I have two pieces of paper to prove that I spent nine years at the University of Limerick. One of them confirms that I graduated. History, Politics and Social Studies was created as a new degree in 1997 and I was in the inaugural class of this cross-disciplinary and inventive programme. The other one says that I have a PhD in politics but I always wanted it to say that I am a doctor in corruption. It sounds better. These parched documents are framed somewhere and verify that I can indeed read and write good.
But the piece of paper that I don't have is the one that I'm the most proud of from those nine years.
Involvement in clubs and socs makes you think outside of yourself and grants you the possibilities of hundreds of adventures that ultimately make you what you become.
On the clubs side, there was the obligatory kayak weekend trip to Lahinch, THE inauguration to college life. The learning how to Scuba Dive in Kilkee and getting capsized with the sailing club on Lough Derg. Playing midfield for the University of Limerick ladies GAA team and the attempts to learn rugby with UL Bohs. I even discovered how to play rollerblade-hockey and ride a horse. Two very different things apparently.
I was fortunate to share a campus with a fantastic group of dynamic and energetic people who did innovative things just for the hell of it. One such person was Paddy McHugh, who had lived several life times by the time he left UL. Every University has a pied piper who leads others by just being themselves-irreverent, mischievous but ever so casually holding that quality of simply enjoying life with that healthy dose of being very good at being awkward. Therein, he forced those around him to challenge themselves. McHugh was Mr. Society, incarnate. Queerbash was just one of his babies. But God decided over the summer that the earth was no longer big enough for him and he no longer plays his tunes or dances his reels in this lifetime.
Paddy and I lived together for about two and a half years. He was big into his dreaming of things that never were and asking why not. It's very difficult to live with that wonderful approach to life if you don't join in, head first.
His enthusiasm corrupted those around him to do extraordinary things.
With a very committed and industrious committee, I helped organise a Crime Forum under the auspices of the Peace Society. The purpose of our event was to try and directly engage with events in our city rather than living as an island in Castletroy.
We leafleted the city estates with invitations and had over 600 at the meeting in the Jean Monnet. Vincent Browne chaired one of the most passionate debates I've ever been at. Browne then reran the debate on his RTÉ radio show as he had then. Live 95fm recorded the event and aired it the next day on morning radio. The local newspapers covered it too.
That Peace Society did so many imaginative things. We raised €10,000 for UN affiliated educational projects in South Lebanon and another $10,000 for educational projects in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
With self-raised funds and a small clubs and socs grant, we had the incredible opportunity to visit these projects first hand.
Life-changing events that pieces of paper can never measure.
And when the Prime Minister for China visited the University of Limerick, our society organised a protest about Tibet that swelled into a couple of hundred students. The former President, Roger Downer, intervened and we were granted a formal meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland to discuss our concerns. We met him in one of the very nice rooms in the library. Paddy was delighted with himself.
That was the same year that we were both nominated for Society person of the year. Neither of us won but in so many other ways, we had already won. It was the best award I never received. It was like getting officially rewarded for doing stuff that we loved doing anyway. That felt like cheating in a way.
Thank you to clubs and societies for the memories. Oh, and thanks UL for those pieces of paper. They came in handy.
Dr. Elaine Byrne,
Adjucant lecturer in Irish Politics, Trinity College Dublin
Was his ability as film maker more noteworthy than his prowess as a musician. Do memories of his oratory outshine those of his writing? Should one mention his success as a drama director as a precursor of him becoming programme of Aprils Film Festival? A power has passed from earth.
Yet, for all his huge abilities, it is as a friend that most people will choose to remember him. As well as being the most remarkable student on campus, Mike, quite probably was the most popular. That fact was acknowledged while he was alive and not merely invented after his death.
Mike's truly outrageous laugh and unique intoning of "Howsagoin??" defy description. They also defy forgetting. In fact, being forgotten is one fate that Mike is, without doubt, safe from. Even if one wanted to forget it would be impossible to. Go through any record of student life over the last few years and sure enough you will meet mike Sadlier. It could be photographs of him filming, it could be minutes of meetings emblazoned with "Mike Sadlier Speaks!!" or it could be old copies of an Focal with Mike making front page news.
There are various different ways that Mike's enormous contribution to the lives of the people on campus over his years(and years) here is being marked. His successor as Societies Person of The Year will be the first recipient of the Mike Sadlier trophy. Mike's memory will have pride of place in the Clubs and Socs Office through a commemorative stone. The societies festival this semester has been dedicated to his memory.
However, it is personal memories that are most cherished. I remember meeting Mike one cold night on a porch in Newenham Street and talking to him for about 5 minutes before he abruptly stopped, Oh I nearly forgot to ask you, he said with an air that indicated this would be important, Howsagoin??
Another cherished memory is Mike's 5 minute oration at a union exec meeting. IT is not so much the erudite and philosophically incisive nature of his comments that stick in mind as the look of blank comprehension on his fellow officers' faces. And still he just sat there refusing to offer any further explanation. He left it to the rest of us to draw up our own conclusions.
I remember also the last time I ever saw Mike. He was getting on the bus that I had just dismounted from. Wearing soccer shorts and looking decidedly scruffy in comparison to the refined elegance of Sandrine who stood beside him, mike was as normal, smiling and looking forward to having a good time. We exchanged just a few words but I left him with the feeling one normally left Mike with. Glad to have met him.
He will be sorely missed.
Two young lights, too young to leave
Heads shake, they cannot believe
Gone so quickly, no chance for goodbye
On everyone's lips, one word, why?
Why them, why now, why two bitter body blows
Why the answer 'nobody knows'.
Andrew's hands could create and fuse
His creations worthy of any Muse
A ready friend to people near and far
A talent that could turn a bin, into a Beetle car
John the athlete and brilliant mind
Echoed his family by being kind
What would he have achieved had he stayed
But his smile, the years, will never fade
What we all achieve is how we are gauged
They accomplish more than ones treble their age
Sad eyes, sad hearts left behind on a limb
The only thing were sure of, is that were following them
Two young lights that could not stay
Turned into stars stars never go away
For John, Andrew
From someone who would like to have known them better
His first main achievement was to purchase, install and connect computers to the whole college and thus to the outside world. As online manager Jason's vision was very much shared by Bert-to make the online Project Management course into something fun as well as informative. He was acutely aware of the pitfalls of distance learning so he was always proactively ringing students to check if they had problems and to make sure that they did not lose motivation.
Patience is a virtue and it is something that Jason possessed in abundance. After the students online course was set up the Systems/Online Manager set about a new project for himself. The result was a database that is second to none here in the college and he had visitors from other departments in to see it. Jason discovered that a lot of people did not have time to invest 2 years in a Management Course. Jason set up a 2 day introduction to Project Management course and called it "An Introduction to the Fundamentals of Project Management"- Quite a mouthful!
His phone never stopped ringing. His most prestigious project was writing the computer module for the diploma. It took huge dedication, discipline, major research and self-learning. Jason had a vision, a final goal that kept him going. Then Jason saw the need for a program called Microsoft Project. He went out and bought extremely thick books on Microsoft Project and proceeded to teach himself. The result was an excellently laid out and delivered training course. He gave his first on Tuesday 28th November 2000. He was extremely happy at the end of the day. He knew he had done well. Jason was discovering his natural teaching ability.
Unfortunately, the following day, Wednesday 29th November 2000 Jason was swept away while out windsurfing with the Windsurfing Club at the UL Activity Centre in Killaloe.
Jason's thoughtfulness and simple kindness were the hallmark of his life. Yet he loved fast cars, Grand Prix racing, all things high-tech, computers, the Simpson's, mad music and tea! He has a passion for water, water-sports and boats especially "Laze Daze" (our boat). He loved to share and he shared his knowledge and expertises very willingly. With Jason's passing Ballylickey (West Cork) will be bereft of a great water skiing teacher and many computer illiterate General Practitioners will be totally at sea! In the college striding through the crowds with his big space boots, dark glasses and at a leisurely pace, he seemed unaware of the attention he was getting until we pointed it out to him. He seemed embarrassed and pretended to dismiss it.
Jason was always proud of his work, proud of his life, he knew he had achieved a lot. He accepted praise humbly. He was very happy. We were all very lucky to know Jason and it is an honour that will never be forgotten, he has left a legacy at CPM and that will never go.
His stamp is permanent, his name is on everything and so he lives on and blesses our working lives and although this piece is mostly in past tense Jason is not past tense. We will continue to build in the scaffold that he has set up for us and use his expertise daily the world stands still for a moment when his name is mentioned. Systems Manger, Online Manager, Database Manager, Student tech-support, Teacher, Good Friend, Angel. Jason, God Bless, we love you very much.
Adrienne Horan/Deirdre Hacket
He will be sadly missed but greatly remembered.