Its been quiet here….

UCC Express Logo2So of late its been a bit quiet here on the blog, but then again I haven’t not been writing. I have a few pieces up on the UCC Express Website that may be of interest to some of you. I have also started to write about sport, which is a change for me and an interesting challenge.

Majority of Irish people think the UK should remain in the EU

Refugee Team to Contest Rio Olympics

Florida Key to White House

Independents Slump As Parties Regain Support

Theresa May Set to Become UK Prime Minister while Labour Split Continues

Census Results Presents Constitutional Problems

Podcasts the Express Staff are Listening to

The Irish at Rio 2016

Pro-Choice and Religious: Is it possible?

Irish Paralympic Team Crowdfunding for Rio 2016

All my articles for UCC Express can be viewed here

What to do about Sochi?

While most people are horrified by Russia’s recent laws on “Gay Propaganda” and its inaction on the torture of LGBT Teenagersby thugs, the rest of the right thinking world is split on how to react.

Should we boycott Russian Vodka? Should we move the Olympics like Stephen Fry has suggested? But if we do this will it harden the Russian Attitude and make them the victims? Well in their media anyway.

But of course the International Olympic Committee has been here before. Beijing.

Those planning to protest should remember that the IOC took no heed of those protests despite China’s trampling on Human Rights, so why would the IOC treat Russia any differently?

Its a catch-22 for those who want to protest. The IOC have said it will enforce rule 50 of the IOC Charter on athletes and officials. Rule 50 states

‘No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.’

Tilda Swinton in Moscow


The Russians too have said they will enforce the law during Sochi 2014 meaning athletes, officials and spectators face 15 days in jail followed by deportation if suspected of Gay Propaganda.

How do you fight this? Go for the sponsors? Sign Petitions?

You can’t move it. No where else is geared up for this.

A boycott is unfeasible as it puts a break on an athletes career. These are only every 4 years.

There are no good options on this.

The only option is, as The National Post points out for Gay Athletes attending Sochi 2014,

Go, be out, be yourself. If you’re not out, be supportive. Be proud. Inspire the people watching. We don’t know if someone will offer an act of bravery on a podium, or elsewhere. But someone should have the chance, because that, more than anything, should be what the world will remember.

Between that and protests around the world like this one in Sweden outside the Russian Embassy,

Amsterdam’s “Welcome” to President Putin

and other such as Irish Youth Groups coming together to protest against this, then we may start to make the Russian realise they are on the wrong side of this.

We can only hope they find this out before Sochi gets underway.

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Why do I have to watch Irish Athletes on BBC?

I grew up watching Athletics on RTÉ, screaming at the telly urging Sonia O’Sullivan to win in the big race, which was always hyped up. But of course I also cheered on anyone else who was racing for Ireland. I remember watching swimming championships on RTÉ and screaming for Michelle Smith (now De Brun) to win.

Why now if I want to shout for Irish Athletes I have  to watch BBC or Eurosport. Have we Irish lost interest in Athletics now that we dont have someone like Sonia or Michelle to cheer on and gaurentee us medals that we don’t watch it. What message does that send our Athletes and young people who are interested in Athletics?

Compare that to the BBC who hype up all their young stars to try and give them the best possible support and really crown their acheivements. Why aren’t RTÉ doing this?

This year I watched Olive Loughnane get her Silver Medal for Ireland in the 20km Walk on BBC. I watched Derval O’Rourke come 4th in the World in the 100m Hurdles on BBC. I have also watched multiple interviews with Irish Athletes on BBC. Tonight I will watch David Gillick race in the 4oom final on BBC.

Why is RTÉ focusing on Champions League matches which dont show any Irish teams instead on focusing on Irish Athletes who are doing us proud, winning medals and setting national records?

I agree with the Fine Gael Spokesperson on Sport John O’Mahony TD when he says :

I understand the difficult financial position RTE is in but, surely, the funds could have been found to cover this important sporting event. Due to the Irish athletes competing, the Athletics Championship is integral to Irish sport and savings elsewhere could have been made to allow live broadcasts from Berlin to go ahead.

“That it wasn’t is a real shame and I hope RTÉ learns from this error next time out.”

Hopefully RTÉ will be able to sort themselves out for the World Indoor Championships in Doha next March and show Irish Athlethes in action.

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