Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I am on the Home Page of the Business Analysts Association of Ireland pictured (right) with a group of graduates from the NCI Diploma in Business Analysis and Consultancy. I have been teaching the Business Systems Analysis module for the past three years. I don't think I have been on a home page before - so this is a first for me. Woohoo!!!

Other photos from graduation ceremonies over the past few years are also shown on this site - click here to see me with some well-dressed people (including me in the very fetching scarlet and gold Trinity PhD graduation gown)!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Preston North End 2 - Ipswich Town 2

I went to Preston this weekend to see PNE vs Ipswich Town in the Championship, and also to see Brian. PNE are by now safe from relegation, but Ipswich had an outside chance of a play-off place if they won this match. So, not quite an end of season meaningless fixture. Brian and I were looking forward to the match.

I travelled over early to Liverpool by Ryanair arriving at about 0900. Conveniently I got a bus to Liverpool's Lime Street train station straightaway for £2.50 and a train to Preston. I arrived at 1200 planning to go to Preston Harley-Davidson, but I got a text message from Brian to say he had arrived early in Preston.

So I skipped the motorbikes and decided to meet Brian earlier than planned. While waiting for Brian outside the Fishergate Shopping Centre a man approached me looking for directions to PNE's ground - Deepdale. Though I knew the direction to the ground I felt that I was a bit of a phoney in the centre of Preston dressed in my PNE shirt - the guy was obviously an Ipswich Town fan.

I met Brian in a Japanese Restaurant called Sakura - we had a smashing lunch, Brian's first time in a Japanese restaurant. Brian was in great form and it was good to see him again - we had not met since Uncle Charlie's funeral last September. Afterwards, we walked up towards the ground stopping off for a pint at Finney's Sports Bar. This is a nice pub, named after PNE's most famous player ever - Sir Tom Finney. It is very close to the ground - my pint was a curiously honey flavoured brew. We watched part of the live Chelsea vs. Manchester United game - the whole pub cheered when United scored. Brian tells me that there is always a North/South rivalry in England. (Chelsea won 2-1 in the end).

One thing the pub owners here should do is clean up the toilets - they look like they have not been cleaned since PNE last won the League title (1899). Brian took the photo to the right outside on our way to the match.

We got to the ground just in time for the match. The ground was not full - 14,197 attended. The game was a real end-to-end contest with lots of chances for both teams to keep us entertained.

Ipswich scored first after eleven minutes through Miller. The PNE match vs Wolves last year had only one goal for Wolves in the 11th minute, so I was hoping for a change this year.

Chris Brown equalized for PNE in the 34th minute - wonderful, my first PNE goal celebration at Deepdale! We were entertained at half time by a wonderful red-coated brass band whose average age was at least 60+ years old. In the second half the excitement continued and PNE finally took the lead in the 79th minute through Neil Mellor - the photo to the left shows Brian celebrating this goal. Ipswich scored a late equaliser (Walters - 87th minute) - I think a 2-2 result was just about right. Enjoyable game - worth coming over for!

After the game Brian and I had a pint (me) and a coke (Brian) in the Victoria Bar near the train station. We dissected the game, plus of course some family chat.

I left Brian for the 18.50 train to Liverpool. I'll see Brian next on 20th June when Joe and I go over to Barrow for some golf.

I got a taxi from the train station to the airport - my taxi driver must have been the only one in Liverpool who didn't care much for football. The flight home was delayed by 30 mins, but I got home about 11.30. A long day, but enjoyable nonetheless.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tale of Two Brains - Comedian Mark Gungor

Kate sent me this short comedy video by Mark Gungor from YouTube. Gungor has a laugh comparing men's and women's brains. I wonder was Kate thinking of me when she watched it herself?

Men's brains ARE different from women's brains. I can remember who scored the winning goal in the 1977 FA Cup Final (Roger Osbourne of Ipswich Town, left foot shot into lower right hand corner of the net past Pat Jennings of Arsenal!), but I can't remember what I had for dinner last Tuesday. Why is this? Maybe we do have boxes as Gungor suggests - watch the video and enjoy!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ageing through Passports

I was tidying away my desk this morning and noticed that the family's passports were out of their usual spot. Our old passports were also out and I looked at my first one which was issued in July 1974 - this was for my first ever trip abroad to Saint-Étienne in France on an exchange with French boy (called Vincent Studer). My next passport was issued in August 1984 just before Roma and I went to Paris for our first ever trip away courtesy of my winning a competition on the Gerry Ryan Show on RTÉ Radio 2. My third passport was issued in June 1994 in time for my first business trip abroad to Provo, Utah. My current passport was issued in April 2004.

The most striking thing about looking at four passports issued ten years apart is of course the photographs - in each of above I am 14, 24, 34, and 44 years of age respectively. Time certainly hasn't done me any favours! I wonder what my next one (due in April 2014) will look like!

Another difference in the passports is that the first two were the old green hardback covered Irish style - the latter two are the modern purple EU style. Also different is that all entries in my first and second are hand-written (by someone in the passport office), while the next two are more security protected with plastic sealed photos and computer readable information.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Evening Press - 7th October, 1959

I came across a copy of the front page of the Evening Press some years ago in the Blackrock Market. A man had a stall selling real copies of newspaper front pages - he had the dates of papers that he had in stock. I was surprised to find he had a page from the Evening Press on the day I was born - 7th October, 1959.

I bought it for £10 - the original price was 2d (two old pence) which is less than one euro cent now. Unfortunately, I only got the front page - I would have liked to have got the whole paper. The Evening Press is no longer published.

As you can see, the main headline was about an air-ferry service to fly cars to Liverpool from Dublin! Also pictured is the lovely Princess Grace of Monaco with her daughter Caroline - both beautiful women. The late King Hussein of Jordan also features. Page 2 contains a lot of small ads for jobs - many for teenage "boys" and "girls" to work as servants and shop assistants. Some wages given are 20 or 30 shillings per week (about 1 euro).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

My Academic Publications

I am not a prolific publisher of academic papers. I managed three journal publications in the late 1980's based on sections of my PhD, and since I became a Lecturer in NCI I have managed a few more - mostly Conference papers. Below is a full list of my work that is published elsewhere. It ranges from formal academic journal papers to Conference papers and sections in books. I publish under the name of "E.F.M. O'Loughlin". Some of these are cited in other publications (I'll get to stating these in a separate post).

O'Loughlin, E.F.M. (2005).
A note on aggregation behaviour and mass mortality of the spider crab Maja squinado (Herbst) (Decapoda, Majidae) in shallow water on the north Co Wexford coast.
Irish Naturalist’s Journal, Issue 28 (2).

O'Loughlin, E.F.M. (1989).
Notes on the distribution of Calliostoma zizyphinum (L.) (Mollusca) on the shores and shallow waters of the Irish coast.
Bulletin of the Irish Biogeographical Society No 12.

O'Loughlin, E.F.M. & Aldrich, J.C (1987).
Morphological variation in the painted topshell Calliostoma zizyphinum (L.) (Prosobranchia:Trochidae), from inter-tidal rapids on the Irish coast.
Journal of Molluscan Studies, volume 53, pp267-272. Abstract.

O'Loughlin, E.F.M. & Aldrich, J.C (1987).
An analysis of shell shape variation in the painted topshell Calliostoma zizyphinum (L.) (Prosobranchia:Trochidae).
Journal of Molluscan Studies, volume 53, pp62-68. Abstract.

Book Chapters:
O’Loughlin, E.F.M. (2007).
Using Video-Sharing On-line Tools.
IN: 162 Tips and Tricks for Working with e-Learning Tools (Bill Brandon - Editor). p44-45. Published by The eLearning Guild. eBook.

Conference Papers:
O’Loughlin, E.F.M. & Osterlind, S.J. (2007).
A Study of Blended Assessment Techniques in On-line Testing
AISHE 2007 (Full paper).

O’Loughlin, E.F.M. & Kelly D. (2006).
An evaluation of the effectiveness of Teaching Vignettes as part of a staff development programme in the School of Computing at the National College of Ireland.
AISHE 2006. (PDF).

O’Loughlin, E.F.M. (2006).
Evaluation and Assessment of Blogs and Discussion Boards in On-line Education.
EdTech 2006 (Research Track).

O’Loughlin, E.F.M. and Pathak, P. (2005).
The Irish e-Learning industry – growth or decline?
EdTech 2005. (PDF).

Cavanagh, J. and O’Loughlin, E.F.M. (2005)
e-Learning in Higher Education in Ireland: Hype or reality?
4th Annual IIUG Conference

Rovcanin, L & O’Loughlin, E.F.M. (2004).
Creating and Managing Learning Objects with Common Office Tools.
EdTech 2004. (PDF).

Kelly, D., Weibelzal, S., O’Loughlin, E.F.M., Arnedillo-Sánchez, I., Pathak, P., and Gledhill, V. (2005).
e-Learning Research & Development - Roadmap for Ireland.
National College of Ireland. (PDF)

O'Loughlin, E.F.M. (2005)
An investigation into the introduction of a Learning Content Management System (LCMS) to manage and deliver courses at National College of Ireland.
National College of Ireland. (PDF).

O’Loughlin, E.F.M. and Osterlind, S.J. (2007).
Blended Assessment in Small to Medium-sized Classes.
Learning Solutions, The e-Learning Guild. (Abstract)

PhD Thesis:
O’Loughlin, E.F.M. (1988).
On shell shape variation in the painted topshell Calliostoma zizyphinum (L.).
University of Dublin.

Honorable Mentions:
O'Loughlin, E.F.M. (2008)
Happy Birthday , Learning TRENDS. IN: Learning TRENDS 500th Edition. (p 24). (PDF)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Life begins at 40 for Society - News, frontpage - Wicklowpeople.ie

Mum and Dad were in The Wicklow People newspaper again this week as the paper marked the 40th Anniversary of the Carnew Musical Society. Both Mum and Dad are mentioned in the article - the link to the on-line version is:

Roma and I went down to Shankill today to buy the paper and then we adjourned to the local Lounge for a pint. While everybody else in the pub was watching Manchester United vs. Arsenal (2-1) we had a nice jar while looking through the paper looking for pictures of Mum and Dad - we couldn't find them. Mum had told me that they were pictured in it, the on-line version had an article about them, but the print version I had did not mention them at all. I suspect that there are different versions of the paper depending on in which part of the County you buy it.

They are also mentioned in the Gorey Guardian:

Dinner Out in Daniel's Restaurant - Glasthule

Roma an I went out to dinner on Friday evening to Daniel's Restaurant in Glasthule near Dún Laoghaire. I had never been there before, though Roma had been a few years ago with some friends.

The restaurant is upstairs and is very old fashioned - it really looked like a country B&B dining room that hadn't been painted or decorated in some time. I discovered today that it is actually part of a B&B. However, we had an excellent meal. I started with some really hot seafood chowder - I've had better, but this was good. For main course I had some delicious monkfisk in a white wine/cream sauce with dill - excellent! Roma had a tasty steak in an egg batter. The chef - Daniel Harkin, came out to explain how he would cook it - a nice touch. The other customers seemed to be "regulars" - the waitress seemed to know many of them.

Overall, an very enjoyable meal - I'll certainly revisit.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unpublished Letter to The Irish Times - "Learn some English"

This is another letter written on January 8th , 2008 to The Irish Times that was also not published:


Arriving at the impressive new Pier D in Dublin Airport from Luton on 5th January last, I was not impressed by the welcome a fellow passenger got. While queueing at Passport Control the Eastern European passenger in front of me was asked which airport she had come from - she replied that she didn't understand English. She was then told that she "should learn some English" and was let through. What ever happened to our Ireland of the 1,000 welcomes?

Yours etc,

Eugene F.M. O'Loughlin,
Co. Dublin.

One good thing about this blog is that I am both the Author and the Editor and I can publish what I like, even if The Irish Times doesn't!

Unpublished Letter to The Irish Times - "Road behaviour"

As mentioned in my last post - I have had two of four letters written to the Editor of The Irish Times published. Here's one of the unpublished letters written on 21st July, 2007:


I read with interest Alison Healy's article (July 21st) reporting on a reduction in road injuries and deaths in the past year. Having decided this year to holiday in the West of Ireland for the first time in seven years I could see for myself the evidence of greatly improved road behaviour as I traversed the country. There seemed to me to be less speeding and less careless driving by those whom I shared the road with - long may this continue.

However, it was not completely incident free. Of the five incidences of dangerous driving that I saw over two weeks, four were caused by Northern Ireland registered cars and one by a UK registered car. This is still one aspect of driving behaviour on our roads that has not changed much in seven years. Perhaps further reductions in injuries and deaths will be reported if the apparent immunity with which these motorists drive is removed.

Yours, etc,

Dr. Eugene F.M. O'Loughlin,
2 Richmond,
Co. Dublin

Monday, April 07, 2008

My Letter to the Editor of "The Irish Times" - 24th March, 2008

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to the Editor of The Irish Times after reading previously a letter from another reader (Brenda Morgan on 20th March). This letter pointed out that nearly a year after the General Election that there are still plastic ties scattered on our lamp posts despite the fact that the posters that they were used to tie up had been removed. There are heavy fines for political parties if they do not remove election posters.

This prompted me to respond and suggest colour coded plastic ties for each party. To my surprise the letter was published in the 24th March, 2008 edition! This is my second published letter (out of four written). On the previous occasion, I got a phone call from the Irish Times editor's office to confirm that I had written the letter and that it would soon be published. Not this time - they didn't tell me it would be published.

I discovered that the letter was published completely by accident. I didn't see it on the 24th March edition, and (it seems) nobody else did either! No one has mentioned this to me - how disappointing! I found it by accident as I Googled myself and saw the link way down my vanity search results. The Irish Times is a subscription newspaper on-line, so unless you have a subscription - you won't be able to see it.

Interestingly, the Editor made some minor changes - here's the text of my original letter, under the title of "Shades of Green", sent to the Editor by email:


Brenda Morgan rightly points out in her letter (20th March, 2008) that it is a disgrace that almost a year after the general election that our constituencies are still littered with plastic ties left behind when election posters are removed. Thanks to the threat of substantial fines, political parties are now fairly good at removing the posters. Perhaps it is time to introduce a colour scheme for the poster ties so that those responsible could be fined? Parties could register their own colours - red for Labour, blue for Fine Gael, white for the PDs, but who would get green ties? The Greens, Fianna Fail, and Sinn Féin would all want green ties. Different shades to determine who is the greenest of them all?

Yours etc,

Eugene F.M. O'Loughlin,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Best Pies in Furness

Brian is enjoying his success on winning the Best Pie in Furness competition on Abbey FM. Here he is posing with some of his staff outside one his bakery shops in Barrow-in-Furness holding the Golden Pie Award. Don't the other pies look delicious? And I can say with personal experience that they taste delicious too!

Brian was also photographed in the North-West Evening Mail. I don't have a copy of the photo, but it is available to view (and buy) by clicking here.

Brian is making the most of his success by advertising on Abbey FM - click the "play" button on the toolbar below to hear his ad - makes your mouth water!