Loading

SMC Express January edition

Welcome to the St. Munchin's Express - an online space where students post articles, reviews, reports, creative writing, and other pieces that aim to celebrate the values of individual thinking and independent thought.

Article guide

  • The Tension Explained Between the US and Iran - Aron Calvert
  • The Evolution of Tyler, The Creator - Fionn Mckeogh
  • Trent Alexander Arnold: Wonder Kid - Shane O'Brien
  • Top 5 Movies of the Decade - Jacub Szczerbaty
  • Rainbow 6 Siege Game Review - Sam Lloyd
  • RBS Six Nations - Shane Power
  • Australia : Wildfires of change - Callum Manley
  • The O’Donovan Brothers - Conor Joyce

The Current New - Big stories affecting the world and locally at the moment this is essential for any news publication,This section keeps you updated on what is going on around the world and locally

Around the School - For students by students, about students. Articles about student life and experiences are covered in this section.

Review Room - A popular segment for both our readers and writers here you can read about our team of student writers opinions on movies,music,games etc and the media surrounding them

In Focus - A tip of the hat to investigative journalism our in focus section will target key issues affecting both school and society

The Scrum - Reporting on all sporting matters with rugby taking centre-stage, but "propped" up by information on GAA, soccer, athletics, and other sports.

US-Iran Tensions: Explained

By Aron Calvert

Over the past month US-IRAN tensions have reached an all-time high following the killing of Irani general Soleimani. This has perched the world on the cusp of another middle eastern conflict. This piece will explain how the tensions have been rising over the past few months and how we've reached this point.

This recent surge in tensions began in late December when the United States carries out air strikes against bases of a pro-Iran group in Iraq, killing at least 25 fighters. These strikes are in retaliation for rocket attacks against US interests in Iraq, including one in which a US civilian was killed. In retaliation to these US strikes Pro-Iran protesters storm the US embassy compound in Baghdad expressing fury over the strikes. Qasem Soleimani, who many saw as the second most important figure in Iran was believed to have green lit the storming of the embassy. Following this Trump warned that Iran could ‘pay a very big price’.

3 days later Qasem Soleimani is killed in an Airstrike by US forces. This is where the conflict began to really kick off. The Pentagon says Trump ordered the killing after the siege of the US embassy in Baghdad. On January 7th Soleimani’s funeral takes place At Soleimani's funeral, Major General Hossein Salami said Iran would "take revenge". The start of Iran's revenge was seen on the 8th as they fired two missiles at Iraqi military bases under the control of the US military. no casualties have been confirmed.

The reaction around the world to these events have been mixed. In the USA Congress is split, as is to be expected with republicans and democrats. However, around the world the sentiment is firmly against trump and his actions as well as some of his more controversial tweets over the past week.

“targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

This tweet from president trump has been recognized a crossed the board as threatening war crimes. Even Boris Johnson who seems to have a very good relationship with trump has warned him that targeting cultural sites breaks international law.

Since Iran's retaliation tensions have somewhat dropped. It seems at this point war is an unlikely outcome however this situation has almost certainly damaged US-Iran relations beyond any chances of repair at least within the coming years. So no WW3 isn't happening, save the memes for now.

The Evolution of Tyler, The Creator

By Fionn McKeogh

Tyler, the Creator is an American rapper and producer born in California on the 6th March 1991. At the age of 14 he taught himself how to play the piano, taking an interest in music very seriously from a young age. He began his music career at the age of 16 in 2007 when he formed Hip-Hop collective ‘Odd Future’ with other eager teenage artists from California looking to make a name for themselves. Tyler took the direction of a harsh, aggressive, punk inspired sound with overly explicit lyrics. This would be controversial for his career and would lead him into receiving a four year ban from entering the UK. But he never kept the same style and would constantly evolve his music and experiment throughout his discography. Each of his albums revolves around a new character and a new alter ego for Tyler to inhabit.

Goblin & Wolf

Tyler’s debut album ‘Goblin’ reads into his thoughts of destruction and extremism. Tyler broke onto the scene with hit song ‘Yonkers’ due to its punk, free speech feel alongside an interesting video that would rack up 119m views to date. Goblin comprises of 18 tracks and spans over 1 hour and 22 minutes long. Heavy backlash was given for this project and wasn’t well received by critics. This is due to its lyrics of homophobia, misogyny and pre meditated murder. Some of the highest ranking songs on the album include ‘She’ (ft. Frank Ocean), ‘Radicals’ and ‘Tron Cat’. Up next from Tyler was ‘Wolf’ released in spring 2013. Tyler keeps the same style of rapping but delves into deeper subject matter such as in the song ‘Answer’. Here he talks about the absence of his father, the loss of his grandmother and an ex. He shows off his capability of intense story telling through the song ‘Colossus’, rapping about a crazed fan who would stop at nothing to be around Tyler, even if he needs to kidnap Tyler and keep him captive in a basement. This project was better received than ‘Goblin’ by the public and peaked at no.3 on Billboard 200.

Cherry Bomb

As a young, ambitious artist Tyler still had a lot to prove coming into his next major piece of work. Tyler decided to experiment with his sound and try new production and vocal techniques. This was the introduction to his newest persona, ‘Cherry Bomb’. His character would wear a large, pink gumball as a mask. Tyler used this project to move his subject matter away from detailing violence and began to make more chill relaxed music while keeping core elements of his ‘classic’ style. ‘Smuckers’ would feature two of Tyler’s idols in Lil Wayne and Kanye West. Wayne and Tyler’s verses were so good Kanye decided to rewrite his verse. Pharrell Williams and ScHoolboy Q would each own a verse on the project, thus forth declaring Tyler as a fellow household name in Hip-Hop. But despite these big artists being apart of the album, the album would not go on to impress fans due to its experimental sound. This left Tyler hanging by a thread meaning his next project would be his most important if he wanted to cement himself as one of the best artists of the generation.

Flower Boy and Igor

Tyler always manages to bring attention to himself and Flower Boy was no exception. With an almost pop vibe throughout the album, Flower Boy reached mainstream audiences. Despite his previous history of homophobic comments and use of slurs, Tyler has an important announcement for his fans as he comes out of the closet. He discusses this on ‘Ain’t got time’ and ‘Garden Shed’. The production is top-tier and fans felt that Tyler has officially found his perfect style. The album is refreshing to the listeners ears compared to his previous work and is his highest rated by critics to date. The next alter ego for Tyler was ‘Igor’. This project, released in May 2019, follows the story of Igor, a man with complicated relationship issues. He begins this tale on ‘Earfquake’ and ‘I think’ where he obsesses over a female he doesn’t want to leave him because he thinks he loves her. The story takes a turn 2 songs later when we realize he begins to gain feelings for a member of the same gender. Even after ‘Flower Boy’ Tyler is still conflicted with his sexuality. He chooses the man over the woman and soon realizes that the man isn’t what’s best for him and could be the death of him, mainly told on ‘A Boy is a Gun*’. As we enter the end of the album Tyler decides to end things with the boy but would like to remain friends. This is solely produced by Tyler himself and has an alternative pop/rap sound. ‘Igor’ would reach #1 and be considered one of the top albums of 2019.Tyler has evolved from a radical teenager to the creative genius he is today. Tyler has undergone many different styles and techniques and fans have witnessed his growth as a person and as an artist.

Trent Alexander Arnold: Wonder Kid

By Shane O'Brien

Introduction

Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of Liverpool’s wonder kids that has protruded his way through Liverpool’s academy without ease. He has been one of Liverpool’s stand out players this season during the 2019/2020 season. Also last year during the 2018/2019 season. With his pinpoint accuracy and his silky skills, he has aided Liverpool in their success to where they are now. In this season alone, he has played exceptionally in performances against Leicester and Manchester City, providing Liverpool with the requirements to win these fearful games. He has been racking up assists and adding goals to his tally here and there in serious fashion. He is a wonder kid that has a bright future ahead of

him at the club of Liverpool in the upcoming matches and hopefully upcoming seasons.

Academy

Trent Alexander-Arnold was born on the 7th of October in 1998. At this stage of time, the youngster is 21 years old. Trent was born and raised in West Derby in the City of Liverpool. Having been scouted at the age of six, He joined Liverpool’s academy in 2004. From this point onwards, Liverpool had bagged themselves a superstar. He grafted his way through the academy captaining various youth levels and making appearances for England up until the U21’s team. He made his debut at the age of eighteen in a clash against Tottenham, in a 2-1 win.

2019/2020 Premier League Season

Trent Alexander-Arnold has reserved his place at Right-Back this season. He has brought nothing but quality to the starting team. His cross-field passing and exceptional control, he has created nothing but goals. He started the season off with an exceptional result against Norwich in a 4-1 win. In the win, he obtained an assist for the third goal, assisting Origi before he netted home. This boosted the player’s confidence and they proceeded to keep that place at the top of the table. He truly amazes the Liverpool fans with his passing, his cross-field passes, and his quick vison is just exquisite. With a defence built around Virgil Van Djik, he stands out every game supporting the team with his brilliance aiding them to victory.

In this season, so far, he has eight assists and two goals. His involvement in play creates most of Liverpool’s in game chances. The goals he has scored this season have come against Leicester in a 4-0 win. This game tested Liverpool’s attacking ability up until the second half. Leicester defended for the game and piled the pressure onto Liverpool, but Liverpool broke the deadlock. Trent scored the fourth goal of the game. The ball glided across him onto his right foot, and he connected with the ball to perfection swerving the ball into the far-left corner, Ingenious. The second goal came against Burnley in a 3-0 win. Jordon Henderson played the ball to him on his right foot, with an in-swinging cross the ball deflects of Chris Wood’s back and flew into the top-corner.

Trent’s best performances have come against Leicester, Manchester City and in the Champions League. In the Leicester city match his electrifying pace and his stunning ability to defend, allowed him to have players such as Jamie Vardy and James Madison in his back pocket. With an extreme partnership with left-back Andrew Robertson the two have been unstoppable. The two players have racked up fourteen assists between them with Robertson acquiring six of them. With a flawless defence, the trio with Virgil Van Djik, have managed to claim eight clean sheets in the Premier League this year. Joined first with the Underdogs of Leicester City. They have protruded their way into the second place of the league with extremely concentrated effort.

Champions League

Trent has proved his worth also in the Champions League. Being a Champions league winner at the age of twenty is a substantial achievement and gaining that experience at a young age is mesmerising. In the winning campaign, Trent Alexander Arnold secured five assists and single handily won Liverpool the game against Barcelona. With a masterclass in perception of the game, his quick thinking provided Liverpool with the winner. As he placed the ball down the ball to take the corner, he pretended to stroll away. He misguided the Barcelona players and floated the ball to Origi’s right leg, as he slotted home. This put Liverpool up 4-0 and secured them a spot in the Champions League Final. They then went on to destroy Tottenham in a 2-0 defeat and Liverpool became Champions of Europe.

Summary

Overall this season and last season have been Trent’s best seasons by far. Combining both seasons, he achieved twenty assists and obtained three goals. He has an extremely bright future ahead of him, with thrive and desire, he will become a world class player in the future. A real star in the Red City of Merseyside.

Top 5 Movies Of The Decade

By Jacub Szczerbaty

2010-2019 was a great decade for movies overall. While there were some disappointments and some outright tragedies such as The Emoji Movie and Suicide Squad, there were also some incredible movies that will stand the test of time and become classics. There is too many movies and too little time so I picked what I consider to be the top five films of this decade.

5) Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler is a 2014 Drama/Thriller about the underground world of mainstream media specifically mainstream news. It was directed by Dan Gilroy and stars Jake Gyllenhaal who gives the performance of a lifetime. He plays the methodical, ambitious and sociopathic Louis Bloom who enters the world of Night crawling with nothing but enthusiasm to become the best in the field. The movie is a commentary on how the system of mainstream news rewards people like Louis. People who don’t care about others and how they are affected and only about getting the shot. The movie has a great neo-noir look and really pulls you into the story as you follow the journey of this person as he does more and more messed up things and spirals deeper into becoming a cold, unfeeling journalist. As the Rolling Stones Magazine said its “A pitch-black satire of local TV news in Los Angeles”. It's a fun watch and I’d give it a solid 8.5/10

4) Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049 is the 2017 sequel to the 1982 Blade runner. It's a masterpiece of cinematography, design and atmosphere with an incredibly well thought out and interesting story to support it. The scale of the blade runner world is huge, which makes the characters in it feel small and irrelevant, which supports the themes and motives of the movie. This is a movie where you could take a screenshot every second and frame it on your wall as every second is perfectly framed ,colour graded and lit. Roger Deakins, the cinematographer won an Oscar for Best Cinematography from this movie and it shows. The dedication of him as well as the VFX artists and art designers is insane. The story is interesting and leaves you feeling empty and hollow. This is a movie that you think about long after you watch it because of the concepts and ideas explored in it. On top of that Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas and Jared Leto all give amazing

performances and bring the well written dialogue to life. This movie is intense, smart and beautiful and I'd give it a 9/10

3) Annihilation

Annihilation is Horror/Thriller that’s similar to Blade Runner 2049. Like the previous movie, it uses high sci-fi concepts to explore concepts and idea that are intimate and deeply human. The plot is that the main characters husband returns sick after going into an area known as Area X, where a meteor from space landed. She along with four other women goes into the rapidly expanding Area X to see how the meteor is affecting the area. The movie uses this simple plot to explore these many concepts and themes the main one being pain and how different people are affected by it and more importantly, how they react to it. This concept is explored as we watch how the five women in area X react to different things that happen while they're in there. The movie is also a phycological horror and has plenty of moments that scare you and fill you with an overwhelming feeling of dread. Natalie Portman gives a held back yet realistic and intimate performance as the main character Lena. The other actresses, Gina Rodriguez, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Thessa Thompson, also give great performances fleshing out their simplistic characters into almost real people. This movie also looks amazing and has a decent soundtrack. This movie will make you question your existence...9/10

2) Whiplash

Whiplash is a 2014 drama written and directed by Damien Chazelle the director of La La land and First Man. This movie tells the story of music, and art in general, and how much dedication and work and pain you need to put into art to become truly great at it. You must put in everything until there is nothing left and drive yourself crazy to be remembered by history. The movie is driven by the writing but more importantly by the performances by Miles Teller and J.K Simmons. J. K Simmons won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and it shows in the movie.Both these actors transform into their characters so well that by the end of the movie you genuinely hate J.K Simmons and feel extreme pity for Andrew, Miles Tellers character. Common Sense Media said it best in their review “Teller's total investment in his performance means viewers are no longer just viewers; we're also witnesses, and it's this intensity that makes writer-director Damien Chazelle's film so memorable.” Watching this movie is an intense journey and you will be gritting your teeth for most, if not all of it. The writing, performances, direction and music makes this movie a unique experience like no other. 9.5/10

1) The Social Network

The Social Network is undisputedly the best movie of the decade. It has a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and 95% on Metacritic. It was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher a match made in heaven as these two are masters in their own respected fields and together they create a movie that feels...perfect. Every scene, every sentence, every shot, every word feels like it's meant to be there. In this two-hour movie nothing feels like filler or like it doesn’t have to be there. Everything feels meticulously well thought out yet also alive and vibrant. The movie is about the forming of Facebook and the fall out between the two creators Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin played by Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield. It's a movie about Facebook, but it's not about Facebook. It feels more like a Shakespearean tragedy about the separation of two friends consumed by ego and greed. The two leads become their characters not only in how they say their lines but also by changing their inflections, movements, gestures and everything they possibly could. They bring Sorkin's expertly written dialogue to life. Sorkin's dialogue is often described as music and for the music to sound natural everyone who plays the part must play it well. And everyone in this movie makes sure to play it and say the dialogue the way he wanted it to sound. Jesse Eisenberg got nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for this film. Apart from the writing, performances and direction the movie has a gripping, atmospheric and intense score composed by Trent Reznor, another master of his craft. Overall every aspect of this movie feels perfect. Watching this movie is totally hypnotizing in that you literally cannot stop until it's over. It's a movie you can watch repeatedly and always find new thing to appreciate about it. A 10/10

If you haven't seen any of these movies, do yourself a favour and watch at least one or two. All of them are available on Netflix and trust me when I say they deserve your time. They are the best of a decade that had a lot of competition and that’s not a statement I make lightly

Rainbow Six Siege: A Review

By Sam Lloyd

What is Rainbow Six Siege?

Rainbow six siege is a tactical close quarter’s first person shooter released on December the 1st 2015. Players break up into two teams of 5. Where players will engage in game play where multiplayer is at the center of the experience. In a battlefield with a good mix of tactical game play destruction and unique characters which in rainbow six siege are called operators.

What makes r6 unique is its gameplay. Players may choose between three different game modes hostage, bomb and secure area. One of my most favourite elements of r6 in the preparation phase where defending operators reinforce walls hatches and barricade doors each defender has its own unique gadget to help to make life harder for attackers wishing to enter. Defenders do this as their main objective is to protect the bomb, hostage or keep the area secure depending on the game mode. During the time that the defenders are doing this the attackers will have their own job during this prep faze. Attackers are equipped with drones which they use to recon the map players work together to spot possible treats the objective points and enemy players to plan their entry point to attack. Whether the player is attacking or defending knowing which operator to choose is vital to their success or how the round will turn out.

However in siege your ability to work within a team is crucial to your success so players choose to play with friends to form a team or play with randomly assigned team mates. There are no respawns or second chances in R6 so being aware of you and your teams surroundings is important. However once your operator is down that does not deem you completely useless to your team downed players are still able to exploit cameras or drones which have survived the prep faze to help to give callouts to their teammates. Each environment displays its own challenges for both defenders and attackers so planning on how you would like to win is important.

Another factor of siege which many players enjoy and why siege has remained relevant for so long is the variety of different maps. No maps are alike the only similarity being they are all close quarter focused with new maps being released all the time. Picking your strategy relies greatly on whichever map you are playing on and due to R6s destructive environment and a variety of different ops with different gadgets there are a lot of different strategy’s you can try to use to execute your plan and win the round. However being able to engage in medium to long range engagement is important also as some maps exercise this.

The environment of each map plays a key role in each game as the environment is almost completely destructive meaning players can mold their surroundings to suit them. It’s important that defenders are aware that windows walls and even ceilings can be breached so it’s important that defenders reinforce their position and prepare for the incoming attack.

All the points I have made up until now are fact. However I would also like to highlight my own personal opinion on what the positives and negatives actually are. With 50 million players siege is always adapting with new free updates regularly. This keeps the game fresh and prevents long term players from getting bored however a negative to this in my opinion with having regular changes with new operators and maps is the Meta is also constantly changing which can make it very difficult to adapt to. The Meta of a game is basically the best way of achieving victory. Another problem with this is that since the game has been around so long and new stuff is constantly being added the creators have a habit of recycling weapons which are already in the game which can make new updates less exciting. Apart from this I would recommend the game to anyone who enjoy any tactical first person shooters.

RBS Six Nations

By Shane Power

The Six Nations Championship is an annual international rugby union competition between the teams England, Ireland, France, Italy, Scotland and Wales. These are currently the highest-ranking countries in Europe, although the tournament is based on historical membership, not ranking.

History

The RBS Six Nations was originally called the home nations championship. It was first played in 1883 among the four home nations: England, Ireland, Scotland and wales. England however, were excluded from the 1888 and 89 tournaments due to them refusing to join the international rugby football board. It became the five nations championship in 1910 with the addition of France, then became the six nations in 2000 with the addition of Italy.

The Trophies

The Six Nations Championship trophy was originally conceived by the Earl of Westmoreland, and was first presented to the 1993 championship, France. It has 15 side panels representing the 15 members of the team and with three handles to represent the three officials (referee and two touch judges). A new trophy was introduced for the 2015 championship. It was designed by Thomas lyte silversmiths and replaces the 1993 edition, which was retired as it represented the nations that took part in the five nations championship. A team that wins all its games gets the grand slam. This can only be won by England, Ireland, Scotland or wales, when one nation wins all their matches against the others. This dates back to the original home nations tournament, but the physical trophy wasn’t awarded until 2006, when the royal bank of Scotland commissioned Hamilton and inches to design a dictated triple crown trophy. It has since been won four times by Ireland, three times by wales and twice by England.

Format

The tournament begins on the first week in February and culminates with super Saturday on the second or third Saturday in March. The format of the tournament is simple: each team plays every other team once {making a total of 15 matches} prior to the 2017 tournament, two points were awarded for a win, one for a draw and none for a loss. But, on 30th of October 2016 it was announced that the bonus point system would be changed for the 2017 championship 0 points for a loss, 2 for a draw, four for a win, 1 for scoring four or more tries in a match and 1 for losing by 7 points or fewer. Prior to 1994, teams who tied in match points shared the title. Since then, it has been made that if teams tie on both match points and point difference, the team with the most tries wins the championship. Also, the team who finishes at the bottom of the league table is said to get the wooded spoon, although no trophy is given to the team. Since the inaugural six nations championship in 2000, only England and Ireland have avoided the wooded spoon. Italy are the holders of the most wooden spoons at 14 and have been whitewashed {when a team loses all five league table matches} nine times.

Venues

The Six Nations are held in six stadiums:

  1. Twickenham stadium {England}
  2. Stadio Olipico {Italy}
  3. Stade de France {France}
  4. Principality stadium {wales}
  5. Aviva stadium {Ireland}
  6. Murrayfeild stadium {Scotland}

Records

Irelands Ronan O'Gara holds a career scoring record of 557 points. England’s Johnny Wilkinson holds records for points in a single game {35 points vs Italy in 2001}. The record for most tries in a match is held by George Lidnseay who scored five tries against wales in 1887. Sergio Parisse has the most appearances with 69 appearances since his debut in 2004. The most points scored by a team in one match was 80 points, scored by England against Italy in 2001. England also scored the most ever points in a season in 2001 with 229, and most tries in a season with 29. Wales hold the record for fewest tries conceded during a season in the Six Nations era, conceding only 2 in 5 games in 2008, but the 1977 Grand Slam-winning France team did not concede a try in their four matches. Wales hold the record for the longest time without conceding a try, at 358 minutes in the 2013 tournament.

Australia: The Wildfires of Change

By Callum Manley

Brutal and unrelenting wildfires have ravaged Australia's beautiful landscape throughout the country since late last year. The first reports of wildfires were heard from the states of Queensland and New South Wales in September of 2019. However, a viscous combination of unrelenting heat and dry lightning have allowed the fires to continue burning to present day. Each day the staggering death toll increases as residents refuse to leave their properties in the worst affected areas. Currently the death toll stands at a shocking 24 with over 2000 homes being destroyed or damaged. The shocking number of casualties and immense size of the Australian wildfires leaves many pointing at climate change as the culprit as the situation goes from bad to worse.

Australia’s Wildfire History

This is not the first time Australia has had to deal with unmerciful wildfires. Australia has had a long and troubled relationship with Mother Nature dating as far back to one of the earliest reported bushfires in 1851. Although evidence is inconclusive it is believed that close to 800 people have fallen victim to Australia’s savage bushfires since 1851. However, one of the most tragic wildfires, The Black Saturday Bushfires are still very prevalent to Aussies to this day. The 7th of February 2009 is infamously placed at the top of Australia’s wildfire

history. On that Saturday there were 400 individual fires reported throughout the country with the majority being in Victoria. The bushfires claimed a total of 173 lives before they were eventually extinguished.

What caused the Wildfires?

Currently Australia is experiencing its fire season. This occurs during the Australian Summer where a combination of hot and dry weather conditions generates wildfires. Wildfires are sprouting up all over the country but the worst affected area being New South Wales. A dry lightning strike is said to be the culprit for starting several fires in Victoria’s East Gippsland region in late December. Fires in this region reportedly traveled 20 kilometers in as little as 5 hours. Surprisingly a number of the wildfires have erupted at the hands of humans. New South Wales police have charged at least 24 people with deliberately starting bushfires. They have also taken legal action against 183 people for fire related offences since November.

How are the Wildfires being Stopped?

In January the state of Victoria declared a state of disaster and New South Wales granted a state of emergency. Both granted authorities' extraordinary powers and more government resources to battle the fires. In New South Wales alone there are 2000 firefighters on the ground battling the blazes. Many famous individuals have pledged their support and cheque books to help putting an end to the horrific suffering the Australians are enduring. Actor Chris Hemsworth has donated over €600,000 to the fire service. Many famous people such as Selena Gomez and Ellen DeGeneres have raised awareness through social media.

The tragedy and loss experienced by the people of Australia are now being echoed throughout the world. The media broadcasting live images and writing about the unspeakable suffering has managed to open the worlds ears and eyes. There is something very different in the air with these wildfires. These are the wildfires of change.

Something on the water: How the O’Donovan brothers Conquered the world

By Conor Joyce

The O'Donovan brothers changed Irish rowing after they beat Norway by 0.160 of a second. After the 1st one thousand meters of the men's light weight double the O'Donovan brothers were in fifth place just in front of Poland by 2.640 seconds which would by the difference of a single stoke. In the third 500 meter of the 2K race they took the position of second place from the U.S.A double.

If you have ever done a 2K test in rowing you would know that the third 500 in the race is where the race gets though and where you find it very hard to make a push as you are trying to save the little bit of energy you have for the very last 500 where you do an all-out push or as the O'Donovan brothers said “pull like a dog”.

The O'Donovan brothers managed to get faster during the stage where most crews get slower which is how they took over so much crews in a short space of time. The two brothers Paul and Gary O’Donovan came behind the French crew which had Pierre Houin in bow sitting right behind Jeremie Azou in stroke.

Even though the two brothers came second, Irish rowing was forever changed. When the brothers won in Rio it was the first Olympic rowing silver medal ever one for Ireland. Even though they won in Rio it was only the beginning but took a lot of work to achieve.

Rowing Career After Rio

In 2019 Paul came first in the 2019 world rowing championships that took place in Austria but unfortunately wasn’t in the boat with Gary instead of Gary Fintan McCarthy sat in the boat. Fintan is one of the McCarthy twins. His brother is Jake McCarthy and the two of them are great friends with the O'Donovan brothers.

An all-Ireland trial set the boats for Rotterdam. The O’Donovan brothers beat the McCarty twins in the trial but then Paul and Fintan were put in the same boat and saw even greater success then Paul and Gary.

The double rowed by Paul and Fintan had a Challenging start after being in last place after the first 500. When they had completed the first half of the race, they had redeemed themselves by being in first place. They had taken the first-place position from the Germany boat which was rowed by Jason Osborne and Jonathan Rommelmann.

In the season the German boat had gone undefeated and were one lane over from the Irish crew. The Italy, German, Norway and Irish boats were all fighting for a top 3 position. The Norway crew missed out after the Irish got gold, Italy sliver and German Bronze.

Stefano Oppa from Italy made a comment as well about the Irish crew “They've changed the lane, and we know that Germany and Norway are very strong. Then we've focused on our race, but Ireland was fantastic.”

The Unbeaten German crew that was just beaten by the Irish and Italian crew also made a comment on the race “We are very happy despite our other successes this season. This is a great success for us and the German federation.”

Tokyo 2020

After Paul and Fintan won gold at the 2019 world rowing championships they qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games that which are held in Toyko this year.

Images sourced using Google. Videos sourced using YouTube.