European Commission Seminar, UCC, 2 October

Interesting things often pop into my inbox, so here is one for all of you with interest in the EU and Economic Policy. I will be there, so do say Hi if you attend!

The European Commission Representation in Ireland invites you to an evening seminar on‘European Economic Policy – What’s in it for Ireland?’

Featuring presentations from local and national economic and political experts, this public event will provide you with an opportunity to voice your opinions and ask any questions you may have about the current economic situation. This event will take place from 6.30pm – 8.30pm on Tuesday, 2 October on the University College Cork campus.  Further detail, including information on the guest speakers, will follow shortly.  In the meantime, please RSVP to or call 01 662 5815 to reserve a place at this free event.

I will update this once the speakers are confirmed.

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USI facing a membership crisis?

Disclosure: I served on the USI LGBT  Campaign between 2006 and 2008

Reports have surfaced that two Dublin Colleges are mulling their membership of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Both Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD) have issues with current USI Policies and Campaigns according to a post on Studenty Dublin.

According to the post  TCDSU president Ryan Bartlett is seeking a referendum on the Union’s affiliation with the USI. Bartlett’s main criticisim focused on the planning and co-ordination of the ‘Stop Fees, Save the Grant’ campaign last year. He said “The national protest didn’t receive enough attention earlier on, which caused logistical difficulties and difficulties with getting the message out there to students and really getting students to understand what the issues were what solutions were available and what the plan of action was.”

“I’m not convinced that the “Stop Fees, Save the Grant” campaign has represented Trinity students and other colleges seem to have accepted that there is a different sentiment in Trinity. This means that students have to ask whether or not they want to continue being represented by USI.”

The post also raises specualtion about UCDSU’s financial difficulties which could see it withdraw from USI.

This year also sees University College Cork (UCC) hold its triennial referendum on USI membership. With only the current President of the SU and the Vice President not seeking election they could be left thin on the ground in what could be a tight vote.

It will be a tough year for USI if any of the three colleges dis-affiliated and it could be in dire straits if all three  leave and join the University of Limerick and the Cork Institute of Technology outside of USI.

YFG To Support a Graduate Tax?

Young Fine Gael
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Continuing my look through the motions ahead of Young Fine Gael National Conference in Tullamore the next motion to pique my interest is one from my own branch in UCC. The motion reads as follows:

YFG believes that a graduate tax should be introduced for all college graduates as a means of funding their education and the present entry fees should be phased out over 5 years. Households with an income of below €45,000 would be exempted

One the issues I always have with USI and FEE is that they do not suggest an alternative to University fees while protesting against them. With the state of the economy at the moment it would be impossible to countenance the continuation of the free fees policy.

A graduate tax is a sensible  approach to this issue and  viable progressive alternative to fees or loans.

This will be an interesting debate at conference especially among members in college or about to start.

The others motions that have been released

  • YFG proposes that an incentive for young farmers be introduced by increasing the number of training places in agricultural colleges – Laois YFG
  • YFG approves of the process of fracking as can it can prove a viable energy source in Ireland for the foreseeable future – UCD YFG
  • YFG proposes that the 1989 Incitement of Hatred Act be updated to include provisions relating to social media and social networking – Kilkenny YFG
  • YFG believes that a graduate tax should be introduced for all college graduates as a means of funding their education and the present entry fees should be phased out over 5 years. Households with an income of below €45,000 would be exempted – UCC YFG
  • YFG believes that it is imperative that the ECB renegotiates the current promissory note structure with the Government. It is in the best interests of the Irish economy, the ECB, the Euro and the European Union that the structure of the promissory notes system is changed. Failure to do so will create an unsustainable debt burden for Ireland, causing huge barriers to job creation and restricting growth in the Irish economy – YFG National Executive

European Symposium 18 May – Alliance Francaise de Cork and UCC

I received this today from Alliance Francaise de Cork. They in partnership with University College Cork are holding a European Symposium to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Schumann Declaration on Tuesday 18th of May in the Council Room in UCC.

There are some interesting talks so I will definitely be heading along!

Click to enlarge the time table. There are two separate files

Symposium 1Symposium 2

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Europe Day – UCC Event

The Glucksman Gallery in UCC's lowergrounds
Image via Wikipedia

So I have received word of another event taking place in Cork for Europe Day. Its taking place in the Glucksman Gallery of University College Cork. Here is the email I got.


An Exhibition by Irish Times Cartoonist Martyn Turner

Hosted by the Department of Government

2pm Friday 7 May 2010

(running until Sunday 9 May)

Glucksman Gallery, UCC


It often takes an outside perspective to point out society’s idiosyncracies. Martyn Turner, cartoonist with the Irish Times, does this par excellence. His brand of humour is invariably insightful, but never vitriolic. Through his art-form, he has captured the absurdities and peculiarities which sporadically infect Irish political life. Indeed, his cartoons are the reason many open the morning paper.

To mark Europe Day 2010, and with the generous support of the Glucksman Gallery and the European Commission Representation in Ireland, the Department of Government is delighted to provide an opportunity for people to view the work of Martyn Turner. The Eurotoons exhibition focuses on Ireland’s ‘European’ experience over the last 50 years or so. It will be launched in the Glucksman Gallery at 2pm on Friday 7 May by Vice-President for Teaching and Learning, Professor Grace Neville.

All are welcome to attend the launch and exhibition.

Should be interesting. I will definitely be paying a visit!

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A conferring levy?

corporate logo
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Received this via email this morning:

Student Outrage as UCC Impose Conferring Levy on Students- YFG

UCC students were left wondering if they were being hit by a bad April fool’s joke from college authorities last night following an email sent to all students informing them of a new €65 conferring fee to be introduced from April 1st.

The charge of €65 will apply to each student and their two guests choosing to attend their conferring ceremony. The email stated that any student who did not pay the required fee will be conferred In Absentia and will not be able to attend their graduation ceremony.

Massive student anger has erupted following this surprise announcement. UCC Young Fine Gael Chairperson, Robert O Sullivan stated “The introduction of this fee is disgraceful. In a year when UCC College registration fees have already increased to a massive €1,650, this fee cannot be justified and should be reserved. Students are already facing massive financial pressure and the idea of sneaking yet another charge onto students just as they finish is simply wrong and will be opposed strongly by students.”

Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Laura McGonigle supported YFG as she condemned this decision by UCC. “What other fees and charges will they make up next?”

Additional charges are needed to help the college get through this difficult period but students have already contributed enough towards this effort and a line must be drawn on what levies are necessary and which ones are simply unfair.

There is a Petition online if you wish to sign it. I wonder is this to pay for the Presidents trips?

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UCC Seminar on Civil Partnership Legislation

The Free Legal Advice Centre, University College Cork

Invites you to attend

A Seminar on Civil Partnership Legislation

Organised in Conjunction with the UCC Law Society and UCC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Society

Speakers: Deirdre Duffy, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Noel Doherty, FitzGerald Solicitors, Toddy Hogan, L.InC and Dr. Ursula Kilkelly (Chair).

At 6.15pm, 11th December 2008
Council Chambers, North Wing (Quad)

University College Cork

A social event will take place after the seminar

If you are around tomorrow do head along. I would go but am working till 8.

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