Comment & Analysis
Dec 3, 2017

Trinity’s Social Media, a Lacklustre Luas and an Eight Amendment Debate


We’ve been warned – repeatedly – that the debate on the eighth amendment will be bitter, polarising and divisive. This is why the Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union’s eighth amendment forum was refreshing. Pro-choice and pro-life voices mingled, questions seemed driven by curiosity and TCDSU, which has been at pains to tell pro-life students it represents them too, might have felt vindicated. As we approach a referendum, it might be worth remembering the lessons of this week’s forum: civility goes a long way to taking the sting from a debate many are dreading.

On Friday, Trinity staff were instructed on the virtues of gifs and memes and social media. Trinity is social, was the much-tweeted message. Trumpeting Twitter followers is one thing, but actually having a strong social media presence is quite another. The random factoids that have graced Trinity’s Instagram under the #OnThisDay hashtag, like ones about a stolen “Edward” Munch painting and the execution of William Wallace, aren’t examples of online excellence, and they really don’t help in building a brand students and staff can get behind.

After what feels like an infinity, the new Luas route is finally here. Students will swarm alongside the city’s commuters through stops along Dawson St, Pearse St and beyond. If the opening will be nothing less than historic, you’d be forgiven for swallowing the word “revolutionary”: let’s not forget Dublin tore up tram tracks decades ago, before botching the Luas’s first phase. Besides, who really thinks the Cross City is going to solve much? Dublin Bus routes are impractical, cycling is far from safe and a metro seems like a distant dream. Let’s welcome the Luas, but don’t forget Dublin is far from a perfect commuter city.