A Year of Covid-19 in Maynooth

Posted in Life on February 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“One useful thing about having a blog is that I can look through my back catalogue of posts quite easily to remind me exactly when things happened. Doing that over the weekend I discovered that it was exactly a year ago today that I travelled from Maynooth into Dublin to see a production of Fidelio …” (more)

[In the Dark, 22 February]

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The night Old Man Belfield stepped in to save a student

Posted in Life on February 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On one night during the 1990s second-year arts student Gisèle Scanlon was making her way on to University College Dublin’s Belfield campus. ‘You wouldn’t expect the dog to be out’, she recalls of the rough weather …” (more)

[Conor Capplis, Independent, 21 February]

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Third level students continue to suffer as Government offer no clarity, whilst primary and secondary schools may go back next month

Posted in Life on February 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third level students continue to suffer nationwide as the Government offers them no clarity, whilst primary and secondary schools may go back to education next month. The first four classes in primary schools are likely return on March 1st and Leaving Certificate students are also to be prioritised …” (more)

[Amy Donohoe, DublinLive, 20 February]


Sam the Trinity fox finds true love and is expecting cubs

Posted in Life on February 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sam, the fox living on the grounds of Trinity college in Dublin, and who was seen wandering the streets of Dublin during the first lockdown, is pregnant. Staff at the university became concerned for the vixen’s health last year when she developed mange on her tail and appeared emaciated …” (more)

[Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 14 February]


Irish teenagers on life now: ‘Most Leaving Certs wonder if third level is still even an option’

Posted in Life on February 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Young people in Ireland have been largely ignored during the pandemic, certainly in comparison with other groups. So we wanted to hear directly from them. We asked two questions: how are they coping, and what are their concerns? Here are a few of their replies …” (more)

[Damian Cullen, Irish Times, 12 February]

Has the government ignored third level students during this pandemic? Let’s hear from those affected …

Posted in Life on February 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It is no understatement to say that the year 2020 was challenging for everyone around the world, and unfortunately, it does not seem to be letting up any time soon. No one could have anticipated the spread of a virus to all reaches of the world, let alone Galway. The very notion of a pandemic seems like an implausible, far-fetched, dystopian sci-fi film plot that would do great in cinema upon its release but slowly flop and be forgotten about after a few years, with its only realm of interest being deep in the Sci-Fi section of Netflix …” (more)

[Neasa Gorrell, SIN, 11 February]


International students face more quarantine but report better understanding of their mental health

Posted in Life on February 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“While Trinity has announced its continuation of online classes, many international students elected to return to accommodation in Dublin even in face of travel restrictions …” (more)

[Audrey Brown, Trinity News, 10 February]

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Man who may be son of Old Man Belfield takes DNA test

Posted in Life on February 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A man has said he may be the son of the late Michael Byrne, who was affectionately known as Old Man Belfield. The man walked into Donnybrook garda station days after news broke of Mr Byrne’s death at University College Dublin …” (more)

[Niamh Horan, Independent, 7 February]

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Journal papers, grants, jobs … as rejections pile up, it’s not enough to tell academics to ‘suck it up’

Posted in Life on February 3rd, 2021 by steve

“Most academics regularly submit papers and compete for grants and promotions. These endeavours are necessary for their success but often end in rejection. Responses to rejection in academia have typically been individually focused. Most discussions of the topic describe what academics themselves can do to cope with rejection …” (more)

[Kelly-Ann Allen and others, The Conversation, 3 February]

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Old Man Belfield ‘very like missing best man’

Posted in Life on January 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Two people have come forward with possible information on the identity of the late Michael Byrne, who was known as Old Man Belfield. The first, Dubliner Colm O’Brien, contacted Donnybrook garda station to say a close friend named Michael Byrne went missing in the late 1970s …” (more)

[Niamh Horan, Independent, 24 January]

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When your professor is dead, but teaches anyway

Posted in Life on January 22nd, 2021 by steve

“A real-life example leads to questions on education, labor, and economic worth. Aaron Ansuini made a surprising discovery with all kinds of implications. The university appears to have no problem listing a deceased professor as the ‘teacher’ of this particular course …” (more)

[BoingBoing, 22 January]

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UCD to Stream ‘Old Man Belfield’ Funeral Online on Wednesday

Posted in Life on January 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The funeral of Michael Byrne, ‘Old Man Belfield’, will take place on Wednesday 20th of January at 11am. The service will be private as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown but a live stream will be hosted by UCD online …” (more)

[Hugh Dooley, College Tribune, 17 January]

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College costs have fallen but expect return to ‘normal’ in 2021

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Student budgets, like the rest of the world, have been thrown upside down by the pandemic. For some, the costs of living have increased because they’re out of work, still paying rent and paying higher broadband, heat and electricity bills as a result of working at home …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Tributes paid to ‘Old Man Belfield’ who died at UCD

Posted in Life on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Tributes have been paid to an elderly homeless man known as ‘Old Man Belfield’ whose body was found at the UCD campus in Belfield yesterday. UCD Dublin issued a statement on Twitter this evening paying tribute to Michael Byrne, known affectionately by students and staff as ‘Old Man Belfield’ …” (more)

[Allison Bray, Independent, 12 January]

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How much is the cost of living for first-year students?

Posted in Life on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Every year, The Irish Times asks third-level institutions to provide us with a cost-of-living guide for incoming first-year students. Because of the impact of Covid-19 and Brexit – and the fallout that is yet to fully settle – these figures will have changed by September 2021 …” (more)

[Irish Times, 12 January]

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Cold Spell

Posted in Life on January 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s bitterly cold in Maynooth today. We haven’t had much snow but it sure is freezing. As I write it’s 1pm and the temperature is only -4°C. I went to put some stuff in the wheelie bin just now but the lid was frozen shut …” (more)

[In the Dark, 9 January]


Nial Osborough obituary: Ireland’s greatest legal historian

Posted in Life on January 9th, 2021 by steve

IrelandW Nial Osborough. Born: February 13th, 1939. Died: December 29th, 2020. With the passing of the inimitable William Nial Osborough, Ireland has lost its most extraordinary and diverse legal scholar. His legacy is published work that ranks him among the world’s great legal historians. He will live on in the memory of the thousands of law students that he inspired …” (more)

[Irish Times, 9 January]

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There’s a Moose Loose Aboot this Hoose!

Posted in Life on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I am working from home at the moment owing to Covid-19 restrictions on campus activity but I have been informed by on campus staff that an unauthorized mouse bas been seen in the Department of Theoretical Physics. This is a very serious situation as access to the Science Building is for essential work only and this does not include rodents …” (more)

[In the Dark, 8 January]

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Colleges Must Mitigate Effects of Stricter Lockdown on Students – USI

Posted in Life, Teaching on January 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has called on third-level institutions to mitigate any potential educational disadvantages faced by students with the introduction of increased measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 6 January]

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Last Day Off

Posted in Life, Teaching on January 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Tomorrow is officially my first day back at work after the Christmas break. Not that I’ll be going back to my office on campus in the morning. Thanks to the state of the Covid-19 pandemic I will be working from home for the foreseeable future. It’s looking pretty grim at the moment, and I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 January]

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