Sunday morning to prepare for a top of the table Reserve clash on Tuesday night. Back to the grindstone, but my career was hopefully in a better place after my debut..
You look around and realise how each fan is completely ingrained in their club. They love this arena. It’s their culture.
sanctuary every Saturday afternoon. He is the first in the dressing room and lays out all the gear superbly. When he suspects that a player is about to arrive, some hiphop music booms from the ghetto blaster to inspire the players. Next it was the turn of some fanatical supporters to enter the dressing room having won a local competition. These fans truly love their club and are only delighted to get a couple of autographs and pictures. Just before the players go out to warm up, the
The Trinity Player is an ex-pro.
TIMESSPORTS Harriers smash records on route to medals
Trinity’s men’s 4x100m relay team at the indoors Garret Dunne DU Harriers Captain RECORDS TOPPLED left and right at the Nenagh Olympic Stadium as the Irish University Athletic Association hosted the Intervarsity Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday, February 4th. Competing in one of the strongest championships to date, Ciara Everard (UCD) in the 800m, Leona Byrne (WIT) in the pentathlon, Barry Pender (DCU) in the high jump, Adam McMullen (UU) in the long jump and Dennis Finnegan (UL) in the triple jump all set Irish University Athletic Assocation marks. For DU Harriers and Athletics, Éamonn Fahey smashed the existing Trinity records for the 60m and the long jump, while post grad Katey Byrd eclipsed Claire McGlynn’s previous Trinity record in the weight for distance. Early medals followed an ominous start to the day for DUHAC. After illnesses saw captain Garret Dunne withdraw from the 400m and Irish international Liam Tremble
withdraw from the 3,000m due to injury, Sorcha Prendiville took bronze in the 1,500m walk with a time of 7:38.89. This is, by all means, a substantial achievement and no mean feat, consering the field which Prendiville competed against was particularly strong. A break in the track program presented Trinity’s second medal opportunity. In the 36lb weight for distance, rookie thrower Nicholas Clarke, who had never even previously heard of this event, out-threw a strong field to claim third place. Considering Clarke’s inexperience in this event, it makes the achievement much more noteworthy, and he will surely target this event in future as a potential medal-garnerer. However these two significant victories for Trinity were to be eclisped by an sublime individual performance by Senior Freshman Éamonn Fahey. Fahey, competing in the 60m and the long jump, which were scheduled at the same time, then put together arguably one of the most impressive hours in the history of sport in Trinity. Having warmed up
and taken his practice jumps at the long jump pit, he was called to the start line of the track to run his 60m heat. After a strong run to finish second, and having earned himself automatic qualification for the final, he returned instantly to the long jump pit. Up against long time rivals Adam McMullen, from Ulster University, and David Quilligan, from University College Cork, he proceeded to rattle off a thrilling series of jumps around the 7 metres mark. After 6 rounds, he was in 3rd place with a best of 7.13m, a new Trinity record. Satisfied with this position, he returned to the track for the 60m final. In what was the strongest race of the day, he took fourth place, blazing to a 7.04s (the quickest non medal-winning time in the history of these championships) and shattering another Trinity record. Fahey now holds the records for the 60m, long jump and triple jump, which he set last year. This display of stamina by Fahey marks him out as a superb athlete in the eyes of many of those at the indoors. One could assume that had te two events not been scheduled so close together, he may have had a greater chance. Intervarsities always features a high standard of competition, and this year it was the sprint events that allowed the championship’s elite to showcase their talents. Olympic hopefuls Claire Bergin (60m), Amy Foster (60m), Thomas Barr (400m), Kourosh Foroughi (High Jump) and Steven Colvert (60m) were all on form, as was DUHAC’s Ciara McCallion in the 400m. McCallion, who recently finished second in the National Indoor Championships, showed terrific form in the heats, running the fastest qualifying time and ensuring a favourable lane draw for the final. Despite lingering injuries in her back and shins, she cruised to an effortless victory in the final to claim
her first individual gold for Trinity. A fantastic display of willpower and determination by the Harrier proves that she fully deserved to win gold on the day. The women’s 800m featured the country’s two quickest athletes over the distance this year; UCD’s Ciara Everard and UCC’s Laura Crowe , who were predicted to dominate the field. Crowe, aware of Everard’s strength over the final 200m, went out hard to try and pull away from her rival early. Everard answered the challenge though, stalking Crowe over the first 600m before kicking into the lead and holding on to take first in a time of 2:05.76 – breaking the national under23 record held by the great Sonia O’Sullivan, who went on to gather an silver medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2002. The last race of the day, the mens 4x200m relay, presented one last medal opportunity for Duhac and a chance to break another college record. A brilliant team race from Fahey, Dunne, first year James Sinclair Ford and long jumper Rob Whelan earned the team 3rd place, ahead of rivals UCD and the strong favourites, DCU. Their time of 95.69 was just 0.49 seconds outside the record set in 2009. Next up is the Cross Country season, which the Dublin Univesity Harrier Athletic Club will target as a potential : Colours on February 18th and Intervarsities on March 10th, where both individual and team medals will be well within reach.
Dubin University Harriers Athletic Club medal winners - Indoor Championships at Nenagh Olympic Stadium
Gold - Ciara McCallion (400m) Bronze - Eamonn Fahey (Long Jump), Sorcha Prendiville (1500m walk), Nicholas Clarke (36lb) Trinity records were broken by Eamonn Fahey in the long jump (7.13m), and 60m sprint (7.04 seconds), as well as by Katey Byrd in the weight for distance.
DUBC edged out by Pleasant in semi Melanie Giedlin Sports Writer ON SATURDAY the 11th of February at the Terenure Badminton Centre, Trinity’s badminton team, the Dublin University Badminton Club (DUBC) went head to head with the Mt. Pleasant L.T.C in the semi-fi nals of the Division 1 Leinster Cup Competition hosted by Leinster Branch Badminton Union of Ireland, the top league in the province. Although ultimately not advancing to the fi nals, DUBC had an impressive performance in the semi-fi nals that showcased the talent of their Men’s and Ladies’ singles and doubles teams. The performance was valiant and, by all accounts, they were unlucky not to progress into the next round. What could be percieved as the highlight of Dublin
Univesity Badminton Club’s season, it’s encouraging to see them continue to develop as a squad, and hopefully they’ll be more equppied to progres to the next round next year. Arguably the most heated match was between TCD’s Simon Heilbronner, a PhD student in Microbiology, and his opponent from Mt. Pleasant in the Men’s Single’s Division. Heilbronner, whose focused demeanour matched the quickness of his footwork on the court, played off his opponent’s tendency to reveal his next moves. During the third and last game of the match, it almost seemed as if Heilbronner had gotten off track when a miscalculation sent his shuttlecock into the net. It seemed as if any one misstep would determine who won the
game, and match. However, Heilbronner pulled it together to win by using intense smashes to throw his opponent off during a particularly intense string of rallies, as Mt. Pleasant fell to the ground. Next in the semi-finals, the Women’s singles and Men’s Doubles took adjoining courts. Niamh Dunne, 1st Year Nursing Student, started off promising with strong defensive racquet work but ultimately lost the match to Mt. Pleasant. The Men’s Doubles, with Mechanical Engineering PhD student and captain Kevin Kerrigan joining Heilbronner, were evenly matched with their Mt. Pleasant opponents. Winning early rallies with a keen sense for each other’s timing, Heilbronner and Kerrigan looked promising. By the 3rd game of the
match, the score tied at 1-1, DUBC was picking up to deliver a series of flat drives over the net to regain the attack. However, both DUBC and Mt. Pleasant seemed shaken by missteps near the net, and a faulty serve by DUBC cost them the last game. At this point in the semi-finals, Mt. Pleasant was ahead 2-1. The results of the Ladies’ Doubles match would determine whether DUBC would play the Mixed Doubles match, giving them a chance to advance on to the finals. Niamh Dunne and Laura McElhinney, a 4th Year Primary School Teacher, played a ruthless game down to the final point in the Ladies’ Double match. The first game saw big overhead moves, as Mt. Pleasant generated significant lift that set up opportunities
for DUBC to win rallies with vertical smashes. By the third and final game, DUBC and Mt. Pleasant were tied 15 all as Mt. Pleasant shot ahead to 19; if Mt. Pleasant won another rally, it would be match point. In a promising turn, Mt. Pleasant hit it into the net twice and DUBC caught up until the score was 19 all. Unfortunately, Mt. Pleasant won the final rally and ended DUBC’s hopes to be in the finals, the final score 3-1 Mt. Pleasant. Though the day ended not as the Dublin University Badminton Club thought it would, all of their players brought their best against a tough opponent, proving that Trinity can hold their own on the court.
Football does the talking as exciting season comes to a close Jack Hogan Armchair Footballer WITH ONLY a dozen or so games left in the season, the Premier League is beginning to reach its dramatic climax. We now have a fully-fledged title race and a ferocious fight for survival on our hands and despite the juvenile distractions of handshakes, transfer fees and the England captaincy; we must now let the football do the talking. Off-field proceedings at Old Trafford last week overshad-
owed the fact that United temporarily went to the top of the table with the outstanding return to form of Wayne Rooney and a strong all-round performance. Indeed, the champions look set to continue challenging their local rivals until the very last day of the season. However, they were dealt a blow the following day when City overcame a truly lackluster Villa to return to the top spot. It is very much advantage City, especially with the return of the Touré brothers from the African Cup of Nations and likewise
Vincent Company and Mario Balotelli from suspension. The dramatic reappearance of Carlos Tevez in Manchester should only serve to galvanize the squad further. They also have some extremely winnable ties coming up with Blackburn, Swansea and Bolton on the fixture list. United on the other hand, with Norwich and Spurs away from home face a tough few weeks ahead. The challenge for them is to sustain their current pressure on the sky blues and keep
within touching distance. Liverpool will also be keen to look ahead to the next few weeks and to put the embarrassment of handshake rituals behind them. The Reds have an FA Cup tie with Brighton and the small matter of a Carling Cup final to distract them from League duties. However, the game-in-hand that they will earn as a result could be significant in the race for fourth spot. Indeed, lucrative Champions League football is still highly contested between Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool
and Newcastle. However, it is surely the Gunners who are in poll position to claim it. Chelsea have looked extremely out-of-sorts lately with their unforgiveable defensive errors dominating the headlines. Dissatisfaction with André VillasBoas has also reached the chants in the stands. However, the club spent so much bringing him to England that surely it would be in their interests to keep with him and focus their attention on their current Champions League campaign. However, if there is one
thing we have learnt from the managerial conveyer belt that is Stamford Bridge, it is that Roman Abramovic isn’t the most patient man. At the other end of the league, the fight for survival is just as exciting. Surely the writing is on the wall once again for Wigan as they continuously prop up the table. With only one win in their last ten games, Roberto Martinez will need to replicate the survival miracle that was pulled off last season. However, surely this is not a sustainable practice – they clearly aren’t
a Premier League team. Wolves on the other hand have finally bitten the bullet and sacked Mick McCarthy following an abominable 5-1 defeat at home to local rivals West Brom. His replacement will have quite a task on his hands to consolidate their position in football’s top flight – given the shattered confidence of their players. Speaking of new managers, QPR’s new-look team under Mark Hughes is also in the thick of it, with several losses since the former Manchester City and Fulham gaffer took
over at Loftus Road. Bolton and Blackburn in contrast have shown signs of resurgence in the New Year but it is far too early in the season to call this one just yet. It will be a vicious battle between these five teams to survive in the Premier League. Let’s sit back and enjoy.
UTsports February 20th 2012
Inside: Suarez v Evra
SOCCER LADIES HIT FOUR PAST UCD Matthew Rye Sports Editor The Dublin University Ladies soccer team capped off a remarkable season with a 4-0 victory against UCD last week. The Trinity team had too much for UCD in the end, and were deserving of the score line. Alison Miller scored 2 goals in a 4 minute flourish for Trinity in the second half, after Tara O’ Halloran had broken the deadlock for Dublin University in the first half. Substitute Natalie Steinemann then capped off an emphatic victory for the Trinity Ladies team against their Colours rivals. The result has propelled Trinity into a strong league position, as the season draws to a close. From the starting whistle, it was inherently clear who were going to dominate the game, as Trinity exploited the place much more promisingly, with Laura McMahon creating several opportunities down the left flank in the opening 10 minutes. Megan Paybody played a similar role on the right, linking up well with Alison Miller, who was able to take advantage of territory evacuated by the UCD defenders on more than one occasion. Holly Yort played an exceptional role as the puppet master in the first half, winning and holding the ball well and creating multiple chances for the Dublin University players to get themselves in good positions. UCD unfortunately had no such creative impulses, with the defensive measures of Nicole Keane and captain Cheryl Kemsley holding strong and leaving very little for the Trinity goalkeeper, Roisin Varley, to do. Dublin University made tough work of it in the first half, and it took them possibly longer than necessary to open their account. Accordingly, UCD were set up strongly defensively, but naturally that encouraged the Trinity team to attack, and attack they did, often winning set pieces. The first chance occurred after a DU corner, when Holly Yort
Trinity’s Cheryl Kemsley launches the ball upfield in the Soccer Ladies Colours match narrowly missed, after her snapshot whizzed past the left upright. Striker Laura McMahon also missed an opportunity to put Dublin University ahead, putting her close-range effort only marginally over the bar. Alison Miller was next to go close, again from a corner, as her headed attempt drifted wide. A UCD defensive assignment mix-up had left her unmarked on the edge of the box. For all their defensive frailties, UCD were valiant and willing to put their bodies on the line. Trinity’s Miller had a shot blocked off the line by Vicky Reynolds. Miller went close again, following a failed UCD clearance, but was unable to direct her
effort on target. Dublin University must have been beginning to wonder if it was their day. As the half wore on, Trinity’s dominance began to become more prominent. Holly Yort and Alison Miller linked up well from a counter-attack to bring a good save out of Jenni Dowley in the UCD goal. The breakthrough for Trinity came, unsurprisingly from a corner. As the ball was cleared, Tara O’Halloran managed to turn well on the edge of the box and rifle a shot into the top left corner, leaving nothing for the UCD defence to do but stand by and watch. The halftime whistle blew shortly after, but Trinity had managed
to get their noses in front, and then the rain started. The weather had very little impact on this match up until now, as it was mainly overcast, but once the heavens open, the game was changed. It became slightly messier, as the College Green turf began to tear up. The second half began more or less how the first had ended, with a Trinity corner. Alison Miller’s cross was met by the head of Laura McMahon, but in the end she was only able to force a comfortable save out of Jenni Dowley in goal. Holly Yort continued to plague the UCD defence with problems in the second half, skipping past UCD defenders, almost at will. Dublin University
midfielder, Hannah Hassell then had another shot saved after some good interplay with her fellow midfielder Megan Paybody. Trinity began to sense that a second or third goal would kill the game off from their point of view, as with University College Dublin’s minimal amount of chances, there would be very little that could be done, at that point, to keep the game alive. Trinity then hit UCD with a 4 minute double salvo, Alison Miller getting both goals. The first came after Yort dribbled the ball up the left wing, and fired a low cross for Miller to get on the end of. Miller did well, in this instance, to shake free of her marker before
Photo: Ben McQuillan slotting the ball home, past a sprawling Dowley. The second came only moments later, when Tara O’Halloran got on the ball in midfield before executing a defence-splitting pass that completely bisected the University College Dublin defence. Miller then latched onto the pass, sent the keeper the wrong way and coolly passed the ball home to cap off the move of the match. The match as a contest was effectively put to bed after that, as both sides offloaded their benches. Natalie Steinemann was one to come on for Trinity, and it would be she who would round off a fantastic performance by the Trinity Ladies team.
Alison Miller would turn provider for the next goal, as she managed to pick the ball up in midfield, following another unsuccessful attack by University College Dublin. She dribbled down the left wing, rounding three UCD defenders and eventually firing a low cross toward the UCD six-yard box. The cross was deflected by UCD’s Katie Cox, only to fall to the left foot of Steinemann, who blasted the ball past the now-desperate Dowley in goal and make it four goals with a flourish. The referee blew the game up shortly after that, and the victory has propelled Trinity into a strong league position. The game was entertaining in patches, par-
ticularly in the second half, but in truth, as a competitive fixture, it was over long before the final whistle. UCD never really got their attack going, and their somewhat frail defence was predicably punished by the Dublin University attack. Not to take away from Trinity, they performed excellently throughout the team, particularly in defence, where they snuffed out many UCD attempts.
O’Halloran Miller (2) Steinemann
GAA President Christy Cooney visits Trinity Jack Leahy Sports Writer
Christy Cooney was thrilled by the resurgence of handball in Trinity College
GAELIC ATHLETIC Association President Christy Cooney paid a visit to Trinity College last week, meeting students and discussing his hopes for the future of Gaelic sports. Cooney was greeted by head of Sport, Michelle Tanner and met with a representative from the Ladies football and hurling teams, the men’s football and hurling teams, and handball. At the meeting, described by a club press release as ‘very positive’, the clubs were given the opportunity to showcase their club to the most influential man in Gaelic games. Cooney thanked the club for their support for GAA, insisting that third-level GAA teams generate a great number of players for club and inter-county teams. Cooney propounded the benefits of GAA participation as a means to mitigate the pressure associated with
academic pursuits at third level. In recognising that future leaders and administrators are involved with GAA at third level as club officers and players, he identified a resource that the GAA would nurture going forward. Dublin University Central Athletics Committee chair Cyril Smith discussed the long tradition and history of GAA in the University, despite the sport not often being associated with Trinity. Trinity College had, he noted, drawn up its own rules for Hurling as early as 1870, even before the Irish Hurley Union was established in 1879. Cooney said that he was ‘thrilled’ to see the resurgence of handball and wished the club well in their upcoming trip to the World Collegiate Championships in the USA at the end of the month. He also indicated his approval and support of the partnership between Clanna Gael and Trinity and in particular the coaching experience that students get
through the Clanna Gael Juvenile teams. Last, he declared that he was impressed with the professionalism and passion for GAA at Trinity and the support of the Provost, Dr. Patrick Prendergast who joined the visit. They reflected on both the signifiance of sport in the college, and of successful 2011 season that many of the sporting teams have enjoyed. In all, the previous year have been qute good to Trinity’s sporting programme. The Dublin University Central Athletics Committee has enjoyed successes from a wide range of sporting genres. Trinity contiues to perform admirably in the areas of hurling and football, with te returns on the rugby team becoming higher and higher. Soccer is following suit, as theDubin University Athletic Football Club look forward to their upcoming Collingwood Cup attempt.
Trinity Sport The Squash team compete in their Intervarsity in Galway next weekend. The Camogie team will compete in the Father Meaghar championship in Waterford next weekend. The men’s gaelic football team compete against Westmeath next weekend, away from home. Good luck to all.