Monday, 26 March 2007

Nurses from across the globe are to share their experiences of clinical care and research at an international conference, organised by the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway on Monday, 2nd April 2007. The Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice conference will focus on three main themes; practice innovation, educational innovation and care of older people and will feature over 70 presentations from international speakers including Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Dr Kim Manley and Mr Christy Kennelly, who will all deliver key note addresses. Professor Kathy Murphy, Head of the Department of Nursing and Midwifery Studies at NUI Galway says: "This is the first international nursing conference at NUI Galway and we're delighted to have so many internationally renowned speakers. This conference provides an exciting and excellent forum for practitioners and researchers to meet and debate best practice issues." Professor Rafferty, Dean of the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London will open the conference. A qualified nurse with a background in social science, clinical research and history, Prof. Rafferty has had a longstanding fascination with nursing knowledge, its origins, status and leadership within the profession. She is the author of the internationally acclaimed book, The Politics of Nursing Knowledge, published in 1996. "I'm really pleased to be speaking at this international conference because it focuses on really important practice issues including care of older people. I am passionate about good care and the foundations on which it's built. This conference will challenge us all to think about responsibility for improving care," says Prof. Rafferty. Dr Kim Manley, Head of RCN Practice Development, has an international reputation for the development of effective workplace cultures in healthcare. Such cultures put the patient at the centre, are clinically effective, continually modernizing and operate on shared governance principles. Core components of her work include helping healthcare organizations and clinical teams to develop, implement and evaluate practice development strategies. In 2000, Dr Manley was awarded the CBE for quality patient services arising from her work on operationalising the consultant nurse role over a decade. The conference, which will provide a forum for debate around issues concerning the promotion of excellence in practice, will be closed by renowned author and broadcaster Mr Christy Kennelly who has a particular interest in palliative care and will focus on ways of building and promoting excellence in practice. ENDS

Monday, 26 March 2007

Mr. Dermot O Connell, Ulster Bank, Eyre Square, Galway; Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway; Imelda Byrne, Access Officer, NUI Galway and Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, All-Ireland winning hurler with Cork Senior Hurling Team Monday, 26 March, 2007: Over 100 pupils from primary schools across Galway will be honoured by All-Ireland winning hurler Seán Óg Ó hAilpín at a special ceremony on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 for their participation in NUI Galway's 'Uni For You 2007' programme. The children will receive medals and certificates from the Cork star in recognition of their involvement in the three-year programme which promotes education, school attendance and personal development through sporting, cultural and academic activities on the University campus. 'Uni for You' is developed and delivered by NUI Galway's Access Office in partnership with Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla; Holy Trinity Girls School and St Michael's Boys School Mervue. Now in its seventh year, the programme is a homework and sport club which is run on campus in conjunction with Áras na Mac Léinn. The children are helped by undergraduate volunteers two hours a week in completing their homework and playing sports. Capoeria, the Brazilian dance craze was a big hit with the children along with the old reliables, rounders, uni-hockey, soccer and basketball. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will host the ceremony in the O'Flaherty Theatre at 7.00pm, where the winners of the 'Write a Book Review' Competition will be announced. The contest was organised as part of 'Uni For You 2007' to actively encourage reading and reflection among the school children. "NUI Galway sees the involvement of the ten, eleven and twelve year old participants in this project, together with their parents and teachers, as a positive action which, we hope, will focus their attention on future educational achievements and progression into higher education,' said Prof. Hurley. Explaining the significance of the programme for those involved, Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer said; "This collaborative programme between NUI Galway and three city primary schools aims to help students develop personally, encourage them in their studies and help them and their families and the wider community overcome any perceived barriers to University as an unwelcoming place." Easter and Summer camps facilitated by university staff volunteers have introduced the children to topics in science, engineering, languages and humanities subjects, which enable the children to get a feel for their subject choices in secondary school and encourage them to participate more actively in their own learning. New initiatives in 'Uni for You 2007' included a story telling course and performance where the children told stories they had created themselves in seanchaí style. The programmes' success includes the participation of parents with their children in the study skill and homework support workshops run by the Access Office. ENDS

Monday, 26 March 2007

HSE West and NUI Galway are this week bringing together a host of experts in environmental health for the country's first ever international conference on reducing environmental risks and protecting public health. The collaborative HSE West/NUI Galway three-day conference aims to highlight new thinking, new science and new horizons in protecting our shared environment and the health of current and future generations. There will be a particular emphasis on the role of research in informing health policy and in evaluating health intervention programmes. Speakers at the 'New Horizons in Environmental Health' conference include RTE ECO Eye presenter Duncan Stewart; Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Katharine Hammond, University of California, Berkeley; Dr. Diarmuid O'Donovan, Director of Public Health, HSE West and Dr. Martina Prendergast, Development Manager, Environmental Change Institute (ECI), NUI Galway. Over 100 Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) from Ireland and the UK have already registered for the conference, which opens on Wednesday, 28 March, in the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway and continues in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill on Thursday and Friday 29 & 30 March. Maurice Mulcahy, Principal Environmental Health Officer, HSE West, and the driving force behind the conference, says the potential benefits to public health of empowering EHOs to participate in research initiatives that assess exposures and risks associated with environmental factors, cannot be ignored. "This conference will give us a rich insight into the issues concerning international experts in the environmental health field and will provide a stepping point for new initiatives that will have a real impact on reducing the varied risks that we encounter in our daily lives," says Mr Mulcahy. A prominent theme of the conference will be the role of environmental research in informing health policy and in evaluating health intervention strategies. Dr Martina Prendergast, Development Manager of the ECI, and one of the principal organisers of the conference, says she hopes the conference will emphasise the importance of developing a research culture within the environmental health field. "The role of our environment and the way people's health is influenced by the quality of that environment is something on which we should all place great significance. We can only tackle global threats such as climate change, new and emerging diseases, loss of biodiversity and security of energy supply by developing a fundamental understanding of key processes which are causing our environment to change," she says. It is hoped that the conference will help towards bridging the gap between academic research and the development of relevant research policy in the area of environmental health, through the successful collaboration and cooperation between the academic community, environmental health practitioners and policy makers. Ends Further Information: Mary Garvin, Communications Department, HSE West; Tel: 091 – 775750; Mob: 087 – 9310000 Email: mary.garvin@mailn.hse.ie

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Issues raised by the collection and storage of umbilical cord stem cells for future use, will be discussed at a free public talk organised by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), NUI Galway, Wednesday, 28 March at the Menlo Park Hotel at 7.30pm. Stem cell research is one of the most promising areas in medical research and there is early scientific evidence that stem cell therapy could provide treatments for a range of currently incurable diseases. One of the sources of adult stem cells is umbilical cord blood, and the current clinical use of cord blood stem cells is restricted to diseases of the blood and immune system, which are relatively rare. The likelihood that a child will require his or her own stem cells is extremely small (one in several thousand) and this has led some clinicians to advise that mothers should be discouraged from banking the cord blood. However others argue that it is likely that cord blood will become a valuable resource as further clinical use of stem cells develops. "Stem cell technology offers many opportunities for future therapy, but there are obstacles yet to be overcome" according to Prof. Frank Barry, REMEDI Scientific Director, and leading stem cell scientist. "This makes the area of cord blood banking somewhat complex as it is difficult to predict whether these cord blood stem cells will be of significant clinical importance in the future. However it is likely that cord blood stem cells will be an invaluable resource, as they are plentiful and more easily obtained than any other source of adult stem cells, and do not raise any ethical issues associated with embryonic stem cells." Professor Barry will outline the scientific evidence both for and against cord blood collection, as one of the speakers at the public talk. Other speakers will include: Catherina McCauley, a parent who had to overcome resistance in Ireland to be allowed to collect and store her child's cord blood in an Irish hospital; Dr. Deirdre Madden, a Senior Lecturer in Law at UCC who will discuss the legal issues in relation to cord blood banking; and, Prof. John Morrison, Head of Dept of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at NUI Galway and Clinical Director of the Women's and Children's Directorate at UCHG, will focus on the obstetric and labour ward aspects of umbilical cord stem cell collection. Ends

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Tuesday 20th March 2007: A unique agreement that will enable the physical performance of young footballers to be analysed to improve training methods has been signed by the Faculty of Medicine at NUI Galway and Salthill Devon Football Club. Medical and Informatics students at the University are involved in the Clinical Science Institute (CSI) Galway Human Performance Registry project which is being supported by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway. The medical students will retrieve, store and analyse the information and the informatics students, in conjunction with students at Hanze University, Groningen, in the Netherlands, will construct a website that can give insight into the current physical fitness of the footballers. The students will also research how to improve physical performance based on the data collected on the younger footballers. Qualified supervisors who have a sports science background will use tools such as the Interval Shuttle Run Test, the Shuttle Sprint and Dribble Test and the Vertical Jump and muscle force test to assess sports specific human performance/physical fitness. These tests have been used in Dutch premier league soccer and hockey and a spin off is expected to be developed for Gaelic football, hurling and rugby. Dr Thomas Kropmans, Department of Medical Informatics and Medical Education at NUI Galway said the Registry could be developed further to analyse secondary school children for obesity and would link up with other medical research such as that being conducted into diabetes and cardio-pulmonary rehabilitation. "The outcome of these tests will be used to improve current training methods for teams and/or individuals. The assessment will take place 2 -3 times per season over a two year period," he said. Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer, Service Learning, at CKI praised the project for its mutual benefit to the students and sportspeople involved. "The CSI Galway Human Performance Registry is a win-win project for both the University and the community. First year medical students win by retrieving, storing and analyzing biological variation of human data, while the contributing sports clubs win by improving current training methods," she said. ENDS

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A special Certificate Awards Ceremony will mark the achievements of 500 volunteer students at NUI Galway on Monday 26th March, 2006. NUI Galway Dean of Arts, Professor Kevin Barry will present the students with certificates congratulating each of them for their time spent volunteering within NUI Galway, the Galway community, and with national and international non-governmental organisations through the ALIVE programme at the University. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make to Galway by volunteering. To date over 1000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. The ALIVE programme has facilitated students who have volunteered on campus within societies, clubs and student mentoring, and off campus with the Gaf Youth Café, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland to name a few. Des Mulligan of the Alzheimer Society of Ireland paid tribute to those students who had volunteered their time and energy to the benefit of the charity. "Our participation in the ALIVE Programme has been inspirational for us as an organisation because of the innovative and creative way in which students approached the whole concept of volunteering. It has been a real learning experience for us and also encouraging seeing the genuine enthusiasm and community spirit alive in young people," he said. Katie Stack, ALIVE Student Volunteer with the Galway Association, "Volunteering puts all the college work in perspective, it is important to know there is more to life. I hope to continue volunteering next year as we are building friendships, not just 'a volunteer and service user' relationship. There is an impact for the service user but also for the volunteers, we love it." Students have volunteered in a variety of organisations and organised events throughout the year. Last month students pushed a bed from Ennis to Galway to raise funds and awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Previously students organised a 'teddy bear hospital' which brought in over 360 primary school children with their teddies in an effort to reduce children's anxieties about going to the doctor. "The ALIVE Certificate Awards Ceremony is an important opportunity to recognise students for their volunteering, instilling in them a sense civic responsibility," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator for the ALIVE programme at NUI Galway. ENDS For further information please contact Lorraine Tansey, 091 495346, or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie

Friday, 16 March 2007

One of the foremost scholars in the area of European constitutionalism, Professor Neil Walker of the European University Institute, (EUI) in Florence is to deliver the Annual Distinguished Lecture at the Faculty of Law, NUI Galway on Friday, 23rd March 2007. The event, which is in its third year, will be held in Lecture Theatre MY001, Aras Moyola Building at 7.00pm. The theme of the lecture, Europe at Fifty: A Mid-Life Crisis, was chosen to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The EUI is Europe's leading postgraduate centre for studies in law and the social sciences. Prof. Walker was the first holder of the position of Dean of the EUI between 2003 and 2005 and this year, alongside his EUI Chair, he holds the position of Honorary Tercentenary Professor of Law at the University of Edinburgh as a prelude to his full-time return to Edinburgh next year where he will take up the position of Regius Professor of Public Law. Announcing the event the Dean of Law, Donncha O'Connell, said: "The current status of the EU Constitutional Treaty is a matter of acute political concern in all of the European Member States. We are privileged to have someone of the stature of Professor Walker to speak on this topic and we in the Faculty of Law hope that his lecture will contribute significantly to the Irish debate on this topic". Dr Niamh Nic Shuibhne, Reader in EC Law at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh will deliver a response to the lecture. Dr Nic Shuibhne is an alumna of NUI Galway and also taught in the Faculty of Law for a period of time. The event will be chaired by Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness, President of the Law Reform Commission and Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law, NUI Galway. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the foyer of the Moyola Building at which it will be possible to meet with the speakers. For further information on the event please contact: (091) 492389 or 492752. -ENDS-

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Beidh OÉ Gaillimh agus na Duaiseanna Alumni faoi chaibidil ar an gclár Ardán, clár teilifíse Gaeilge de chuid TG4 á chur i láthair ag Páidí Ó Lionáird. Beidh Ardán á chraoladh an 18 Márta 2007 ag 8.30 i.n. Bhí foireann léiriúcháin de chuid RTÉ i láthair ag taifeadadh an ochtú Mórfhéasta bliantúil de chuid OÉ Gaillimh in Óstán an Radisson SAS ar an 3 Márta 2007, áit ar bronnadh na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni. Seo a leanas na daoine ar bronnadh duaiseanna orthu ar an oíche agus a bheidh ag caint ar Ardán; An Dr Pat Gullane, Duais Medtronic don Chúram Sláinte agus an Eolaíocht Mhíochaine; An Dr Reg Shaw, Duais Seavite don Eolaíocht Dúlra; Irial Finan, Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil; Seán O'Rourke, Duais AIB don Litríocht, don Chumarsáid agus do na hEalaíona; Paddy agus Tom Coffey, Duais TBD don Innealtóireacht, an Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise agus an Mhatamaitic; Mairéad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge; agus Brian O'Donnell, Duais OÉ Gaillimh don Dlí, an tSeirbhís Phoiblí agus an Rialtas. Beidh aíonna ón gColáiste, iarscoláirí agus iarbhuaiteoirí duaiseanna Alumni ag glacadh páirte san imeacht speisialta seo. Ba í an láithreoir ó RTÉ Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh a bhí i mbun an ócáid a stiúradh ar an oíche agus a bheidh ina haoi ar an gclár freisin. I measc na n-aíonna mór le rá a d fhreastail ar an Mórfhéasta bliantúil bhí an tUasal Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., An tUasal Enda Kenny T.D., An tUasal Frank Fahy T.D., an tUasal Michael D. Higgins T.D. agus Ollamh Cúnta le Cearta Daonna in OÉ Gaillimh, craoltóir RTÉ Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Iománaí ar Fhoireann Shinsearach na Gaillimhe, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, An Seanadóir Feargal Quinn ó Superquinn agus Ollamh Cúnta le Margaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Gary Cullen, iar-Phríomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Aer Lingus agus Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin reatha Aer Arann. -CRÍOCH- Tuilleadh Eolais; Michelle Ní Chróinín, An Oifig Preasa, 091-493542 nó R-phost: michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The television programme Ardán, presented by Páidí Ó Lionáird, and broadcast weekly on TG4, will focus on NUI Galway and the Alumni Awards Ceremony. The show will broadcast on Sunday, 18 March, 2007 at 8.30pm. NUI Galway's eighth annual Gala Banquet, took place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on 3rd March and featured the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards; the event was filmed by the RTÉ crew and directed by John Keogh. The alumni award winners who will feature on the special Ardán broadcast include: Dr Pat Gullane, Medtronic Vascular Award for Health Care and Medical Science; Dr Reg Shaw, Seavite Award for Natural Science; Irial Finan, Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce; Seán O Rourke, AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts; Paddy and Tom Coffey, TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics; Máiréad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge; and Brian O Donnell, NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government. NUI Galway staff as well as graduates and former Alumni Award recipients will also feature in this special event. Also featuring on the show will be RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, MC for the Alumni Award ceremony. Distinguished guests also in attendance at the Award ceremony included Éamon Ó Cuiv T.D., Mr Enda Kenny T.D., Mr Frank Fahy T.D., Michael D. Higgins T.D. and Adjunct Professor of Human Rights at NUI Galway, RTÉ broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Galway Senior Hurler, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, Senator Feargal Quinn of Superquinn and also Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway and Gary Cullen, former CEO of Aer Lingus and current CEO of Aer Arann. -ENDS- Contact: Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press & Information Officer, NUI Galway 091-493361 or michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie

Friday, 9 March 2007

Graduates of the Diploma in Local Development Practice and the Foundation Diploma in Training and Education, have formally completed courses delivered by NUI Galway in the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. This is the first occasion on which academic awards of National University of Ireland, Galway were presented in the Balkans region. When speaking to the graduates in Kosovo, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway, said: "The Diploma in Local Development Practice has unique and important objectives of meeting social and economic needs of individuals and communities, in Ireland and abroad. Community and Local Development has been a significant component of our Adult and Continuing Education programme at NUI Galway since its foundation in 1950. Over recent years, as our programmes evolved and developed, we have been able to integrate our Local and Community Development training with a range of related courses such as Youth Work, Enterprise Development, Peace-building and, in your course in Kosovo, with Microfinance". The University has collaborated with the International Centre for Community and Enterprise Development (ICCED) and Kosovo Enterprise Programme (KEP) in the delivery of these educational initiatives. The courses were delivered with the support of the Irish Government's Overseas Aid programme which provided financial aid to support this project through its Civil Society programme funding. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh added: "We believe that the enhancement of local development, which can improve the economic status and quality of life of individuals and local communities, must remain a central goal of our adult education programmes. Through education and training, we must strive to enhance local responsiveness in order to address issues such as poverty, social exclusion and economic competitiveness which currently challenge all of us across Europe". The Adult and Continuing Education Office at NUI Galway has nurtured a series of interventions, in the form of both specialist academic programmes and innovative social strategies, designed to bring the benefits of University education to rural communities and individuals who might otherwise have not an opportunity to develop their potential. In recent years, courses have been made available in locations in the Baltic countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and in South Africa, Sri Lanka and most recently in Kosovo. The European Union's TEMPUS Programme will fund the work between NUI Galway and the University of Prishtina, Kosovo in the development and delivery of a new Masters degree in Civil Society and Local Development in autumn 2007. - Ends -

Thursday, 8 March 2007

National University of Ireland Galway have announced the recipients of the 2007 Sports Awards. The awards will be presented by guest of honour, Mr. Seán Ó Ceallaigh, newly appointed Executive Director of the Irish Institute of Sport. The award ceremony will take place tonight, Thursday, 8 March in the Ardilaun House Hotel, Galway at 8pm. Among the award winners announced is Paul Hession, who will receive the Special Achievement Award 2007. Paul, from Athenry, is a current medical student and holds both silver and bronze medals in the 200m at the World Student Games in Turkey and Turkey in 2003 & 2005, respectively. He was also a semi-finalist in the World Athletic Championships in Helsinki in 2005. This season he has taken the athletics world by storm with world class performances in the 60m dash. Paul also made history recently when he became the first Irishman ever to qualify for a flat sprint final in a major championship, setting a new Irish record at the European Indoor Championships in Birmingham. This year's Sports Awards recipients are: Archery: Niamh Breathnach, Corr na Mona, Co. Galway. Athletics: Ann Loughnane, Loughrea, Co. Galway. Boxing: Daniel Ayiotis, Dublin. Camogie: Claire McMahon, Co. Clare. Hurling: Darragh Egan, Kildangan, Co. Tipperary. Ladies Gaelic Football: Una Carroll, Galway. Ladies Soccer: Meabh de Burca, Galway. Ladies Rugby: Aoife Maher, Loughrea, Co. Galway. Men's Gaelic Football: David Conway, Laois. Men's Rugby: John Mackey, Tipperary. Men's Soccer: Robert Gaynor, Roscommon. Rowing: James Wall and Paul Murray, Galway. Surfing: Eoin McCarthy Deering, Dublin. Team Award: Sailing – Cathal Clarke, Paul Sexton, Paul Ruigrok, Rob McFeely, Cillian Devlin, Maguerite Leech, Lauren Fisher and Nick Quigley. Team Award: Senior Men's Rowing squad – Seán Carolan, Seán Heaney, Dave Mannion, Danny O'Dowd, Phillip O'Connell, Breffney Morgan, Evin Donnelly, John Forde, Johnny Naughton, Paul Giblin, Ruadhán Cooke (cox). Team Award: Ladies Rowing – Women's Novice Squad – Marika Upton, Mary Clare Sheridan, Anne Marie Giblin, Mary Guiney, Niamh Rogan, Dee Nally, Muireann Egan, Julia Bulla, Peig Costello. Announcing the awardees, Tony Regan, Sports and Recreation Officer, NUI Galway said: "Each year, NUI Galway recognises outstanding contribution of student athletes across many diverse sporting disciplines for their achievements and their potential for future development in sport. These outstanding athletes serve as an inspiration and we are both proud and honoured to have them as current students of NUI Galway. We are particularly proud at the moment with the World Class performances of our Rowers and Athletes in the International Arena and it is possible that James Wall, Paul Murray, Cormac Folan & Alan Martin with Athletes Paul Hession & Olive Loughnane and Aideen N Challaráin (Kayak) will be representing Ireland at the Beijing Olympics in 2008". Mr. Regan went on to say: "the development and nurturing of potential talent of our elite athletes is crucial and these awards are in recognition of the student's sporting achievements to date". The NUI Galway Sports Awards are given out each year in recognition of the NUI Galway students who excelled in the world of sport during the previous academic year and are supported by Bank of Ireland University Branch. -ends- For further information please contact: Tony Regan, Sports and Recreation Officer, NUI Galway 086-2909762 or Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press Office, NUI Galway, Tel: 091 493361, michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Bhí an t-ochtú Mórfhéasta bliantúil de chuid OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl in Óstán an Radisson SAS Dé Sathairn, 3 Márta 2007, agus bronnadh na Duaiseanna Bliantúla Alumni mar aon le ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar an obair dheonach a dhéanann mic léinn, obair a bhí mar théama don mhórfhéasta i mbliana. Cheiliúir Mórfhéasta 2007 ALIVE (Tionscnamh Foghlama & Taithí ar Obair Dheonach), a chuireann ar chumas mac léinn clárú agus deiseanna obair dheonach a dhéanamh a thapú. Bunaíodh ALIVE in 2003 chun an obair dheonach a dhéanann mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh sa phobal a ghlacadh, a aithint agus a thacú. Cabhróidh ioncam a bailíodh ón Mórfhéasta seo le tionscnamh ALIVE freisin. Seo a leanas na daoine ar bronnadh duaiseanna orthu ar an oíche; An Dr Pat Gullane, Duais Medtronic don Chúram Sláinte agus an Eolaíocht Mhíochaine; An Dr Reg Shaw, Duais Seavite don Eolaíocht Dúlra; Irial Finan, Duais Bhanc na hÉireann don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil; Seán O'Rourke, Duais AIB don Litríocht, don Chumarsáid agus do na hEalaíona; Paddy agus Tom Coffey, Duais TBD don Innealtóireacht, an Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise agus an Mhatamaitic; Máiréad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge agus Brian O'Donnell, Duais OÉ Gaillimh don Dlí, an tSeirbhís Phoiblí agus an Rialtas. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag an Ollamh Ger Hurley, An Leas-Uachtarán um Thionscnaimh Straitéiseacha agus Gnóthaí Seachtracha agus Cathaoirleach ar Choiste Mórfhéasta OÉ Gaillimh; "Tugann na Duaiseanna Alumni aitheantas do Alumni OÉ Gaillimh atá ina gceannródaithe ina ngairmeacha féin agus a n-éiríonn go hiontach leo sna gníomhaíochtaí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta a mbíonn siad páirteach iontu. Céiliúrann na duaiseanna seo an tábhacht a bhaineann le hoideachas OÉ Gaillimh ar feadh an tsaoil agus tugann sé aitheantas d'fheabhas agus éachtaí daoine aonair i measc 60,000 céimí na hOllscoile atá scaipthe ar fud an domhain." San áireamh in imeacht na bliana seo freisin bhí clár gníomhaíochtaí ar siúl ar an gcampas. D'eagraigh na Dámha ar leithligh na gníomhaíochtaí seo do na buaiteoirí. Lena chois sin, d'fhreastail buaiteoirí na nduaiseanna ar lón bliantúil na mbuaiteoirí san Aula Maxima, OÉ Gaillimh. Ba í an láithreoir ó RTÉ Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh a bhí i mbun an ócáid a stiúradh ar an oíche agus i measc na n-aíonna mór le rá a d fhreastail ar an ócáid bhí an tUasal Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., An tUasal Enda Kenny T.D., An tUasal Frank Fahy T.D., an tUasal Michael D. Higgins T.D. agus Ollamh Cúnta le Cearta Daonna in OÉ Gaillimh, craoltóir RTÉ Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Iománaí ar Fhoireann Shinsearach na Gaillimhe, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, An Seanadóir Feargal Quinn ó Superquinn agus Ollamh Cúnta le Margaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh agus Gary Cullen, iar-Phríomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Aer Lingus agus Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin reatha Aer Arann. -CRÍOCH-

Monday, 5 March 2007

NUI Galway's eighth annual Gala Banquet, took place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday, 3rd March 2007, and featured the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards as well as celebrating student volunteerism as the banquet theme. The 2007 Gala Banquet celebrated the ALIVE (A Learning Initiative & Volunteering Experience) programme which enables students to register for volunteering opportunities. ALIVE was established in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering in the community. Income from the Gala Banquet itself will also contribute to this initiative. The award winners on the night were; Dr Pat Gullane, Medtronic Vascular Award for Health Care and Medical Science; Dr Reg Shaw, Seavite Award for Natural Science; Irial Finan, Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce; Seán O Rourke, AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts; Paddy and Tom Coffey, TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics; Máiréad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge and Brian O Donnell, NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, and Chair of the Gala Banquet Committee, NUI Galway said; "The Alumni Awards recognise the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 60,000 graduates worldwide." This year's event also included a programme of activities on campus when each of the award winners was hosted by their respective faculties. The award winners also attended the annual award winner's lunch in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. MC for the night was RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and distinguished guests in attendance included Éamon Ó Cuiv T.D., Mr Enda Kenny T.D., Mr Frank Fahy T.D., Michael D. Higgins T.D. and Adjunct Professor of Human Rights at NUI Galway, RTÉ broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Galway Senior Hurler, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, Senator Feargal Quinn of Superquinn and also Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway and Gary Cullen, former CEO of Aer Lingus and current CEO of Aer Arann. -ENDS- Contact: Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press & Information Officer, NUI Galway 091-493361 or michelle.nichroinin@nuigalway.ie

Monday, 5 March 2007

A new play by well-known writer Biddy Jenkinson will be performed by students of NUI Galway's Ard Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht, the country's first University course in Drama Studies through the medium of Irish, as their end of year production on 10 and 11 March 2007 in Amharclann Chois Fharraige, Indreabhán. Crosántacht is a retelling of the well-known legend, Diarmuid and Gráinne, and tells the story of the latter's return to Tara after 15 years. Leaving a war in her wake, Gráinne arrives home to find preparations under way for her younger sister's wedding to the heroic but aging Fionn Mac Cumhail. Sheer mayhem ensues with the court jesters providing much of the comic action. Former artistic director of the Taibhdhearc Darach Mac Con Iomaire is director of the play, which is a physical and boisterous production. Course director Nora Nic Con Ultaigh says she is excited about the performance. "This is the first year of the course and everyone, between cast and crew, is working very hard on the production. "The play gives students the opportunity of utilising the skills they have learnt during the course and it gives them the experience of working with a professional director." Crosántacht will be staged in Amharclann Chois Fharraige, Seanscoil Shailearna, Indreabhán on 10th and 11th March at 8.00pm. -ENDS- For bookings or for more information please call 091 593017.

Monday, 30 April 2007

The most famous Astro-photographer in the world, Professor David Malin of Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, is to deliver a unique lecture at the Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway on Monday, 14th May at 7pm. The event, which is a unique opportunity to meet the David Malin, will have the theme David Malin - The Man Who Colours Stars: Talks on Capturing Ancient Light. Announcing the event the Director of the Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway, Prof. Michael Redfern said: "This talk is a unique opportunity to meet one of the world's great astro-photographers. He was the person that made us all realise that the stars, galaxies and nebulae are not in black and white, but are in glorious colour. The wonderful images that we get nowadays, from Hubble, for example, owe everything to his pioneering work." Professor Malin said: "In this talk I will briefly review the history of astronomical imaging and the profound effect it has had on our knowledge of the universe. I will also discuss the art and science of colour photography in astronomy and how the vivid colours of clouds of gas and dust can be at the same time be real and yet invisible through the telescope. I will also describe ways in which the subtle colours of the brightest stars can be captured with simple photographic techniques." Photographs created by David Malin can be found in many popular astronomy books and magazines, and are displayed in museums and planetaria throughout the world. Previews of his work can be seen on www.davidmalin.com. This event is free and open to the public and as interest is expected to be high pre-booking is essential. Please email malintalk@gmail.com to book seats. The visit is part of a tour that starts in the Armagh Planetarium and will go on to Limerick University and to the Blackrock Planetarium & Science Centre, Cork. ENDS

Monday, 30 April 2007

The Department of Physics at NUI Galway is to offer a new full-time degree in Physics with Medical Physics. The four-year course, leading to an Honours BSc degree, starts in September 2007. There is currently a considerable demand for qualified medical physicists in Ireland and in response to this demand, the Department of Physics in conjunction with the Medical Physics Department at Galway University Hospitals, have introduced the new course. The programme will combine essential core physics modules, with medical physics, chemistry, mathematical science, biology and anatomy. Prof. Wil Van der Putten, Director of the Medical Physics & Bioengineering Centre, Galway University Hospital, welcomed the new course. "This is a new programme which merges a core programme in Physics with additional material in biology, anatomy, and various medical diagnostics and instrumentation. There is currently a considerable demand for qualified medical physicists in Ireland and the UK and this demand is expected to grow in the future." Graduates from the programme will be well qualified to proceed to professional medical physics training at Masters Degree level. There are also exciting career opportunities in the medical device and health care industry* and in the health and safety sector. Prof. Tom Glynn, Head of the Physics Department, NUI Galway, said: "Graduates of this course will receive an education in physics, instrumentation, and computational techniques - with a strong emphasis on the medical applications. They will acquire useful skills such as, problem solving, data handling, critical reasoning, and computing, all of which are essential elements in their careers. As well as pursuing a further career in medical physics, graduates will also have employment options in research, industry, teaching, energy and environment and in many other areas" Prof. Van der Putten added: "The degree will provide comprehensive training in Physics, as many graduates, without the basic Physics training, are currently seeking to build a career in Medical Physics but the lack of a fundamental grounding in Physics is preventing them from achieving accredited status." Graduates from this programme can seek employment in the wide range of careers open to regular physics graduates but will also have a strong foundation in medical physics and will be well qualified to proceed to professional medical physics training at Masters Degree level. The degree course is listed on the CAO website as GY316 and is open for entry in 2007 through the CAO process, using the change of mind option. There is a link to the course brochure on the CAO website. ENDS

Monday, 30 April 2007

The Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, has received recognition from the Department of Education and Science, as an acceptable entry requirement for primary teaching postgraduate courses in the training colleges. Students who possess the Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge will also be allowed entry to second year Irish on the BA in Scoil na Gaeilge, NUI Galway. This diploma gives the student an extra qualification whilst studying for his/her degree in another faculty or subjects. "This is an excellent opportunity for those who would like a degree in Irish or a postgraduate qualification in primary school teaching" according to Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, Director of Oifig na Gaeilge Labhartha, NUI Galway, Galway. She went on to say "To date, more than two thousand people have completed the Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge and it is in more demand now than ever before". The Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge is a two year part-time course. This year, applicants will be offered a choice of three levels in the Diploma, based on levels C1, B2 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. Nuala Uí Aimhirgín said "We have been offering staff and students of NUI Galway and the general community this course to afford them the opportunity to improve their spoken and written ability in the Irish language. The course has been designed to give students good communication and written skills in the Irish language". Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is a national institute of NUI Galway dedicated to pioneering third level education through the medium of Irish. As well as courses on campus, the institue has developed three external centres in the Gaeltacht; two of those are in Galway (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and the third is in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). Applications are currently being accepted for the course. For more information, contact Mary Ní Niadh, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 495248 or email mary.niniadh@oegaillimh.ie ENDS

Monday, 30 April 2007

Tá an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh aitheanta ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta mar cháilíocht inghlactha iontrála don Iarchéim i mBunmhúinteoireacht sna Coláistí Oiliúna. Ag cur leis sin, tá cead isteach sa dara bliain Gaeilge de chuid an chúrsa BA, Scoil na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ag an mac léinn a bhfuil an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge bainte amach acu. Tugann an dioplóma seo cáilíocht bhreise don mhac léinn Ollscoile fad is atá sé/sí ag déanamh na céime i ndámh nó in ábhair eile. "Is deis iontach é seo do dhaoine atá ag iarraidh céim sa Ghaeilge nó Iarchéim i mBunmhúinteoireacht a bhaint amach" a deir Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, Riarthóir Oifig na Gaeilge Labhartha, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Dúirt sí freisin "Go dtí seo, tá an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge bainte amach ag os cionn dhá mhíle duine agus tá éileamh níos mó anois ná riamh air". Cúrsaí dhá bhliain páirtaimseartha atá i gceist leis an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge. I mbliana, beidh trí leibhéal dioplóma á thairiscint d'iarrthóirí, bunaithe ar leibhéal C1, B2 agus A2 de Fhráma Tagartha Coiteann an Chomhchreata Eorpaigh. Dúirt Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, "Táimid ag cur na gcúrsaí seo ar fáil do mhic léinn agus do bhaill foirne OÉ Gaillimh agus don phobal i gcoitinne le go mbeadh deis acu cur lena gcumas i labhairt agus scríobh na Gaeilge. Is é aidhm na gcúrsaí scileanna maithe cumarsáide agus scríofa sa Ghaeilge a thabhairt d'iarrthóirí". Is Institiúid Náisiúnta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gcúrsaí ar an gcampas, déanfaidh an institiúid forbairt ar thrí ionad sheachtracha sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Táthar ag glacadh le hiarratais do na cúrsaí seo anois. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil, cuir glaoch ar Mary Ní Niadh, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ag 091 495248 nó seol ríomhphost chuig mary.niniadh@oegaillimh.ie Críoch

Friday, 27 April 2007

A senior academic from the Madras Institute of Development Studies in India will deliver a public seminar addressing international development issues on Wednesday, 2 May at 5pm. Professor Ananta Kumar Giri's presentation will be called 'Reflections and Mobilisations: Development as Global Responsibility' and will take place in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre at NUI Galway. Professor Giri will draw on his theoretical knowledge and practical experience of international development. He has carried out fieldwork on global justice movements such as Attac in Europe which fights for the implementation of Tobin tax. Professor Giri has also extensively researched Habitat for Humanity, a project where people from materially affluent countries build houses with families in low-income countries. According to Professor Giri, "When we talk of development we are primarily wedded to the world of development interventions. In this world, international donor agencies play a determinant role, sometimes in "partnership" with states and local groups. However, there is unease with such an interventionist conceptualisation and realisation of development which leads its critics to label it as a new form of imperial domination". Professor Giri s recent work on global responsibility has seen him call for a greater merging of the disciplines of philosophy and anthropology. His interest in practical spirituality has also brought him face to face with the challenge of inter-religious dialogue or lack thereof, and he has been studying the recent upsurge of Hindu-Christian conflicts in India in a comparative global perspective. Dr. Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of the Centre for Learning and Excellence at NUI Galway and leader of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative comments, "In NUI Galway, there has been a considerable amount of research work which focuses on aspects of civil society, social needs and community development. We are delighted to have Professor Giri here to share his research and knowledge in this area." The event is being jointly hosted by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Development Education and Research Network (DERN). To reserve a place please contact Mary Bernard at 091 493823 or by e-mail mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Leitrim Co. Council, in partnership with National University of Ireland Galway, have announced that an International Seminar will be inaugurated in Co. Leitrim during 26 to 29 July, 2007, to commemorate the work and literary achievements of John McGahern. The Seminar will provide the launching pad for a major International Summer School on one of Ireland's best known and respected modern writers, which will commence in Leitrim during summer 2008. John McGahern, who spent his early years in South Leitrim and North Roscommon, lived most of his working life near Fenagh in Leitrim where he combined his literary commitments with an enduring love of farming and rural life. Since his death in March 2006, much has been written and remembered about his literary achievements. Most recently, he was posthumously honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by his colleagues and peers at the Irish Books Awards, 2007. Speaking at the announcement, Sinéad Guckian, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, spoke of meeting him when Leitrim County Council commissioned a portrait of the writer in 2002: "John was a world class writer, witty and good humoured. I was fortunate to have met him and I know that he was held in the highest esteem by the members of our Council as well as by all the people of Leitrim. I am delighted with the plans to celebrate his work". Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire welcomed the project and particularly the involvement of NUI Galway; "The aim of this project is to bring people closer to the work of John McGahern. The decision of NUI Galway to commit to this partnership with Leitrim County Council enables us to continue the dialogue between the place in which John McGahern lived and the university with which he shared his life's work." John McGahern had a long association with University College Galway, now National University of Ireland, Galway. For over thirty years he contributed to courses at the University, including, up to 2005, a major annual workshop at the University's International Summer School. He directed the National Writers' Workshop in Galway in 1979 and 1989. His extensive archive is now held at the James Hardiman Library of NUI Galway. Speaking at the announcement of the International Seminar, the President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said "NUI Galway is very pleased to be associated with this important literary project in Co. Leitrim which recognises and honours one of Ireland's finest writers". Contributors to the International Seminar will include eminent writers, critics and academics as well as local writers. The keynote address - John McGahern: The Novel and the Story - will be delivered by Prof. Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin. Other speakers will include Dr. James White and Dr. Eamon Maher. The seminar will be coordinated by Dr. John Kenny, Department of English, NUI Galway. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. ENDS

Monday, 23 April 2007

A public lecture addressing the topic An Energy Policy for Ireland by Prof. John Simmie is to be given in the Roundstone Community Hall, County Galway, on Friday, 27 April at 7pm. Professor Simmie will try to square the demands of our economy and our commitments to the Kyoto Agreement. The lecture is organised as part of the Unfolding Ideas series in association with NUI Galway. Professor Simmie, a regular contributor to programmes such as the Last Word with Matt Cooper, the Six One News, Eamonn Dunphy and Pat Kenny Live, has also contributed to the print media on climate change, incineration and the Corrib gas line. He holds controversial views on global warming and climate change insofar as it applies to Ireland. Professor Simmie is Director Emeritus of the Combustion Chemistry Centre in NUI Galway, the only such research body in this country, and one of the very few of its type in the world. NUI Galway is also a centre of Bio-Energy Research. Unfolding Ideas is a Colloquium Series launched by NUI Galway to provide a forum for scholars, educators and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops. The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. ENDS

Monday, 23 April 2007

Researchers at the Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway have made an important discovery regarding brown dwarfs which has revealed that these "failed stars" can possess powerful magnetic fields and emit lighthouse beams of radio waves thousands of times brighter than any detected from the Sun. The team of Gregg Hallinan, Stephen Bourke and Caoilfhionn Lane; scientists based at the Armagh Observatory; and US researchers in New Mexico and Arizona, has discovered that the brown dwarfs are behaving like pulsars, one of the most exotic types of object in our Universe. "Brown dwarfs tend to be seen as a bit boring – the cinders of the galaxy. Our research shows that these objects can be fascinating and dynamic systems, and may be the key to unlocking this long-standing mystery of how pulsars produce radio emissions," said Mr Hallinan who presented his findings at a recent meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in Preston, UK. Since the discovery of pulsars 40 years ago, astronomers have been trying to understand how the rotating neutron stars produce their flashing radio signals. Although there have been many attempts to describe how they produce the extremely bright radio emissions, the vast magnetic field strengths of pulsars and the relativistic speeds involved make it extremely difficult to model. The researchers have found that brown dwarfs are now the second class of stellar object observed to produce this kind of powerful, amplified (coherent) radio signal at a persistent level. The emissions from the brown dwarfs appear to be very similar to those observed from pulsars, but the whole system is on a much slower and smaller scale, so it is much easier to decipher exactly what is going on. Importantly, the mechanisms for producing the radio emissions in brown dwarfs are well understood, as they are almost identical to the processes that produce radio emissions from planets. Dr Aaron Golden, lecturer at the Department of Information Technology, who supervised the group said: "The observations that yielded this discovery involved the use of some of the world s finest astronomical facilities, but it was sheer hard work and focussed, inspired analysis that have put astronomical research at NUI Galway on a global stage. "I think it is particularly important to stress that such world class research being lead by astronomers at NUI, Galway is a testament to the quality and ability of our postgraduate students on campus, and a vindication of the University s recent decision to approve the setting up of the Centre for Astronomy." Mr Hallinan added; "It looks like brown dwarfs are the missing step between the radio emissions we see generated at Jupiter and those we observe from pulsars". The group is now planning a large survey of all the known brown dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood to find out how many are radio sources and how many of those are pulsing. If a large fraction of brown dwarfs are found to pulse, it could prove a key method of detection for these elusive objects. ENDS

Monday, 23 April 2007

The inaugural recipient of a travel grant supported by the Louis & Nellie Sieg and Frank G. & Gertrude Dunlap Scholarship Fund, USA, to assist research in Medieval Studies has been announced by NUI Galway. Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway, presented Rory Sherlock, a Ph.D student in Archaeology, with his award of €1,200 which will enable him to attend the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, next month. Mr Sherlock will present his paper on 'Past and Present Approaches to the Study of Tower Houses in Ireland' at the Kalamazoo Congress, which attracts over 3,000 scholars worldwide with an interest in Medieval Studies. Mr Sherlock will be accompanied to the Kalamazoo Congress by Dr Kieran O'Conor, Department of Archaeology, NUI Galway, who will address a panel devoted to 'New Research on Castles in Britain and Ireland'; and Dr Kimberly A LoPrete, Department of History, NUI Galway, who will speak on a panel she organised on 'New Documentary Communities in the Twelfth Century'. The scholarship fund has been established with an endowment donated by a Michigan-based charitable organisation, the LoPrete Family Foundation, which supports educational activities in the Arts and Humanities among other ventures. Recipients of the award are selected annually by a panel of academics convened by the Director of the MA in Medieval Studies at NUI Galway, Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín. For further information on the scholarship, see http://www.nuigalway.ie/medievalstudies/ . Further details on this year's International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo can be found at: http://www.wmich.edu/medieval/congress. ENDS

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Pictured at the launch of the NUI Galway Research Staff Association (GRSA) are from left: Dr. Barry Glynn, Chairman, GRSA; Mr Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and Professor Tim O Brien, Director of Regenerative Medical Institute, NUI Galway The newly formed Galway Research Staff Association (GRSA) at NUI Galway has been officially launched by Eamon Ó Cuív T.D., Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs at a ceremony on Thursday, 19 April 2007. With over 250 contract researchers currently working in the National University of Ireland Galway, the primary function of the GRSA is to promote the interests of contract research staff within the University and in so doing to create a working environment which encourages excellence in research and serves to attract and retain high quality researchers. Speaking at the launch, Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of the Regenerative Medical Institute (REMEDI) at the University said: "Structured research careers for PhD graduates will be crucial to the future economic success of the country. This has been recognised by the Advisory Council for Science Technology and Innovation who are currently drafting a report for Government on this issue. Successful implementation of a plan to address this issue will be necessary if we are to continue to attract the brightest and the best students to a career in research". GRSA chairman, Dr Barry Glynn, who is based at the National Diagnostics Centre, NUI Galway said: "The Association welcomes the increased investment in science required for building Ireland's knowledge economy. However recognition of the contribution made by the existing researcher base is lacking and the means to integrate them into the proposed structure remains unclear. "Contract researchers at NUI Galway contribute to the economic as well as educational success of the University. Despite their evident importance to the university problems facing researchers have not been properly addressed including: job security, career structure, pensions, and salary levels relative to qualifications." The specific aims of the GRSA are: To provide a collective voice for researchers within the University to articulate and promote their views and to liaise with University authorities. To improve the status of researchers on fixed contracts within the University, commensurate with their contribution, experience and responsibilities. To encourage greater recognition of the contribution of researchers through parity of esteem and reward. To provide a forum for research staff to meet, network and discuss issues of mutual concern and in so doing to build a cross-disciplinary University research community. According to the Association, state funding of research centres will fail to deliver results unless experienced research staff is in place, while training of the next generation of PhD students, essential for the Government's strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, depends upon the direct involvement of these researchers. Further information is available at www.nuigalway.ie/research_staff_association/ or by emailing grsa@nuigalway.ie ENDS

Monday, 16 April 2007

The Faculty of Engineering at NUI Galway is to offer a new full-time, four-year degree programme in Project and Construction Management starting in September 2007. The honours BSc degree is being offered in response to the shortage of suitably qualified professionals across all sectors of the built environment following the enormous investment in physical infrastructure in recent years. The degree programme is listed on the CAO website as GY410 and an additional notice will shortly be sent by the CAO to all students who have applied through the CAO process. Potential applicants can then include the programme through the Change of Mind process until July 1 2007. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway said: "This programme represents an exciting new offering in the area of construction/project management. The programme represents a further expansion of NUI Galway's degree options in the area of the built environment which also include degrees in Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Health and Safety and an MA in Planning. The new degree will equip students with a knowledge and understanding of project management, particularly in the construction sector, and enable them to embrace the challenges of modernisation, innovation and change in tomorrow's knowledge based economy." A key aspect of the programme is the broad-based multidisciplinary approach involving several faculties. In addition to the strong input from Civil and Industrial Engineering, there is also a significant input from the Faculty of Commerce along with Science and Law. This broad-based training will provide graduates with a unique set of marketable skills that will allow them to meet the challenges that they will face in an ever competitive industry. Prof. O'Donoghue added: "Deficiencies in the supply of graduates in the areas of project and construction management have been identified and the new programme will meet these demands. Thus, the course aims to prepare graduates to be capable of assuming technical, management, academic and research/development level positions in the construction industry." Further details and information can be sought from Prof. Padraic O'Donoghue or Dr. Kevin McNamara, Department of Engineering, NUI Galway at 091 492170/492291 or e-mail brid.flaherty@nuigalway.ie www.nuigalway.ie/civileng ENDS

Monday, 16 April 2007

The Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, Professor William Schabas has been awarded the Certificate of Merit by the American Society of International Law. Prof Schabas was honoured for his book, 'The UN International Criminal Tribunals: the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone' (Cambridge University Press, 2006), which was chosen from a list of 60 publications worldwide. The Society awards three certificates every year for what it judges to be the best books in the field of international law. The American Society of International Law is one of the leading learned societies in the field of international law. Prof. Schabas received the accolade at the Annual Meeting of the Society in Washington, D.C. from Society President, Professor José Alvarez. Certificate of Merit Awards were also presented to Professor James Hathaway, of the University of Michigan, and Professors Fionualla Ni Aoilain and Oren Gross, of the Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster. Meanwhile, Prof Schabas has addressed the Baker Peace Conference in Ohio, where he delivered a keynote speech on international criminal justice. The theme of this year's annual conference, organised by the Centre for Contemporary History, Ohio University, was the transatlantic relationship and issues facing the Atlantic Alliance, including the use of force, the role of international institutions, U.S.-British relations, war crimes and the international criminal court. "The paradox of the United States position is that it has always been at the top of the list of countries enthusiastic about international criminal justice, and this goes right back to Nuremberg in 1945," said Prof Schabas. "But of course in recent years, the United States has become rather hostile to the most important new initiative in this area, the International Criminal Court. Basically, the United States resents the fact that the Court is independent of the Security Council. This has been welcomed by most other countries, who see this as important to the Court s impartiality and integrity. But for the United States, it means it cannot control the Court, explained Professor Schabas. "United States opposition to the International Criminal Court is part of the larger phenomenon of a growing rift between the United States and Europe on many issues in the field of human rights. We disagree on so many things, from capital punishment, to basic entitlements to medical care and education, to the International Criminal Court." ENDS

Monday, 16 April 2007

Pictured during Dr Prusiner's visit to NUI Galway are from left: Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research, NUI Galway; Dr Stanley Prusiner and Professor Noel Lowndes, Head of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway. Nobel Prizewinner Dr Stanley Prusiner was a recent guest of the Department of Biochemistry, NUI Galway where he delivered a lecture on 'Prions, Mad Cows and Dementing Diseases'. Dr Prusiner was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his ground breaking discovery of Prion proteins (acronym for proteinaceous infectious particles), and identification of prions as the key agents in dementia-causing neurodegenerative diseases such as Mad Cow disease and Scrapie in animals and the counterpart human diseases Cruetzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). Dr Prusiner's research also demonstrated that these diseases can be passed from one species to another. His findings have also been recognised as having implications in the identification of the cause of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Prusiner is currently the Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Professor of Neurobiology and Biochemistry at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Prusiner was the guest of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology Society, the latter of which received Science Foundation Ireland funding for the event.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

NUI Galway's Keynote Seminar Series, organised by the Community Knowledge Initiative, (CKI) continues on Thursday, 19 April, 2007, when Dr Maurice Mullard, Reader in Social Policy at Hull University will deliver an address on 'Citizenship, Globalisation and the War on Terror'. Focusing on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship, the series is being offered as a response to the impact that volunteering has in today's communities. Dr Mullard will argue that citizenship is not a static concept, but reflects changing hopes and aspirations. He believes expectations of citizenship are at present being shaped and defined by the dual processes of Globalisation and the War on Terror. During the seminar Dr Mullard will investigate two possible models of citizenship; the consumer citizen and the cosmopolitan citizen. The former lives in a world where consumption confirms identity and membership of community while the latter seeks to make real the nature of greater human connections in a globalised world. Dr Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of the Centre for Learning and Excellence (CELT) at NUI Galway and head of CKI says; "The theme of citizenship is topical just now with the Taoiseach recently launching the Taskforce on Active Citizenship report. This seminar will allow us to take a step back and look at the formation of notions of citizenship and the influence played by world events". Tickets for the free event, which is hosted in partnership with the Department of Political Science & Sociology, are available from Mary Bernard at the Community Knowledge Initiative at mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie or on 091 493823. The seminar will be held in the Charles McMunn Theatre, Arts/Science Building from 1.00 to 2.00pm. Further information on the CKI Keynote Seminar Series is available at the CKI website at http://www.nuigalway.ie/cki ENDS

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The award-winning film ONCE by Irish filmmaker John Carney is to be screened in Roundstone, County Galway, on Saturday, 14 April, as part of the Folding Landscapes series in association with NUI Galway. The low-budget musical tale of boy-meets-girl is Carney's third feature film and has already won the prestigious Audience Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Carney, who has in the past worked with some of the best known Irish actors including Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and Gerard McSorley, made the film in just 17 days on the streets of Dublin for a mere $150,000. Starring Frames front man Glen Hansard along with Markéta Irglová, Bill Hodnett, Danuse Ktrestova, and Marcella Plunkett, ONCE has become quite a phenomenon. Carney will attend the Roundstone screening and facilitate a question and answers session with the audience. "I really did think when we made this film that we had made a film that very few people would want to see or maybe only people who are interested in music would want to see, and it turns out to be something quite different," he says. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media, NUI Galway says: "John Carney s ONCE shows that imaginative micro budget film-making has the capacity to produce strong versions of Irish cinema. Like his earlier feature November Afternoon and his memorable television series Bachelor's Walk, his combination of a free-wheeling narrative and good music is exactly the style that can engage contemporary audiences. ONCE is a striking version of what he describes as an 'art-house musical' and it is likely to be as successful here as at the Sundance Film Festival." ONCE will be screened at 7.00pm at Roundstone Community Hall and is a free event open to the public. Unfolding Ideas is a Colloquium Series launched by NUI Galway to provide a forum for scholars, educators and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops. The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. ENDS

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) announced today that it is embarking on a new collaboration with Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service. The project will be led by NUI Galway, the host organisation for ICHEC. As part of this collaboration, ICHEC will provide computational facilities and support to Met Éireann to enable it to run its operational high-resolution forecast models on ICHEC's flagship supercomputer, Walton, currently the 376th fastest computer in the world[1]. This move will allow Met Éireann to avail of state-of-the art computing technology, known as High-Performance Computing (HPC), to improve the quality of its forecast products. This collaboration will also provide a suitable framework for ICHEC to bring its considerable expertise in HPC to the climate modelling and weather prediction communities. ICHEC will indeed take an active part in the development of faster and more accurate simulation codes that are of interest to Met Éireann and other national weather forecast agencies. This involvement is expected to bring considerable benefits to the environmental science research community in Irish universities. Dr. J.-C. Desplat, ICHEC Director, stated: "This collaboration constitutes a clear endorsement of ICHEC's professionalism and its ability to deliver a mission-critical service." Met Éireann, in collaboration with UCD, has already greatly benefited from the use of ICHEC resources. Through the Community Climate Change Consortium for Ireland (C4I) project, it has carried out major computer simulations of the past and future Irish climate in support of the National Climate Change Strategy. This new scientific collaboration with ICHEC, and the substantial computer resources it provides, will enhance Met Éireann's operational forecasting and climate modelling activities. Mr Declan Murphy, Director of Met Éireann, stated: "Modern weather forecasting methods depend on the availability of High Performance Computing facilities. By teaming up with ICHEC, Met Éireann will be in a position to run more sophisticated weather and climate models than it could afford to do on its own, and this partnership represents an excellent example of efficient use of national resources". Met Éireann[2], the Irish National Meteorological Service, is attached to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It is the leading provider of weather information and related services for Ireland. ICHEC is a project funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) with contributions from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the CosmoGrid project. ICHEC operates the National HPC service, a service offered to all researchers in Irish universities and research organisations. See http://www.ichec.ie [1] Source: Top 500 list at http://www.top500.org/ [2] See http://www.met.ie/ ENDS