Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway International Conference: "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal" Edna O Brien s writing has always provoked controversy, from her earliest The Country Girls trilogy to her more recent works of faction , In the Forest and Down by the River. Critical responses have been divided between those who see her writing as populist and stereotypical, and those who admire her flouting of taboo and experiments with style and language. Existing criticism has tended, however, to regard O Brien primarily in the light of feminist and Irish nationalist and religious discourses, leaving unexplored a great deal of what makes her a complex figure. A major International Conference, "Edna O Brien: A Reappraisal", will take place on Saturday 23rd April in NUI Galway (9.00am, Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change). Co-hosted by the University s Department of English and the Centre for Women s Studies, delegates from Finland, France, Italy, the US, England and Ireland are due to attend. "The conference will seek to broaden the critical framework for O Brien studies, reconsidering, for example, the reception of her work both in Ireland and elsewhere and her place in the canon, the way in which her work interacts with contemporary fiction, literary influences on her work and more," says Dr Rebecca Pelan, director of the Women s Studies Centre, NUI Galway, who has published extensively on the subject of Irish women s writing and Edna O Brien s fiction and who will address the conference. Established scholars as well as newer voices will contribute on the day towards creating fresh critical perspectives on the writing of Edna O Brien. Other speakers include Amanda Greenwood (Andrew Marvell School, UK) who is the author of the most recent monograph on Edna O Brien and Heather Ingman (TCD) who has published several books and articles on women s writing, including work on Irish women s writing and that of Edna O Brien. Conference programme available at: www.nuigalway.ie/english/eob/index.html Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

History will be made today (Monday), when the first conferral of the degree of Master of Fine Arts in this State will take place in the Burren College of Art (BCA) at Newtown Castle, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. The degrees will be conferred by National University of Ireland, Galway on seven students from USA, Canada, Africa and Ireland, at a ceremony attended by the Presidents and senior Faculty members of the BCA and NUI Galway. The Master of Fine Arts is a joint NUI Galway-Burren College of Art two-year fulltime postgraduate degree programme, based in the Burren College of Art. The programme is offered in association with two of the world's leading art schools – the Royal College of Art, London and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "Over the years the Burren College of Art has established itself as a vibrant, global, artistic educational centre with international affiliations and accreditations and NUI Galway is very pleased to be a partner with the College in this joint initiative, drawing on our long-standing strengths in preserving and developing our cultural heritage and fostering artistic creativity and imagination. We at the University see our involvement with the Burren College of Art through this programme as an integral part of our strategic aims to support educational development and training in the west region." Mary Hawkes-Greene, President of the Burren College of Art said: "Organically integrated into its local community and space, Burren College of Art is already well known across the USA and increasingly across Europe as one of the most distinctive independent art colleges in the world. It is also one of the smallest, catering for only 60 students. With the completion of its magnificent state of the art studios, the opening of which coincided with the first Masters' degree show, the Burren College provides what successful artists thrive on and what emerging artists need – the time represented by a high level of individual tuition from top class resident and visiting artists, the space afforded by 200 sq. ft. studio space for each graduate student with 24 hr. access, 7 days a week and finally, the inspiration which can be drawn in abundance from the spectacular Burren landscape, free from urban distraction." Ends

Monday, 18 April 2005

NUI Galway has appointed Dr Chris Coughlan as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Management. Dr Coughlan is a senior manager at Hewlett-Packard who has contributed personally over many years to both the teaching and research programmes of the University. His appointment to this part-time honorary position was welcomed by the Dean of Commerce and head of the Department of Management, Professor Roy Green. "Dr Coughlan is an outstanding individual who has done much to build strong relationships between NUI Galway and regional business, especially in the high tech sector," said Professor Green. "We are delighted to formalise his role in the University with this appointment." Ends

Monday, 11 April 2005

Pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th classes in a number of selected Galway City schools will tonight (Monday 11th April) celebrate the completion of a 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level. Packie Bonner, former Republic of Ireland soccer star, will present certificates at 7.00pm (Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building), to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue, Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme. 'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling. According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The children really benefit from the 'Sport for Success' programme. It helps students develop personally by building their self esteem, confidence, communication skills and social behaviour through team games and sport activities in addition to their educational attainment, especially improvement in numeracy and literacy skills." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway said: "The very fact that ten, eleven and twelve year olds are participating in a university-run programme is a powerful positive action which will no doubt focus these young minds on future achievement and educational attainment." Ends

Tuesday, 5 April 2005

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of the distinguished poet Máire Mhac an tSaoi to the position of Adjunct Professor of Irish Studies. Máire Mhac an tSaoi is one of a handful of major poets who transformed poetry in Irish in the period during and after the Second World War. Her work is particularly significant in that it anticipates the emergence of women's voices at the forefront of Irish poetry in both Irish and English during the 1970s and 80s. A generation before the groundbreaking achievements of Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, Eavan Boland and others, and in more daunting circumstances, Máire Mhac an tSaoi's poetry speaks to and from the intimate experience of women at a time when women's voices were marginalized both in literature and in Irish society. Her most famous poem 'Ceathrúintí Mháire Ní Ógáin', is a powerful challenge to the orthodox morality of Ireland in the 1940s and subsequent decades: Beagbheann ar amhras daoine, Beagbheann ar chros na sagart, Ar gach ní ach a bheith sínte Idir tú agus falla- I care little for people's suspicions, I care little for priests' prohibitions, For anything save to lie stretched Between you and the wall- The intellectual integrity and emotional independence that characterise her poetry is evident again in Máire Mhac an tSaoi's public life. In reviewing her autobiography The Same Age as the State¸ Seamus Heaney says 'there is truth to experience here, a forthrightness about passion and transgression that is thrilling and exemplary'. Throughout the book, she speaks frankly of her own experience as a civil servant and career diplomat during a period of dramatic change and political turbulence in Ireland, Europe, and the developing world. During her time in the Department of External Affairs, she was, in her own words, the 'token woman' on Ireland's first delegation to the United Nations. As chargé d'affaires at the Irish Embassy in Madrid, she was invited to the Palacio del Oriente, where she met with General Franco, an experience she describes as 'both baroque and absurd'. She also spent time with her husband Conor Cruise O'Brien in the Congo, Ghana, and elsewhere in dramatic times and dangerous circumstances. One of the most powerful passages in The Same Age as the State recounts a violent incident in Katanga and an apparent attempt to assassinate Dr O'Brien. Ms Mac an tSaoi's appointment is a timely one, according to Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. "While she is highly regarded by other poets and by critics, the full extent of Máire Mhac an tSaoi's contribution to twentieth-century Irish literature and politics has yet to be fully appreciated and acknowledged. In recognition of her achievement, as a groundbreaking poet and as a public figure who participated significantly in some of the key moments of recent Irish, European, and world history, it is entirely appropriate that she be appointed to this honorary position." ENDS

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Six researchers at NUI Galway were recently successful in winning funding under the Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund. The projects are supported under the Proof of Concept Phase 1, which aims to support academic researchers to establish the commercial potential of a scientific concept which is seen to address a viable market. The novel projects are across strategic commercial areas such as biomedical sensors, implantable medical devices, controls for waste water treatment plants, software development, optics and biomaterials. The six researchers are Professors Chris Dainty and Gerry Lyons, Drs Desmond Chambers, Vincent O'Flaherty, Dimitrious Apatsidis, Yury Rochev. Successful projects under this programme will bring the research to a stage where a robust prototype will be developed. The proposed projects cover a wide range of potential applications and the funding was won against strong competition involving all the third level colleges in Ireland. Séamus Bree, Director West Region, Enterprise Ireland said that innovation was the key to the future of Irish industry. "It is vitally important that we build and maintain a momentum in the development of intellectual property through the Third Level colleges. The commercialisation of technology from our strengthening research base is a key priority so that more growth-oriented companies will emerge in cutting edge sectors. I look forward to research initiatives such as these funded under the commercialisation fund in NUI Galway, resulting in either new campus companies or licensed technology into SMEs." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We are delighted to receive this substantial award aimed at developing applied research which is critically important to the future economic growth of Ireland as we move from a manufacturing base to product design and intellectual property creation. Because of its strong research base, NUI Galway is ideally placed to support the Government's enterprise strategy of developing a knowledge-based society." Ends

Monday, 23 May 2005

In 1996 the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway acquired the Ritchie-Pickow Photographic Archive, along with tapes of sound recordings. The photographs were taken and the recordings made by the US husband and wife team, George Pickow and Jean Ritchie on visits to Ireland in 1952 and 1953. On Monday 30th May 2005, the James Hardiman Library will launch a resource, housed on the library's web-pages, which will allow access to the 1,887 images which make up the Ritchie-Pickow photographic collection. It provides researchers world-wide with the facility to search for and view the images, as well as giving background information on each image. The resource will be launched by Dr Hugh Maguire of the Heritage Council who supported the provision of an archivist to preserve and make accessible this collection in digital format. Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, lecturer in the History Department, NUI Galway and a grandson of Elizabeth Cronin, one of the vocalists recorded by Jean Ritchie, will also speak at the launch. It was under his auspices that the collection found its way into the Library Archives. Jean Ritchie, singer, folklorist and dulcimer player was born on 8 December 1922 in Viper, Kentucky. She was the youngest of a family of 14 children, known as 'The Singing Ritchies'. Jean graduated from the University of Kentucky and in 1952 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to enable her to research the origins of her family's songs in Great Britain and Ireland. Ritchie's husband George Pickow, a photographer, accompanied her and they spent approximately eighteen months recording folk songs and traditional musicians and taking photographs. The photographs include images of many well known uileann pipe players, such as Seamus Ennis, the McPeake trio, Leo Rowsome; vocalists, including Elizabeth Croinin and Sarah Makem and story tellers, such as Paitsín Faherty from the Aran Islands. As well as assisting his wife in her research George Pickow also did features on aspects of Irish life – Christmas celebrations with straw boys and wren boys, life on the Aran Islands, Dublin scenes, the American Ambassador and his family in Ireland, the development of Dublin Airport, operations of the Garda Síochána at Dublin Castle, and Irish sporting activities, such as road bowling, hurling, coursing, hunting and racing. Photographs were also taken of traditional Irish crafts, including spinning, weaving, thatching and crios and sliotar making. Ends

Friday, 6 May 2005

-Anjelica Huston, Merv Griffin, Ray Bradbury receive Honorary Degrees from NUI Galway at LA Gala event- Los Angeles — NUI Galway has raised more than $1.2 million towards the further development of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. The fundraising culminates in the Huston Gala, a black-tie event to be held today (Friday) at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The Gala follows a conferring ceremony at which honorary degrees will be conferred upon actress, Anjelica Huston, broadcaster, Merv Griffin and author Ray Bradbury, all of whom have strong west of Ireland connections. This event marks the first time that NUI Galway has held an honorary degree conferment outside of Ireland. The Honorary Conferring and the Huston Gala are the centrepiece of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May to mark the continued growth and influence of the Huston School. The honorary degrees will be conferred by the Chancellor of the NUI, Dr Garret FitzGerald. The honorary graduates chosen all have strong Irish roots and are renowned for their significant contribution to social, cultural and artistic development of both Ireland and the U.S. Celebrities from the world of stage and screen will attend the Honorary Conferring ceremony and Huston Gala. Gráinne Seoige, Sky News Ireland and NUI Galway graduate, will present the Gala programme. The Huston School of Film & Digital Media, launched in Los Angeles in 2003, is the first dedicated school of film and digital media to be located on campus at an Irish university. NUI Galway will use the recently raised funds, which have been secured through private donors, to further develop the ongoing programmes at the School including an ambitious programme of invited residencies. These would bring students into direct contact with a stimulating range of Irish and international film artists. NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "We are very proud to honour these individuals who have made significant artistic and humanitarian contributions, and who have achieved fame the world over. With this honour, we pay tribute to the great tradition of the creative arts at the heart of Los Angeles. And we share in that heritage by awarding them the highest honour that the University can bestow, thereby associating their names forever with National University of Ireland, Galway and the Huston School. "We are fortunate at NUI Galway to have created a haven where we can nurture and develop the talents of individuals interested in pursing a career in film. The Huston School represents a bold and unprecedented move forward for Irish filmmakers and cinematic traditions, for all those who dream of telling their stories in fresh and compelling ways." Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media Rod Stoneman says, "The Huston School of Film and Digital Media is developing a new breed of Irish film makers. We are giving these individuals the opportunity to develop their raw talent in order to pursue a career in the film industry. We hope that the School can help filmmakers react critically and constructively to the changes which are taking place in film. It offers a wide-ranging exposition of the full range of international filmmaking and allows course participants to develop their own distinctive voices. With new courses coming on stream, we hope to continue to challenge and develop talented students in the future." Among the courses provided in the Huston School are a Masters programme in Screenwriting and a Masters in Film Studies, now in their second year, along with a Higher Diploma in Arts Policy and Practice. The School plans to start an innovative Masters in Public Advocacy and Activism in 2006. This will be an advanced course for people working in international and local advocacy, including the fields of community and environmental rights, among others. Also in 2006 the School will add a Masters in Production and Direction to its portfolio, with teams from these two courses working together to produce short films on social issues. Funds raised through the Gala from donors throughout Ireland and the US will be spread out over the next five years, providing considerable capital and revenue funding for the School as it initiates new courses in production and direction. The LA programme of events includes an illustrated lecture on 'James Joyce's "The Dead" and Cinema', by Professor Kevin Barry, Department of English, NUI Galway; and a screening of 'The Abyss' (1910) with original score performed live by ConTempo, NUI Galway's Ensemble in Residence. To further support its significant numbers of alumni located in North America, NUI Galway will also host an alumni brunch, the day following the Gala. For further information on the NUI Galway Huston Gala visit www.hustongala.com. ENDS

Tuesday, 28 June 2005

- NUI Galway Researcher wins Donegan Medal - A postgraduate researcher at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) NUI Galway, has identified a molecule which could be used in the future as a novel drug in cancer treatment. Ailish O'Connell was awarded the Donegan Medal for her research presentation at the Royal Academy of Medicine (RAMI) summer meeting in Galway organised by NCBES Director, Professor Terry Smith. Ailish's research is in an area called apoptosis, which is a natural process whereby cells in the body die when they are damaged, are not functioning or no longer needed. A common factor in cancers like leukaemia is an upset in the balance between cell growth and cell death by apoptosis. If the natural process of cell death does not occur, cancerous cells survive for longer than they should, and acquire further mutations. Ailish, whose research is supervised by Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox at the NCBES, has studied the process of cell death by treating leukaemic cells with chemotherapeutic agents (similar to chemicals used in chemotherapy for cancer patients). By studying the pathway by which human leukaemic cells die following this treatment, Ailish has identified a novel pathway (part of the cell death process) that hasn't been known before and has found a specific type of molecule, a serine protease, which Ailish and her team believe is critical in this cell death pathway. Serine proteases (SPs) are a family of enzymes with many functions, but their role in cell death is only now being uncovered. "Very few with apopotic function have been isolated to date, but modulation of some family members have already been used in therapies for emphysema and some are in clinical trials for solid cancerous tumour treatment," says Ailish. "They have huge therapeutic potential and there is a lot of commercial interest in this area of research." The serine protease discovered in Ailish's research was tracked in the cell through the process of cell death using a fluorescent tag provided through collaboration with the US Company Immunochemistry Technology Inc., based in Minnesota. All indications point to this SP being instrumental in the novel apoptosis pathway discovered by Ailish. The SP Ailish is looking at chops up proteins in cancerous cells causing cell degradation and the cell is then digested by the body's immune response. The aim now is to characterise and re-introduce the serine protease molecule into leukaemic, and other cancerous cells to selectively activate cell death which could lead to novel anti-cancer therapies. The research is funded through an SFI basic Research Grant, administered through the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) awarded to Dr. Catherine Stenson-Cox in 2004. *Professor Donegan was a former Professor of Physiology at NUI Galway. The competition for the medal is a national one open to all PhD students who haven't presented to a learned Society previously. Ends

Monday, 27 June 2005

- Honorary Doctorates conferred on Marian Finucane, Cyril Ramaphosa, Fr Alex Reid, Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, George Clare, Bernard McNicholas and Sean Purcell National University of Ireland Galway recognises the achievements of seven outstanding individuals at an honorary conferring ceremony today (Friday). The calibre of each of the individuals to be conferred reflects NUI Galway's commitment to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. Each honouree was chosen for his or her outstanding contribution to society through social work, philanthropy, medicine, arts or culture. The conferring ceremony further underpins NUI Galway's work in enhancing the lives of Irish communities while fostering strong relationships with organisations and individuals worldwide. The Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said, "It is a particular honour for me to welcome these seven individuals to NUI Galway to be conferred with honorary degrees. Each has given so much of their personal and professional lives to advance human rights, enrich minds and capture the spirit and imagination of millions worldwide. I am proud that these individuals will now be associated with NUI Galway, as they have had such a profound effect on communities worldwide." Marian Finucane is one of Ireland's best known broadcasters. In a career spanning four decades she has been a transforming influence in the lives of Irish people, highlighting social injustices and encouraging social change. She is a Board Member of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which has led her to raise funds in support of the construction of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this effort, Marian and her partner have established a Charity, Friends in Ireland, to extend their philanthropic work in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He is renowned for his work with the trade union movement but is also recognised internationally for the key role he has played in bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid. He steered South Africa towards its first democratic elections in 1994, when he was elected chair of the new Constitutional Assembly and became a Member of Parliament. He is currently active in the private sector as chairman of Millennium Consolidated Investments. Fr Alex Reid has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for the crucial role that he has played in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was the key person in ensuring that dialogue was initiated between various parties at critical stages in the development of the peace process, and provided compelling moral arguments for the cessation of violence. It has been said that the peace process would not have been as successful without his involvement. Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He is leading a team of neurologists developing revolutionary new methods to fight neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The method, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), involves high-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain. Following the operation, the main symptoms practically disappear, and most patients can stop taking medication. George Clare, journalist and author, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1920. In the aftermath of Hitler's Annexation of Austria, virulent anti-Semitism erupted and drove many Jews into exile. George's best-selling memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna (1981) was translated into seven languages and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. The memoir tells, among other things, of how George and his mother Stella travelled to Galway for George to help set up a ribbon factory. Bernard McNicholas is a native of Bohola, Co. Mayo. In the early 1960s he succeeded his father as head of McNicholas Engineering Ltd. Under Bernard's leadership the company has developed into one of the most professionally managed, multi-disciplinary companies in its field today. In 1993 the AIB in Britain named him Irish Businessman of the Year, as much for his philanthropy as for his business acumen. He has been a mentor and a leading figure in the Irish community in London. Among the charities he supports are Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the John Durkan Leukemia Trust. Sean Purcell, from Tuam, County Galway, is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of the skills of Gaelic football. An extremely versatile player, he is generally held to be one of the game's greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post 'Team of the Millennium'. He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath's, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club, he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway and three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain. - ENDS -

Monday, 20 June 2005

NUI Galway is the first Irish university to host a conference centred on the civic mission of higher education, which will address issues related to the introduction of 'Service Learning' to the higher education curriculum. Service Learning, a new concept in Ireland, encourages third-level students to explore issues vital to society through active participation or service in communities, non-governmental organisations and other similar organisations. The international conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning – Universities, Students and Community, will take place on campus on the 23rd and 24th June 2005. The Conference is timely as the Irish Government's Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs actively encourages the expansion of service learning to all third level colleges in Ireland. The conference has emerged from the university's commitment to civic engagement and to a body of work embedded in the Academic and Strategic Plans, entitled the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI). A number of keynote speakers will participate from the US, South Africa and the UK including representatives of organisations such as the Ford Foundation, Campus Compact and development agencies. Amongst the keynote speakers from NUI Galway is Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer in Service Learning at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and conference organiser. Commenting on the importance of Service Learning, she said, "We are entering into a phase of development in third level university life where we are encouraging and urging students to consider their civic responsibilities and to explore issues vital to society by participating in community work and non-governmental organisations. We support the Taoiseach's recent announcement of his intention to establish a task force on active citizenship, which will advise on how to maintain and develop a culture of active citizenship. As Irish society continues its obsession with material well being, we believe that civic engagement at third level is vital to ensure and foster a sense of social responsibility for the future." Already, a number of Service Learning pilot projects are underway at NUI Galway, with both the students and academic leaders reporting a high satisfaction rate. Postgraduate IT students have worked with Macnas, the Galway-based street theatre group, to assist in the development of a website, create a performance database, network the organisation's computers and connect Macnas to broadband. Students learned about the community sector and resource constraints of working in community in Ireland. Nursing Studies introduced a module on International Nursing, which saw students travel to under-developed countries, including Zambia and Belize, where they worked with Aids patients and as care assistants in orphanages and community hospitals. Through this module the students examine cultural and political factors underpinning the health care system, reflected on the experience through a "Trans-Cultural Diary" and presented their experiences at a series of seminars. Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students have engaged with Goal and the Niall Mellon Township Challenge to better understand their sense of civic and social responsibility and how their engineering skills can positively contribute towards society. Development of a new BA programme entitled 'Humanities and Society' which enable students prepare for work within the non-governmental agency community, nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Law will soon offer Clinical Education Placement experiences in the legal and community agencies to enable the integration of theory to practice, in some cases offering pro bono legal advice to disadvantaged groups. Service Learning was devised by academics in the United States in the early 1970s and since then has been strategically implemented in over 950 universities and colleges, largely supported through a national organisation, Campus Compact, which NUI Galway has joined as the first non-US based institution. Lorraine McIlrath says this conference "marks the departure of a very exciting journey of international significance and one which we hope will strengthen the academic, civic and personal experience of students, staff and community within all higher education institutions in Ireland and beyond." Ends

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Inniu (16 Meitheamh 2005), d'fhógair Banc na hÉireann go dtabharfaí €2.5 milliún chun geilleagar teangalárnach eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Ba é Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach – Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola a d'fhógair an maoiniú ag fáiltiú in Ionad Ealaíon Bhanc na hÉireann. Tabharfar an maoiniú d'Fhondúireacht na hOllscoile mar chuid dá feachtas €50m Daoine & Áit. Tabharfaidh an €2.5m tacaíocht don obair atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a seoladh le gairid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, institiúid náisiúnta €35 milliún atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gclár 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). Tabharfaidh an t-airgead ó Bhanc na hÉireann tacaíocht do chláir acadúla a chur ar fáil sna hionaid seo chun a chur ar chumas na bpobal áitiúil scileanna a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt. Díreoidh cláir ollscoile sna hionaid seo ar fhostaíocht inmharthana a chruthú, a thabharfaidh deis do chéimithe fanacht ina n-áit dúchais agus cur le hinfrastruchtúr teangeolaíoch agus teicneolaíoch an cheantair. Agus an tacaíocht á fógairt is é a dúirt Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach - Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola Bhanc na hÉireann: "Tugann Banc na hÉireann tacaíocht láidir do gheilleagar teangalárnach, eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Feicimid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge mar thionscnamh ceannródaíoch agus nuálaíoch agus tá an-áthas orainn tacú le Feachtas Daoine & Áit OÉ, Gaillimh. Tá riar maith dár ngnó in Iarthar na hÉireann agus tá beagnach 1,000 duine fostaithe againn ann – mar sin, ar bhealaí éagsúla, táimidne ag iarraidh tacú le daoine, le pobail agus leis an saol san Iarthar." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Cuirimid fáilte mhór roimh an tacaíocht ghnaíúil seo ó Bhanc na hÉireann a láidreoidh an obair nuálaíoch atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá tiomantas na hOllscoile don Ghaeilge le feiceáil inár straitéis an seomra ranga agus an tsaotharlann taighde a thabhairt chuig an nGaeltacht agus tacú leis na pobail sin féinspleáchas eacnamaíoch agus teangalárnach a bhaint amach. Cuirimid fáilte roimh chinneadh Bhanc na hÉireann páirt a ghlacadh san fheachtas Daoine & Áit trí thacú le ceann de na cláir thosaíochta. Ghlac Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, buíochas le Banc na hÉireann as a thacaíocht airgid agus dheimhnigh sé go méadófaí réimse clár acadúil a bhí á gcur ar fáil cheana féin ag an Acadamh, lena n-áirítear cúrsaí i staidéar an aistriúcháin, sa chumarsáid, sa teicneolaíocht faisnéise, i raidió agus teilifís, de réir mar a thiocfaidh forbairt ar an institiúid. Críoch

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Bank of Ireland today (16 June, 2005) announced a commitment of €2.5 million towards the strategy of developing a language-centred, knowledge-based economy in Gaeltacht areas. The funding, which will be channelled through the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway as part of its €50m People & Place campaign, was announced by Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at a reception in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre. The €2.5m contribution will underpin the work of NUI Galway's recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a national €35 million institute dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish. In addition to its campus programmes the institute will develop three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). The Bank of Ireland contribution will support the provision of academic programmes in these centres designed to empower local communities to engage in, and benefit from skills and learning that are key to the development of a knowledge-based economy. University programmes delivered at these centres will focus on the creation of sustainable employment, providing graduates with the opportunity of remaining in their native place and further strengthen the linguistic and technological infrastructure of the area. Speaking at the announcement, Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland strongly supports the development of a language centred, knowledge based economy in Gaeltacht areas. We see Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge as a ground breaking and innovative initiative and are delighted to support the NUI Galway People & Place Campaign. A major proportion of our business is in the West of Ireland and we employ almost 1,000 people along the Western seaboard – so, in different ways, we actively seek to support people and communities and life in the West." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We warmly acknowledge this generous support from Bank of Ireland which will copper-fasten the innovative work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The University's commitment to the Irish language is exemplified in our strategy of bringing the classroom and the research lab to the Gaeltacht and by supporting those communities to achieve language-centred, economic self-reliance. We salute Bank of Ireland in its decision to participate in the People & Place campaign by directing its support toward one of our priority programmes. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh, thanked Bank of Ireland for its financial support and confirmed that the range of academic programmes already provided by an tAcadamh, including those in translation studies, communications, information technology, radio and television skills, will be extended as the institute develops. Ends

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science will host the Summer Meeting of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section) on Thursday and Friday, 16th and 17th June. On Thursday, researchers from all over Ireland will compete for the Donegan Medal, which is awarded for the best oral research presentation. The Donegan Medal Competition is open to postgraduate students presenting their research for the first time at a scientific meeting. A Research Symposium entitled "Regulation of smooth muscle function" will be held on Friday. The symposium, sponsored by Boston Scientific, will focus on research into smooth muscle tissue lining the uterus (of interest to scientists studying disorders of pregnancy)and smooth muscle tissue lining blood vessels, which is a critical factor in blockages of arteries leading to heart attack. The Plenary Speaker at the Symposium is Cardiologist Dr. Bradford Berk, a world leader in Cardiovascular Research, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Terry Smith, NCBES Director and NUI Galway RAMI Council representative, is local organiser of the symposium. Ends

Monday, 13 June 2005

An important collection of primary, unpublished documents, with other material, relating to the discussions between Irish Republican leaders and representatives of the British Government, during 1974/1975, on the subject of a settlement of the Northern Ireland problem and of Anglo-Irish relations, was presented to the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway today (3.00pm, Monday). The Papers were presented by Mr Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and following normal archival preparation, will be available for research by scholars, under normal academic and library conditions. The Papers will be a unique source for researchers intent on exploring the intentions, perspectives and political strategy of the Republican leadership at this particularly crucial interlude in the mid-1970s. Professor Robert W. White, Department of Sociology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, who has had access to the Papers, and who is writing a study of Mr. Ó Brádaigh and the Irish Revolutionary tradition, was also present at the presentation. Ends

Monday, 13 June 2005

The Law Faculty at NUI Galway, which has been closely involved in the debate concerning the legal rights of persons with disabilities in Ireland and abroad, will host the first ever European Summer School on Disability Discrimination Law from the 4th to the 15th July 2005. The Summer School has attracted major financial backing from the European Commission as part of its general campaign against disability discrimination. It will explore a new EU Directive that offers substantially enhanced legal protection for disabled Europeans who number at least 45 million. The Summer School is open to all members of the public as well as their legal advisers interested in finding out more about the new Directive as well as its potential uses for and on behalf of persons with disabilities. NUI Galway's Law Faculty includes many staff members who have had direct litigation experience before courts such as the US Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Highlights of the Summer School include a series of talks by Professor Peter Blanck who is a leading disability rights litigator before the US Courts and by Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University. The main aim is to equip the participants with the practical skills needed to begin making use of the EU anti-discrimination law in the disability context. The Director of the Summer School, NUI Galway's Professor Gerard Quinn said: We are proud of our research track record at NUI Galway in the area of Disability Law and view this Summer School as a logical development in the area. The Summer School is designed to provide persons with disabilities from all over Europe with a unique learning opportunity to find out more about their rights at a European level and to begin exercising them more forcefully. We expect a diverse range of disabled participants from throughout Europe which will provide a huge learning opportunity in itself. The knowledge provided to the disability groups and their legal advisers should enable them to craft better legal strategies at both the European and Irish levels. A dedicated website has been set up for the Summer School and can be accessed through the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway: http://www.nuigalway.ie/law/Disability_summer_school/index.html Ends

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Award-winning Galway writer, Ken Bruen is among a number of internationally acclaimed authors who will contribute to a conference on Memory in the Crime Genre, which will take place in the Information Technology Building, NUI Galway on 10th and 11th June, 2005. Ken Bruen, whose novels include The White Trilogy, 'Vixen', 'The Guards' and 'The Magdalen Martyrs', will give a public talk on his work at 6.00pm on Saturday 11 June in Room 125. Bruen, has published 11 books since leaving a career in teaching that brought him to South America, South East Asia, Africa and Japan. Crime Writer, Peter Tremayne will give a public lecture entitled "Sister Fidelma s World: Crime and Punishment in 7th Century Ireland," at 6.00pm on Friday 10th June again in Room 125. Sister Fidelma first appeared in short stories in 1993 and has gone on to enjoy critical acclaim. A Celtic scholar of note, Tremayne's other works include 'The Druids' and 'Dictionary of Celtic Mythology.' Dr Eamonn O Ciardha from the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, Notre Dame University, will open the conference with a keynote address on "The Irish Outlaw". The conference, hosted by NUI Galway's departments of French and Spanish, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, has attracted delegates from Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to those from Britain and Ireland. Ends Information from: Kate Quinn, Dept of Spanish, NUI Galway on 091 492702 Phil Dine Dept of French, NUI Galway on 091 492391

Monday, 11 July 2005

Severe brain injury is the most serious outcome of many road traffic accidents. Having received medical treatment, it is vital for the patient to undergo an effective rehabilitation programme to ensure maximum recovery. However, as there is just one specialist rehabilitation centre in Ireland which is based in Dublin, most people have no option but to return home where they are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. Professor Agnes Shiel of NUI Galway's Department of Occupational Therapy says that treatment facilities and a proper rehabilitation service should be available in Galway. She was speaking in advance of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference 2005 at NUI Galway (11th and 12th July), where international delegates addressed issues including neuropsychological or memory rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation and socio-emotional functioning. Professor Shiel said: "In Ireland, specialist rehabilitation of problems such as serious brain injury is wholly inadequate. There is only one specialist rehabilitation unit and this is based in Dublin. A successful rehabilitation programme needs to be accessible both in terms of starting as soon as possible after the injury is incurred and also in terms of location – that is - it needs to be regionally based so that the person's return to their community can be facilitated. A city the size of Galway should have a dedicated brain injury rehabilitation facility. " According to Professor Shiel, the average head injury survivor is male and aged between 15 and 25 years. While the numbers with physical difficulties are small (about 10% of the total), the vast majority have ongoing problems with memory, concentration, planning and paying attention. These difficulties mean that they may be unable to lead independent lives, work in open employment and resume their lives as before. Many return home and are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. These problems are also experienced by people who incur brain injury from other causes, such as stroke, brain haemorrhage and tumours. This is creating a significant population of people living with ongoing severe difficulties. While people with brain injury may access local Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and Neuropsychology services, these services are already stretched to capacity. It is estimated that there are approximately 150 people per 100,000 in the UK who have ongoing difficulties as a result of brain injury. Professor Shiel says that accurate figures for the Irish population are not available but are possibly higher because of the higher number of road traffic accidents. However, survival rates after head injury are increasing she says. This is mainly due to car safety features such as airbags, improvement in acute and intensive care and advances in pharmacological treatment of secondary complications. "However, the increased survival rates mean that there is an ever-increasing population of people who survive with significant and debilitating problems. Many survivors of head injury never access a rehabilitation programme and cope as best they can with the help of family and friends." Among those addressing the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference in NUI Galway was Professor Barbara Wilson OBE from Cambridge who helped establish one of the first centres in the UK for memory rehabilitation. Professor Skye McDonald from Sydney discussed emotional difficulties experienced by people suffering from brain injury who are unable to respond to non-verbal communication, while Professor Nadina Lincoln from the University of Nottingham compared different types of rehabilitation pointing out the most effective. Ends

Monday, 11 July 2005

Nicholas Canny, Professor of History and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at NUI Galway, has been accorded the exceptional accolade of being elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy at the annual meeting of the Academy on 7 July 2005. According to the Academy, this is the 'highest honour that the Academy is able to confer in recognition of scholarly distinction'. It is awarded each year to only seven scholars from all subjects in the humanities who may be chosen from any country in the world except the United Kingdom. Professor Canny is only the second living scholar resident in the Republic of Ireland who has been honoured in this way. In the citation recommending Professor Canny for election, reference was made first to his consistent record of scholarly publications spanning thirty years and including two prize winning books, the most recent Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford University Press, 2001); and The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland, (Harvester Press, 1976); then to his outstanding career as a teacher of History at undergraduate and post-graduate levels; and finally to his leadership role in promoting multi-disciplinary research in the Humanities in Ireland and abroad. Particular mention was made of his leadership role at NUI Galway that led to the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change. This Centre, created by the Higher Education Authority under its Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions has recently completed its first major research programme to the highest international standard. The Centre facilitates multi-disciplinary and co-operative research on topics related to the histories of human migration, settlement and cultural change. The Centre has forged strong collaborative links with other national and international institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies Zagreb, Croatia and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala. Congratulating Professor Canny on his success, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "This is a great honour for an outstanding historian. Through his own research and the leadership he has shown in the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change, Professor Canny has demonstrated the highest standards of scholarship and academic excellence we are so proud to have at NUI Galway." Ends

Friday, 8 July 2005

This year two NUI Galway crews made the final of Henley Royal Regatta. The crew of John Forde, Marc Stevens, Paul Giblin and Dave Mannion raced in the Visitors Challenge Cup. They easily qualified for the quarter final, but encountered stiff opposition from Molsey Rowing Club in the semi-final. Having defeated Molsey, NUI Galway progressed to the final against a strong Oxford Brookes crew stroked by an Irish man, Derek Holland. The final took place on Sunday in front of a packed stadium. NUI Galway stormed into a strong lead which they maintained throughout the race, winning the coveted Visitors Challenge Cup. A very young and inexperienced crew of James Wall, Steve Keyes, Paul Murray and Evin Donelly raced in the Student Coxed Fours Challenge Cup. They were led by Ruadhan Cooke who coxed several Henley and Irish Championship winning crews. The most exciting race of the event and arguably the regatta was their semi final against tipped favourites, Imperial College London and Goldsmith College. The Imperial crew had a very strong first half, taking up a length lead. The NUI Galway students fought back and in a sprint for the line won by an official verdict of one foot. However, in the final, the Galway crew was pipped at the line by Durham University, who on the way to winning the event, broke all the course records. Ends

Friday, 1 July 2005

An international conference on Feminisms Within and Without,' organised by the Women's Studies Centre at NUI Galway, will take place from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th July 2005 in the Arts Millennium Building. Many of the papers to be presented reflect debates central to contemporary feminist politics and Women's Studies, such as the distinction between education and activism, and theory and practice, as well as the many and varied feminist frameworks within which women's work – paid and unpaid – can be analysed. Delegates from Ireland, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will present papers on many different areas of the social, political, academic and creative aspects of Women's, Feminist and Gender Studies. The conference provides an opportunity to bring together experts in these fields, as well as from related disciplines, to exchange ideas and information. The international thrust of the conference is reflected in the extensive range of papers being presented, which include "The evolution of Spanish Feminism", "A Critical Look at New Zealand's Gender-based Art Environment," and "The Sufism of Ibn' Arabi." The Irish dimension includes papers on "Republican Women TDs in Early Twentieth Century Ireland," and "Fetal Imaging and the Creation of Knowledge." There are also papers on topics such as ethics in medicine/nursing, feminist child-rearing, and masculinity studies. An opening plenary panel, made up of Ailbhe Smyth (Ireland), Katharine Side (Canada) and Sandra Krajewski (USA) will address various aspects of feminist politics in Ireland and beyond. Guest speaker for the conference is film director, Mystelle Barbée, whose film 'Highway Courtesans' will be shown as part of the conference, in conjunction with the Galway Film Fleadh. The conference will also include a sean-nós performance workshop, and a feminist writing for performance workshop. Sessional fees are available for half- or full-day attendance. Details of the programme and conference events are available on www.conference.ie Ends

Wednesday, 31 August 2005

- New €2.6 million centre will give Ireland a supercomputing capability- Researchers at eight Irish third level institutes today (August 29th 2005) announced that Ireland's first supercomputing centre – the Irish Centre for High End Computing, (ICHEC) will commence operation on Thursday, 1st September 2005. The centre, which will deliver a national research infrastructure, has been funded through a €2.6 million Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) grant, a €0.7M equipment loan from the HEA PRTLI funded CosmoGrid programme and an equipment loan of €1.2M from TCD's HEA PRTLI funded IITAC programme. When completed, ICHEC, will address the growing need for computational resources to assist Irish researchers in their work in disciplines as diverse as medical device simulation, marine modelling, bio-informatics, drug discovery, astrophysics and computational chemistry. High End Computing, also known as 'super computing', uses the most advanced aspects of modern computer science to produce supercomputers capable of many trillions of calculations per second. With this power many physical problems can be simulated on the computer – in silica. For example it is possible in silica to determine how a surgical implant such as a stent will fatigue during its lifetime. Doing this on a computer has clear benefits over measuring the fatigue after it has been put into a patient. The development of the centre is the first of a three-phase project with the objective of ensuring that Ireland is a leader in high end computing on a per capita basis by 2010. It is expected that the centre will be a major power house for the knowledge based economy, benefiting Universities, SMEs – through its technology transfer work – and multi nationals. Commenting on the importance of the project, Dr Andrew Shearer, Dept of Information Technology, NUI Galway and Director of ICHEC said, "Ireland's ability to compete for international science projects has been hindered by the lack of computational resources, with no machines in the country making the world's Top 500 Supercomputers list. This centre will transform computational science in Ireland, creating facilities, which will be on a par with those in the rest of Europe. "Computational science is one of the few areas where Ireland can contribute to 'big' science projects. In the future, we intend that Ireland will be a Centre of Excellence in High End Computing. The ICHEC will also be of immense importance in economic terms, by keeping Ireland competitive and attracting high tech industries to the country. As high end computing can answer almost any question that a researcher in academia or industry would want to ask, the benefits of the ICHEC are endless," he says. Prof. Luke Drury, Director of CosmoGrid said "The CosmoGrid project is delighted to be part of this exciting development which will significantly enhance our ability to deliver grid-enabled computation as a tool for Irish researchers." As well as aiding Irish academic research another important aspect of the new centre will be its role in embedding advanced computing methodology into Irish research and through spin off and collaboration, to transfer advanced computing technology and expertise to the Irish economy. The Irish Centre for High End Computing involves eight partner institutions; NUI Galway, Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS), UCD, UCC, NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University and the Tyndall Institute. ICHEC will also have an industrial outreach programme working with those researchers and industries that do not normally have an interest in super computing. In addition, an outreach programme will be developed to encourage second-level students to develop an interest in computational science. Ends

Monday, 29 August 2005

A major international conference entitled "Enhancing Individual, Family and Community Health" will be held in NUI Galway from the 31st August to 3rd September 2005. The European Health Psychology Conference 2005, which will be attended by 620 delegates from 34 countries, brings together a range of academics, healthcare professionals and organisational psychologists who will present cutting edge research on a wide variety of topics, which are impacting health and the quality of family life in society. The diverse range of topics to be discussed include the stress of illness; sexual health; perceptions, attitudes and the experience of aging; quality of life following childhood illness; coping with cancer and chronic pain; influences of exercise and physical activity; and public attitudes towards advances in genetic technology. Professor Shelley Taylor, UCLA will deliver a keynote address on Wednesday on 'Why people tend and befriend under stress', which will address the importance and source of social support for those suffering illness or stress. For many people suffering severe stress or trauma, expressing their feelings through writing has proved both therapeutic and life-enhancing. Professor James Pennebaker, University of Texas, who has carried out extensive research in this field, will deliver a keynote address on Thursday, entitled ''Two decades of expressive writing and health.' Commenting on the conference Professor Ruth Curtis, Conference President and member of Dept of Psychology, NUI Galway, said, "We are very honoured to host this prestigious conference, which recognises the outstanding contribution that the Department of Psychology at NUI Galway has made to health psychology in Ireland. "This conference brings together many of the leaders in this field and recognises the importance of health psychology in helping us to explore and understand how we cope with and manage the impact that an ever changing society is having on people's lives. "We have a duty to ensure that policy makers understand the important role that health psychology plays in preparing strategies for the development of health services in Ireland. It is vital that the Government recognises this important role in the future and provides funded training places to enable graduates to specialise in health psychology." Health psychology can play an important role in significant health promotion initiatives such as the introduction of the smoking ban in Ireland. NUI Galway was the first university in Ireland to introduce a professional training programme in Health Psychology. -ends-

Monday, 22 August 2005

The amazing diversity of bats, of which there are 10 species native to Ireland, is the focus of a week-long conference at NUI Galway (22nd – 26th August). Over 200 scientists from 40 countries are attending the 10th European Bat Research Symposium where they will dispel myths regarding the blindness of these nocturnal creatures and explain the important role bats play in agriculture. NUI Galway's long involvement in bat research, first initiated by Professor James Fairley in the early 1980s, led to the University being chosen as the venue for the conference's first visit to Ireland. A keynote address delivered by Professor Thomas Kunz, Professor of Biology at Boston University, will focus on the role bats play in controlling agricultural pests. For example, the local bat population of the Brazilian Free Tailed Bat species in south central Texas may exceed 100 million each night. These bats disperse over varied landscapes to feed on flying insects. Some of their prey includes crop pests such as the corn earworm and the cotton hole worm. Dr James Dunne of NUI Galway's Department of Zoology explained how beneficial the creatures are in controlling Ireland's insect population. "The small bat seen first at dusk, weaving around and over trees is the Pipistrelle. This is the most common bat in Ireland and feeds mainly on midges, mosquitoes, caddis flies and crane flies. A pipistrelle may eat 3,000 small insects in a single night. A roost of 100 can account for the annihilation of many millions of harmful insects over a summer," he said. Dr Dunne also put paid to some of the more popular misconceptions about the common bat. "Despite several myths, bats are not blind, they do not entangle themselves in people's hair and the species native to Ireland, do not spread disease." Other areas to be explored throughout the week-long symposium include research which sheds light on the eating habits of bats. Although the vast majority of bats feed on insects, research by scientists in the Basque region has shown that the long-fingered bat is capable of also feeding on free swimming fish by plunging onto the water surface and grasping them with their hind feet. The Lesser Horseshoe Bat is one of Europe's rarer species and is the subject of a number of papers to be delivered at the conference. Sinead Biggane, a researcher with the Department of Zoology at NUI Galway, has been part of a team who have been studying a maternity roost in County Clare for many years. Using radio transmitters, Sinead tracked individual bats to determine their main feeding areas and pattern of feeding. She shows that the bats use mixed woodland, riparian woodland and associated habitats for foraging. They use hedgerows and stone walls to commute to their feeding areas and will not cover large open spaces. This research has important implications for the conservation of bats. The economic boom throughout Europe has resulted in the destruction of many bat inhabited old buildings. The conference will include a special workshop which will deal with the problems associated with this growing trend and also the legal obligations under European law to protect bats and their habitats will be discussed.

Monday, 15 August 2005

Reachtálfaidh Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, acadamh de chuid OÉ Gaillimh, sraith agallamh ar an Aoine, 19 Lúnasa do dhaoine atá ag iarraidh tabhairt faoi chúrsa i scileanna raidió. Beidh na hagallaimh seo ag teacht sna sála ar thorthaí na hArdteiste a fhoilseofar an tseachtain seo. Cúrsa bliana lánaimseartha is ea an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió a bheas ar bun in ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua i gConamara. Is é seo an dara bliain ina bhfuil sé ar siúl. Cuimsíonn sé raon leathan ábhar, ón iriseoireacht go scileanna craoltóireachta, léiriú agus iarléiriú fuaime agus raidió, cúrsaí eitice agus dlí agus scileanna cumarsáide pearsanta. Tá tréimhse taithí oibre ceithre sheachtaine mar chuid den chúrsa. D'oibrigh mic léinn an cúrsa le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, RTÉ Lyric FM agus BBC Thuaisceart Éireann roimhe seo agus tugadh cuireadh do chuid acu leanúint lena gcuid oibre ann. Dar le roinnt de na mic léinn ar chúrsa na bliana seo, "oscailt súl" ar thionscal na meán ab ea an cúrsa. Tá gné den iriseoireacht chlóite mar chuid de, agus chuir mic léinn na bliana seo caite forlíonadh le chéile a foilsíodh sa nuachtán Foinse. Bhí Pádraig Ó Duithche as Corr na Móna i measc na ndaoine ar an gcéad chúrsa. "Cheap mé, cosúil le go leor daoine, nach raibh tada ann ach a ghabháil chuig an micreafón. Ach tá an t-uafás ag baint leis. D'fhoghlaim mé conas thú féin a chur i láthair agus go gcaithfidh tú tú féin a chur ar an eolas faoin ábhar a bhfuil tú ag caint faoi, má tá tú beo ar an aer ag caint," a dúirt sé. Chaith Cathal Mac Gearailt ceithre sheachtaine ar thaithí oibre le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta i gCiarraí. "Tá mé ag déanamh rudaí difriúla gach aon lá. Tá mé ag déanamh na nuachta, tá mé ag déanamh na bhfógraí agus tá mé ag déanamh na fuaime agus rudaí mar sin," a dúirt sé. Is iad na hiriseoirí Norita Ní Chartúir agus Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill na príomhtheagascóirí ar an gcúrsa. Tá taithí na mblianta ag Norita Ní Chartúir mar chraoltóir le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta agus tá taithí ag Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill mar Eagarthóir Gaeilge an Irish Times, agus mar iriseoir le Nuacht TG4 agus le heagrais eile. Cuirtear béim mhór ar scileanna praiticiúla le linn an chúrsa, agus é mar aidhm aige na rannpháirtithe a réiteach chun fostaíocht a bhaint amach in earnáil an raidió, bíodh sin os comhair an mhaidhc mar láithreoir nó taobh thiar den deasc fuaime mar theicneoir nó mar léiritheoir. Tháinig forbairt mhór ar na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil do dhaoine in earnáil na cumarsáide Gaeilge le blianta beaga anuas. Bíonn éileamh mór ar dhaoine a bhfuil na scileanna cuí craoltóireachta, teicniúla agus fuaime acu, ag eagraíochtaí ar nós RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, stáisiúin raidió eile, TG4, Telegael, Abú Media agus neart comhlachtaí eile. Ar an iomlán bíonn os cionn 40 stáisiún raidió ag craoladh in Éirinn agus deiseanna éagsúla oibre ar fáil do lucht an chúrsa dá réir. De bharr tacaíocht fhlaithiúil Údarás na Gaeltachta ní bhíonn táille ar an gcúrsa agus íocann an tÚdarás liúntas seachtainiúil do rannpháirtithe. Cuirfear tús leis an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió ar an 12 Lúnasa 2005 agus é faoi réir ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an gCeathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe.

Monday, 15 August 2005

Interviews to allocate the remaining places on a radio skills course, offered by NUI Galway's Irish language institute, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, are to be held on Friday, 19th August 2005, following the publication of this year's Leaving Certificate results. The one-year, full-time Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió course, now is its second year, is based at the institute's centre in An Cheathrú Rua, Connemara. Covering a broad range of subjects including journalism, broadcast skills, sound production, post-production, ethics, law and communication skills, the course includes a four-week work placement. Previous students have worked at RTE Lyric FM, Raidió na Gaeltachta and BBC Northern Ireland where some have been offered further employment. Described by several students as "an eye opener" to the media industry, the course includes an element of print journalism which last year saw students complete a supplement that was published in Foinse. Pádraig Ó Duithche from Corr na Móna, who was among the first group to study the course. "I thought, like many people, that all that was involved in the course was sitting behind a microphone. I learned that you have to present yourself and you have to inform yourself about the subject that you are going to talk about because you talk live on air," he said. Cathal Mac Gearailt, who completed his work experience with Raidió na Gaeltachta in Kerry, said he would recommend the course to anyone. "I am doing different things every day. One day I will be presenting a programme, the next I will be working the sound desk and doing different things in the studio," he said. Course tutors include Norita Ní Chartúir, an experienced journalist who has worked with Raidió na Gaeltachta, and Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill, a former Irish language editor of the Irish Times who has also worked as a journalist with Nuacht TG4. With a strong emphasis on practical skills, the course is geared towards preparing participants for a career in radio, either in front of the microphone as a presenter or behind the sound desk as a technician or producer. Opportunities in the Irish language media have expanded greatly in recent years with the advent of TG4 where sound, presentation and technical skills are much in demand. And with over 40 radio stations on air across the country there are several career options available to graduates of the course. Course fees will be paid and participants will receive a weekly training allowance from Údarás na Gaeltachta. The Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió begins on 12th September 2005 and is offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe.

Thursday, 11 August 2005

Dr Jane Conroy, senior lecturer at the Department of French, NUI Galway, has become the first woman and first native English speaker to be awarded the prestigious Académie Francaise prize for scholarly work in French. Dr Conroy has been honoured with the Grand Prix de la Francophonie de L'Académie Française for her research into intercultural interactions, real and imaginary, between France and other countries, especially Ireland and Britain. This is the first time since its foundation in 1986 that the award, worth €22,500, has been awarded to someone from Ireland, the UK or the US. Dr Conroy was nominated by the French academician Michel Déon, who lives in Galway and was impressed by her pioneering work on 17th century French theatre and literature, written by French travellers to Ireland between the 17th and 19th centuries. During the 17th century, many French plays were set in the UK, a fact that went largely unnoticed until Dr Conroy wrote and published her book in French Tragic Lands: England and Scotland in 17th Century French Tragedy (Gunter Naar, 1999). This award recognises that and other publications by Dr Conroy in French. A native of Rosmuc, Connemara, Dr Conroy is humanities secretary for the Royal Irish Academy and is one of a team of editors of the Irish Journal of French Studies. She will receive her award in a special ceremony at the Institute de France in Paris in December. Dr Conroy is currently in Paris where she is preparing an edition of the 18th century manuscript travel diaries of Charles-Etienne Coquebert de Montbret, written during his time as French consul in Dublin during the reign of Louis XVI. The document will be published in French by the Irish Manuscript Commission but an English version will be made available to university libraries by Dr Conroy. Several of Dr Conroy's colleagues from the Department of French are also spending the summer in Paris where they are conducting research of a very high standard. The relationship with NUI Galway and several of the most respected French institutions in this regard reflects the quality of the research work and the affinity between the two countries.

Thursday, 4 August 2005

The Governing Authority of NUI Galway today (Thursday August 4th 2005) announced the appointment of Professor Roy Green as Vice-President for Research. The Dean of the University's Faculty of Commerce was appointed for a four-year term of office following a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile/Governing Authority. The newly established post underpins NUI Galway's commitment to further strengthening the research reputation and ethos of the University. As Vice President for Research, Professor Green will create the structures necessary to ensure that NUI Galway will remain at the forefront of internationally acknowledged research excellence. Specifically, Professor Green will ensure that the University will build on previous successes in attracting competitive research funding, will support and develop opportunities for researchers across all faculties and will also ensure the University's contribution to Ireland's knowledge society by protecting intellectual property through a newly-established Technology Transfer Office. Congratulating Professor Green on his appointment, the President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "We are very pleased to announce that Professor Green, an outstanding scholar, with an established corpus of professional and personal achievement in research, will continue to lead and develop our research reputation. Professor Green is a very capable individual and under his stewardship, we look forward to ensuring that our internationally acknowledged strengths of excellence in research will continue to grow and prosper." Professor Green is internationally recognised in the fields of innovation studies, industry and labour, market analysis and economic theory. He is currently involved in a study of the ICT sector in Ireland and a research project on structural reform and the knowledge-based economy in Europe. He has contributed to the OECD National Innovation Systems Programme and is on the steering group of the Atlantic Technology Corridor. He is a member of the Irish Research Council of the Humanities and Social Sciences, a member of Enterprise Ireland's National Research Funding Board and is current Chair of the Irish Academy of Management. Professor Green joined NUI Galway in February 2000 as Professor of Management. He was the foundation Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), established in NUI Galway in 2002 with funding of €2.8 million under the Irish Government's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). He was previously with the University of Newcastle, Australia, where he was Director of the Employment Studies Centre. A Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge, he has also played a key role as adviser to Government and Business. NUI Galway has enjoyed remarkable success in recent years in securing some 100m Euro in competitive funding from the Higher Education Authority's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI) and from Science Foundation Ireland. Ends

Thursday, 4 August 2005

D'fhógair Údarás Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 4 Lúnasa) go bhfuil an tOllamh Roy Green ceaptha mar Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde. Ceapadh an fear a bhí ina Dhéan ar Dhámh Tráchtála na hOllscoile ar feadh ceithre bliana ag cruinniú d'Údarás na hOllscoile. Cuireann an post nuabhunaithe béim ar chomh dáiríre is atá Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le cáil taighde agus éiteas na hOllscoile a láidriú. Mar Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde, cruthóidh an tOllamh Green na struchtúir chuí le cinntiú go bhfanfaidh Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh chun tosaigh i sárthaighde idirnáisiúnta. Cinnteoidh an tOllamh Green go dtógfaidh an Ollscoil ar a cumas maoiniú taighde a aimsiú, cuirfidh sé tacaíocht ar fáil agus forbróidh sé deiseanna do thaighdeoirí as na dámha uile agus deimhneoidh sé freisin inchur na hOllscoile i sochaí eolais na hÉireann, trí mhaoin intleachtúil a chosaint tríd an Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta nuabhunaithe. Agus é ag déanamh comhghairdis leis an Ollamh Green, dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Tá áthas orainn a fhógairt go leanfaidh an tOllamh Green air, scoláire den chéad scoth, a bhfuil cáil bainte amach aige as a chuid taighde, ag stiúradh agus ag forbairt ár gcáil taighde. Duine fíorchumasach é an tOllamh Green agus faoina cheannaireacht, táimíd ag súil go gcinnteofar go dtiocfaidh fás agus forbairt ar na réimsí taighde sin a bhfuil clú idirnáisiúnta tuilte againn mar gheall orthu." Tá cáil idirnáisiúnta ar an Ollamh Green mar gheall ar a chuid taighde i réimse an staidéir nuálaíochta, tionscail agus saothar, anailís ar an margadh agus teoiric eacnamaíoch. Tá sé ag obair ar staidéar don earnáil ICT in Éirinn faoi láthair agus ar thionscadal taighde maidir le hathchóiriú struchtúrtha agus geilleagar eolasbhunaithe na hEorpa. Tá obair déanta aige ar Chlár Náisiúnta Chórais Nuálaíochta de chuid an OECD agus ar ghrúpa stiúrtha do Dhorchla Teicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh. Ar lean/ Tá an tOllamh Green ina chomhalta den Chomhairle um Thaighde sna Dána agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, den Bhord Maoiniúcháin Náisiúnta Taighde de chuid Fiontraíocht Éireann; agus tá sé ina Chathaoirleach faoi láthair ar Acadamh Bainistíochta na hÉireann. Thosaigh Roy Green ina phost mar Ollamh Bainistíochta in OÉ, Gaillimh i Feabhra 2000. Ba é an chéad Stiúrthóir ar an Ionad um Nuálaíocht agus Athrú Struchtúrach (CISC), a bunaíodh in OÉ, Gaillimh in 2002 le maoiniú €2.8 milliún faoi Chlár Rialtas Éireann um Thaighde i bhForais Tríú Leibhéal (PRTLI). Roimhe sin, bhí sé in Ollscoil Newcastle, san Astráil, áit a raibh sé ina Stiúrthóir ar Ionad Staidéar na Fostaíochta. Bhí sé ina Ánra de Clare Hall, Cambridge, agus ina chomhairleoir Rialtais agus Gnó. Tá éirithe thar barr le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh le blianta beaga anuas ag aimsiú thart ar 100m Euro san iomaíocht maoiniú don taighde trí Chlár Taighde an Údaráis um Ard-Oideachas in Institiúidí Tríú Leibhéal (PRTLI) agus trí Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann a fháil. Críoch

Monday, 26 September 2005

The Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway. 29th September-2nd October 2005 In 1996, it was voted the most popular Irish film of all time by Irish Times readers and continues to fascinate people. When it was released on video in 1985, it sold 200,000 copies in Britain alone within four years. The John Ford classic film The Quiet Man continues to fascinate and enthral audiences, making it a cult movie like others such as Gone with the Wind and Ryan's Daughter. However, some people regard it as idealistic, nostalgic and containing more than its fair share of paddywhackery. A modern viewing of The Quiet Man provides much food for thought and from the 29th September – 2 October a conference entitled "New perspectives on The Quiet Man" will be hosted by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway. The event involves both the analysis of aspects of The Quiet Man as myth, commodity and fetish and the celebration of a film that has sustained such enthusiastic attention and popular appreciation for 50 years. Among the topics considered will be the complexity of the film's relation to Ireland and to John Ford s other films; its perceived place with regard to indigenous Irish cinema; and the phenomenon of its circulation and reception as a cult film over the years. As Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway has remarked: " The Quiet Man is a pivotal film in Irish culture, a film that has achieved cult status long ago and been much debated in recent years. John Ford s classic film offered an image of Ireland that has circulated internationally and still brings many tourists to these shores. It is especially appropriate to be staging the conference amid the locations of the film's original shooting in 1951." Among the contributors to the conference will be some leading international academics, including Professor Luke Gibbons (Keough Family Chair of Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame), Dr. Ruth Barton (University College, Dublin), Dr. Richard C. Allen (University of Sunderland, UK), and Dr. Michael Gillespie (Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English, Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA). Luke Gibbons, the author of a book on the film, will examine The Quiet Man with regard to John Ford's westerns. Ruth Barton argues that we need to read the character of Mary Kate in The Quiet Man against the background of Maureen O Hara as the star of a series of films previous to The Quiet Man that saw her wield a sword, ride horseback across the desert and make love to pirates of dubious reputation, in films such as The Spanish Main and Sinbad the Sailor, and not exclusively as a fantasised representation of Irish femininity. Richard C. Allen, in a paper entitled " 'I've come home, and home I'm gonna stay': The Quiet Man in Irish-American cinematic history," argues that while the film is fictional and stereotypical, it offers some powerful insights into the experience of exile and homecoming. Indeed, as a vehicle for exploring issues such as emigration and exile; landownership; the subordination of women; and the controlling influence of the Catholic Church, Allen argues that this tragic-comedy allows the audience to engage at a high level with the emotional turbulence of the exile's condition. Michael Gillespie will present the provocatively titled paper 'Is Californication a Mortal Sin?' in which he argues that The Quiet Man, despite its being made along conventional Hollywood lines, is an Irish film and as such provides insights into what features legitimately define that category. A full programme of conference papers and screenings is available from the Huston School. There will also be screenings of a special 35mm print of The Quiet Man brought in from an archive in Los Angeles, and related films and visits to the locations in Connemara where the film was made. The Quiet Man screening, to be held in the Town Hall on Saturday (October 1st) at 4pm, will also be preceded by a Q&A with the acclaimed Irish playwright and screenwriter, Hugh Leonard. The fee for this screening is €6/€4. The conference is one of an ongoing series of events at the Huston School including conferences on 'New Scottish Cinema' on November 4th - 5th and 'Women in the Picture 2' next January.