Protests and Promises: Where we stand in the fight for Free Education

Dave Ryan returns as students are against the ropes in the fight against fees

Now that the dust has well and truly settled on a turbulent year of student activism, we can reflect on what may or may not have changed. The protests of November 3rd, marking the single largest mobilization of students in a generation, succeeded in demonstrating that at least on that day, Irish students would not silently accept any move toward the re-introduction of fees. As the crowds flooded toward Leinster House, a feeling of community existed between swathes of people who had never met before. Whether protesting for their own education, or that of the generations that will follow them, this was a fight they were ready for. Which is exceptional, given that it’s hard for us to even psyche ourselves up for a 10 o’clock lecture.

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Student Observer Radio #1: Radio Free Maynooth

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the internet……

So here goes nothing. In a joint project between The Observer, and our friends at The Inkling and Spare Change , we are beginning a weekly podcast. It will be a lot shorter next time, we promise!

On our maiden voyage, Brian, Shane and I discuss Union Elections, General elections, scones, libraries, old old wooden ships, the Gestapo, and Joan Burton. Enjoy!


General Election 2011: Election Primer

Our first acquisition of the January transfer window, Padraig McCarrick, kicks off our General Election coverage

It’s hard not to be apathetic towards politicians, voting and just democracy in general at a time like this. It becomes especially so when over the last two weeks, every hour churns out a new development in the three-ring circus that is Irish politics. Instead of the important economic and social issues at hand, we have all been sucked into the Fianna Fail merry-go-round making it all about them. While opponents seek to land another blow on a party that seems to be in complete disarray, the actual issues at hand seem to be becoming of lesser importance. By the time the canvassing is in full swing, you can bet that candidates will be more concerned with ‘getting Fianna Fail out’ rather than bringing anything positive to voters. Continue reading

Featured Blog: The Inkling

Here at the Observer, we are always keen to give people a voice. To that end, we constantly offer the chance for people to volunteer articles or blog posts to us. Taking up our offer this week is Observer reader Thobias Inkblot, who began a blog this week called the Inkblot, at

This week in Lolitics

I am Tiger Hear me Roar So here we have it, the butt end of the Celtic Tiger, personified in the corpulent body of Fianna Fáil and their final gasp. What was is i hear you ask? The easiest way to describe it is as the longest and most pointless exhalation in history. Normally when one exhales it is to get rid of the of the waste materials that the body no longer needs and then to replenish itself with fresh nutrients. However the long and well documented death of the Fianna Fáil party has done nothing but infect an already decrepit environment with a miasma of wasted words. We must however remember Brian Lenihan’s inspiring words, ‘the worst is over’. We laughed then at his idiocy the vacuous nature of his words. Little did we know what internal machinations had been taking place. Continue reading