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Showing posts from 2014

UCC Express W/C 27th Oct - Apple and Eggs

There has been a story doing the rounds recently, about a decision by Apple and Facebook to offer female employees the opportunity to freeze their eggs. The advantage portrayed to these employees is twofold. Firstly and crucially, it will be free of charge, or more accurately, these companies want to pay for it. The second advantage and the actual reason for such a charitable act? Your ascent of the corporate ladder within these companies, as a female, will become more achievable when maternity leave doesn’t have to be catered for. On first looking, this of course seems like a fantastic idea. More choice for people is always a good thing. However, on reflection, I personally believe it to be an awful idea, which amongst other negative consequences, breeds more inequality, which one can only assume is the exact opposite of it’s intention.

It should firstly be pointed out that both these companies are known to offer various progressive perks to cater for the family live’s of their employ…

UCC Express W/C 27th Oct - Heroes

Last week as I lounged at home browsing the web, one of my most beloved David Bowie tracks, “Heroes”, started to play. As is customary with all my favourites, the volume was notched up, and the smile on my face widened content that my neighbours would appreciate the beauty of the artist. As I sat there, aimlessly scanning web pages, scarcely paying heed to what I was reading or watching, something suddenly caught my attention, instantly rousing me from my Bowie induced music-coma. Flashing sirens, cops with guns taking aim, and a man with his arms in the air are usually enough to catch anyones attention, but what made this more significant was who it was that was surrendering in the video clip. It was none other than Dan Bilzerian, a poker player and actor, not to mention a modern day “hero” in the eyes of many, a coincidental irony given the title of the Bowie masterpiece, that until now had absorbed me.

I have no qualms in admitting that I am ashamed to share the same sex, let alone …

Irish Water

It finally happened. On the 11th of October 2014, the Irish people finally rose up and after six years of gazing jealously at displays of resistance in other states around Europe, I can honestly say I am proud to be Irish again. After six years of being lied to, financially obliterated, bullied, patronised and having our bones picked by vultures who feel we should thank them for gorging on our flesh, Ireland has decided she can’t take anymore. Her troops mobilised and descended on Dublin, passing the GPO in their tens of thousands, in a scene that reminded so many people of the day of our Independence a century ago, and just what Ireland can achieve when she puts her mind to it. And what was it that caused this sudden mobilisation? Irish Water, a quango with nothing but our “best interests” at heart of course.

I must point out at this juncture, that I am not actually against the concept of water charges, in fact, I am very much in favour of them. I must be clear though, I am totally ag…

UCC Express W/C 13th Oct - Education

Albert Einstein famously said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again, all the while expecting different results. But didn’t someone tell me that persistence pays off? The reality is that in everyday life, both and yet neither are fully accurate. But which might be more accurate, let’s say, in the case of the Irish education system? It seems to me, when observing specific government incentives and societal pressures on the youth within Irish society, all indicators would point to the fact that Albert Einstein was pretty much on the money.

When I was growing up, and very reluctantly completing the later half of my secondary school education, the volume of young men that left the education system to pursue careers in construction and other trades was staggering. By sixth year, the majority of my friends were no longer in school and instead were pursuing careers in everything from bricklaying to carpentry. This was encouraged by all elements of society…

UCC Express W/C 29th Sep - Addiction

A recent story about the horrendous treatment an elderly man received on board a bus from Tralee to Cork, not only at the hands of the driver, but also from the majority of the bus’s passengers, has shed some light on to the unpalatable truth of just how inhumane and uncaring some sections of modern Irish society have become. Many assume this to be an isolated incident, where an elderly man simply had the misfortune of sharing his difficult journey, not only with passengers, but also a driver, seemingly vacant of any shred of human compassion. But, to assume this would be incorrect, in my opinion.

An argument that has been put forward to justify the awful treatment this sick, elderly man received, is that the lynch mob aboard the bus, as well as the driver, thought he was drunk. But even if that was the case, which it most certainly wasn’t, why should the fact that someone is intoxicated have any bearing on people’s desire to help a distressed, elderly man, or any human being for that …

UCC Express W/C 15th Sep - The Irish fascination with English soccer

In the previous edition of this paper, I mentioned how much I look forward to September each year. Certain events and aspects of this time of year excite me, one being the hope that Cork are competing for silverware on a certain two Sundays. There is another element to this time of year, however, that since I can remember, I dread more than you could know; the arrival of a new season of the Premiership, and all that comes with it.

I make no bones about it, I am not a soccer fan. I never have been, only for some fleeting, somewhat peer pressured moments in my childhood and adolescent years. Growing up, no one in my family pleaded allegiance to a club in a city hundreds of miles away. We played soccer for fun, but I was always much more interested in GAA, even if I was woefully bad at it. My interest in GAA was never my sole reason for disliking soccer so much however, no, it always ran much deeper.

I always wonder if I am the only one who finds the “beautiful” game so atrociously boring?…

UCC Express W/C 15th Sep - Abortion & Ireland

It’s happened again. Once more, Ireland has abandoned a vulnerable, pregnant woman, in her time of most need. Just as the collective psyche of our nation was beginning to forget the horror of the case of Savita Halappanavar, we got a chilling reminder, in a case reminiscent of the X case, of just how archaic and incongruous our laws are, when it comes to the reproductive needs and rights of Irish women in the 21st century.

This debate is no longer about whether you are pro-choice or “pro-life”. This is about whether you believe rape victims and women on their deathbeds are entitled to determine their own destiny. Do you view them as living, breathing, emotional beings? Do you think they get scared and suicidal at the thought of carrying a pregnancy, forced upon them by the most heinous of crimes? Do you recognise that they and their loved ones collectively cried, as they needlessly slipped away, because “Ireland is a Catholic country”? Why do people feel they can rationalise such horre…

UCC Express Freshers Edition - Tips for Freshers

Another September has arrived, and for the second year in a row, I have been looking forward to this month, for a reason other than the possibility of Cork returning from Croke Park with some silverware. Entering year two, of my four-year degree, I am less anxious about the year ahead than I was last year. I feel that this year I can truly embrace the experience of UCC. Of course, my first experience of college, which only started last year, at age 29, will in many ways be decidedly different from most Freshers. But in many other ways, it will be very similar. Therefore I want to use this piece, to pass on my tips to those who have just walked through the beautiful gates of UCC. I will try my utmost to avoid littering the scribes of my advice with clich├ęs, or filling these inches with irrelevant information, so here goes.

First of all, the most critical piece of information I have for those starting out is to enjoy the experience. Engage with people outside your course, avoid cliques a…