Lit N Deb Debate: Women Are Seen And Not Heard

Date: Jan 31 2012

Time: 19.00

Venue: JH2, NUI Maynooth

Initially I thought this debate was nothing but cheap thrills. A some what risqué title to draw a few extra bums on seats. While not to the extent of the efforts by TCD and UCC to bring Nick Griffin’s opinions to an open forum, the concept of playing on an archaic 15th century proverb (Children should be seen and not heard) aimed at young women could be seen by some as a lazy debate that more than likely will result in a shouting match and confirm already existing stereotypes rather than confront them.

On the other hand, the phrasing of this debate should hopefully provide a well informed discussion on the state of female equality today, that’s engaged by both sides rather than the opposing side being allowed to use misogynistic rhetoric under the guise of debate.

The Lit n Deb are also proud to have, as special guests, a representative from the Irish Feminist Network who, since 2010 have grown to have over 2000 members and aim at engaging young people in feminist discussion, inclusive and approachable to those of all political affiliations. It promotes gender equality across all boards of Irish Society.

The IFN’s website with relevant info can be found here.

The Lit n Deb’s Facebook event can be found here.

If you want to get some more gender debate action from us at the Observer, check out Shane McNally’s interviews with Leone Delaney and Claire McGing.

-Pádraig McCarrick

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Belfast Bank of Ireland Occupied

The Student Observer has learned that, as you read, the the Occupy Movement in Belfast is occupying a branch of Bank of Ireland. So far the only apparent source of information on the event is the WSM’s twitter feed at!/WSMIreland.

More pictures from the occupation by QUB student James McNally can be found here. He’s a sound lad so don’t be afraid to like his page.

The first Tweet graced computer screens approximately 3hours ago, stating:

“Wsm members along with supporters hav taken control of bank of ireland in royal. Cops tryin to break in”

A handful of tweets followed, relaying efforts by the authorities to isolate and contain the incident, as well as expressing the occupiers’ intent to “Resist evictions”, and deny access of the building to the owner.

There have been no updates from the WSM’s twitter account for the past 45minutes, following the rather ominous assertion:

“More cops on da way..”

The major Irish news services have, as yet, to break this story, at least online, and its a couple of hours yet until the SixOne News. The WSM’s own website,, has yet to post anything on the event.

@thobiasinkblot and myself, @cargin4107, will be tweeting any updates that are forthcoming over the course of the day.

PRESS RELEASE: #occupydamestreet marks 100 days of occupation

Today marks Occupy Dame Street’s 100th day of occupation in the shadow of the Central Bank of Ireland building in central Dublin. It is a good time for us to reflect on where we are now, and where we can go from here.

The last 100 days have been exhilarating and exhausting for those of us involved in this occupation. There have been moments of great hope, but we must also recognise there have been moments of difficulty. Today we mark 100 days of direct opposition to the economic suffering being imposed on Ireland and we look to the future and the alternatives we can create together. Continue reading

The Gender Quota Cast

I was kindly joined by Claire McGing (PHD candidate at NUIM Geography dept.) and Leonie Delaney  (MA NUIM Sociology dept.) on Radio Free Maynooth to discuss the issue of gender quotas which has has seen some interesting reaction on the media to say the least.

Apologies to Claire and Leonie for the first minute of the recording vanishing into the ether. I began by asking them to give a brief explanation and discussion of the gender quota as an idea. The interview kicks in just at the start of this discussion. Enjoy


we would love to see more discussion on this topic, so don’t be shy and send us something in.


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The 2011 Student Observer Awards

It’s that time of year again.

Owing to the enjoyment people got out of last year’s edition, the Observer Awards have returned! I’m your host, Dave Ryan, and I’m here to reward the sublime and the ridiculous from 2011. From Presidential elections to SU Junkets, broken promises to occupations, 2011 has been quite a year, so good luck to all the nominees, because it’s been quite competitive.

But first, very briefly, though it will go without saying that some Continue reading