Tough at the top
n e r i S Razorlight the
They’ve got the golden touch
Interview: Siren: Page 6
A Fianna Fáil freefall Page 13
College Tribune ucd.ie/tribune
The Difference is We’re Independent
Issue 4 | Volume 22 | 28th October 2008
GIVE IT BACK BRADY ■ President Hugh Brady to pay back unauthorised allowances ■ Door now open for 19% pay increase ■ Jennifer Bray & Evan O’Leary The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has conﬁrmed that a ‘resolution’ has been arrived at on university top brass previously in receipt of unauthorised allowances. Among them was UCD President Hugh Brady, the beneﬁciary of an allowance to the tune of €12,000. According to spokesperson for the HEA Malcolm Byrne, “The allowances were not permitted and will no longer be paid. Those who received the allowances are now paying them back, and this time next year we won’t be talking about this matter.” This development now leaves the door open for a 19% hike in Brady’s salary, bringing it to a high of €270,000. As of last year, his salary was in the region of €205,000. A UCD spokesperson has said “UCD has at all times openly report-
ed all of the remuneration of all of its staff to the HEA as the appropriate regulatory body to which it must answer in common with its peers and the University does not discuss or comment on any individual cases outside that reporting relationship.” The €12,000 stipend he had previously been awarded was discovered last October, and a freeze on his salary was subsequently ordered. Along with other university heads, Brady petitioned for a 19% increase in salary on the grounds of the changing nature of being President. These controversial pay hikes were recommended by the Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Service last year, and were put on ice while the investigation continued.
» Continued on Page Four » Editorial: Page Nine
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Fees group slam UCD Societies Officer
LGBT financial woes continue
■ Katie Godwin
■ Tadgh Moriarty An interim loan has been suggested for the LGBT’s Pink Training course by the Students’ Union after they recently rejected calls for funding for the annual event. The loan, averaging €40 per person, allows the society in the meantime to apply for funding from the Societies’ Council. However, if funding is not approved, the LGBT will have to fully reimburse the union. Pink training is an event which is hosted once yearly by the USI. LGBT students from all over Ireland gather for a weekend of workshops, modules and lectures on issues ranging from coming out to activism on campus and sexual health. Previously, the registration fee for the event, €70, had been fully funded by the union. However Students’ Union President Aodhán O’Dea proposed a new model this year whereby the Union would pay a portion, as would the Societies Council and the members themselves. This motion was almost unanimously rejected at the latest executive council meeting, when eighteen out of the nineteen members present voted against it. When general council met on Monday last, the motion was again put before them, where it was crushed for a second time. This time the motion was defeated by three votes after the members had to be asked to vote three times due to the closeness of the call. Furthermore, LGBT rights ofﬁcer Ryan Grifﬁn himself voted against the motion at council. O’Dea claims that as an executive ofﬁcer, ‘it was Ryan’s duty to uphold the motion passed at executive council, despite his personal feelings’. When questioned on the issue, Ryan responded by saying, “it is people’s right to disagree with my decision, but the Union Executive already decided on this motion and it is my job as an executive ofﬁcer to uphold that decision”. The choice now rests with the seven members that sit on the societies council.
Campaign group Free Education for Everyone (FEE) has condemned the removal of FEE and USI posters from campus. The group claims that these posters were ordered down by UCD Societies Ofﬁcer, Richard Butler. Campaign spokesperson, Julian Brophy stated, “We ﬁnd it beyond belief that Richard Butler continues to allow sexist material, which contravenes both UCD’s ‘Dignity and Respect’ policy and equality in the workplace legislation, to be displayed on campus while he actively removes posters organising against cutbacks, increases in the registration fee and the reintroduction of fees.” First year Arts student, and FEE campaigner, Paul Stewart commented, “The removal of FEE and USI posters is little more than a politically motivated attempt by Mr. Butler to prevent students from organising and attending protests”. However, Butler replied “I have no speciﬁc recollection of what posters have been taken down, however, as has always been the case, cleaners and UCD staff regularly remove any posters or advertising material that do not belong to a UCD organisation” Brophy was infuriated at Butler’s response, insisting that he had physically seen him taking down these posters. “He ripped one down right
ﬁcial advertising by staff. Julian also speculated that more students might have attended the protests during last week if the posters had been left up and fears the damage. But Stewart has assured, “Students will continue to campaign against at-
tacks on free education, regardless of any individuals petty actions.” Free Education for Everyone is a campaign group, established by students and workers in UCD, to ﬁght against the increase in the registration fee, cutbacks and the reintroduction of third level fees.
■ Vice-President for Students demands ‘full facts’ ■ Students’ Union pulls advertising in the College Tribune The Vice-President for Students Martin Butler has launched an investigation into the alleged antics of the Class Rep Training weekend. A college spokesperson has said “Any actions that bring the university into disrepute are taken extremely seriously.” He further said serious questions had been raised into the alleged behaviour of some students. “The Vice-President for Students has re-
LG 18, Newman Building (Arts Block) or Box 74, Student Centre, UCD Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01 716 8501
Features Editor Sports Editor Arts Editor Music Editor Health & Fashion Editor Chief News Writer
in front of me and told me that we don’t have the right to put up posters because we aren’t a society”. Brophy says he was greatly angered that their posters, which according to him advertised a campaign aimed at promoting the welfare of the college, were discarded as unof-
Class Rep training under investigation
College Tribune Editors
■ You can’t poster here: FEE were refused advertising space on the concourse
Jennifer Bray Simon Ward Karen O’Connell Bryan Devlin Cathy Buckmaster Sebastian Clare Aoife Ryan Karina Brackenh
■ Jennifer Bray & Simon Ward quested the full facts surrounding the true extent of the alleged damage and those who may have been involved. The investigation is ongoing.” The Students’ Union is currently awaiting a damage assessment report. It is understood the assessment will be broken down to each house
detailing any damage caused within. The relevant parties who frequented the house will be contacted if there is found to be any vandalism. According to Students’ Union President Aodhán Ó Deá, the deposit has not yet been returned to the union, but he also says, “the full deposit is never returned. There are always bits and pieces taken off.” Subsequent to a recent report in this publication on the behaviour of
Contributors Steven West, Eoghan Brophy, Jordan Daly, Colman Hanley, Steve Tuohy, Fiona Redmond, Heather Landy, Ruth O’Neill, Maximilliam Harding, Faustus, Tadgh Moriarty, Evan O’Leary, Chris Bond, Sam McGrath, Jason Timmons, Ben McCormack, Rachel Boyle, Diarmuid Laffan, Jessica Whyte, Nicholas Broadstock, Orla Kenny, Katie Godwin, Jessica Egan, Philip Connolly, Niamh Bhreathanach, Orna Mulhern, Eoghan Glynn, Roe McDermott, Conor McKenna, Aoife Smyth, Cian Taaffe
Special thanks to... Huw Jones and Frank Flynn at NWN, Karen from DEAF, everyone at MCD, Chantal at Universal, Alan and Beryl Ward, Sharon and Joseph Bray, 60 Cents Mochas, Eilish O’Brien and Dominic Martella at the UCD Communications Ofﬁce, Caitrina & Colin, Hilper’s Scones, Jack.
some students and damage caused, the Students’ Union has suspended advertising with the College Tribune, demanding a clariﬁcation or retraction regarding its front-page article. Ó Deá has said, “I can no longer justify supporting the College Tribune ﬁnancially through advertising until we do receive this clariﬁcation.” The annual class rep training took place in the Forest Park self-catering homes in Courtown, Wexford.
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College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Fruit Pastilles found to be sickly sweet(s) Confectionary could be up to “four years out of date”
■ Fruit Pastilles: The offending packet, with a best before date over two years old (above)
An unsuspecting student recently purchased a packet of Nestle Fruit Pastilles from the vending machines located next to The Arts Cafe in the Newman Building, only to ﬁnd a best before date of 01/06/2006. Upon forking out the required 90 cent, he examined the packet and discovered to his horror the age of the sweets. The same date was imprinted on every packet of the Pastilles that was on view in the machine. Brendan Mallon of Pembroke distributors, who service the machines, was shocked upon discovering the sell-by date. Exacerbating the problem, Mallon explained to the College Tribune “there are usually a couple of years short on those, so you’re probably looking at that being four years
■ Karina Bracken old.” Mallon went on to add that in addition to the Fruit Pastilles being gone-off for the speciﬁed 27 months, “there’s a good year on any product we take in here.” According to Mallon, Pembroke distributors buy the confectionary every week directly from Nestle. “The machines in UCD are our busiest.” He believes the situation is grave: “I need to explore how this got into the machine and I need to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.” Mallon said that he would get in contact with Nestle and call out to UCD to investigate later on this week. He added: “We are treating this very seriously; this is a big problem for us.”
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Dublin Bus inspector attacked Dublin Bus suspend services on ﬂyover after 8.30p.m. due to student roudiness ■ Karina Bracken
an ol ne
N Ke a
t an n Ce
■ Non stop: Dublin Buses are bypassing the front gate in the evenings
Give it back, Brady
Dublin Bus has temporarily suspended services on two prominent routes to Belﬁeld after 8.30p.m. The decision was made following an attack on an inspector and a recent spate of “antisocial behaviour”. According to a statement released by Dublin Bus ofﬁcial Brendan Cushen, this followed a meeting with Trade Unions, UCD and the relevant authorities. The judgement came after a number of incidents that involved students resulted in fears for the safety of Dublin Bus staff and passengers. It is also understood an inspector was attacked and punched by a student. The student in question was taken into Donnybrook Garda Station, and it is unclear if they will face any disciplinary action. The Gardaí and UCD were unable to comment on the question. Cushen was unaware of reports that some drivers on routes servicing the bus stop at the N11 ﬂy over have also refused to stop for students late at night. A driver on one such route, the No. 84, commented, “It’s like this every winter. The students come out of the campus drunk and aggressive, especially on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We are getting sick of it.”
Two weeks ago, Anita, a 2nd year Arts student, was returning from work in Dun Laoghaire on the 46a when the driver refused to drive up onto the ﬂyover and stop at UCD. “He apologised, saying that he had to leave us at the stop before UCD. He had orders not to go up there. He said that none of the buses would be stopping there that evening. There were about twenty students waiting at the bus stop when I walked up so I told them that the buses wouldn’t be coming.” A spokesperson for UCD has said “Any student who behaves in this manner causes misery for the majority of regular users of the Dublin Bus service to Belﬁeld which transports students, staff and visitors to and from the campus.” He added, “it is regretful when the actions of a tiny minority cause problems for the majority. This is particularly true in relation to the services provided by Dublin Bus. Dublin Bus staff have a right to conduct their work without experiencing abuse or harassment.” Dublin Bus met with authorities in UCD last Thursday to try to resolve the issue. The results of the talks are unknown.
» From Page One HEA spokesperson Malcolm Byrne has said a very recent resolution on the issue of unauthorised allowances arrived after discussions with universities “over the past year.” Those in receipt of the disallowed monies, including President Hugh Brady, must now repay the amounts they have acquired. Byrne was unable to disclose the amount being claimed back overall, saying, “given it involves individual contracts, I wouldn’t be in a position to reveal the amount being paid back in total. It applies across other universities besides UCD.” He further stated, “The details of the resolution are quite complicated because there are contractual obligations too.” The College Tribune previously reported the college principals and vicepresidents in the university that were in receipt of dubious extra payments. Information on allowances of between €18,000 to €53,184 per person in addition to the staff’s basic salaries emerged over the last few months. Vice President for Capital and Commercial Development, Eamonn Ceannt, received an allowance of €53,184, while the Registrar and Vice President
for Academic Affairs Philip Nolan was paid an additional €35,469. Other payments included €25,000 for the Vice President for Innovation and Corporate Partnership, Mark Keane, and other various College Principals. Byrne has said, “certain staff were paid awards outside normal frameworks, but this is through an agreement reached in 2000 allowing certain universities to go outside that, providing certain criteria were matched. In a small number of circumstances, a number of institutions have departed from that. “Now, it’s important the system of checks and balances are put in place in the institutions,” says Byrne. Some of those receiving allowances in UCD are also eligible for annual bonuses of up to 20%. The Vice President for University Relations, Padraig Conway, was listed as a recipient of an annual allowance to the sum of €25,000, while also being in line for a bonus of 20%, with the reason cited as “In recognition of signiﬁcant progress having been achieved in relation to agreed targets”.
» Editorial: Page Nine
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
University Challenge for UCD spending ■ Karina Bracken UCD was the centre of focus on last week’s RTE Primetime programme, which also looked at how Irish universities were spending €2 billion a year of government funding and tax payers’ money. It came after a call from Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe, for a “forensic audit” of university books. The college and President Hugh Brady were particularly under the spotlight during the programme. From outside the Conway Institute, the reporter Mike Milotte explained: “The heads of our Universities seem to believe that they deserve more of the government funding.” Milotte went on to cite beneﬁts which Brady enjoys, such as the €1.6 million refurbishment of his on campus residence. Primetime also examined the emphasis on research that the president has pioneered, which has turned
UCD into a business-like affair. Elite staff are being hired - but they are not all academic. “In UCD in particular, people are being brought in for purely administrative jobs and are paid very high salaries.” According to Milotte, “some in the sector view this as an embarrassment.” There are currently at least fourteen ‘super salary’ staff here in the college, earning between them upwards of 2.5 million a year. This puts UCD at the top of the list for those on such ‘mega salaries’. Another problem that was particular to the university was unauthorised payments on top of standard salaries, which are outside the law. Universities have been in discussion with the HEA on this matter. The programme also showed how a leaked report said that staff and students feel that “more effort is being put into presenting University College Dublin as a centre of excellence than actually making this a reality.”
■ Batt O’Keeffe (right): Has called for a ‘forensic audit’ of the all university books
For the way we live today
■ No show: Mary Haniﬁn called off her UCD visit
Security costs drive Hanafin off-campus ■ Jessica Egan High security costs ranging between two and three thousand euro have forced Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanaﬁn to cancel oncampus meetings. Following the protests surrounding Brian Lenihan’s visit to UCD last week, it was agreed that it would be apt for her not to attend a meeting with Ogra Fianna Fail on campus. Citing security costs as the reason for this, Chairman of the Kevin Barry Cumann, Conor King, stated that the Minister’s visit would have cost the University in the region of up to 3,000 euro. On top of this, between 10-20 Gardaí would have been necessary. Whilst the minister was aware of the protests which she would no doubt face and was perfectly happy to do so, the group felt it would be unfair to take Gardaí off the streets as well as to place such a ﬁnancial burden on the
university itself. Speaking on the proposals for the reintroduction of college fees, King stated “It’s a difﬁcult one for us since we are both students and members of Fianna Fail.” King pointed to the fact that there was no doubt that the university was in need of more money. He also highlighted the fact that the people from less privileged backgrounds were in need of more ﬁnancial assistance in the form of grants. Given the current economic climate, King asked “Where is the money going to come from? Either an increase in taxes or charging those who can afford to pay” A recent poll on the Ogra Fianna Fail website indicated that 42% indicated a preference for fees being introduced for the wealthy, a viewpoint which Mr King also shared. In defending his position King pointed to the fact that at least 20-25% of people in his year had paid for 2nd level education.
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College Tribune | October 14th 2008
News Investigations News
UCD students arrested as fees campaign gathers momentum ■ Jennifer Bray Two students were arrested and one caution was given amid scenes of fury at last Monday’s protest. Approximately 150 students gathered outside the Clinton Auditorium to voice their concerns on the arrival of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan. “No Cutbacks, no fees, no Fianna Fáil TDs” was the rallying cry of students as they staged a sit town protest to block the minister’s entrance. “If they want to block our way to education, we will block there way into our campus,” said UCD Students’ Union ofﬁcer Dan O’Neill over a megaphone to an enthusiastic crowd. A strong Garda and campus security presence were on hand to monitor the protest and two people were arrested for breaches of the peace. The arrests came following two minor scufﬂes, the ﬁrst as the students began to sit in attempt to block the entrance at around 6pm, and then after Mr Lenihan entered secretly through the side door, much to the student’s dismay. One student claims “I was there when he arrived, and he ran scared into the side door of the building.” Chants of “this Government has disgraced themselves” ﬁlled the air following Mr Lenihan’s entrance through the side door. A further arrest took place as a number of students tried to break through the barriers erected by police. Speaking to College Tribune, Donnybrook Garda Superintendent Liam Hogan said, “hopefully we can ﬁnd a way to negotiate. We are going to talk it through, and move the students to one side. We’re not looking for any rows.”
At this point the UCD Students’ Union decided to leave the protest to resume council. Protesters tried to block all exits from the Building, but after discussions with police it was agreed that the protest would remain at the front exit and the minister would exit through a peaceful protest. Following this however, Lenihan was rushed into a car followed by shouts of angry protesters, who retorted to the guards “liars, we wont trust you next time”. A spokesperson for campaign group FEE said, “The increase in the registration fee is an attempt to sneak fees in through the back-door, and belittles the rhetoric that only the wealthy would be targeted to fund education.” “In 2002, UCD students successfully blockaded Noel Dempsey inside the Veterinary Sciences Centre in Belﬁeld for over two hours,
in response to the 69% increase in the registration fee brought in that year. We are looking to build on that tradition.”
College Tribune | October 14th 2008
■ Photography: Philip Connolly
“We will not pay for the government’s mistakes” Over 10,000 students took to the streets in protest against increases in college registration charges and the potential reintroduction of third level fees last Wednesday. The protest, organised by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), saw students from all across the country march to Leinster House, where student leaders and opposition politicians addressed the masses. Addressing the crowd which lined the full length of the street, Labour Party education spokesman Ruairi Quinn said he was encouraged by their passion and that the Government should be wary because students are not prepared to lie down on this issue and accept the return of fees. “It just shows how many students value free access to education and how wrong the Government would be to reverse the decision to bring in free fees,” he said. Quinn urged students to take their concerns to their local Government TD; “they should be willing to listen as the potential for a number one vote was the currency that drove them in life”. Fine Gael education spokesman Brian Hayes also stressed the need for students to take their protests home and make their feelings known at grass roots level. “Education is a right that should be extended to all, not just those who can afford it,” he said.” Young people should not have to pay the price for Fianna Fáil incompetence
■ Philip Connolly over the last 11 years,” he added. USI President Shane Kelly said he was delighted with the response from the students but was unimpressed by the response of the Government and the Minister for Education. “The reason we are here today is because of the Ministers refusal to sit down and talk to students. He is very happy asking for our money but he doesn’t want to listen to what we have to say on the subject. We are here as a representative organisation of 250,000 people demanding to meet with the Minister and the Department.” Mr Kelly said he was disappointed the Government had not sent a representative to address the rally and accused the coalition of using the extra charges levied on students to bulk up the State coffers rather than investing them in education. With an already embattled government facing ﬂak over the budget and revision of medical cards, students have warned that this is the beginning and that education and college fees could be their next battleground.
■ Protest: Activist Richard Boyd Barrett makes his point (left) and USI President Shane Kelly
College Tribune | October 14th 2008
FAUSTUS Back Supping with the devils
I’m delighted that my old pal Talleyrand took time to acknowledge my return. I was having a chat with the ould scrubber last week, and he asked me how my garden grows? “With the urine of Campaigns and Communications Vice Presidents’’ I replied. That’s right, during a recent drunken moment everyone’s favourite leftie Dan O’Neill went outside for a quick slash, only to be told afterwards that what he thought was a urinal was actually a ﬂowerpot. The next day the object soiled by Danny boy had stemmed a beanstalk even bigger than Jack’s. This phenomenon has bafﬂed plant enthusiasts from the four corners of the globe. Meanwhile, Aodhan O Dea continues to storm around the campus casting evil glares at anyone who dares mention the unholy combination of words (Class Rep). His childish sulks and boycott of the Tribune leaves the cockles of Faustus’ heart warmed contentedly. Reportedly, he hasn’t slept a wink over the last while and was seen pacing the union corridor with Tribune in hand and sporting the world’s straightest monobrow. Perhaps the hackery is just becoming too much… The Good news is that the student movement is back. Activism has been re-activated. Supposedly. Last Monday Min-
ister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD was given a warm welcome by UCD students and any Random crusty willing to express his or her love. Some froze their asses until the ﬁnal moment, and some went back to the warm realms of the Dail, apologies, the council. The Demo proved to be just a curtain opener for the big march on Wednesday. Distraught at the thought of parting from their booze money 10,000 angry students took the streets of Dublin against the reintroduction of fees. Who says that the only things students are interested in these days are scoring drunken impressionable ﬁrst years, getting on the guest list for Troiiiipoiid, and American Eagle Sweaters. The protest commenced at the garden of remembrance, and included all colleges ITs and universities in the Dublin region except of course Trinity who have an aversion to crossing the River Liffey. The Trinners instead opted to join the march at Westmoreland St, and even then their SU hacks were reluctant to mix it up with the taigs and fenians from the Catholic University. It’s worth nothing that most of these TCD heads are actually Catholics themselves. They just pretend that they are Protestant in order to ﬁt in with the hierarchy of the holy, undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth, William the Conqueror, Oliver Cromwel, etc. However the protest didn’t please everybody, Brave Mavericks from the UCD Fianna Fail Cumann were reprimanded for going against the party line and joining in the demo. Reports suggests that orders coming from the FF politburo on Mount Street stated that “if any our members try and get in the way of our plans to mess up higher education, we’ll mess them up’’.
Access to third level education is good for the country Personally, the challenge to increase access to third-level education in the 1990s was driven by my own experience as a primary school teacher. In the 60s I was a teacher at Cook Street National School, a school situated up the road from Trinity College. Even then the children of Oliver Bond ﬂats would have qualiﬁed for the then grants scheme of free fees and maintenance. But not one student from that school had entered the gates of Trinity College or any other third level institution, as a student, by the time I arrived at the Department of Education, thirty years later. I was by now the Minister for Education in a Fianna Fáil and Labour Government, a government committed to establishing greater access to education for all. It was for them that I put in place my favourite initiatives, Early Start and Breaking the Cycle. Today, it is only after a decade of targeted grants that these students have graduated into a Leaving Certiﬁcate class locally, and hopefully, will ﬁnish their education at a university near them. For the greater cohort of those attending university, the university grants system has moved on slowly in pace with inﬂation, the registration fee has been allowed to increase shamefully but the gates that I opened for the undergraduate still remain open. How was this done? For some years fee paying parents of students, over eighteen years of age, had access to a tax covenant scheme. But because no limits applied to a covenant claimed by other relatives or friends it became relatively easy to fund student fees 100%. The dinner party covenant became a real Dun Laoghaire Constituency special. Neighbours funded neighbours’ children. By coveting funds, managers managed to put their children through university, while their employees could not. And many university staff were covenanting the cost of fees while availing of free tuition for their children, a little known staff perk at the time. The extent of the use of covenants outside the 5% limit became evident when a study on the schemes, by Dr. Donal de Buitleir, commissioned by my Department, was completed. The
Niamh Bhreathnach Report recommended many changes to the existing schemes, including the inclusion of assets in a reformed grant scheme. It was difﬁcult to envisage a fair way forward, unless assets could be assessed, but in a tax climate that was positively Ansbacher, to suggest new ways of using the tax system to fund fees was just not practicable. Politics is after all the art of the possible. With de Butleir report identifying the level of abuse, or use of, the existing covenant scheme, I realised that I could meet the commitment in the Programme for Government to give access to Third Level Education fairly quickly if I had access to a growing tax relief fund With the support of the members of the newly formed Labour/ Fine Gael/ DL government, fees were abolished and the tax covenant savings ring-fenced. The gates were opened. I believe that the fact the decision was made without Fianna Fáil makes it easier for their Minister to consider a reintroduction. Would reversing Donagh O’Malley’s introduction of free second level education be even considered by today’s FF followers? It reads like a fairy story of educational success. The participation of left wing politicians in government saw a right to education enshrined in our system. Should we allow this government of Fianna Fáil, the Greens and PD reverse the upwards trend of participation? If education is the key to the individual’s life chances it surely must be the key to our country’s future. Too many government ministers have been quoted as saying that Ireland will continue to invest heavily in education yet the statistics show that since the Labour Party left the Department of Education,
the percentage of investment has fallen. What we must demand of our politicians is that they practice what they preach. Unfashionable as it is to say, we are a low taxation economy (lying 28th in the OECD table on expenditure on education). The European model of funding education and health rely on a more robust taxation system. If we are low on the taxation ladder we cannot expect to be able to provide the investment in third level enjoyed by our EU partners. Their students access third level freely. England saw a sharp reduction in student numbers when Tony Blair introduced a £1,000 fee. To put our attendance numbers in reverse, particularly when we should be planning for an economic recovery and our promised place in the knowledge society would be too short sighted to tolerate. When Minister O’Keefe opened the debate on the fees issue he promised a forensic examination of all areas of investment. USI have successfully pointed out that loan schemes employed in commonwealth countries are not too successful; they are too bureaucratic and too open to abuse. Parents above the income limit are already subsidising your “fee” education. Figures as high as €10,000 have been suggested as the true cost of your years at college. Investing in human capital may sound too Statist for followers of the American neo-con dream but without mineral or industrial wealth our past success was based on use of our demographic advantage in Europe. Discuss, debate, march against the idea of reversing Ireland’s position regarding the right to access to education. Question the shibboleths; we are not investing heavily or even modestly in education, we do not pay the highest tax rates in Europe, human capital is our best way forward and is truly the only answer for Ireland’s future economic success.
» Niamh Bhreathnach is a Labour party councillor and former minister, who was oversaw the removal of third level fees in the mid-90s
College Tribune | October 14th 2008
Please reply to:
Letters A question of priorities Dear Editors, I am a postgraduate student in UCD and this is my ﬁfth year in the university. In such a long period of time I have witnessed many changes occurring in UCD, especially with the introduction of modularisation. Some things have changed for the better, others for the worse. But I must say, never before this year I had heard of such senseless proposals such as introducing a fee for the health services available on campus, cutting down the number of books in possession of the library, and reducing the library’s opening hours, or even telling the staff not to print too many documents! I know that all these proposals come in a climate of general economic recession (sorry for employing such an over-used and awful word!), and against the background of a sub-
College Tribune LG 18, Newman Building (Arts Block) or Box 74, Student Centre, UCD Email: email@example.com Tel: 01 716 8501 The College Tribune reserves the right to edit letters
stantial deﬁcit that UCD happens to have. What I do not understand, however, is why the university authorities are willing to spend thousands of euro for the building of a new student centre, to include such useless facilities like a huge swimming pool, a cinema and so forth. I am not claiming that students do not have the right to enjoy a good movie or to go swimming if they want, but, seen that the university is having all these ﬁnancial problems, why could students not make the effort to catch a bus and going to the city centre, or to Dundrum, when they want to go to the cinema or to use a swimming pool? I am also aware that the decision about the construction of the new student centre has been democratically determined through a referendum, but that took place about two years ago, at a time when there was no eco-
nomic downturn, and no talk about reducing the library’s opening hours, or other vital student services. If there are problems, as it seems clear it is the case, the university authorities should make sensible choices, and, rather than decreasing the amount and quality of services available to students, they should perhaps re-think about the issue of the new student centre. Otherwise, at the end of the day, students in UCD will have the possibility of going to the cinema at every hour of day or night, while they will ﬁnd the library closed when they wish to study or write an assignment. It is just as if starving people were given luxury clothes to wear, when there is no money to buy food. Best Regards, A somewhat puzzled UCD student.
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The Difference is We’re Independe
Reasserting our editorial independence In the last issue of this newspaper, we published a front page article concerning the behaviour of your elected representatives at class rep training. The College Tribune wishes to make a clariﬁcation. It is, and always has been the policy of this publication to report news relevant to students in a factual, unbiased manner. There was no contradiction to this policy in the aforementioned article. Furthermore, the College Tribune has been subjected to considerable pressure to print a retraction and to exonerate the behaviour of those class representatives who failed to live up to the responsibility entrusted to them by the students. This publication refuses to bow to such intimidation, and prioritises the interests of students ahead of ﬁnancial and political concerns. Finally, as an independent newspaper, free from ties from any stakeholder, the College Tribune continues to reserve the right to implement editorial policy in the manner in which it deems appropriate.
A resolution...? After months of wrangling, investigation and deliberation, the Higher Education Authority has ﬁnally come to a conclusion of the contentious issue of unauthorised allowances to university chiefs. During a time when fees have re-emerged on the political agenda and budget cutbacks are already being felt across this university, the abolition of such additional payments is a welcome move. However, the question must be asked, ‘Is it one step forward, but two steps back.’ Hugh Brady, in tandem with various other college bosses, has vigorously petitioned for an elevation in wages to compensate for what he terms as ‘mental horse-power’ and ‘street-smart problem solving skills’. At this time, such rhetoric on salary hikes was put on ice due to the controversial and the disingenuous nature of these allowances. Now with this issue resolved, the ﬂoodgates have been ﬂung open, and the prospect of any such salary increase will undoubtedly raised more than a few eyebrows and provoke speculation and debate. Without a doubt, the role of a president is a complex a challenging position. Despite this fact, in the current climate, it is hardly appropriate for even the discussion of salary increases to be brought on to the agenda. Perhaps it is too idealistic to expect the head of a university, a leader of a community, to guide by example?
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
It’s about to get ugly With just one week to go before the U.S. presidency is decided, Chris Bond looks at the last ditch tactics that will be employed to win the race for the White House As we approach the last lap of the big race on the other side of the Atlantic, Barack Obama seems to have an insurmountable lead, but shows no signs of complacency. He himself has acknowledged that Democrats have a knack of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory. Michael Dukakis and Al Gore can testify to that. Attack ads formed a huge basis to attacks on those two candidates, but will they do so this time around? John McCain, a man who has deﬁed the odds throughout his entire political and military career, refuses to give up hope. It’s worth noting that the last presidential candidate to turn an eight point opinion poll deﬁcit this late in the race into an election victory was Ronald Reagan. However that was against unpopular incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Contrast that to John McCain’s predicament where this time the unpopular incumbent is McCain’s party colleague George W Bush. McCain continues to ﬁght to the bitter end with a series of attack ads and robocalls, aimed at destroying Obama’s leadership credentials. Obama refuses to let those ads go unchallenged. As Obama’s presidential campaign began, so did McCain’s smear campaign. The McCain campaign launched an ad dismissing Obama as a celebrity in the calibre of Paris Hilton who is not ready to lead. He also launched an ad claiming that Obama’s taxation policies will result in tax increases for American workers. Subsequent opinion polls indicated that these ads may have scuppered Obama’s post primary season boost. Obama wasted no time in responding to McCains attacks, and launched a series of ads of his own which were aimed at dispelling McCain’s criticisms. Obama managed to hold a small lead up until and throughout the Democratic National Convention. A communication strategist for Obama, Robert Gibbs, believes that McCain’s attack ads are starting to backﬁre. Speaking about recent opinion polls Gibbs said that “more than 60% of the people think John McCain is more interested in attacking Barack Obama than in talking about what he’d do as president.” Meanwhile, one could be forgiven for believing that McCain has traded his increasingly unpopular running mate Sarah Palin for a mysterious character known as ‘Joe the Plumber’. Obama ﬁrst came across Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher on the doorsteps in Ohio. Wurzelbacher, who is looking to buy a small plumbing ﬁrm, expressed his concern about possible tax increases he may incur under Obama’s economic
plan. McCain mentioned Joe the Plumber several times during the ﬁnal presidential debate, purporting that Obama was planning to raise taxes on hard working people. Obama has fought back on the issue of taxation with the launch of taxcut. barackobama.com, an online calculator which allows users to work out their tax savings under Obama’s plan in comparison to McCain’s plan. Gibbs said that “this will help make it clear that the majority of Americans will pay less tax under Obama than they would under McCain”. John McCain is desperate to ﬁnd a way to overcome Obama’s massive lead in the opinion polls. In using attack ads and drawing attention to people like Joe the Plumber he is trying to place himself on the side of ordinary Americans. He is attempting to portray Obama as elitist, out of touch and a tax hiker. He is also trying to draw attention to Obama’s relative inexperience. Nevertheless, Obama is intent on not making the same mistakes as John Kerry by refusing to respond to attack ads. This is evident in the setting up of a ‘’ﬁght the smears’’ section of Obama’s campaign website. Every time McCain attacks Obama in his ads, Obama launches a counterpunch with some clever ads of his own which attack McCain’s policies. Obama hopes that he’ll be able to hold the fortress until the fourth of November.
■ McCain fan: Joe the Plumber
Greatest hits: Five ads that changed the political game 1. It’s morning in America again - Ronald Reagan, 1984 US Presidential election Ronald Reagan was running for his second term as US President against Democrat Walter Mondale. This ad follows ordinary Americans during a typical working day. It claims that these Americans have benefited from more jobs, higher levels of home ownership and lower inﬂation. The video cites the policies of incumbent president Ronald Reagan as the reason for these improvements in living standards. The theme of hope permeates throughout the entire video. Towards the close the announcer declares that “Americans can look forward to a better future,” tying people’s aspirations to the re-election of President Reagan. The end of the video contains a subtle dig at the previous Democratic Party Administration under President Jimmy Carter, asking, “Why would we want to return to where we were four short years ago?” This ad was instrumental in polarising public opinion against Mondale and the Democrats. Reagan went on to win 49 out of 50 states in the election.
of a huge bomb, and was entitled “Labour’s Tax Bombshell.” On the surface of the bomb, there was message in bold writing which stated “you’d pay £1,250 more tax a year under Labour.” Major’s party win on the narrowly win the election.
3. Daisy Bomb Ad - Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 US presidential election. Vice President Lyndon Johnson ascended to the ofﬁce of President of the United States in 1963 following the assassination of John F Kennedy. He had to face an election less than a year later. His opponent was conservative Republican Barry Goldwater. The Johnson campaign launched an ad depicting Goldwa-
This ad depicts a clueless John Redwood MP of the Conservatives, a former welsh Secretary, miming the Welsh National Anthem. The video alternates between images of Redwood’s mimes and depictions of the damage done to Wales by Tory Governments. The ad condemns the party’s record of double digit inﬂation, high unemployment and hospital closures. The clip ends cleverly with the statement, “they’re still singing the same old tune.”
» http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=YHRTLp960Cg
5. Peace - Fianna Fáil election broadcast 2007
» http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=EU-IBF8nwSY
h t t p : / / w w w. y o u t u b e . c o m / watch?v=kZrK5m9SGSE
2. Labour’s Tax BombshellConservative Party, 1992 UK General election Many commentators maintain that this ad dealt the killer blow to Labour’s chances of ousting the incumbent Conservative government in the 1992 British general election. In the run up to the election many polls had shown that a ‘modernised’ Labour Party under Neil Kinnock held a marginal lead over the Conservative Party under new leader John Major. During the ﬁnal stages of the campaign the Tories launched a poster campaign attacking Labour’s tax policy. The poster contained a p i ct u r e
4. Remember the Tory Years -Welsh Labour ad, 2007.
ter as trigger happy when it comes to the use of Nuclear Weapons. The ad contains footage of a young girl innocently counting the number of petals on a daisy. Suddenly the clip cuts to the announcement of a countdown, followed by a massive nuclear explosion. Johnson went on to win a landslide victory over his Republican Opponent.
» http://www. youtube.com/ watch?v=zyVn9k6d1og
In 2007 the Fianna Fáil party cashed in on the popularity of incumbent Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Their election broadcast was an exposition of Ahern’s role in bringing about the Good Friday agreement. The Video contained testimonials from British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Former US President Bill Clinton and former Irish-American Senator and diplomat George Mitchell. The three speakers claimed that the peace agreement wouldn’t have been possible without Bertie Ahern. The Fianna Fáil party went on to win a record third term in ofﬁce.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Giving blood: The lifetime blanket on gay men Tadgh Moriarty spoke to Rob Doyle (USI LGBT rights ofﬁcer), Dr Ellen McSweeney (Consultant Haematologist, St James Hospital) and Dr William Blakely (Medical Director of the IBTS) to ﬁnd out why exactly the practice of banning transfusions from men who have sex with men is still in place. In the early nineteen eighties, AIDS (caused by HIV) began to crop its head among those who had received blood transfusions on the East coast of the USA. At this time there was no test for the virus, however there was a strong association between the virus and homosexual men. It was decided at the time, as a precautionary measure, to ban gay men from donating blood. The ban worked. The number of infected transfusion recipients fell dramatically and so other countries, including Ireland, followed suit. The year is now 2008, and times have changed. There are a number of accurate tests available for testing blood for infectious diseases such as HIV, Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Hepatitis B. So why then is the lifetime ban on men who have sex with men still in place? The current policy of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) is not to accept any blood donations from men who have sex with men. This includes both oral and anal sex, regardless of safer sex (using a condom and lubricant) being practiced, despite the signiﬁcant decreased risk of virus transmission when such precautions are taken. This is a blanket lifetime ban, meaning any man who has had sex with another man, even once, is prohibited from donating blood for life. Dr William Blakely, the medical director for the IBTS, attempted to explain the idea behind the policy. According to him, the ban was instigated due to the outbreak of AIDS in the United States back in the nine-
teen eighties. The homosexual popu- donate the blood.” Homosexual men lation were seen as a high risk group still remain a high risk group and it and therefore ‘appropriate action is the guiding principle of the IBTS was taken at the time.’ to “discriminate against any class of When quizzed on the current rigid people who have a higher incidence testing of all blood products by the of infectious disease.” transfusion board, Dr Blakely exExamples of other groups who are plained that there is a window period deemed high risk are; “workers in or ‘lag-time’ between when infection the sex industry or intravenous drug with the virus occurs, and when the users” and heterosexuals who have virus will show up on “the most ad- had sex with people from Sub-Sahavanced, state of the art test.” Despite ran Africa. “While the relationship the fact that the infection does not show up at testing, these blood products are still seen as infectious. For HIV this lag period is ten days, for Hepatitis C it is three weeks, and for Hepatitis B, forty days must elapse between infection and detection. Dr Ellen McSweeney stated that “donations during this period pose the greatest threat to the security of our Dr. Ellen McSweeney, blood supply.” St. James’ Hospital Dr Blakely admits that the current practice does indeed “put all gay men into a general class,” it does is ongoing the deferral is permanent. not discriminate between those who If the relationship ﬁnishes then we partake in high risk sexual activities ask that they do not donate for 1 and those in “stable faithful relation- year thereafter.” Blakely concludes ships.” However, “it is not practical by remarking that it is indeed “sad within the conditions of a blood do- a statutory body has such a policy nor clinic to enquire deeply into the that many view as offensive.” They intimate details of each individual’s “don’t want to be in this situation,” lifestyle.” We therefore have to re- but “current best practice” maintains gard “all gay and bisexual men, and that homosexuals have an increased men who have sex with men, as a incidence of HIV, and as long as this single population.” The IBTS has “a is the case, donations from “men duty of care to its patients, not a duty who have sex with men” (MSM) will of care to its donors.” Their primary be declined. concern is the health, safety and wellDr McSweeney admitted that the being of their transfusion patients, number of new HIV infections among not “the people who come in to heterosexuals in Ireland was indeed higher than those in gay men, however she maintained that “the relative risk is higher in MSM” because “most men are not gay.” The IBTS is also concerned about other infections which can be transmitted by blood transfusions such as hepatitis B and syphilis. “Sadly, there has been an increased n u mb e r
in MSM in recent years.” She continues by stating the IBTS always follow up on the donors of HIV positive donations, and the information gathered has revealed that “between a third and a half of these donations come from men who conﬁrm that they are gay or bisexual but did not declare this at the time of their donation.” Dr McSweeney concluded by stating “the justiﬁcation for our policy is to protect patients from receiving an infection through blood donated by gay or bisexual men,” i.e. an infection which is in the window period and therefore not detectable by testing. Although there is also a risk from blood donated by heterosexuals, an analysis of the reasons why HIV positive blood donations are still being given “clearly indicates that the risk from heterosexuals is much less than that from gay or bisexual men.” As more and more campaigns are launched in countries worldwide, many state transfusion boards are being forced to review their current policy. In Australia, for example, they have recently decided to implement a policy whereby a homosexual man would be allowed to donate blood a year after his last sexual encounter with another man. However Rob Doyle, LGBT rights ofﬁcer for the USI, comments that this is not enough. It is impracticable to expect a gay man in a stable relationship to abstain from sex with his partner for a year in order to be allowed “the privilege” of donating blood in order to “save lives.”
The justiﬁcation for our policy is to protect patients from receiving an infection through blood donated by gay or bisexual men
The USI LGBT Ofﬁcer, in collaboration with the MSM blood ban campaign, is seeking an independent review body to be set up by the Minister for Health to investigate the current practice and propose alternative or updated polices and guidelines which would be “both less biased against the gay population, and beneﬁcial for society in general.” In Doyle’s opinion, “donating blood is one of the few ways in which people can truly give back to society.” According to the transfusions board’s own statistics, one in four people will require a transfusion at some point during their life. This means that 3,000 blood donations are required on a weekly basis but only 3% of the population donate blood. There is an obvious need for more donors to come onboard and donate blood regularly. A sizeable proportion of the community are, however banned for life from doing so, despite the fact that many are willing and yearning to do so. The fact remains that gay men are being excluded simply because of their sexual preference. and not even our very own Minister for Health, democratically elected by the population, appears prepared or interested in changing what has been described as the “openly biased, prejudiced, and offensive policy.”
D N E F E D LIFE
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Mak Abor e t Lega ion l
Giving life to the abortion debate Northern Ireland’s political parties are a seldom united bunch, but all agree on limiting Westminster’s power to grant abortion. Orna Mulhern investigates The ever-sensitive debate on abortion Northern Ireland to act independently believes it may not come to pass. A should be extended to the province. for the Northern Assembly “to initireturned to the headlines last week in to the rest of the UK in relation to spokeswoman for the party stressed Speaking last week, chief-executive of ate a process of public consultation in response to the proposal and subse- abortion. the general pro-life stance of the en- the FPA Julie Bently said that the law Northern Ireland on the abortion law.” quent passing of the Human Fertility Abortion was originally outlawed in tire Northern Assembly. “Our position as it stands creates a “division of rights The Department of Health in Northern and Embryology Bill by the House of the province in 1861, a law which was has been clear for decades really in and entitlement between women, on Ireland began a consultation process Commons in London last Wednesday, in place until the 1945 amendment al- so far as the SDLP is a pro-life party. the basis that they live in different re- on issue of abortion in the province in affecting Northern Ireland in particu- lowing the procedure to take place in We would advise that there are other gions of the UK.” July of this year. lar. While the Bill itself didn’t actually circumstances where continuation of social issues surrounding young, single In spite of the increased interest This was a sentiment echoed by Larefer to abortion, its passing means the pregnancy would pose a serious women getting pregnant that should bour MP for Hackney North and Stoke in the issue, the failure to pass the that it will most likely replace the 1990 threat to the mother’s life. No altera- be looked at, rather than imposing Newington, Diane Abbott. Abbott ﬁrst ammendment to the HFE Bill last regulations concerning abortion in the tions have been made to this law in the rules from Westminster on such a sen- called for the ill-fated amendment to Wednesday in Westminster means that the Human Fertility and Embryology the situation looks unlikely to change UK, creating the opportunity to draft intervening years, something which sitive issue.” new laws surrounding the controver- pro-choice campaigners feel seriously “Looking to the future the ﬁrst Bill which would have extended the in the near future. As the Bill reaches sial procedure. impeaches women’s rights. thing that we would want to see hap- Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. the House of Lords, however, through The bill suffered from many delays Although the ﬁnal draft of the bill pen would, of course, be the devolu- Speaking to BBC News, however, which it is expected to pass, it looks and amendments before reaching the didn’t include the much called-for leg- tion of justice so that dealing with this Abbott remained passionate for such set to open the doors for an inﬂux of House last Wednesday, and, much islation regarding the procedure in the issue that can be done here rather than legislation still to be introduced to the appeals to change legislation governto the annoyance of pro-choice MPs, province, the increased debate in the imposed by Westminster. When that province. “When it comes to women’s ing abortion in Britain. Undoubtably, timetable restrictions didn’t allow dis- topic has ensured that it will remain happens, when justice is developed rights, Northern Ireland women are ef- calls to introduce the procedure to the cussion to take place on ﬁnal proposed topical for the foreseeable future. here, we would welcome discussions fectively second class citizens. I think Northern province will still be made. amendments, including the introducWhatever happens, it’s sure to affect So what of the possibility of the on this because any decisions should it is not unreasonable that the British tion of abortion to Northern Ire- introduction of abortion to Northern be based in the North and based on Parliament should say that all citizens our shores in some way. If the procein the British Isles should have the dure is introduced to Northern Ireland land. The province is currently the Ireland? A recent poll by the British public opinion in the North.” only part of Britain not to provide organisation FPA (formerly the Famat any stage, the doors will be open for The party is not alone in these senti- same rights.” The United Nations has even been increased debate on the matter regardthe service. The1967 Abortion ily Planning Association) found that ments. The three other main political Act which allows legal abortion 62% of people in the North would be parties in the Assembly – the DUP, vocal regarding the matter, and issued ing abortion in the Republic. In the in Britain was never applied to in favour of abortion being legal, albeit Sinn Féin and the UUP - all hold an recommendations regarding abortion nearer future, however, any change to the province due to the the existing law regardequally-strong stance against political climate of the ing abortion in Britain is introduction of abortion to When it comes to women’s Northern Ireland. On top of We would advise that there are time. Neither were the bound to affect the es1990 amendments to rights, Northern Ireland women timated 5, 500 women this, leaders of the four main other social issues surrounding the Act applied to who travel from churches in Ireland have apthe North, leaving are effectively second class citiIreland to pealed to Westminster against young, single women Britain each zens. I think it is not unreason- the introduction of abortion in getting pregnant that should year to obIreland. be looked at, rather than able that the British Parliament Northern tain aborCatholic Primate of Alltions. should say that all citizens Ireland Cardinal Seán Brady, imposing rules from Church of Ireland Archbishop Westminster on such a in the British Isles should of Armagh Alan Harper, Preshave the same rights.” byterian Moderator Dr Donald sensitive issue.” Patton and Methodist Presi- SDLP Spokesperson Dianne Abbot, Labour Party dent Reverend Alan Ferguson in speciﬁc circumstances. Among submitted the letters of appeal to the in Northern Ireland earlier this year. these are included rape and Westminster MPs on Friday, October The UN Committee for the Conincest. Meanwhile, statis- 17th, asking them to allow any deci- vention on the Elimination tics from the Department sions that may be made on the issue of Discrimination Against of Health in Britain show to be left to the Northern Assembly. Women (CEDAW) recomthat 1,343 women trav- This was the second time the leaders mended that there should elled from the North to have taken such action, having written be a debate in Northern England for an abortion to the MPs in May of this year regard- Ireland regarding the removal of “punitive providuring 2007 ing the issue. Despite the demand, In spite of such opposition, how- sions imposed on women the Social Democratic ever, pro-choice campaigners remain who undergo abortions.” and Labour Party (SDLP) ﬁrm in their belief that the procedure The committee also called
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
“We are damaged electorally. We are all accountable”
-Ogra Fianna Fail
As Fianna Fáil slump in the polls, Orla Kenny examines how contentious budgets and ﬁery protests have hit the government As he headed to China for a trade mission last Wednesday, Taoiseach Brian Cowen left behind him a bewildered parliamentary party, struggling to deal with the aftermath of Brian Lenihan’s 2009 Budget. In the past two weeks, this country has witnessed scenes of angry protest on our streets, by young and old alike, scenes that are unprecedented in recent political history. For Fianna Fáil TDs the backlash that has erupted over this year’s budget is an unwelcome development and marks the party’s entry into unchartered territory. On Sunday, a Red C opinion poll published in the Sunday Business Post, showed that support for Fianna Fáil has dropped drastically from 36% to 26%, while support for the Opposition parties rose, with Fine Gael now 7% ahead of Fianna Fáil. Not since John Bruton’s 1982 budget, with its infamous tax on children’s shoes, has a budget proved so detrimental to governing parties. In the last two weeks Fianna Fáil has been forced to yield to public outcry and go back on two of its key budgetary measures, reversing decisions on medical card policy for the over 70’s and the introduction of a 1% income levy on all wage earners regardless of income. Fianna Fáil Deputy and Chairman of Ógra Fianna Fáil Dara Calleary (Mayo) has noted that “certainly we are damaged electorally. There’s no doubt about that. We are all accountable and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to rebuild our relationship with the electorate.” However, Mr. Calleary asserted that the party is still ﬁrmly behind leader Brian Cowen stating “it’s the party that’s damaged, not Brian Cowen. Brian Cowen was elected unanimously as leader in June. Leadership is about admitting when a mistake has been made, having the guts to admit that you were wrong and Brian Cowen has done that.” But whether the rest of the country will be prepared to show Mr. Cowen the same loyalty remains to be seen. Certainly a lot of hurt has been caused in the past two weeks, principally by the government’s decision to revoke the universal right of over the 70’s to a medical card. Immediately following the Budget announcement this controversial decision was ﬁercely condemned by the Opposition and by age action groups. Radio shows were inundated with concerned callers and public representatives reported concern at a local level. Cracks immediately began to show in Government. Some Independent TDs, whose cooperation is vital to the coalition, indicated that they would be willing to withdraw their support over the matter. The FF National Councillors’ Forum expressed to the Taoiseach their anger over the decision and Fianna Fáil backbenchers began coming out against the measure. Pressure mounted on Brian Cowen to take control of the situation as Wicklow Fianna Fáil TD Joe Behan tendered his resignation from the parliamentary
party, stating “I regret very much that ﬁcult economic situation, [and] there in organised protests, determined to members of the Parliamentary Party just wasn’t time for the detailed pro- express their opinion to the Governwere not consulted in any way in re- cess that would normally be in place. ment. On Tuesday and Wednesday last lation to this year’s Budget. It is clear The time just wasn’t there.” there were extraordinary scenes at St. that the views of backbench TDs are When asked if he thought more Andrews Church on Westland Row not taken seriously regarding this and time should have been taken to fully and outside Leinster House. Fianna other issues.” brief TDs before announcing bud- Fáil TDs were crudely awakened to The Green Party was next to suc- get measures, Calleary replied, “No I the wrath of this country’s elderly with cumb to the pressure. Though just government speakers booed and days previously they had welcomed heckled by pensioners, many of this year’s budget stating that they them wheelchair bound, as groups of protestors waved placards readhad “ensured that the most vuling “Just shoot us - it would be nerable people in our society are quicker.” Certain elderly demonprotected,” their TDs were now up strators actually became quite agin arms over the measures, criticisgressive and had to be calmed by ing the way in which changes to members of the Gardaí. the over 70’s medical card system And although the government were planned and communicated, may feel it has responded adin a way that “caused unnecessary equately to the fears of pensiondistress and confusion amongst our Fianna Fáil Deputy Dara Calleary ers, the new scheme is still causing older people and their families,” confusion. When asked how she and calling for a rapid conclusion would ensure that elderly people to the “unfortunate situation.” Fiwho currently holding a medical nally, last Tuesday, Brian Cowen, ﬂanked by Minister for Health Mary wouldn’t go that far. It was the right card and whose income lies above the new threshold would return their Harney and John Gormley, announced thing to do at the time.” that the decision had been largely reAnother FF Deputy, Mattie Mc cards to the HSE, Minister Harney simversed. Grath (Tipperary South), agreed there ply replied that she believed most old Following the Taoiseach’s an- had been a lack of communication say- people are honest. Meanwhile Deputy nouncement, Deputy Calleary has told ing that “we made a wrong decision, a McGrath has said that he “isn’t sure of the fact that there was general ac- bad decision. But we worked hard to how the government is going to physiceptance of the revised measure and implement change and I am very satis- cally take the medical cards off people... I’m not sure how it’ll work.” said that much of the anxiety caused ﬁed with the reversed decision.” Then, following their U-turn on the over the original decision was due to However, although Deputies Cala lack of communication within the leary and McGrath may be satisﬁed, medical card issue, the government party prior to the Budget announce- this hasty reversal did little to quell was also forced to make adjustments ment. Nevertheless he defended the the rising tide of anger that has seen to the 1% income levy they had introlapse, saying that “the Budget had to thousands of elderly people ﬂood duced. And they have a lot more to be brought forward, we are in a dif- into the capital in order to take part deal with in the coming weeks. The Na-
We are all accountable and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to rebuild our relationship with the electorate
tional Parents Council is threatening to take action over measures to increase class sizes and remove certain substitution cover for teachers, with the Labour Party to table a motion on the matter this week. Third level registration fee increases saw thousands of students, including hundreds from UCD , protesting outside the Dáil and farmers are claiming that budget cuts will severely impact on the most vulnerable in the their sector. Although ministers are adamant that further climbdowns are not on the cards, with only 23% of the population still conﬁdent that the government can manage our ﬁnances following the economic downturn and numerous demonstrations looming on the horizon, their authority will be tested in the coming weeks. Some commentators have complained that the response to the Budget has been irrational and that the hysterical reactions witnessed this week were encouraged by an opportunistic opposition. Deputy Calleary stated “We are in government; we have been given a mandate to govern. These are difﬁcult economic times. Tough decisions have to be made. It’s easy to be in opposition, you can pander to everyone.” However, whether or not opposition TDs have ‘hijacked’ issues, as claimed in the Dail this week, the fact is that responses to budget measures have become highly emotional and the government must recognise that fact and tread carefully if it is to appease an angry electorate. Strong leadership will be required from Brian Cowen when he returns from China and Fianna Fáil needs to present a united front. Some FF backbenchers were angered last week when Tánaiste Mary Coughlan warned the party that it would be disrespectful to express a different opinion to the Taoiseach while he was away. However, should backbenchers fail to support Lenihan’s budgetary cuts in education or agriculture, Cowen’s authority will take another heavy bruising that it could do without. When asked how he thought events would play out, Calleary said, “I don’t know, but it’s important that we do stand united. We must stand united behind the government and I feel very strongly on that.” When it came to drawing up this year’s budget, it’s impossible to deny that Brian Lenihan’s was in an unenviable position. In a climate of global economic uncertainty, government coffers are looking pretty sparse. With that in mind, no reasonable person expected Budget 2009 to be Christmas come early, in fact the population as a whole was probably well prepared to ﬁnd more than a few pieces of coal in their stockings come December. However, that low expectations were held and that people had generally braced themselves for bad news makes the force of the negative public response particularly damning for Fianna Fáil, and the next couple of weeks look set to be the their most challenging in a long time.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
A hidden history of UCD Part three: Direct action gets the goods This week, resident UCD historian Sam McGrath looks at how the notorious student blackspot, The Trap, and the even more notorious number ten bus stop, came to pass Over the years there have been various attempts by students in Belﬁeld to take action for themselves rather than relying on the college authorities to get things done. Two of the most celebrated incidents were the establishment of the Pool Hall known as ‘The Trap’ and the DIY building of a bus shelter at the No.10 terminus in Belﬁeld, both of which happened in the mid 1970s. In conversation with a former Students Ofﬁcer at the time Billy McGrath, we learn a bit more about the background and circumstances of these events. According to McGrath, Belﬁeld at the time was a “cold and concrete complex.” “Basically we had a prefab bar and a dance in the restaurant building every Saturday night,” but apart from the wall outside the shop, just inside the Arts Building door, there was no place for students just to hang out and congregate. After McGrath received a B.A. in English and History and an Higher Diploma in Education, he was then elected ‘Social, Cultural, Welfare and Travel’ ofﬁcer, part of the ﬁrstever elected UCD Students’ Union. The year was 1976. “Before that there was a Student Representative Council, (SRC) and only one full time ofﬁcer -
The President. Now there was three full time posts,” McGrath explains. The union believed that there no possibility of students caring about their rights, their Union or anything going on in or outside campus when there was, according to McGrath, “such miserable and non-existent facilities to congregate and meet. “This is where the idea of The Trap came from.” The Students’ Union formally asked and petitioned the college authorities for a students’ game room, but their requests were ignored. Undeterred, the Union got in touch with a pool table distributor. One quiet night when Security was low, McGrath and “a few of the Ents gang” smuggled three pool tables into the Arts Block and “plonked them in the big room beside LG1 (currently DramSoc’s Theatre) and closed the door.” Shocked to see that that they were still there the next morning, the Union quickly printed up posters and the word
spread around campus. Billy was disappointed to ﬁnd out that “someone” from the Admin Building had dropped down to the room but “had left before we could challenge them to a
ies and rattled the authorities, you could get results. As McGrath understood it - “if you wanted something done you ﬁrst had to do it for yourself.” The bus stop at the No.10 terminus was very
exposed and was an irritation to many students. As there was no bus shelter, when it rained, “students would shelter under the concrete walkways and when the bus came would leg it through the showers,” according to McGrath. To make matters worse, the infrequency of the buses meant that there could be between 40 and 50 people at the one time running for the bus and queuing outside it waiting to get on. It was a bad situation that the authorities appeared to have no interest in resolving. McGrath explains that, “over a few beers (seventeen pence a pint!) with a couple of cool architect students from Earlsfort Terrace, the idea was ﬂoated of building DIY shelters.” The architects were totally up for it and one day the phone call came – “We’re coming this evening, have volunteers ready.” Just as it grew dark, a van pulled up at the bus stop and a crew jumped out with shovels, wooden poles and corrugated iron sheets. “It was all done in a matter of minutes, the poles went up, on went a roof, nails were hammered down and the van drove off.” The next day, it stood tall but gradually the wind got stronger and stronger until the makeshift metal roof came ﬂying off - nearly taking the head of some innocent student with it. The UCD Building Ofﬁcer supervised the demolition of the shelter, but, hey presto, “a week later Dublin Bus built not one, but two new shelters. It’s typical, you wait ages for one shelter than two come along at the same time!”
■ Trapatoni: Not in charge of the UCD pool hall, and the number ten bus stop (above)
game.” Almost immediate1968 - The Year of the Barrily, the1,000 authorities informed cades. students are arthe Union that the vacant rested in Warsaw after antiroomprotests. besideThe theUniversity lockers state could used as for a pool of Romebeis occupied two room provided they demsupweeks after anti-war plied a supervisor. onstrations. Three McGrath students continues name escapes are killed “the in Brazil during me but aagainst lovely the retired man marches military took the job. A people few years junta. Eighty-six are later I in dropped down ‘Batand injured the anti-war discovered it was Square’ called tle of Grosvenor The Trap.” Martin Luther in London. “Maybe whoeversparks does King’s assassination the in caretaker job now riots 118 American citshould be called police Trapies. In Chicago, attoni?” and protesters clash for The DIY building eight days outside the of a bus shelter hapDemocratic National pened around the Convention. Students same on time.Soviet The success take tanks of Prague. ‘The Trap’ showed thata in France sees if you revolution pushed thewith boundarsocial over
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
The brotherhood of the travelling sofa Daring J-1 extraordinaire Jordan Daly used his summer wisely, among other things lugging furniture to the ghetto The angry and raspy bellows of a pimp bellows out as four sweating, pasty skinned lads push a sofa bed up the street of a ghetto in Brooklyn. In New York most J1 students expect the euro to go a long way, to be loved as a paddy and to save up to drive a mustang to the paciﬁc coast. My experience was stiﬂing heat, a times square district full of strip clubs, thousands of bums on the subway, huge pizza slices for a dollar, shootings, free concerts in parks and getting into clubs with a fake Irish driving license. The humidity was ninety percent and the midday heat pushed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes an apartment without an air conditioning unit akin to a Turkish bath. Our living space is was a tip with no furniture and no gas to cook. And so for many, the J1 experience will start off with a big fat ‘super size me please’ challenge. First one must ﬁnd accommodation. Forget about Manhattan, it just won’t happen on a student budget. We found a great three-bed brownstone in an all black area in Bedford-Stuyvescant in central Brooklyn. At 1650 dollars a month between six it was very cheap and located ﬁve minutes from the subway to Manhattan, one of the most interesting strips of land in the world. The area was nothing short of terrifying at the start. The ﬁrst day we arrived we struggled up Throop Avenue, bags in hand with glares from openmouthed locals who obviously hadn’t seen an Irish person in their life. One portly elderly woman took one sideward glance at my friend who sports a shock of red hair and screamed vociferously, “This.... is..... Brooklyn”. So as we took it, welcome to the ghetto, watch your skinny white asses around here. We quickly realised we were on the front of a gang war between the Cripps, in blue headscarves and the Bloods, in red. We kept our heads down and tried to ﬁt in by sharing a cold one on the roof top parties and cook outs every weekend but when it heated up we scurried for shelter like small red haired rabbits in our brownstone burrow. It was six o clock and dusk hadn’t even given the waning
light a faded glow when we left the apartment to go on our daily beer rounds. A raucous jumble of sinewy bodies came towards us and children instinctively ﬂed the scene. One mutual look of fear and we turned tail back up into our apartment just metres away. The fear in our faces turned to horror then as teenagers with shotguns, ak47s and handguns passed us on the stairs. With hearts jumping out of our throats we slumped into the corners and under windows. Our roommates twitched the curtains with eyes rapt and hands visibly shaking. Then the shouts grew to screams as cries of ‘rat’ were followed by eight bone-chilling gunshots. With bated breath we sat, numb and silent as the ﬁrst wave of sirens screeched down the street. A rap on the door sends us into convulsions. Finally one of us opens the door as far as the chain will allow. The girl from upstairs. We then have a lengthy discussion, with plenty of “I can’t believe that just happened”, with one side arguing for moving to a safer area, and the other arguing that we can’t afford to because all the paces are taken now. In the end we sleep on it. No of us go to sleep without the aid of alcohol. Back in the world of the furniture hunt, there are a lot of handy yard sales in New York where people put stuff on craigslist for free. You will have to get to these giveaways swiftly to claim your junk. So, on the hottest day of the year we ventured over to acquire a sofa or something softer than a ﬂoor to position our arses. Luckily, after ten minutes’ labour we got our hands on a fantastic goose down sofa bed. Four hundred pounds of comfort and utility. Transport being the key problem. After a pathetic attempt to carry it a hundred yards between three strapping students, we wangled a four by two on wheels to push it along. Chuffed with ourselves and our re-
“This.... is..... Brooklyn”. So as we took it, welcome to the ghetto, watch your skinny white asses around here. ally big sofa, we rallied on. Someone had even told us that we could get it the ﬁve miles home on the subway. Ignoring the stunned locals we lifted down into the labyrinth. Stung. Two perplexed cops stopped us in our tracks. “You can’t bring that thing on the train, you crazy Irish.” Then he asked us for ID. The others gave their real provisional Irish licenses. I proceeded to give the pink, full, forged license which says ‘breagach’ or fake in Irish on the back. The mistake only dawned on me as I caught the wide-eyed look of ‘Holy Jesus’ from my friend. I had handed a forged document to a police ofﬁcer. How he didn’t cop it, beggars
belief. Sl d with a ﬁ ﬁfty dolla ﬁne Slapped fty-dollar for “Obstructing movement in the subway with large article of furniture”, it now becomes clear a J1 will envisage so much more than you previously thought. The stocky ofﬁcer chuckled as he wrote up the ﬁne, and commented he wasn’t used to ticking the box for Caucasian. We told them we were staying in Bed-Stuy. “Man that’s a ghetto, what are you doing living there. I put a guys head through the McDonalds door there last week,” he brags. Then the Americans that passed gave their own, hilarious opinions and snide comments, “You got the sofa man, where’s the beers and the plasma TV.” It was mildly funny the ﬁrst time, but after ﬁfteen different people said the same thing and a few took photos of the ‘funny Irish guys who live in the subway’, it began to wear. It was a happy ending though as four backbreaking, soul-destroying and character-testing hours later we pushed and shoved the offending item into our empty apartment with the help of friendly neighborhood pot-dealing gang members. A free sofa never cost
so much and felt so good. An unexpe pected discovery wa that anyone was of the J1 age in NY smokes weed eve day, apparevery ent like an Irish ently per person drinks tea One day in tea. c a corner store a nice young black man approached us with a crack abou about his Irish ance ancestry. He introduce himself and duced then got down to busin business. “Smoke weee weeeed!?” We respo responded hesitantly Sometimes tantly. sa we said. Then with the smooth style Br of Brooklyn weed peddle peddler he gave p us a piece of cardbo d with a phone board number scrawled across and the name,”Tyson......aannnyyy taaaam”. So with a roof over our heads, a sofa under our arses, drugs on speed dial and a ﬁrm knowledge of the gangs and their activities we were on our way to the J1 dream or at least our ghettoised version of it. Not to bore with details of the actual holiday, but getting a job is a slog, the beer is so cheap you might come back seeking a nightcap every night and you will never cook so stop fooling yourself, the J1 tum is mandatory. Do go to six ﬂags, it’s amazing, 45 stories in 1.28 seconds. Don’t queue for hours to go on top of the Empire State Building; it’s not worth it. Do hit the clubs in the Lower East Side, they are really easy to get into, but don’t go into Central Park or any bushed area at night. Don’t rely on Irish charm; if you are ugly or charmless here you are ditto across the water. This is called J1 humour. Finally don’t listen to what someone else says about America, everyone has a very different J1 experience, but for four Irish lads taking up space on a ghetto street, it meant trouble.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
He won’t be famous for his soft locks, the tone of his voice, his war-torn past, and not even for his women. No, James Blunt will be famous for giving half the population of the planet earth the collective hump. “You’re beautiful”. Even the mere mention of the song title has you going for the jugular. A paradox in itself, the song actually makes no sense. “She was with another man/But I won’t lose no sleep on that/I’ve got a plan”. Very well, blunty has a plan. But halt and ponder. “But I Don’t know what to do/Cause I’ll never be with you”. Great efﬁng plan. Never trust Blunt when he says he’s got a plan, he actually doesn’t know what to do. In fact, he only said it because he couldn’t ﬁnd a rhyme for the word “man”. So never trust a man who only says something in order for it to rhyme, It’s a sure sign of madness. Imagine being that girl’s boyfriend on the train. You get into the train,
hand in hand with the woman. Next of all some artsy looking confused warbler begins showering her with ‘the eye’, quietly making out an itinerary (don’t worry, it’s meaningless). You can see from his face that he’s “F**king high”, and hell, he looks set to lunge across
the seat. Blunty will wish he was back in Kosovo. But be kind, bear in mind this is man who’s mind is “blown” by the “beautiful dawn”. If that’s all it takes, it’s no wonder a good looking girl has him sprawling across trains trying to dodge the odd boyfriend. Further ammunition is given to this theory when the radio starts blasting out renditions of the blunster singing “Now I’m hiiiiiigh”. Be kinder still, he’s still living in 1969. Or dancing even. His mind has clearly been addled by some sort of time experiment gone wrong and his voice even more so. So who exactly is James Blunt? Possible 1973 contenders include Frank Sinatra (not really, no), Marlon Brando (again no) Donny Osmond (now…) Or perhaps, James Blunt is actually just that high, just that much of a stalker, and just that, well, annoying. You just can’t make a blunt sharp.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO...
KNACKER DRINKING “Work is the scourge of the drinking classes”, apt words of the famous Irishman, Oscar Wilde. In these hard times as we see fallen comrades get laid off and ugly friends failing to get laid, drink has never been more timely. To use the cliché, let’s put the session back in recession. So this Halloween don’t get your bollox pulled out through your wallet by the robbing bastard publicans; head down the local off license and get a few tinnies and maybe a naggin of glens. For less than ten euro, your brothers in booze and your good cultured self can be entertained for an eve. This Oiche Samhain wander around aimlessly (and wrap up in lairs, the wind chill of a night would cut the arse off a brass monkey), and search out some bonﬁres, free gaffs and mindless violence. Save getting mohojanned as smashing, breaking and vandalising can be extremely satisfying for sexually frustrated youths, (Thanks for that from our country cousins). This scrupulous publication does not condone irresponsible behaviour however. So get in touch with the wild
eyed seventeen year old in you this week and join the hoards of street zombies in their Irish ritual of turning from shy to chatty to brave to abusive to violent and ﬁnally to legless and/or projectile vomiting as the drink drowns the innocent student brain. It may have been Homer Simpson who said, “Beer; cause and solution to all of life’s problems”, but it’s true, you may wake up with a comalike hangover and wonder why you are missing teeth. So, when people are getting brave make sure you are doing the egging on and not the idiot streaking past the Garda station with a bottle of whiskey in hand shouting ‘I smell bacon’ as your shrivler crawls back into your body.
VOLUME XXII ISSUE IV
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO SATIRISE - ONLY 47P!
“FOR ME, MUSIC IS ALL ABOUT THE SINCERITY, AND ME MAMMY” PAGE 3 This week LIBROCOP FURY AT ‘PLEASE TALK’ CAMPAIGN NOT ENOUGH TIME FOR 24-HOUR BANKING, MAN CLAIMS IRISH COW MANAGEMENT - IN A ‘FIELD OF ITS OWN’ FUNERAL OF STRICT VEGAN TO BE HELD, BIG TURN-UP EXPECTED LOW FRENCH BIRTH RATES ATTRIBUTED TO ‘HAIRY ARMPITS’ CLOUDS SPOTTED OVER UCD. REPORTS OF SILVER LINING DEEMED PREMATURE
Mills legless due to woodworm Heather Mills has cut short her celebrations to have her leg treated for woodworm. Unlucky Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, may have acquired large amounts of money recently but she has been left legless once again. Heather was ﬁrst alerted to the woodworm infestation when she noticed sawdust on the ﬂoor whenever she took a step. “It has been a nightmare cleaning up after her every move. I have to follow her around with a bloody dustpan and brush,” a disgruntled cleaner at Heather’s £3 million Peans Wood estate in Robertsbridge told the Turbine. Woodworm can be a serious
problem if left untreated so Ms Mills has called in the experts to mend her wood burrowing enemies. Tod Hasmear of Tod’s Dry Rot and Damp Prooﬁng in Hastings, Kent told the Turbine that a chauffeur in a Rolls Royce delivered the leg to his treatment workshop and he diagnosed the woodworm species as Anobium punctatum which is “quite easy to treat”. A woodworm bug and the damage it can cause Robertsbridge residents are used to seeing Heather Mills hopping mad and legless but this really takes the biscuit. “It is good that she is getting her leg treated for woodworm
because her brain needs treatment for dry rot. Unfortunately she can’t see it, so no one says anything in front of her,” June Bellamy, 43, told the Turbine from her little village shop in Robertsbridge. It is quite a feat to be even more hated than Gordon Brown or even Brian Lenihan, but Heather Mills has completed this hurdle with apparent ease. Since nefariously acquiring lots of money from Paul McCartney, Heather has been doing the rounds and trying to raise her mucky reputation from the sewer. The ex-porn model has even been invited to stay in the Sunni Triangle in Baghdad Iraq because no one else wants her.
KKK to endorce Obama White Christian Supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan has endorsed Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States of America. Speaking from his Kentucky ofﬁce in Dawson Springs, the Imperial Wizard exclaimed that “the choice is black and white, anything or anyone is better than having that "crazy ass bastard" as President. This is the ﬁrst time in Klan history that any member of the KKK has ever publicly supported an African American candidate for the presidency. KKK lodges all over America have been gathering and holding rallies supporting the black presidential candidate. Grand Turk Cletus Monroe has also been very vocal about the elec-
tion and has donated thousands of dollars to Obama’s election fund. “The boy’s gonna do it. My Klan group has donated up to $250,000 to the Obama fund. Anything is better than John McCain. Hell I’ll even adopt a black kid from Africa before I vote for McCain.” “A few years back we were lynching negroes. Now we’re gonna vote for one to be president of the US of motherfu**ing A, damn it! Anyone or anything is better than that McCain - anything!!” Placards for Barack Obama have been put up around the Klan’s Headquarters and the KKK have announced a television ad campaign to support the African American candidate.
GROW FURTHER WITH BCG 30 October, Westin Hotel 7.15pm The Boston Consulting Group is a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy. We are seeking highly talented graduates to join our world class team and drive this momentum forward. At BCG you will collaborate daily with the world’s leading businesses on a wide range of high-level strategic challenges. The knowledge, experience, and skills you’ll gain will provide the springboard you need to excel in any field within BCG or beyond. To apply for a position, please submit your application at www.bcg.com before 7th November
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh Exclusive interview Page 20
Superleague It’s still back, and it’s still as ugly as ever Page 21
DOWN THE LINE
■ You’re hired: Harry Redknapp and the sacked Juande Ramos (below)
Losing the fight to expendability Juande Ramos was in place as the Tottenham Hotspurs head coach for a total of 362 days. He did not even last a year. The reason for his dismissal was obvious, after eight games Spurs had fewer points than a triangle. However, teams have had worse starts to a season and still managed to stay up, with their manager in-tow. Roll the clocks back to February, you will see Ramos smiling wryly as his team celebrate a fantastic win over Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final. This would be the only bit of silverware that Spurs have had to adorn their trophy cabinet with since 1999. Therefore it is fair to consider Ramos as Spurs’ most successful manager in nearly ten years? If so, then why did they sack him? Admittedly, this season was always going to be tough, having sold the likes Berbatov and Keane to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively, Spurs broke up a striking partnership akin to Yorke and Cole or Shearer and Sutton, thus essentially crippling themselves upfront. They also sold off Steed Melbranque and Pascal Chimbonda, while not quite as high proﬁle as the striking duo, these two were certainly part of the backbone of that team. So without their three strikers, Defoe being sold to Portsmouth of course, how were Spurs exactly expected to win? For this reason Director of Football, Damien Comolli, was also disposed of.
With underhanded signing of Harry Redknapp at the expense of Juande Ramos over the weekend, Bryan Devlin, mulls over the idea that managers these days are becoming more and more expendable… Comolli was not sacked because he sold the two strikers, he was sacked because when the writing was on the wall he didn’t bother to read it. Spurs knew in May, that Berbatov was on his way to Manchester, there was nothing they could of done to stop that, what they should have done is sold him early and started hunting out a few replacements. Instead they played hard ball and sold him on the last day of August for a few extra million than they would have had they sold him in July. With no time left to bring anyone in they were doomed. Off hand, even the most casual football fan can name one instance in which a manager has been treated unfairly. Just in terms of Spurs, Martin Jol springs to mind. But perhaps the biggest disgrace of all has to be the manner in which Avram Grant was treated. Second in Moscow and second in England, apparently second isn’t good enough.
Grant stepped into the sizable breach which José Mourinho left in his wake, a Director of Football straddled
with the small task of the day to day running of a club. In hindsight everyone now agrees that, for all his ﬂaws, Grant was a capable manager, and as soon as he took over the head coach’s position he had signed his own P45 because nothing short of perfection was going to please the Chelsea board. In a season where Christiano Ronaldo scored 35+ goals second place is not that bad. Also, a penalty shoot out is a gamble, at that stage there is nothing the manager can do, its simply down to the players, so he can hardly be blamed for being the second best in Europe. Interestingly, while good managers seem to be getting the bullet quicker than ever, poor head coaches seem to be able to hold on that little bit longer. Steve Staunton, now there was a man who should never have been put into that position. Let us not forget, however, that when he was appointed it was hoped that he would revive the Irish International scene and get the crowds singing again. Alas, it was not to be and his tenure as Irish coach was dragged out lon-
ger than anyone expected. All his time as coach served to do was tarnish his career has a servant to Irish football. In respect to the Martin Jol scenario of 2007, it can not be ignored that he is a very astute and clever manager and the manner in which he was axed was disgraceful. He was blatantly undermined by the Tottenham board in their open hunt for Ramos’ signature. Jol, brought Spurs within a sniff of a top four ﬁnish two years in a row, and for that he was thrown out on his arse. As Andy Gray put it, “All they’ve done is reverse the three years of work that Martin Jol had done and start all over again. It goes to show that changing managers time and time again is not always the answer.” So now that Harry Redknapp has recorded his ﬁrst win as Tottenham manager, against a ten man Bolton side it must be said, it appears that the Spurs ﬂippant disregard for its staff has paid off. However, at the top of the table Big Phil better watch out because he is only sitting in second place, and who knows, come July he could be gone too. The same can’t be said of Redknapp, he has another 329 days left to before the board decide to rejig things.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
The legendary man behind the With the International Rules series set to kick-off, Eoghan Glynn caught up with the voice of GAA to talk about his extremely lengthy career... We all have different thoughts when we think of the Championship each summer. Some of us think of the often unbelievable skill on display in the Munster Hurling Championship, others think of the tough competitiveness of the Ulster Football Championship. However, one sure thing is that most of us will have treated ourselves to the brilliance of Mícheál Ó’Muircheartaigh’s commentary during the summer. The man responsible for many, many classic lines over the years is regarded by most of us as being one of the greatest, if not the greatest commentator of our time. Although he himself is far too modest to accept such praise and regards his childhood hero as being the best and his inspiration for commentating - “I was very, very much aware of Michael O’Héir. Growing up, everyone listened to Mícheál O’Héir. After my time in UCD, I had the audition for commentating myself, part of the attraction was that we would get into Michael O’Héir’s commentary box. It was regarded as being that special, almost sacred.” Three days after his audition, the Dun Síon man was given the opportunity to meet O’Héir in Croke Park and see his childhood hero in action, an opportunity he describes as being a ‘great landmark’. It would be easy for one to be overcome with nerves when meeting their childhood hero, but not Mícheál - “We would assume that he was the man who knew everything and there would be nothing he didn’t know. For example, I came from Kerry and he would be asking me questions about Kerry as if I didn’t know. That gives you that bit of conﬁdence immediately. As a result, I never found the experience of commentating a difﬁcult one. O’Héir reassured me by saying that ‘the moment the game starts, you will think of nothing else but the game.’”
The quotes: Five pieces of commentary gold ■ "1-5 to 0-8...well from Lapland to the Antarctic, that's level scores in any man's language". ■ "Pat Fox has it on his hurl and is motoring well now ... but here comes Joe Rabbitte hot on his tail ...... I've seen it all now, a Rabbitte chasing a Fox around Croke Park!" ■ "Seán Óg Ó hAilpín.... his father's from Fermanagh, his mother's from Fiji, neither a hurling stronghold". ■ "Teddy McCarthy to John McCarthy, no relation, John McCarthy back to Teddy McCarthy, still no relation". ■ "Colin Corkery on the 45 lets go with the right boot. Its over the bar. This man shouldn't be playing football. He's made an almost Lazarus-like recovery from a heart condition. Lazarus was a great man but he couldn't kick points like Colin Corkery".
O’Muircheartaigh’s biggest test came when he was asked to commentate on a hurling semi-ﬁnal in the Oireachtas competition, a game which must have seemed almost alien to the Kerryman. “It was certainly more difﬁcult for me,” he admits, “Laois were playing Tipperary and I wasn’t that well up in hurling. There was little hurling in Kerry and certainly not from where I came from in West Kerry. But I always said, there’s ignorance in everybody but if there’s a task to do, it’s your duty to ﬁnd out all the things that you should know. Eventually, despite the fact I come from Kerry, I’ve said for years and years that hurling is a superior game to Gaelic football.” After this task was successfully negotiated, the next major one would be in the form of commentary for the television. For the vast majority of the students currently in UCD, the idea of the man now known as ‘the voice of
that if you broadcasted the minor games as well and do that completely in Irish, you had your 50%. So for a good number of years, I did all the minor semi ﬁnals and ﬁnals in Irish plus a lot of other games through the year which weren’t live.” It was in the late 80s when RTÉ decided to expand its coverage beyond the semis and ﬁnals it had shown for many year, which caused an obvious problem. Work for the television and the radio would clash too often and as a result, Mícheál would have to make a decision - “I chose the radio because I was with it from the beginning and it was live almost every Sunday. Television, while it expanded an awful lot, it certainly wasn’t on for league games or anything like that. I decided I
preferred the radio as a medium as it was always loyal to me, so I felt I owed loyalty to it as well.” Now entering his sixtieth year of commentary, one could almost be envious of the great teams and players in both football and hurling that O’Muircheartaigh must have seen through the years. Although he names the Tipperary side of 1958-1965 as the greatest hurling team he has ever had the privelege of commentating on, the current Kilkenny side have obviously raised doubts in his mind “I think they are a fantastic
Gaelic Games’ commentating on television seems an odd one, however, it was not up until the late 80s that O’Muircheartaigh decided to focus on the radio. However, the story of why he was selected to commentate on television makes for an interesting one - “RTÉ applied to the sports bodies in Ireland to allow them to put sport on television and the GAA were the only one who responded positively. However, they put in a proviso that 50% of the commentary would have to be in Irish. This raised the question on how we’d do that and in the ﬁrst year I would do ten minutes in Irish followed by Sean Óg O’Ceallachain who would then do ten minutes in English. This simply didn’t work, and it wasn’t until somebody came up with the idea
Pete’s Mission Impossible As the trap door looms for the Students, Colman Hanley asks how UCD can survive the drop UCD are facing a mammoth task to avoid relegation from the Eircom Premier League. With three games remaining, the students lie bottom of the league on twenty-one points. Three team relegations are on the cards so it is tantamount they ﬁnish ahead of relegation rivals Finn Harps and Cobh Ramblers. Harps lie four points clear of UCD, while Cobh and Galway are a further point ahead with Galway’s goal difference edging them out of the relegation zone. In such a tight battle, goal difference could be crucial. With the bottom four teams being so close to one another, there are many permutations. But for UCD the message is clear, they must try and
win their remaining matches Bohemians (H), Saint Patrick’s Athletic (A) and Galway United (H). The sad fact is however if they lose to Bohemians and Galway or Cobh record a victory, UCD will be relegated. Speaking in the aftermath of their last league game, manager and College Tribune columnist Pete Mahon commented “After we beat Galway in Terryland Park back in August, I said that the relegation battle could go down to the ﬁnal day. I’d take that scenario right now.” Indeed, if the students can achieve the scenario the ‘gaffer’ wants, they will fancy their chances against relegation rivals Galway on the ﬁnal day. Escaping the drop would be anoth-
■ Agony: UCD manager Pete Mahon er unbelievable achievement for both UCD AFC and manager Pete Mahon
himself. How many universities in the world can boast having a side
play in their national senior league which has continually produced players who have competed at various international levels for their country? Indeed only recently the university was represented by Ian Bermingham (still only just nineteen years old) in the Ireland U21’s and Conor Kenna in the Ireland U23’s. There is a massive injustice though about UCD’s current league placing though. Many sides in front of the students have over-spent to achieve their ‘lofty’ league positions. The high-proﬁle ﬁnancial problems of Cork City and Drogheda United are known to everyone who keeps a keen eye on such matters. But in reality, Cobh Ramblers, Galway United, Finn
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
microphone team but I don’t think you can judge a team until their era is over. Their real test now is, now that they’ve won three-in-a-row, can they make it four-in-a-row? The display they gave in this year’s All-Ireland ﬁnal was almost perfect and I think they could easily end up being the best hurling team to date.” As great a team as this Kilkenny team are, an admittance that Kilkenny’s success is bad for the game follows, to which Mícheál adds “It’s
‘86 and they were often spectacular. They played as a team all the time and when the year was over, they never thought they had so many AllIrelands won. Come January 1st, they were only interested in the next one. When they famously didn’t get the ﬁve-in-a-row, they still went out after and got a three-in-a-row. There’re many reasons why they’ll be hard to dislodge as the greatest football team.” Although he is not going to be commentating on the International Rules for RTÉ, “a sign of the recession” he suggests wryly, O’Muircheartaigh will be in attendance for the twomatch series down under. Many were surprised when the GAA and AFL agreed to bring back the series, however, Mícheál is full of optimism for the game - “I think that the players actually love playing for their country. Amateur players get so little and if they want it, then it should be preserved. Even for the Australians, even if it’s a professional sport, they also crave this international recognition. All the other major sports in Australia have the international recognition and the Aussie Rules always thought that this was a ﬂaw with their game. If the game is played as they should be, then they can be very entertaining.” Almost every GAA fan has their own favourite Mícheál O’Muircheartaigh quote or story. It may be him assuring his listeners that neither Fermanagh nor Fiji are hurling strong-holds. It may be when he gave weekly updates on an Irish cyclist attempting to cycle to Beijing last year. Whatever it is, there can be no doubt that this broadcasting giant adds something special to every GAA match we hear on the radio. The very least we can do next summer is to put on the radio on Sunday afternoons to experience his brilliance yet again.
WESTY’S SUPERLEAGUE FOOTBALL’S NOT COMING HOME
“The display the Kilkenny team gave in this year’s All-Ireland ﬁnal was almost perfect and I think they could easily end up being the best hurling team to date” great to see the exhausted being hungered from time to time.” However, he also believes that the recent inclusion of Galway and Antrim into the Leinster Championship can only do the game good - “Galway can only improve now as the worst that can happen to them is to get beaten by Kilkenny, and they’ll still have other games in the qualiﬁers. I think it’s the best thing to happen to hurling in a while.” Of course, in his own time as trainer of the Dublin-based footballers in the Kerry team of ‘75-’86, O’Muircheartaigh would’ve seen the dominance of a football team ﬁrst hand, a dominance which had not been seen to that extent before and hasn’t been seen since. Unsurprisingly, he speaks fondly of the team he describes as the greatest football team he has ever seen - “They won eight All-Irelands between ‘75 and
Harps, and Sligo Rovers have all had to take drastic ﬁnancial measures over the season and axe some of their staff or even ask staff to take pay-cuts in order to survive. By contrast, the students are one of the best ﬁnancially run clubs in the league and have been for many years. They have stayed within the ﬁnancial rules set by the FAI at the start of the season while others clearly have not. So essentially, UCD’s common sense approach of ‘don’t spend more than what you have’ looks likely to be futile. So what should they have done? One must wonder what the legend Dr Tony O’Neill, a football enthusiast who developed some of the universities best young players, would make of the situation today. RTE soccer correspondent Tony O’Donoghue recently point out that in no other league in Europe would 25% of teams be rel-
egated. That is of course, every other league apart from the FAI Premier League, the brain-child of the John Delaney. The change of format from the current twelve team league to a more ‘professional’ set-up of a ten team league is supposed to raise the standard of football in Ireland. This was surely a well thought out plan and another inspired idea from Delaney which took into consideration the ﬁnancial positions of all the clubs in the country. The idea rivals Delaney’s previous shrewd decision to hire Steve Staunton as Ireland manager. UCD’s fate however has not been sealed yet. The great escape is still possible. A win versus Bohemians, the new league champions and FAI Cup ﬁnalists, could be the massive turning point of the season and conﬁdence boost for this young UCD side. With that being the case, every bit of support is needed.
…And now for something completely different As the Autumnal shades of October fade to the barren, desolate vistas of November those who were so enthused by the idea of weekend football drift away, leaving their captains with no choice but to recruit the UCD hobo, or worse Pedro from Centra. December might very well be the month of goodwill, but November is the month in which the men are separated from the boys (for obvious reasons) and grown men cry down the phone begging their team mates to show up. This is Superleague! Now on the basis that the weather is dire, I elected to stay in with a cup of coco and do my reporting from, like all good sports writers, the comfort of my arm chair. So as the actress said to the bishop, “Here we go!”. Undoubtedly several teams will have won this week, some will have lost and the others, well they will have been totally incapable of doing either. Having reported on the Superleague for nearly two months now I have seen quite a few interesting sights; I saw a 15 stone rugby player attempt a bicycle kick…with sexy results and
a man who had obvious boundary issues insert one of his digits into an opposing player’s bum-bum… with sexy results. On one occasion, Silk Sheets and Waterbeds had only eight players, after they conceded their third goal in as many minutes this reporter was shocked to see a woman, YES, A FEMALE, getting ready to come on. The opposition had no problem with this, purely on the basis that she was Spanish and hot, had she been a Rodney Trotter, this reporter is certain the opposition would have been somewhat unhappy about her attempted inclusion. Thankfully the referee was a ﬁrm believer in the maxim; “Woman have no place in sport Superleague” and sent that salty wench packing. I have, as I generally do, raised a very good point here, why is there no Superleague for women? Obviously it couldn’t be a football based tourné because the result would be even more disastrous than the real thing but still in these times of equality they should have their own Superleague, perhaps something to do with knitting. I’m amazed the militant feminists lurking
in men toilets throughout campus and wearing trousers have not yet highlighted this shocking display of sexism by the sports department, for shame I say. But enough of my pro-feminist views and lets get down to the knitty (no pun intended)-gritty here. Rapid Vienneta sit proudly atop Saturday Division 1 with The Mild Cholesters, as their name suggests, bringing up the rear. In the best division Saturday has to offer Fritzel’s Palace is as securely in place atop the table while Unathletic Madrid, typically wallow in the pits with less points than Spurs! In Sunday Premier those Werder Braymen are ﬁrmly locked in a battle with Yore Auld One’s Box, this reporter wishes the well, just don’t peak too early. In Sunday Division 1 those pricks from Brazilchester are being kept from the top spot by the hilariously named; Your Wife Sucks like Your Team while Oceans 11 valiantly defend bottom place.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
The road to Fitzgibbon starts with a win
■ Colman Hanley UCD saw off the challenge of DIT in cold and blustery conditions for hurling last Wednesday night. The Students’ ﬁrst game of the season proved to be both great preparation and a welcome victory over their Dublin and Fitzgibbon Cup rivals. UCD approached the game in a more professional manner than their opponents and this was shown in their warm-up. While the DIT players simply pucked sliotars to one another, the Students were put through their paces by their diligent management team. Strict exercises and skill drills were employed to have the players ready for the throw-in. Preparations like these are crucial on a cold night, while it’s also shows that someone on the college’s management team is clearly a believer of Roy Keane’s motto ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’ As it happened, the team’s professionalism was rewarded as they struck their ﬁrst goal within 60 seconds of the start. Neil Prendergast launched a ball into the full forward line, the slioatar was collected by right corner forward Maurice Nolan, and he powerfully found the right corner of the visitors net. The home side added two points shortly afterwards as they asserted their superiority. DIT managed to eventually settle into the game but even so, UCD were able to record their second goal, a 20 metre free from Nolan. The ﬁrst half ended with both sides trading scores. One point in particular from Nolan, a sweet strike from the sideline, was the pick of the
bunch. It was therefore a blow when Nolan was forced off through injury. But despite that, the Students lead 2-4 to 0-4 at half-time. In a reversal of fortune, it was DIT who started the second half quickly. After recording two quick points, the visitors won a penalty. A dubious 20 metre free was awarded despite possibly too many steps or even some charging by the onrushing DIT forward. The initial shot from the penalty was well blocked on the line by home side’s keeper Cian Mac Domhnall, but
the rebound was pounced upon and the visitors found the net. At this stage of the game, the home side were in danger of being turned over as they only lead by two points. However, the Students eventually got to grips with a resurgent DIT and further points from Keith Hogan and Liam O’Neill gave the home team the points to ensure a somewhat comfortable victory by a winning margin of six points. After the game, UCD coach Willy Cleary was keen to emphasise that while it was a good win,
the Fitzgibbon Cup was the priority and improvements would have to made. With the ﬁnal rumoured to possibly be taking place outside of the country (possibly in Dubai), it’s no wonder that that it is the aim of this young side. “It was encouraging to see the younger players like David Langton, Neil Prendergast and Jack Gilligan put in good performances to put the pressure on the players of last year who are yet to play. Everyone’s ﬁghting for a place on the team. If tonight’s lads
are given a jersey, they don’t want to lose it.” Declared a contented Cleary, “We’ve ten of the team from last year’s Fitzgibbon Cup so we’re hoping to improve on last year when we reached the quarter-ﬁnals.” He went on to add “We were close to doing something last year but it just didn’t quite come off for us. So for this year we’re going full out to do it.” With ﬁghting talk like that, perhaps the wait for the Fitzgibbon Cup last won in 2001, will end.
Feeling the pinch UCD sporting facilities to face 10 percent funding cut ■ Eoghan Brophy Recent negative publicity in relation to the cutbacks in UCD Sports have been greeted with frustration by Director of Sport Brian Mullins. “UCD Sport is a support service and as such we are getting the same cutbacks across all support services in UCD of around 10-12%,” Mullins said. With the college foreseeing a deﬁcit of nearly €15 million this year, there has been an across the board cutback in college support facilities. As reported last week, the universities’ sports facilities will suffer as a result. Mullins is keen to stress the cutbacks are not just in his department, although he has conﬁrmed that they will happen. “It will affect the operations and maintenance across the
sports department and it is a challenge that we have to face, just like the other support services.” Asked if it will affect the sports clubs in UCD, the former Dublin GAA star said that “they have their own budgets and will have to work within them, same as us. Costs may increase in renting out facilities or access may be limited to certain facilities. At this time it is not clear exactly where the cuts will go.” In a meeting with Mullins and Martin Butler, Vice-President for students, representatives of each club were told to expect cut-backs. The ﬁgure given at the time was 5%. With the current economic crisis deepening, it seems that ﬁgure is now almost going to be doubled. This has lead many to believe that it may be sometime before it comes to
■ You’re cut: Brian Mullins (left) and Martin Butler light exactly where the cutbacks will be coming from and who they will affect. The difﬁculty in obtaining pitches
for rental remains a source of contention for most clubs. “It is hard enough as it is. There are ﬁghts over the amount of teams each club can
have at the start of the year,” according to one club ofﬁcial. “We asked for more time on the pitches but it wasn’t given.” After the announcement of the sports cuts it looks unlikely that any more time will be given. As regards funding the sports ofﬁcial said “the funding we get comes from the AUC, the Athletic Union Council and we have yet to receive our grant for this year. Once aknow more about the situation.” The Athletic Union Council is the governing body for UCD sports clubs, functioning as a funding, arbitration and Colours awarding body. It consists of two representatives from all clubs (one graduate and one student) and it allocates the capitation funds received annually from the College. Suzanne Bailey, the Sports Development Ofﬁcer and Executive Secretary of the AUC was contacted about the grants and funding but no reply was given at the time of print.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
We just ‘Rocked you UCD Blackrock College
■ Ben McCormack Blackrock’s undefeated run came to a startling end in the Belﬁeld Bowl on Saturday afternoon, thanks largely to resolute defending by the home team . The visitors who have had two players score hat tricks in their last three games went down 10-6 to College in a stunning contest. The conditions were less than favourable for the free attacking rugby style that the Blackrock team has been famed for in the early stages of this years AIL, with strong winds blowing down the park and rain sheeting down for most of the match. With this came an edgy and nervous encounter, both sides looking for mistakes rather than space to capitalise on. On the injuries front, UCD were without their starting ﬂy-half and captain, Michael Hastings who is yet to recover fully from the injury he received against Cork Constitution two weeks ago. ‘Rock were also lacking their try scoring winger par excellence, Shane Monaghan, who has scored ﬁve tries in his last three matches for the club. On the last occasion the two sides met they racked up a total of 70 points between them, but today was a different story entirely. Blackrock kicked off into the wind and the ball was quickly returned by UCD with a good kick to the 22 metre line by Neil Cowhey. The Students remained
in or around the ‘Rock half for the next twenty minutes but the territory was nothing without possession and they failed to capitalise on the pressure they showed. It wasn’t until the 26th minute that the Blackrock defence ﬁnally broke, giving Fergus McFadden, the College number 13, a chance to kick at goal, which he coolly slotted home. The attempts by both teams to run the ball and spread it wide were admirable but overall somewhat pointless, leading to many mistakes and inexcusable turnovers in promising positions. The conditions played havoc with the kickers and McFadden missed a 43 metre kick just past the half-hour mark. Only a minute later McFadden was binned by the referee for hands in the ruck, an offense that College had previously been warned about. Good defence from the resulting line-out rewarded College with a turnover but the wayward clearance kick left the ﬁeld open for the electrifying Blackrock number 11 Gary Brown, who is also on the Leinster panel, who ran for over 25 metres before he was tackled. Again persistence
paid off for UCD and the danger was averted. Even though there were these glimmers of hope by both sides it was a scrappy half with balls not going to hand and runs being broken up by knock-ons’, as well as penalties for both sides. UCD fullback Simon Gillespie’s attempt at a 50 metre kick fell well short and the same was true of Blackrock’s ﬂyhalf Darragh Fitzpatrick. The one man advantage began to tell before the half ﬁnished, with Gillespie called in to make a try saving tackle and the forwards organising some really strong fringe defence. The half ended with College leading 3-0. The second half was a similar story of scrappy play but early infringements by UCD allowed Blackrock an early penalty attempt, which Fitzpatrick gladly took, tying the game up at 3-3 on 46 minutes. However the introduc-
tion of Niall Kearns at inside centre and Killian Lett moving into the number 10 spot gave the College a new lease of life. Lett moved the ball well from ﬁrst receiver and began to ﬁnd spaces for runners, most notably McFadden. The breakthrough came after 15 minutes of constant pressure on the ‘Rock defence when Lett darted past the line and managed to off-load it out of the tackle to Kevin McLaughlin in support, who had a clear run for the try line. A simple conversion for McFadden underneath the posts and College lead by 10-3. On the 70 minutes mark, ‘Rock got another penalty attempt which Fitzpatrick again made cutting the lead to 4 points with mere minutes remaining.
From that point on it was all about the big tackles. Throughout the constant pressure College stood ﬁrm, rarely having their line troubled. Another wayward attempt by Fitzpatrick marked the end for Blackrock as they could not break through the UCD line for the try. College continued to put in the hits and were nearly rewarded with a try as a pass being intercepted by the replacement Kearns, who just lacked the speed for a try. Overall and considering the conditions this was a solid performance by UCD who racked up their ﬁrst win of the season with the star player being Killian Lett. The performance raises them from 15th to 13th in the table.
AIL Right on the night College hand league leaders Rock first defeat of the season Page 22
Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh An exclusive chat to the voice of Gaelic Games Page 20
Issue 4 | Volume 22 | 28th October 2008
Marian March on as Lions are tamed The Men’s Superleague is off to a fantastic start with three wins and one loss. Last Saturday night in the Sports Centre, a passionate crowd helped the boys in blue to annihilate Limerick with a twenty-point gap opening up in the later stages of the game. Just before half time Sean Coffey had been driving in low and fast, forcing fouls and sinking free throws for Lions to leave the score 37-31 to the visitors. Conor Meaney came to the rescue by ﬁrst showing nerve to put away two free throws and then came at the Lions, ducking and diving to get a basket inside. It was even at half time and the curse of the slump as broken. UCD Marian have been plagued by a second quarter curse where they lose the quarter and go down ten or ﬁfteen points but notably on the night they were more consis-
UCD Limerick Lions
tent, “We identiﬁed, in our ﬁrst two games, that we have given up big leads in the second quarter. Tonight we turned this around and even though we did go down six or seven points, we got it back to level at the half and that got us going,” commented Coach Cormac Connor. The outstanding Marian player was Irish-American co-captain David Ryan who put the win down to “defensive effort”. According to him this allowed Marian to limit Limerick scoring and push their lead out. Connor was of a similar impres-
sion; “The two key things we focused on to stop Limerick tonight were halting their two star players Scott Kinnevane and Sean Coffey their big shooter. We did a good job nullifying them for large parts of the game which gave us a platform to go ahead and take the game in the fourth quarter.” Ryan explained their tactics, “They have some guys who can shoot from the perimeter so we crowded out their offense and made some other players apart from their big shooters step up and it was a very effective strategy. “Their big American was a threat, stealing possession all over the court, and Sean Coffey is a tremendous shooter. He got them playing great offense and in the ﬁrst quarter we gave them too many second time chances.” The game came down to a battle
of the big players. Coach Connor named his MVP, “David Ryan did an excellent job. I asked him to do a few things different and he adjusted his game brilliantly. He had a big impact on the game.” Michael Parker was another key player and had a personal battle with his opposite,” I heard the point guard was going to be a tough Irish player, and he handles the ball well but I banged him around, he’s a little smaller than me,” He joked. Parker put the game down to their ﬁtness and sees his role as more than a big point scorer, “The game came down to conditioning, and I think we were in better condition, faster and stronger than they were throughout. If we can play without a slump in our game we can beat any body and you saw the outcome tonight. I’m a point guard, I don’t need to score at all as long as I control the game and
get my team in scoring positions and we win I’m happy.” Ryan was happy too and commended his team mates on their effort “Conor Meaney really stepped it up under pressure, the two James brothers as well and Mike Parker was everywhere getting his hands on the ball. If we play defense the way we did tonight we should win the majority of games we play.” It was thanks to unanswered three pointers from Parker and a ﬂurry of inside baskets from Ryan that in third period UCD pulled away with a ten point lead, 51-41 and later 63-53. Then with four minutes left it looked comfortable as a sixteen point cushion was developed as Ryan exited the game. Then Meaney, with the help of hard work from defense, extended the lead to a ﬁnal ﬂattering score of twenty one points ahead.
UPLIFTING AIRBOURNE INTERVIEW PAGE 4
GOTHIC CHIC IT’S ALL THE RAGE THIS HALLOWEEN PAGE 7
UCD’S LATEST AUTHOR SPEAKS PAGE 10
CUTTING IT RAZORLIGHT INTERVIEW PAGE 6
n e r i S the
College Tribune Arts & Culture Supplement | 28.10.08
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Curating a comeback After 30 years and what seems like as many different band members, The Cure seem to have found a rhythm and synergy with eachother that had been severely lacking in their last few albums. The result is 4:13 Dream, a punky and passionate album that’s bound to please fans, old and new. Robert Smith, the only member of the band who has lasted through the umpteen line-up changes The Cure have gone through, injects the album with his usual bipolar c o mb i n a t i o n of angst-ﬁlled swoons and dizzying bursts of whimsical pop. Though himself and the boys have modernized and updated their sound, the album retains the band’s integral style of dominant melodic bass lines under layers of guitar and synthesizers that are intense yet accessible. While The Cure have built their reputation on wallowing in gothic sadness, overall the album is an energetic and ﬂirtatious offering with deﬁnite resonances of The Cure’s 1992 hit album, Wish. Don’t be fooled; it’s no S Club 7, and with lyrics like “I won’t try to bring you down about my suicide” and “I’m tired of being alone with myself”, Smith ensures that his reputation as the Messiah of Melancholy is safe. His strength, however, lies
in the fact that while he expresses - repeatedly - his feelings of depression and pain, he does so without inﬂicting these feelings
upon the listener, unlike some bands you could mention. Funeral For A Friend, Taking Back Sunday, Simple Plan; listen and learn 4:13 Dream starts off with
THE CURE | 4:13 DREAM
live favourite Underneath The Stars, a brooding and ethereal ballad,
ﬁlled with echoing, trance-like guitar and synthetically blurred vocals that give the song a dreamlike quality. To contrast, this is followed by the most upbeat track on the album, the frothy and effervescent The Only One, which was released as the ﬁrst single from 4:13. This song bubbles with jangling guitars and buoyant vocals and is reminiscent of the band’s past hit Friday I’m In Love. Next comes the funky Freakshow, whose Kaiser Chiefs vibes seem slightly out of place on the album, but it is nonetheless a great pop song in its own right. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Cure album without a little trip down Emo Lane, not to mention Over-
RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS
DIG OUT YOUR SOUL
New York based English songstress Essie Jain returns after a short break with her second album, The Inbetween, due for release on November 17th. This time around it is the voice that stands out in a sea of euphoric musical bliss. The angelic Eavesdrop opens the proceedings: Broken piano chords compliment her honeyed and fragile vocals that lure the listener into a state of ecstasy. Lisa Hannigan springs to mind in terms of comparison - both singers boast lucid and captivating vocal ranges. The fragility and beauty are so carefully mingled that the song is a triumph There is something unquestionably vintage about this album; it sounds like it was transported from the heyday of Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell. Acoustic wizardry is in full play here for
the majority of the album yet this isn’t a trait that Jain sticks to; she also dabbles in a little jazz and soft rock throughout. The mood is set yet Jain likes to alter it to compliment her vocals. Do It with its minor guitar riffs and raw vocal range is an outstanding track where soft rock emerges but the vocals still retain their gentle demeanour. The Inbetween is a beautiful collection of musical ingenuity that seems to ﬂow gracefully like a musical river. You can’t help but fall in love with her. HEATHER LANDY
Analytic Avenue, both of which are explored to punky perfection on three efforts: The Reasons Why, Sleep When I’m Dead and Switch. But it’s the electronic and experimental The Scream that really makes an impact, crescendoing from bleak disillusionment to a nightmarish banshee wail in one dirty and desperate surge that’s sure to lead to some seriously smashed guitars when played live. In a world where talentless randomers become superstar sensations for all of two weeks by telling Simon Cowell that they want to provide a better life for the poverty-ridden nuns that raised them and intend to do so by singing Alicia Keys’ Falling into a hairbrush, it’s incredibly refreshing when a band not only lasts thirty years and releases their thirteenth album, but also manages to make it a fantastic one.
Quivering vocals, bluesy guitar and moving songs of love and personal angst. Adams is back, and back to producing prodigious music. The opener starts with a beautiful loosely-strummed acoustic guitar riff, which kicks off a bunch of classic Adams creations. The steel sound blends into the gospelstyle vocals to give an upbeat melody which leads into the following songs. In contrast to its predecessors, with their weepy sometimes melancholy vocals, Cardinology is often uplifting and ecstatic. Nostalgia and lost love have been replaced by hope and optimism as themes in this album. The feather in the cap is Magick. A rocking riff with booming bass and drums, it gets the body swaying and simply dances out of the speaker with catchy vocals and youthful rhythm. Meanwhile, Cobwebs is a song of requited love: NYC is a per-
sonal temple for Adams and this song is a ﬂight through Central Park, a pause on 5th Avenue and a bask in the sunlight which ﬂoods between the skyscrapers of Manhattan. The next few songs give way to country rock hymns like Let Us Down Easy and Natural Ghost. The ﬁnal song Stop, obviously about rehab, conﬁrms the death of the myth that great rock music comes from drugged-up songwriters. The now-clean wordsmith Adams has been drug free since 2006, and plays The Ambassador on November 8th with the Cardinals. JORDAN DALY
It appears that there has been a case of widespread forgetfulness amongst the music press. A collective amnesia of almost pandemic preportions. It is surely the only explanation for the near-unanimous raving about Oasis’ latest derivative release, Dig Out Your Soul. If this represents the cream of today’s rock’n’roll, then anyone not weeping for the state of the music industry is not in possession of a soul. Perhaps this is somewhat hyperbolic. This record is not necessarily awful – just derivative, almost to the point of plagiarism. A pale imitation of the Beatles, circa 1966. The music is incredibly bland. Essentially, Oasis have contrived to compile a collection that you imagine would not be out of place at a trendy vicar’s tea party. Rock’n’roll? Salad’n’roll more like. It’s hard to know where to begin with the tracks themselves; as with most releases
of such utter triviality, the individual songs just seem to blend into one another, forming a shapeless, repetitive glob of trite pointlessness. There are no real stand-out tracks, rendering the record a futile and forgettable affair. Positives: The ballad I’m Outta Time is sweet and nicely-layered, even - amazingly enough - containing decent vocals from Liam. Falling Down has its charms too, certainly representing Noel’s best effort on the album. Unfortunately, these are the sole ﬂashes of inspiration on what is, for the most part, a lacklustre journey. SEBASTIAN CLARE
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Here for one night only George Craig, frontman of English indie outﬁt One Night Only, chats to Conor McKenna about their rapid rise and the laziness of the media in making comparisons between them and their compatriots The View and The Kooks “It’s like pop music, with, em, with bollocks.” In describing his band’s sound, George displays an uncompromising attitude that seeps into One Night Only’s creative output. Their music, regardless of genre, has sold particularly well in Britain since its release; the album Started A Fire hitting number ten in the charts earlier this year. However, George remarks that he felt that, “it hasn’t been received quite as well as I thought it would, but it’s done pretty well.” In terms of singles, on the other hand, the success hasn’t been as great, but as George states categorically, “it doesn’t really matter to me about the singles, it’s more the album. Because a single is just one song and that’s the only impression people are going to get of you and it’s really hard for them to say they know you are useless they have the album.” The album is now over a year old, and George is eager to get back into studio and write more material, and though he said it would be different, the vibe would remain similar to their ﬁrst album. The band formed in North Yorkshire in 2003 and have been working solidly since then, playing regularly in England. George even had the chance to play an acoustic version of one of their songs on British soap Hollyoaks. Having toured Europe and Japan this year and played major festivals in both the UK and Ireland, including Oxegen, the band seems set to join the ever-swelling ranks of indie-pop acts emerging from Britain. Speaking of touring, it is hard not to notice that there is a note of pride in George’s voice as he relates how well-received the band were at fes-
tivals such as the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury over the summer, and he thinks it was a great opportunity to win over fans who’d only heard the singles, showing them exactly what the band was capable of. With a show coming up in Dublin in November, George does seem eager to be touring in Ireland; “we’ve played a couple of shows in Belfast and Dublin and they’ve always been really good. This time it’s big venues and we’ve got General Fiasco with us as well so it should be good. I love playing in Northern Ireland, they’re fun and I love the accent.” Touring, as with every band, has been a major part of the success of their album. But he notes the dif-
ference in the crowds between the UK and Japan; “in Japan you can turn up and be a British indie band and they’ve never heard of you but they’ll sing and dance and make the most of what’s there because they appreciate people coming over. But whereas, I think, in England playing for a crowd where no one knows who you are, people are too afraid to sort of have a good time cause people are too worried about what everyone else is doing.” In terms of what the band has accomplished so far, George is more than able to talk through the paces. However when it comes to inﬂuences and subject matter he is more hesitant; “we’ve all got different tastes and lots
ison; “I just think it’s really lazy.” He went on to say that he wishes people would look deeper into the band and realise that One Night Only are nothing like The Kooks or The View. It is understandably difﬁcult for any band from the UK to break through the success of such bands and establish their own identity, especially when indie-pop has become so generic. With that said, can yet another British indie-pop band sneak through and make it big? That’s for you to decide.
» One Night Only play The Academy on November 6th
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS
A HUNDRED MILLION SUNS Following on from the stratospheric success of Eyes Open, Snow Patrol return with their ﬁfth studio album, A Hundred Million Suns. This is pretty much as aptly titled as it could be, given that its blindingly upbeat tone is in sharp contrast to the melancholy, morose air that was so idiosyncratic of the band on previous releases. The album gets off to a solid start with the wonderful If There’s A Rocket Tie Me To It, and this is followed by Crack The Shutters, which continues on the same vein. Later tracks Set Down Your Glass and The Planets Bend Between Us are equally beautiful, with Lightbody’s vocals on top form. It is immediately apparent that, going by the lyrics, Gary Lightbody is in a completely different emotional place to where he was before – if Eyes Open and Final Straw were break-up records, then this is a pure, requited love record. There are low points. Take Back The City was a peculiar
of different genres, everyone brings a different element to the band and I guess that’s what makes it the way it is. I really like just anything, sort of nineties.” In terms of song writing, George identiﬁes Bowie and Dylan as his two major inﬂuences. One Night Only have received a lot of media coverage regarding their image and sound. Upon visiting their Myspace page it’s extremely evident why, the band’s overall image is notably similar to that of fellow indie band The Kooks. George Craig, himself with tousled hair and thoughtful expression, looks like he could be Luke Pritchard’s younger brother. His voice ﬂickers with agitation as he responds to the compar-
choice for the ﬁrst single, given that it is possibly the weakest, most irritating song on the album. It is also difﬁcult to shift the nagging feeling that there are no genuine stand-out tracks that immediately grab the listener - this is a polished record, but perhaps there is a dearth of catchy hooks. Nonetheless, A Hundred Million Suns is unquestionably worth a listen, and will almost certainly grow on you; Snow Patrol albums invariably do. SEBASTIAN CLARE
Mellon Collie and the Inﬁnite Sadness could be described as the anti-inﬂuential album. Released in the Autumn of 1995, in the wake of grunge’s demise Billy Corgan (songwriter, frontman and absolute leader of the band) declared that he wanted to separate his band from every other on the planet announcing with trademark bombast that “this album will obliterate our competition`’ and importantly any links with the Seattle scene. With this as the backdrop for the record the recording sessions began resulting in a staggering FIFTY recorded tracks. The goal was to release a double album with wide ranging musical styles and emotions, going from scathing attacks to wistful lullabies but maintaining a cohesive tone throughout. From the outset the task was epic, but so was the outcome. It should have been a pivotal album, inspiring all around, but alas, it was not so. Corgan set out to defy existing stereotypes of the band at the time – setting out to change the face of rock of the mid-nineties. On their previous two records Corgan had worked with Butch Vig (Nirvana’s Nevermind) resulting in “Gish” and “Siamese Dream”. Vig’s style, the persuit of perfection was aban-
MELLION COLLIE AND THE INFINITE SADNESS
doned in favour of Flood who famously 1995 opts for the more emotional takes. The decision to hire Flood was proven to be inspired. On songs such as “To Forgive” the emotional content is as audible as each note played. It was also Flood that encouraged Corgan to embrace the nasal qualities of his voice rather than try to mask them giving each vocal performance more authenticity than ever before. While some found the nasal whines of a now bald Corgan hard to stomach, more were drawn to the sincerity and desperation of his delivery. The basic concept for the album is the metamorphosis from day to night and back again. The ﬁrst single “Bullet With Butterﬂy Wings” gave us the immortal lines; “Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage”. Clearly something is troubling this man and it is this album that is an exorcism of all his demons past and present. It was of huge importance to Corgan that “Bullet” was the lead single against the wishes of the record company and other
powers that be but when released the song became a major hit on radio and MTV catapulting the Pumpkins into the spotlight. There was an opening for a band to step up and adopt the mantle as the “biggest band in the world” and the Pumpkins took their chance. The next single “1979” gave them another major hit all over the world and “Tonight’ Tonight” cemented their status as the one band you need to listen to. Each of these three singles had vastly contrasting styles and dynamics (something largely unheard of when the norm is to have a hit and follow it up with its twin brother). “Mellon Collie and the Inﬁnite Sadness” is a perfect record for an imperfect band - an album that has changed the face of rock forever.
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Old School rock is bourne again Airbourne drummer Ryan O’Keefe chills out on the bonnet of his car in Melbourne, takes the odd sip of bourbon ’n’ ginger ale, and answers the odd question from Stephen Tuohy. Run for cover you prog-techno, après-punkfunk, genre-pillaging, headband-wearing fairies. Airbourne are a band which care for one word only, and that word be Rock. So what if you haven’t heard of them and probably believe that the days of straight rock are long dead. Whether you enjoy rocking out shamelessly to permed guitar heroes of a bygone age, or if you just enjoy sneering at how silly it all looks, Airbourne will provide ammunition for all. The story of Airbourne is as timeless as any: Four lads from Warrnambool, Australia, becoming transﬁxed with no-nonsense rock and then forging a career by playing said no-nonsense rock. The man who hits the drums with the sticks really hard, Ryan O’Keefe, explains that they happened upon records from such greats as Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy and so on, “in Grandma’s”. The tale of how the band allegedly met their bassist while having some amazing whacked out rock orgy in the sand dunes is also suitably played down; “Well, we used to drink in the sand dunes. On this one session, we had a big bonﬁre and stuff, and I had to head off, and as I was rolling down a sand dune, Justin, the bass player, was on his way up. And that’s how we met”. It’s refreshing to know that although these Aussie lads play 80’s rock, they’re not into perpetuating the macho stereotypes that generally come with it. None the less one has to wonder how an Australian band playing such a dated brand of rock deals with the big and obvious comparison to legendary outﬁt AC/DC. There really is only one way to deal with it when you think about it, and Ryan does so impeccably; “It’s an honour, I mean every band is compared to somebody, so you might as well be compared to the best”. Regardless of what you make of their AC/ DC pilfering shenanigans, they are undeniably a hard-working band, especially considering
that they already have a studio album under their belt. With their tour dates stacked a mile high and reaching into every crevice of the planet, it would be understandable if O’Keefe would have difﬁculty in picking out a highlight amongst the numerous venues, but he barely hesitates: “Our best experience was probably playing a music festival in Germany in front of around 75,000 people, which was, surprisingly enough our most relaxed gig, we walked on to the stage like we were walking out of a toilet! We were all very casual, talking about things that had nothing to do with the gig immediately beforehand, and then someone just went, ‘off ya pop’ and we said, ‘oh, no worries’ and just wandered out in front of this massive audience!” Airbourne will be making an appearance in November in the Ambassador, and according to O’Keefe the audience can apparently expect a “very energetic gig with a lot of sweat, a lot of booze, and a lot of good memories”. Aside from spreading their balls-to-the-wall brand of rock via live shows, the band will also be working on their second album upon the completion of their tour. Anybody expecting an electro-folk album will be left wanting, as O’Keefe states; “We’ll pretty much be always the same. We love the sound we play, the rock’n’roll, I guess we’ll always be doing that”. Beyond their second album their plan is as straightforward as their music; “We’ll tour forever”. Undoubtedly, some will look at this honest band with their outdated honest rock and laugh, but just remember; MGMT and their future imitators will look similarly amusing in twenty years time. As long as there is an audience for them, there will always be room for true rock bands like Airbourne.
» Airbourne play the Ambassador on November 10th
Young Diarmuid Laffan caught up with No Age drummer Dean Allen Spunt to talk politics, censorship and the group’s close relationship with their fans, ahead of their recent Whelan’s appearance. When their former band, Wives, imploded in 2005, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall decided to keep going as a two-piece. They called themselves ‘No Age’ after a compilation tape Spunt found at the record store he was working at, and set about developing a truly original sound with punk rock delivery swamped in hazy guitar distortion. This unlikely marriage of punk and shoe-gaze somehow managed to sound immediate and distant at the same time, forcing the listener to search for melodies hidden just beneath a wall of fuzz. After the more conventional Wives, Spunt was happy to try something different; “I like
stuff that isn’t so in your face, that draws you in and you have to look a little bit deeper”. After self-releasing a string of EPs, No Age were signed to prominent alternative label Sub-Pop and started to attract international attention with their critically-acclaimed debut, Nouns, released earlier this year. No Age honed their sound playing at the Smell, an increasingly famous underground club in downtown Los Angeles. The Smell’s mystique is largely down to its collaborative ethic, with the club’s dayto-day running taken up by the local artists and musicians who volunteer there; when the crowds started getting too big for the facilities, No Age helped dig out trenches for a new set of toilets. When asked what drives the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
A sideways look at...
US Election Anthems With just 1 week until the election between “That One” and a geriatric, the elucidated editor of this hallowed music section has decided to compile what will henceforth be cheerfully referred to as Now That’s What I Call US Election Anthems 2008! Here is a run-down of the best, worst and downright weirdest songs used by US Presidential candidates in campaigns gone by… 5. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER – SIMON & GARFUNKEL If you can show me a song less suited to getting a crowd jumping on a wave of optimism and activism then I’ll eat my own face. Democrat George McGovern decided to use this in his election campaign against incumbent Richard Nixon in 1972, and got completely annihilated, winning just 2 States. Coincidence? I think not. 4. BORN IN THE USA – BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN This anti-war tale of a disillusioned Vietnam veteran who returns to an apathetic nation was cynically appropriated by chickenhawk knucklehead Republican Ronald Reagan during his 1984 re-election campaign. It’s difﬁcult to imagine a candidate who embodies less of what The Boss stands for than ‘The Gipper’. Reagan praised the song’s “message of hope”, managing to spectacularly misinterpret it with typical aplomb. Dumbass. Still. Least he’s dead now.
3. SOUL MAN – SAM & DAVE In a move of absolutely staggering cringeworthiness, Republican Bob Dole’s ill-fated campaign in 1996 picked this as their signature tune, changing the lyrics so that it sang “Dole Man” instead. 2. I WON’T BACK DOWN – TOM PETTY In many ways, Dubya Bush is the perfect candidate for this column – his 2 campaigns were forced to pull no less than 4 songs amid complaints by the artists themselves. This one, utilized for the 2000 campaign, exhibited lyrics about stubbornness in the face of overwhelming unpopularity. In fairness, that’s Dubya down to a tee. Petty didn’t see it that way, refusing to let his anthem of personal independence be co-opted by a politician who has practically made cracking down on civil liberties an art form. 1. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME ABBA Possibly the most laughably apt of the bunch. God bless John McCain… The ‘Maverick’ picked this pop nugget to advertise himself during the Republican Primaries at the start of this year. At least the bugger’s honest – this one really does reﬂect the overwhelming impression that anyone silly enough to vote for the senile, right-wing, free-market worshipping Republican is taking an almighty gamble of absolutely sub-prime proportions. SEBASTIAN CLARE
scene, Spunt seems almost bemused by all the recent attention; “I don’t know, it’s fun to play to your friends’ bands but then there have always been so many great bands in LA, I don’t know why at this one time it’s working.” Conscious of indie rock’s elitist tendencies, Spunt stresses his love for all pop music. “We’re deﬁnitely fans of nerdy stuff, like the commercial hip-hop you hear on the radio, we live in LA and we drive cars a bunch so the same tapes you have in your car get old.” While recent upheavals in the music industry have shrunk the traditional distance between rock bands and their fans, with No Age the gap is non-existent. Happy to interact with fans before, during and after shows, Spunt sees this as a healthier arrangement; “It means more to us and I hope it means more to the audience. Having a close relationship with your fans keeps you on your toes.” Carrying on punk-rock’s long tradition of political involvement, No Age have begun to use their proﬁle to publicize issues they feel strongly about, the notoriously harsh US healthcare system being their main bugbear. In the face of what he sees as an increasingly apathetic youth culture, Spunt is keen to bring home some truths on an individual level. “If someone’s prepared to live a life
of complacency and doesn’t see how outside inﬂuences affect their life, how are you going to energise that person? You have to show people how they are personally affected and hopefully they’ll wake up and see there’s a reason they can’t make any money, there’s a reason they don’t have a job, there’s a reason the envi-
My dad was like ‘Come on, sing something for your granddad’, I had to explain to them that it’s not really that kind of singing!” ronment is being destroyed, people have to take responsibility for their own lives, their use of gasoline, their support for corporations with no human rights standards. I’d encourage people to view politics in a personal way, what you do every day affects the rest of the world.” A few weeks ago No Age were about to play their current single, Eraser, on The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, when a network employee informed Randall that he couldn’t go on-stage wearing a Barack Obama t-shirt. The employee cited an equal-time rule, similar to the one we have for referenda
here in Ireland. The band-members brieﬂy considered walking away but scrawled ‘free health care’ on the reversed t-shirt and played anyway. “At ﬁrst I felt a little jilted, it felt like they were trying to silence us, but I don’t think they had a rightwing agenda. They were just trying to watch their backs. There’s regulatory laws in America that are absurd, trying to enforce them on a small band like us on a small TV show like Craig Ferguson just doesn’t make any sense”. Given that the rule only applies to free-toair television it generally favours the cashed-up Republican party who - Barack Obama aside - have always out-spent their Democratic rivals on advertising. This aspect of the experience bothers Spunt: “Money means you can talk and if you don’t have money you can’t talk. There are rules for people who don’t have money; if you have money you write your own rules”. One place Spunt is happy to censor himself is at family gatherings, where his success as a singer is beginning to generate interest. “My grandad was having his 80th birthday recently and everyone was trying to make me get up and sing. My dad was like ‘Come on, sing something for your granddad’, I had to explain to them that it’s not really that kind of singing!”
» No Age’s second album, Nouns, is out now
Wednesday 29th October: Seasick Steve, National Stadium, €34.50, doors at 8pm Friday 31st October: Crayonsmith, Whelan’s, €10, doors at 8pm Saturday 1st November Motörhead, Ambassador, €49, doors at 8pm Lambchop, Tripod, €32.50, doors at 7.30pm Roots Manuva, Academy, €20.50, doors at 7pm Sunday 2nd November Mercury Rev, Vicar Street, €33.50, doors at 8pm Martha Wainwright, Olympia, €26, doors at 7.30pm The Walkmen, Button Factory, €20.50, doors at 7.30pm Monday 3rd November MGMT, Ambassador, €24.50, doors at 8pm Dirty Pretty Things, Academy, €25, doors at 7.30pm The Kills, Tripod, €22.50, doors at 7.30pm Tuesday 4th November Neon Neon, Tripod, €28, doors at 7.30pm
Ida Maria, Academy, €14.50, doors at 7.30pm Wednesday 5th November Cold War Kids, Academy, €28.50, doors at 7pm Thursday 6th November One Night Only, Academy, €15.50, doors at 7.30pm Friday 7th November Goldfrapp, Tripod, €35.50, doors at 7.30pm Okkervil River, Academy, €21, doors at 8pm Saturday 8th November Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, Ambassador, €33.60, doors at 7.30pm Extreme, Academy, €33.60, doors at 7pm Sunday 9th November Kanye West, RDS, €66, doors at 8pm The Wombats, Academy, €20, doors at 7.30pm Monday 10th November Airbourne, Ambassador, €22, doors at 7.30pm Paul Weller, RDS, €53, doors at 8pm Seb’s Pick: Extreme play the Academy on Saturday November 8th
Siren MUSIC the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Life on the c Razorlight guitarist Bjorn Agren takes time out from a hectic touring schedule to talk about their forthcoming new album and their struggles with creativity, popularity and credibility, with Fiona Redmond. Bjorn is utterly shattered. “We only landed nine hours ago”, he explains. With no rest for the wicked, he will not even be able to pause for breath before jetting off again, and seeing the sights is completely out of the question. “Not apart from this hotel. There’s no time. We’re just here to promote our album and the tour. We’re playing in the Olympia the 26th of November, I think. We’ve played there before, I like that venue.” Razorlight have a testing schedule surrounding the launch of their third album, Slipway Fires, with over twenty live shows in the coming months. While the album itself remains true to Razorlight’s indie sound it is also far more experimental than the ﬁrst two records. Johnny’s voice is stronger and the group sound far more in control of their music. “The album title was just an idea that Johnny had. When you think of a slipway what do you think of?” Is it the side road that comes off a dual carriageway? “No, although that’s exactly what I thought of as well, I thought; ‘that’s a very weird title.’ Now, that’s a slipROAD [sic]. A slipway is like a long wooden thing which boats land on. But I understand what you’re thinking because at ﬁrst I thought it was a very odd title because you’d be thinking of cars burning on the side of the road. Anyway, because of the function of the slipway there’s the link with water. Then within the title there’s the idea of having ﬁre and water together. You see, Johnny didn’t really explain the title at length.” The new material shows that Razorlight’s music has matured and they haven’t fallen into the trap of rehashing the same songs. Bjorn also points out that the inﬂuences for this record were diverse and manifold: “Too many to say really I think. When we were writing it Johnny and Andrew made a conscious effort not to listen to other music for a couple of months. You want to be able to ﬁnd new musical expressions that are unique to you and if you listen to other stuff you mightn’t be able to ﬁnd that sound. Particularly with me, I’m very much like a magpie! Plagiarism is a horrible thing to be accused of and especially when you do it inadvertently. I can just imagine the horror of it. I have solved that though by listening to lots of different music. Although saying that, I tried to avoid
listening to any new indie bands. But I listened to soul, rock and funk and stuff. Just lots of different things.” It is also abundantly apparent that the band did not make a conscious effort
“We’ve always been lucky because all the records we’ve done have just kinda come out”, he surmises. “With the ﬁrst album it was a case of just do what you do and we did it. Then the second album was the ﬁrst time we were writing with Andy and that was really exciting. So we really thought that this time -aw shit we’ll have to think about this because we can’t just do the same thing. So we said we’d start out and just do what came naturally. So it just came out the way it did, and we only had to record one extra song. It was great. And yet this record still felt different from the others.” Of all the songs on this new record, Bjorn is particularly fond of Burberry Blue Eyes: “I’m really into the cutesy, 50s, 60s, kitsch thing. And I would like to hear a song that’s cuter than Burberry Blue Eyes because there couldn’t be one. It’s super cute. And probably because it’s the most bonkers, most intense song we’ve ever done.” Both Up All Night and Razorlight have produced incredibly popular songs, with Golden Touch from the previous and America from the latter, but Bjorn is candid in admitting that he has no idea which single from Slipway Fires will burn the brightest in the public conscience. “I really don’t know because to be honest whatever I like is not what most people like. The funny thing is that I thought Wire to Wire was a really weird ﬁrst single but people are really, really liking it. It is so intimate and it’s not the typical ﬁrst single. People are probably thinking ‘what the hell is he playing now!’ Because it’s slow and heavy and we’ve never done that before. Actually you know what?” he asks thoughtfully “I could see that being a really big hit.” Only time will tell if this prediction will be the ﬁrst time Agren has people liking the same thing as him. He is dismissive when it comes to worries that the band’s experimentation might alienate some of its fan-
Johnny and Andrew made a conscious effort not to listen to other music for a couple of months. You want to be able to ﬁnd new musical expressions that are unique to you to create a unique sound with this release: “We never discuss things like that. We’ve never ever said, ‘oh this should sound a bit like that’. The creative process on this album was a lot different. Johnny went away to some remote island for a couple of months just to focus on lyrics and to be able to write whatever came out of his head. So then he came home with a fair few songs, and Andy had a couple as well. So they just got together and bashed the songs out with pianos and acoustic guitars and stuff. Then when that was done band rehearsals began where we just started adding drums and whacking in guitar riffs and whatever. Everything just kinda came together. I don’t think there was any instance when anybody said ‘well what you’re playing there just isn’t going to work’. It just came out, all of it, and everybody was dead impressed with what we were after doing. We were just on a roll, and rehearsed everything really well. This way everything was written when we went into the studio, not like U2 where they rent out a studio for a year and just go in with nothing. We
We had something we had to prove, like for a musician there’s that feeling that with every new album you’ve to prove you’ve still got it always go in basically knowing exactly what we’re playing.” It is clear that the band members have great chemistry and Agren speaks of how effortlessly they spark off each other to create their records.
base. “Some people will say ‘Oh no they’ve changed, they’re not as good blah blah blah’. But really, the last album will always be there and we’d always play those songs live. It’s not like that album is going to go away because the new one doesn’t sound the same. I think with the last album we really felt that we had something we had to prove, like for a musician there’s that feeling that with every new album you’ve to prove you’ve still got it.” Under the shadow of their previous successes, it would be understandable if Razorlight felt the pressure to emulate such releases. Bjorn, however, is emphatic in insisting that this is not the case: “After we did well with the second album we felt that we had proved that we were actually a talent. So I think on this one we felt like ‘oh this is cool we can start
experimenting and start doing what the hell we like’. It’s an album that comes at you rather than one that really wants you to like it. It’s a party album, one that when you hear it you
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
cutting edge papers, he acknowledges how crazy celebrity culture has become. “In Sweden we don’t really have as extreme a celebrity culture as in England. I don’t know if it’s the same as in Ireland but in England it’s fucking crazy. And half of the press says, ‘we adore these people’, and the other half is, ‘look at them, they’re normal’. One week you’re a genius and the next you’re just ordinary. It’s very interesting but very weird.”
will turn your home appliances off to listen to it. I suppose this is an album that really pulls you in.” On the past records, Agren has co-written some of the songs and yet he has not con-
tributed in such a way for the new record. “Sadly this is the ﬁrst album without a ‘me’ co-write. I did have a really good contender but you see, I usually write the music and Johnny writes the lyrics. There was a really good one though but it didn’t work out. It’s just one of those things where, you know, if Johnny cant ﬁnd the words, well it just won’t happen because you’ve got to ﬁnd inspiration to write. I hope it’s on the back burner for now because it’s a good piece of music.” At this stage, Razorlight have be-
come quite a mainstream group with so many different types of fans, not just the alternative crowd. “It’s horrible when that happens to your favourite band.’ confesses Agren “You know, when you think ‘oh this band is good, this is my thing’, and then everyone gets the album. But that’s the weird thing, you start liking a type of music or a band and then the lame people start liking it as well. I’m getting better at it as I’m getting older, you know. I just have to think ok so lame people really, really love this band but the band is actually really good. You can’t blame the band because lame people like them.” This smacks of a plea not to dismiss Razorlight’s credibility just because of their mainstream success.
This brings us to the well-worn topic of the scandals of two of Britain’s most notorious talents, Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty. “These are incredibly talented people - you cannot train to become that talented, you either have it or you don’t. It’s the most horrible thing ever because they seem to think, ‘I have this great talent - I’ll have two tonnes of crack and die please’, rather than actually taking their talent and applying hard work in order to become something amazing.” Evidently Razorlight are a group who take their musical abilities very seriously. Slipway Fires is testament to this, as they have managed to advance their music in new directions while still retaining parts of their uniqueness, ensuring that although lame people may now like them, there is no denying that they are a great band.
Lame people really, really love this band but the band is actually really good. You can’t blame the band because lame people like them And yet, for all their popularity, this group are very rarely in the tabloids apart from the odd incident like Borrell’s dates with Kirsten Dunst. Although Agren admits that he doesn’t personally know people whose scandals have been splashed all over the
» Slipway Fires is scheduled for release on November 3rd » Razorlight play the Olympia on November 26th
Siren FASHION the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Thanks be to goth It may be that time of year, but girls are ﬂocking to a darker sense of fashion. What are the concerns with the gothic image and why should you go to the dark side, asks Jessica Whyte The Gothic image has often received a hard time from the general public. For most people, Gothic fashion conjures up instant images of chalky white make-up, PVC trench coats and piercingly of every description in every location. To assume this is to be gravely mistaken- for that would be confusing gothic fashion with heavy metal fashion. Traditional Gothic fashion in fact derives from the mourning dress of the Victorian era where women were expected to wear nothing but black for a year and a half after their husband’s death. Even after this mourning period they would have to ease themselves back into a normal colour palette, starting with purple and navy. It seems that almost everyone is making some attempt to cross over to the dark side. Many fashion journalists have drawn an analogy between the Gothic resurrection of 2008 and the economic crisis that is currently engulﬁng the world. The idea that women all over the world have adopted the sombre tones of the gothic look in response to the turbulent economic times is pushing it ever so slightly. This brings to light another common misinterpretation of Gothic fash-
ion: that it is all about black. Gothic fashion certainly uses black as a canvas but it has a distinct aura that extends far beyond a single colour. The choice of fabric plays a key role in the look such as lace, tulle and chiffon with a great deal of emphasis being placed on attention to detail. Their distinction is also in the atmosphere they create. Gothic clothing embodies romanticism, femininity, mystery, power and eroticism. In spite of the recent obsession with all things Gothic, it is clear to see how the trend has never truly stepped off the fashion circuit. Dr. Valerie Steele, the director of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and author of Gothic: Dark Glamour, believes that the ‘Dark glamour of gothic has made it perversely attractive to many designers. ‘Haute Goth’ can be found in the collections of Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Rick Owens and most notably Gareth Pugh, whose 2007 couture collection is still be talked about as a Gothic triumph and has certainly paved the way for the explosion of the trend on the high street market this year. If there is one minor concern with traditional Gothic fashion amongst women, it would be that the overall look can be quite overbearing and intimidating. The High street market has homed in on these concerns to create the ‘Soft Goth’ look which is currently causing a fashion frenzy. This is the adaptation of the Gothic image to create a more reﬁned and subdued look (i.e. teaming a lace blouse with black jeans) thus al-
Making it macho Resident men’s fashion expert Aoife Ryan looks at the inﬂuences on the men’s market For many men, the fashion sphere of worldwide social culture begs the basic question- what’s it all about? While women ﬁnd the enigma of fashion something of an incentive to discover and explore the tactile side of creativity, many men are confounded by its ever-changing nature. At times men’s fashion can appear as an accomplice and an aside to female fashion- something less daring and more predictable, the Robin to the Batman of the fashion world. This may seem an unfair assessment of male fashion territory but there is nevertheless undeniable truth in this statement if reviewing its position
in the media and on the high street through the ages. Whether it is because men decide to demarcate the industry as effeminate and vain or because women have seized it and cultivated as their own, using it as a power signiﬁer, is unimportant. Either way, when it comes to male fashion, there is a noticeable shadow cast over it by the gender opposition. Time and time again, men opt for the classic look. Invariably, when questioned on style icons the names of all and any James Bond characters (but in particular Connery) arise, as well as Clint Eastwood and Casablanca’s star Bogart. Many of
the said icons should have, for men, more than a pretty face. They tend to lean more for the stars who have established their infamous style later in life than women, such as the reﬁned and classic look allows. This is not to say that modern culture and trends do not have an inﬂuence upon
lowing women to experiment with a trend within their comfort zone and ensuring a long shelf life for the trend. The unfortunate truth about the high street market is that it aims to please as many people as possible in order to rake in the sales and has begun to churn out watered down versions of these iconic looks. One cannot help but feel that this contradicts the very essence of the Gothic image: alienation. Taking a genre of fashion that was conceived from an ethos of alienation a n d m a rket it to the masses in such a way that every second person looks the same is blasphemy. Gothic fashion when approached in the right mind-set can evoke a level of glamour that is truly unparalleled, all you have to do is conquer your demons.
the way men dress, but only that the impact is less dramatic. The music scene, politics, sports and background of the person is reﬂected in the clothes they wearpolitics more so in men than in women. Although it is unlikely that all UCD male students will rush out to buy the last suit Cowen or even Barack wore, the smartness of suits is projected to a great extent ceaselessly in the political arena. On the scene acts such as Alex Turner, Babyshambles and kings of Leon inﬂuence the male market presently. The electro music look has stormed the fashion stage with its deadpan approach to edgy yet unrestrained outﬁts and bright- print neon colours. The indie-kid image is still circulating as a favourable alternative option. Recreations of nineteen-ﬁfties rock n roll essentials are a present hit on the men’s market. This assemblage includes checked shirts and upturned jeans worn with wifebeater vests and canvas shoes, such as converse.
Military-buttoned jackets and separately, the casual sportswear jackets mixed with more alternative pieces- such as band t-shirts, skinny jeans, canvas trainers or high-tops and the patent-leather satchel- are trends that continue this season. The conversion to “geek” has been a popular choice for many seeking a different style route with the onset of trouser braces and thick specs as a trend in itself. In comparison to the opposite sex’s grounds, there are fewer elements to men’s fashion, which seems to follow as either sophisticated, relaxed and sporty, or quirky and alternative. There is none of the ethereal or gothic in high street as is prevalent in women’s clothing. Regardless of this, the bombardment of billboard fashion images is now extending to the male audience with stars such as Jude law campaigning for Dunhill, Beckham for Armani and Jimmy Carr and Martin Freeman for M&S. Programmes like project runway are inclusive of men’s style and utilize the male tendency for block colours and less-is-more approach. From any perspective, it must be said that men’s fashion has come far from the days when wearing a hat was as necessary as underwear.
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
The history of the mini skirt As the iconic mini-skirt passes forty, Aoife Smyth looks at the chequered history of this little bit of clothing Would you judge a girl by the length of her skirt or in some cases, the lack of her skirt? Is it possible to pre judge ones sexual morals by her hemline? Many people associate the sixties clothing with crotch skimming miniskirts, but despite these beliefs, miniskirts were not worn nationwide until 1967. In 1965, Mary Quant took her ideas from Courreges 1964 collection and replicated them, shortening the length for her boutique Bazaar. These minis caused mayhem, no pun intended, amongst the conservative parents of teenagers as the skirts were seen as emblems of rebellion. Young London girl’s embraced the length of the minis and the look became known as the ‘Chelsea look’. Minis gave women a new conﬁdence over their bodies and their places in society. There were restrictions on miniskirts however, otherwise known as ‘the unwritten rules’. According to an interview with a Parisian boutique owner from the St.Petesburg times in 1967 “We try to discourage anyone much over 22 from buying a mini because we don’t think they look right on older women. The same rule applies to girls who are a triﬂe on the stout side or whose legs would not be done full justice by a mini”.
Not all women were free to embrace this ‘new found conﬁdence’, not unless they resembled androgynous models like Twiggy. The nineteen seventies were a different story; hemlines were lengthened by the feminist move-
ment with the intention of being taken seriously. They wanted to be considered for their brains and not for looks or sexuality. The fashion industry soon returned to longer hemlines as demand decreased for mini.
Cover-up that shows off which I applied using a lip brush. This lipstick is the key element as it embodies the gothic element while the glittery red eye shadow slightly softens the look. To ﬁnish dab a bit of highlighter on cheekbones and you’re catwalk ready.”
Copying the latest makeup from the catwalk does not mean having to break the bank. Laura Keenan, a freelance makeup artist, shows not only easy these looks are to create but also that they’re easy on the pocket. In this issue she explains how to imitate the current gothic trend but with a girly twist.
FIONA REDMOND “Firstly apply your foundation as normal. It’s always best to use a foundation brush because this helps give an even coverage. Don’t forget to seal the makeup with powder. Only use your blusher lightly because the eyes and the lips will be the focus for this look. Dab your brush into the blusher and sweep upwards from the apple of your cheeks. For Christina I used a Mac Pigment in Rose, a shade which can also be bought inexpensively in most chemists. I put a drop of water into the lid and mixed some of the powder with it to intensify the colour. This is swept across the eyelid bellow
the eye socket so it won’t crease. Then using a dry brush I blend more of the dry loose powder in and around the socket. This is then applied under the eye using a thinner brush. After this just apply lashings of your favourite mascara. Christina is wearing Mac Cyber lipstick
In the eighties, the mini branded a woman as one of two stereotypes; a slag or a punkette. An ‘A’ line skirt was a mark that you more interested in revision than raunch. Bannarama and Cyndi Lauper brought the Ra-ra and the puffball skirt back into the fashion mainstream, but they were generally worn with ripped tights or leggings. Flesh had not made a comeback. The nineteen nineties saw the revival of the miniskirt, when women realised they could be sexy and smart with the help of the female icons from Melrose Place. Women began to incorporate mini skirts into business. The Spice Girls played a big part in the reintroduction of the mini skirt, when they showed our generation about the joys of Girl Power. Now days, trends change weekly. From the tulip skirt, back to the ﬁfties pencil skirt to the micro mini and the length of it depends on the individual. Girls in cheek skimming skirts can often fall into stereotypes for promiscuous habits, but at the end of the day it is about how you wear an item and what you wear with it that makes an outﬁt. A mini skirt does not box a person into the stereotype of a ‘slag’ or ‘easy’, unless they have the C.V to go along with it. Shorten those hemlines ladies and bring back Girl Power.
The History of Black Throughout history the meaning of black clothing has had multiple and often contradictory meanings. It has signiﬁed death, power, elegance, urbanity, subversion and sex appeal. Making a strong appearance in all of the fall/winter collections, black is as dominant as ever in today’s fashion. 70% of ALL fashion items sold in Britain are black, despite the reality that the personality type that suits black is a very small percentage of the British population. It is the best-selling colour in retail- it makes people appear thinner. Black has appeared in many guises throughout the centuries. Historically, Chanel is the designer most closely associated with advocating the use of black in fashion, creating many modern classics, such as the ‘Little Black Dress’. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. “The most popular, the most convenient and the most elegant of all colours. And I say colour on purpose, because black may be sometimes just as striking as a colour. You can wear black at any time. You can wear it at any age. You may wear it for almost any occasion.” Dior.
BAG IT OVER-THE-KNEE BOOTS: Keep the tootsies warm without frump
LARGE HAIR PIECES: Clips and accessories that glam the ordinary ‘do.
TUNICS: Nice to every shape
TOP TIP: Try homemade perfume for a change by soaking any ﬂower blossoms in water overnight and then bottling.
BIN IT TASSLED LOAFERS: We don’t care who wore them at a festival, they should always evoke the response “Oh dear, dear, dear....”
MULLET HAIR CUTS: Especially a trend with certain girls lately. Just stop. It’s the equivalent of a mufﬁn top waist for the head. FINGERLESS GLOVES: Please sir can I have some more sir? Pointless
Siren FILM MUSIC the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
Set for succ School for scoundrels Plot: Laurent Cantet’s Palm D’or winner is an intriguing and detailed look at the multi-cultural society that makes up modern France. The ﬁlm follows the events of a term in a school located in a Parisian district, in particular the French class of teacher Francoise Marin. It carefully considers the dilemmas faced by educational institutions in dealing with unruly and poverty stricken students whose whole lives could be altered by the school’s decisions. Verdict: Never leaving the grounds of the school, The Class maintains its grip on the audience with long class sequences which cover issues such as
Dead set on success Plot: Ghost Town sees Ricky Gervais back to his best. He plays the dentist, Bertram Pincus who’s lack of people-skills often make him seem to be a jerk. After having a simple surgery, his whole life is turned up side down when he dies on the operating table for seven minutes. Pincus can now see dead people, including the womanising Frank Herily (Greg Kinnear). Herily talks Pincus into breaking up his wife’s relationship but doesn’t ex-
ENTRE LE MURS
UCD graduate and hanger-on, Kevin Power takes time out to chat to Cathy Buckmaster about his controversial debut novel, Bad Day in Blackrock, as well as the violent habits of a generation and some advice for budding novelists.
★★★★★ race, politics and education’s value with a great amount of subtlety and humour. A handheld documentary style and the use of non-professional actors lend the ﬁlm a sense of immediacy that grips from the early introductions to the ambiguous resolution. Perhaps too meandering to be considered truly excellent, The Class is nonetheless a compelling drama. NICHOLAS BROADSTOCK
GHOST TOWN ★★★★★
pect him to fall in love with her. Verdict: This is a Romantic Comedy that shocks by actually being really good. Gervais plays the role of a sarcastic loner perfectly and the dialogue between him and Kinnear is hilarious. You do expect what happens in the end but the route the ﬁlm takes to get there is totally unexpected. This is one to bring the girlfriend to; that way you will both get something in return. MAXIMILLIAN HARDING
“I loved UCD; it’s why I’m still here. It kind of feels like a place where you get the best possible sense of Ireland and what it’s like to be here at the moment.” So says Kevin Power, author of brand new Irish based thriller, Bad Day in Blackrock. As well as writing his novel, Kevin Power is also a tutor and research student in UCD. Extremely quick witted, donning thick-framed glasses and clutching a cup of coffee close to his chest, Power resembles any typical UCD-ian who’s grown so attached to the beautiful grey concourse that they can’t quite bring themselves to leave. “I loved being a student here, best time ever!” He exclaims before pausing, reconsidering and adding lightheartedly, “Probably shouldn’t say ‘best time ever’, I’ll rephrase that: It was a wonderful time! That makes me sound more like a writer.” Bad Day in Blackrock is Power’s debut novel and looks set to be an absolute page turner. It concerns a young man who is kicked to death by his teammates, The Brookﬁeld boys, outside a Dublin nightclub. It explores the experiences of growing up and being schooled in the privileged suburbias of South Dublin as well as the impact of the tragic event on those affected. The story has obvious similarities
to the Brian Murphy case. However, it is ﬁction that takes its departure from a similar event but is a work of imagination. Power explains his interpretation of what inspired the novel. “There’s a note on the side of the book that says inspired by news reported of actual events.” “However, I was more interested in the reception of that event rather than
Also, in this particular culture, there seems to be a sort of disconnection between the generations; our parents and us. We don’t get each other very well. the event itself as I don’t know anything about it or the people involved. It seemed to me to reveal various things about Irish society that were interesting. It was more the response than the event itself that seemed a good peg to hang it on.” Power adds, “It just seemed a way in to write about things I wanted to write about, like south county Dublin, private schools, rich people; the
kind of people I met when I arrived at UCD in 1999 that I had never encountered before. UCD is a brilliant place to encounter that particular kind of society.” As for what makes young men act in this way, Power is unsure but has a few theories. “We could fall back on old arguments about men just being violent anyway which they are, but I don’t think it’s necessarily limited to men as well. Human beings are violent creatures.” “Also, in this particular culture, there seems to be a sort of disconnection between the generations; our parents and us. We don’t get each other very well. We can go back to Catholic Ireland, say what you like about all the negative aspects that were very clearly there, but there were also values, for want of a better word, which did get passed down more effectively because there was less space to rebel.” “But now I think our generation of parents is very liberal and they take a liberal attitude to parenting. It allows kids - I was going to say, get away with murder, but that’s probably the wrong way to put it. Also, if you give people who never had money a lot of money all at once, they go nuts. It’s not going to inevitably express itself in violence but that’s going to be part of it.” Never questioning his path in life, Power knew what he wanted to do at
Chick ﬂick for guys MEAN GIRLS 2005
Hungry for more HUNGER
Plot: Set in the early 1980’s, Hunger chronicles life in the notorious Hblocks of the Maze prison. It’s a time of huge political unrest and IRA prisoners are locked in conﬂict with British authorities. Blanket and No-Wash protests are in place, creating a tension that constantly threatens to erupt into violence. Focusing on the events surrounding Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) six-week hunger strike, Hunger follows both prisoners and prison ofﬁcers, exploring these men’s motivations in an incredibly turbulent time. Verdict: Hunger is an intense, shock-
ing cinematic experience. Director Steve McQueen stated that he wanted “to show what it was like to see, hear, smell and touch in the H-block in 1981”. Thus this is a highly visual ﬁlm; the ﬁrst and ﬁnal parts are largely free of dialogue. The audience is presented with grotesque and violent imagery that ignites our senses, images of maggots, faeces, bloody beatings and cavity searches. It is a moving tribute to the strength of the human spirit. ORLA KENNY
Lindsay Lohan stars, in possibly the only good ﬁlm she has ever made, as Cady Herron, a teenage girl who until recently has been home schooled in Africa and now must adapt to the American High School Lifestyle. Although, not having any knowledge of popular culture and having the social status of a badger, Cady may ﬁnd it tough to ﬁt in. However, she soon befriends Regina George (Rachel McAdams) and her posse of “Plastics” and Cady’s popularity soon sky rockets. Obviously the ﬁlm wouldn’t be any good if Cady just managed to adapt easily into the American teenage lifestyle; so, roll out the teen bitchiness and deviousness, which lead to a number of events unfolding causing Cady and the “Plastics” to fall apart and turn on one another. Mean Girls, gives a realistic account
on how girls actually treat each other. For guys, it is a great insight into the twisted minds of the female species, while also being thoroughly entertaining with great performances from the entire cast, which also includes Neil Flynn (Scrubs), Lacey Chabert (Not Another Teen Movie) and Amy Poehler (Blades of Glory). Typically, chick ﬂicks are enjoyed
by mostly girls and often involve a soppy girl gets guy, girl loses guy, girl gets guy back storyline that would drive most guys demented. While Mean Girls does touch on this storyline and therefore gets chick ﬂick status, it is ultimately a comedy that anyone can enjoy and possibly learn from. CIAN TAAFFE
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
5 ﬁlms to... Get you in the mood for Halloween
a young age and has worked hard to get there. “I started writing when I was about eleven and I’ve never wanted to do anything else. So my life has been one long attempt to avoid getting a real job which is why I’m still in UCD. The ﬁrst thing I wrote at eleven was a ghost story; I don’t remember much about it, but a good place to start.” As for where he gets inspiration for his ideas, Power elaborates, “I’ll sound pretentious if I say the subconscious does most of the work, but it does. One day, something will hit you fairly forcefully and you’ll just know. Everyone probably gets ideas for stories but, it’s knowing
how to write them that makes it something you can write.” He also believes that UCD helped him on his path to becoming a published author. “I realised in ﬁrst year, wandering around the English department and meeting lecturers, that these are people who write books all the time. I thought, ‘Oh I could do that too!’ and I’ve been trying to write novels all along but have not been getting very far.” “It takes a long time to ﬁgure out how to do it properly but, I must have ﬁgured something out. Also what helped was getting something to write about as my own school years were fairly boring.”
As for advice for burgeoning writers interested in pursuing a similar career, Power offers this sound advice. “Get out there, meet people and look at stuff. I sat at home for a long time trying to learn to write but, that’s kind of a dead end. You have to do that at some point but you also have to just get out and see what the world is like. To write a novel, you need to know a lot about how the world works or at least think you know a lot about it. Also, read a lot.” He concludes decisively.
» Bad Day in Blackrock is available to buy now in book stores.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Fool me once... W ★★★★★ Plot: The ﬁlm details a biopic of George W. Bush. It portrays the build up to the Iraq war as the present while the ﬁlm ﬂashbacks through the life of George Bush from his days in college to his elevation to the Presidency. This includes his battles with alcoholism, his jealousy of his brother and his alliance with Karl Rove. Most of the dialogue is loaded with irony as all the usual Bush-isms are rolled out and inserted into normal conversations and the infamous incidents of Bush’s life (choking on a pretzel etc.) are played out. It is notable however that the controversies of the 2000 election are virtually ignored. Verdict: Occasionally feeling like a trail of comedy sketches at the expense of the Bush administration, Oliver Stone’s new ﬁlm is far from subtle. It is however, at times, very funny. Starting with a quick ﬁre comedy scene in the Oval ofﬁce,
Stone never lets up in his criticisms. Josh Brolin excels as Bush, playing a character which is almost by deﬁnition a caricature. He is lent impressive support by Toby Jones as Karl Rove and Richard Dreyfuss as Cheney. The director’s politics are clear in his portrayal of each character as the key players are seen as either angels or demons. Colin Powell
is, at several instances, seen as the beaten down voice of reason while Cheney is more vindictive than most Bond villains. This approach of offering Bush’s greatest follies as his life story limits the ﬁlm greatly as it naturally preaches only to the converted. No new insights then but still quite a few laughs. NICHOLAS BROADSTOCK
HALLOWEEN Predictable, you say? Indeed, but one cannot thoroughly experience the holiday of Halloween properly until you hear that eerie theme tune; enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. Six year old Michael Myers stabs his older sister to death and is subsequently institutionalized, but ﬁfteen years later, Myers breaks out just days before H a l l ow e e n . Uh oh. Now Michael is set on killing a gaggle of high school girls. The ﬁlm doesn’t rely on huge amounts of gore to petrify its audience so its various creepy techniques will undoubtedly have you looking over your shoulder more than once on the way home. POLTERGEIST Young children in movies are always creepy, horror ﬁlm or not. In Poltergeist, a normal family is living an average life in a sleepy neighbourhood, but not for long. Seemingly friendly ghosts begin making an appearance by amusingly moving furniture about and communicating with the young daughter through the static on the TV screen, all in the name of good fun. However, they soon turn nasty and before you know it little Carol-Anne is sucked into the television and a people are being attacked by a stuffed clown. The ﬁlm is, somewhat unexpectedly, very frightening and makes for an altogether spine-chilling experience. HUSH So this isn’t so much a ﬁlm as an extremely terrifying episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But it is scary. The episode opens with Buffy dreaming about a little girl chillingly singing “Can’t even shout, can’t even cry, The Gentlemen are coming by. Can’t call to mom, can’t say a word,
you’re gonna die screaming but you won’t be heard.” Soon The Gentlemen, who somewhat resemble very tall upright decomposing corpses in suits, begin eerily hovering into town to capture the voices of the people of Sunnydale so they can take seven human hearts, the messy way. NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET After Freddy Krueger murdered several children in the early 80’s, he is attacked and kiled in the boiler room where he worked by the parents whose children he killed. Years later, a teenage girl living on Elm Street has a nightmare where she is stalked through a boiler room by a severely burnt man and razor blades for ﬁngers and wakes up to discover four slashes in her nightdress. When she and her friends discover they are having the same dream, they realise they must stay awake to stay alive. A thoroughly frightening ﬁlm which may cause you some difficulty sleeping, but what’s the worst that can happen... THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS This is an exceedingly entertaining choice for those not brave enough to sit through a real horror. Jack Skellington is fed up with the monotonous life and routines that go along with being The Pumpkin king in Halloween Town so disappears into the woods in the hope of ﬁnding something more exciting. Jack stumbles upon the beautiful Christmas Town and seeing how happy all the people are, he tries to bring the idea home even though they never get the concept quite right. It’s scary, funny, romantic and a sumptuous sight and you may even get inspired for a Halloween costume.
Siren MUSIC THE SKIP the
College Tribune | October 28th 2008
SOCIAL ENDEAVOUR OF THE FORTNIGHT
The Huge Lane Gallery With Winter upon us, irritatingly frequent and heavy showers are becoming unavoidable. However, if caught on the north side of the city-centre when a torrential down pour begins, not all is lost, duck into the Hugh Lane gallery for cultured stroll among their weird and wonderful collection of modern art. The original collection was famously, donated with difﬁculty by the Gallery’s founder, Sir Hugh
Lane and has now grown to encompass works ranging from the Impressionist masterpieces to the often avantgarde works of major contemporary artists worldwide. One of the most fascinating permanent pieces in the gallery is the entire contents of Francis Bacon’s Reece Mews Studio. Over 2000 samples that included used paint tubes, paintbrushes, tin cans, sticks of pastel, pieces of fabric and empty bottles of turpentine were acquired and catalogued from their original state and identically reconstructed in a studio in the Hugh Lane which completely mirrors the original, down to every last askew paint brush. It offers priceless insight into the curious techniques and working methods practiced by Bacon, for the art lovers among us. As well as this, the gallery also houses the Sean Scully Gallery, the Stained glass room as well as ongoing thoughtprovoking exhibitions. If your eyes get a bit tired from all the art appreciation, there is a café and bookshop which are open during gallery hours when you need a break from all the culture. The gallery is closed Mondays but is open Tuesdays to Thursdays until 6pm and until 5pm on the weekend and admission to the gallery is free.
The Guinness is great Stephen West found a venue that’s gone to the dogs, literally If it ﬁning dining you are after, then you need not apply but if you are looking for hefty portions then Peggy’s is the place for you. Situated just south of the Grand Canal and conveniently next door to Harolds Cross dog track this family run traditional pub is as homely as they come. Firstly, the Guinness is good, very good. The short draw from the keg room to the taps means that relatively every pint, with the exception of the ﬁrst and last, are poured to perfection. Bubble-less pints are somewhat hard to ﬁnd in these days of shoddy bar staff but the team at Peggy’s take great pride in their work. For the ﬂat broke among you, you will be happy to hear that
PEGGY KELLYS ★★★★★ they have Bavaria on tap at the princely sum of €3.60. The ones who got lucky next door may want to splash the cash on a pint of Becks at €5.20. The food as I mentioned above is big on quantity and to be fair the quality does not suffer as a result. Peggy’s is still the site of many a Sunday luncheon among some of the older families in the area, in contrast during the week the carvery is usually ravaged by taxi-drivers. Perhaps one of the
drawbacks of the menu is that it is very limited and punters won’t see the choice change to often, but with main courses priced between €9.50 and €12.50 you can hardly go wrong. Peggy’s is a great spot for a night out after the dogs on Friday nights but sadly it is like a graveyard (funerals are a regularity due to its proximity to Mount Argus) during the week. Thursdays are busy enough, however beware of the regulars, they are a shower of sour krusts. The pub also has one of the best smoking areas in South Dublin which on occasion has been known to play The Stone Roses at full blast.
The dark side of love th
The novel, set in the 19 century, tells the story of a navy soldier’s journey to the heart of Africa, the Congo. He is hired by a European company to captain a ship which will venture to a number of stations in Africa. The company feigns the desire to spread knowledge but they are really there to make money, particularly from ivory. Marlow hears about a man called Kurtz, who is held in high regard because he is the best agent on the continent. Marlow pursues this man to investigate. However when he ﬁnds him, he realises that this hero has been corrupted by greed. Marlowe describes the intimidating nature of the jungle environment, the company employees who fritter away time
and resources, the ill-treatment of black labourers and the monarchical powers wielded by Mr. Kurtz in the depths of the jungle. This book appears on countless recommended reading lists due to the huge amount of deep themes and ideas it explores including the double standards and insanity of imperialism. It most certainly explores the theme of racism and Conrad condemns the way African slaves were treated. The novel also offers an abundance of psychological ideas. The story is set in a time when psychology was being discovered and offers observations about mans psychological
HEART OF DARKNESS JOSEPH CONRAD needs. A young reader can see that the book offers interesting psychological insights and a wealth of ideas, however the written style is rather alienating. The language is tricky and the ﬂow of thought is hard to follow. This makes the themes and concepts hard to understand fully. The book is worth reading, if you have time to progress through it slowly, as the concepts are fascinating when they sink in. Alternatively, the ﬁlm ‘Apocalypse Now’ is roughly based on this book and provides an interesting view on it. KATIE GODWIN
Incredible India A FINE BALANCE Rohinton Mistry’s 1995 novel, A Fine Balance, chronicles the lives of four people, thrown together in unforeseen circumstances in 1970s India. The main drama is set during the government’s State of Internal Emergency. It follows the lives of Dina, Ishvar, Omprakash, and Maneck as they struggle to make ends meet in an increasingly unstable political environment, while always aiming for a greater goal. The book opens with the foursome meeting for the ﬁrst time in Dina’s apartment; Ishvar and Om there for a job interview, while Maneck is meeting his new landlady for the ﬁrst time. And so begins Mistry’s mov-
ing account of the lives of his characters, a full documentation and study of the lives of this foursome. We are given full accounts of all that has happened before the opening of the book, but at no point does this feel drawn out or unnecessary. On the contrary, this imposes on us a true understanding of the characters, and how they survive against India’s harrowing political and economical background.
Dealing with issues ranging from poverty to homelessness, death to sectarianism, this is a really homage to India and its people. Mistry’ characters rise against anything that is thrown at them and due to this, both the book and the characters triumph. This is a truly beautiful book on all accounts, well deserving of its Booker Prize shortlist. Highly recommended, but not for the faint-hearted. ORNA MULHERN
Published October 28th 2008