Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Release date: 12 March, 2002 Minister announces Inaugural Science Awards at NUI Galway A new awards scheme funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and aimed at attracting international researchers to Ireland for a period of up to one year will be announced in NUI, Galway this evening (6.30 p.m., Tuesday, 12 March), by Mr. Noel Treacy, T.D., Minister for Science and Technology and Commerce. The Walton Visitor Awards are named in honour of Ernest T. S. Walton, who with his colleague, John Cockcroft, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951. Walton s son, Professor Philip Walton, is Professor of Applied Physics at NUI, Galway. In making the announcement, Minister Treacy will be joined by Dr. William C. Harris, SFI director general, Professor Walton, and members of the Walton family. Dr. Harris called the Walton Visitor Awards "a new bridge between Ireland and the international scientific community". He pledged that SFI would fund each Walton Visitor Award with up to €200,000 per year, including salary and laboratory and moving expenses. When Walton and Cockcroft split the atom in 1932, it ushered in a new era in scientific research and is regarded as one of the great landmarks in the history of science. SFI's decision to name the new awards after Ireland s greatest 20th century scientist is an appropriate way of fostering research and collaborative links with the International scientific community. The specific aims of the Walton Visitor Awards are: To bring international researchers to Ireland for periods normally ranging up to one year To strengthen Ireland s connections to and collaborations with the international research community To enhance Ireland s reputation and culture as a home of first-class research To foster the recruitment of excellent undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students The Walton Visitor Awards programme is one of a number of new initiatives from Science Foundation Ireland to support a strong scientific research base and attract and retain excellent researchers to create a critical mass of world-class research excellence in niche areas of Information Communication Technologies and Biotechnology. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Friday, 8 March 2002

Release date: 25 February, 2002 Understandings of Rural Development challenged in new book by NUI Galway expert Irish rural society has an image of being isolated, poverty-stricken and marginalised. However, the nature of rural areas, and particularly that of rural development, is being "rethought" and "redefined" throughout Europe. A new book by NUI, Galway expert, Dr John McDonagh, Renegotiating Rural Development in Ireland, explores this "redefining" of rural development and the implications this has for the future sustainability of rural communities in Ireland. The book, which was officially launched today (Monday, 25 February), in NUI, Galway by Eamon Ó Cúiv TD, Minister for State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, challenges different perceptions about rural life while deconstructing current processes and practices utilised in this complex arena. Dr McDonagh states that a new form of governance is required in order to achieve a collective benefit that is unobtainable through current practices of groups acting either independently or in isolation. Dr McDonagh states: "The premise of this book is that rural Ireland does not have a democratic ethos under which it can develop greater self-reliance … where local communities can participate genuinely in the decision-making process." Throughout the book Dr McDonagh suggests that current methods need to be drastically overhauled in order for rural communities to survive. He argues that there has been a perception that EU-funded initiatives such as LEADER have been the driving force behind development but in reality these programmes often do not get to the core of what is required. As such, there is a need for a renegotiation of the methods of funding and implementation of rural development projects, as well as a need for greater input and influence from the rural communities affected by, and involved in, these projects. In particular the book argues for new methods of rural management that are more than merely partnerships between governmental and non-governmental groups fulfilling a set of funding criteria. "While there has been a perceptible shift in recent years from the top down policy to a more bottom-up partnership approach," says Dr McDonagh, "rural communities in Ireland still have only limited influence on the development process." He argues that the reluctance of successive Irish governments to alter the administrative and institutional capacities of the state has given rise to the perception that these programmes are effective. However, in many cases these programmes and projects are not meeting the requirements of rural people and this goal is only attainable through the integration of government and EU programmes with the input and needs of rural communities. Dr McDonagh further argues that there is a need for greater understanding of what rural development is all about; "what people want from rural areas; whether people will accept trade-offs between rural and urban living and whether problems in rural areas can be dealt with exclusively through some specific rural development strategy or rural-oriented planning". Ends Information: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel: 091 750418

Monday, 4 March 2002

Release date: 1 March, 2002 Taoiseach launches new Research Centre in NUI Galway An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, T.D., today (Friday, 1 March), launched the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI, Galway. CISC has been awarded competitive funding of €2.8 million under the Irish Government's Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). Professor Roy Green has been leading NUI Galway's innovation policy work since he arrived from the University of Newcastle in Australia a few years ago. He has already fostered links with institutions of excellence abroad, including MIT in the US and the University of Cambridge in England. "Research in CISC will be undertaken in areas including spatial strategy, internationally-traded services and industry clustering", he said. "Our research will help inform economic and structural policy in what I believe are three areas of "weakness" in the Irish economy: a dependence on foreign investment, low levels of research and development and a geographical imbalance in economic activity". Since innovation policy is not widely studied in Ireland at the moment, he believes that the data produced by the new centre will fill a void in international terms as well as in a regional or national sense. "All of our research will produce publicly available results which we'll post on a website. Since there's no comprehensive source of data on the area at the moment, it will be especially useful in contributing to EU and OECD data collection," according to Professor Green. A number of smaller-scale projects in the innovation area are already underway, including a survey which will map the innovation structure of the Galway/Limerick/Shannon region, or the "Atlantic Technology Corridor". This work involves the development of statistical categories designed specifically to identify trends such as levels of research work among companies in the region or connections between business and the local community. Speaking at the launch of the new research centre, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI, Galway said, "The University is proud of its excellence in research and the contribution that its research activity makes to national and international policy-making. The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change is a significant and exciting development in an important area of business strategy". Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Thursday, 18 April 2002

Release date: 19 April, 2002 NUI Galway joins Burren College of Art to deliver first Irish Master of Fine Art The spectacular beauty of the Burren in Co. Clare has for long been a source of inspiration for artists, writers and poets. Amid this startling landscape of megalithic tombs, caverns and castles, craggy lunar-like rocks and Arctic and Mediterranean flora stands the 16th century Newtown Castle. In its courtyard stands the Burren College of Art (BCA), which was founded in 1994 and has since achieved an international reputation for the quality of the courses it provides. In a significant development, National University of Ireland, Galway has now joined BCA to deliver the first Irish Master of Fine Art (MFA) programme. Ms. Síle de Valera, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, will officially launch the programme in the Burren College of Art at 3.00 p.m, on 19 April, 2002. MFA students will be based in the Burren College of Art, which provides state-of-the-art facilities including modern studios, lecture theatre, library, dark room and photographic facilities and sculpture workshop. Students will be enabled to express their art in a variety of traditional and non traditional media including but not limited to painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, site-specific work, land art and text-based work. Tuition will be provided by resident faculty as well as international, cutting-edge visiting artists from The Royal College of Art in London, -the number one graduate school of art & design in the UK and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), which has been consistently ranked the number one graduate school of fine arts in the U.S. Prof. Sir Christopher Frayling, Rector of the Royal College of Art in London, said 'The new MFA at the Burren College of Art is a major step forward for a school which has already made its mark on the art education scene. The MFA will enable it, through specialisation, to make an even more distinctive contribution'. Both Prof. Sir Christopher Frayling and Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SAIC will speak at the launch. Carol Becker said "The School of the Art Institute of Chicago has worked closely with the Burren College of Art since its inception. We have watched it become a first rate art school deeply wedded to its locality but also well positioned within a larger global world of art and art making. We are very excited to be part of this new initiative. It will harness a breadth of intellectual and creative energy from the institutions involved and provide a rich, creative experience for all who enter into the programme as students." Elective studies of the MFA programme will take place at NUI, Galway. This will enable the students to broaden their field of knowledge and also to study intercultural aspects of visual media. Opportunities for co-operative work in areas such as performance art, text and image and writing will be facilitated. "The undertaking of this MFA programme, the first such programme in Ireland, in association with the Burren College of Art, marks a further significant development in NUI Galway s strategic commitment to expanding the higher education opportunities both in Clare and throughout the Western region," said Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI, Galway. "We look forward to a very fruitful and mutually enriching partnership with an institution which has already established its credentials in the field of art education at home and abroad . Mary Hawkes-Greene, President of the Burren College of Art said Just as the Burren reflects an interplay of a macrocosm of giant boulders with a microcosm of unique plants, the MFA programme I envisage combines the resources of a large university and international associates with the creative space and individuality of a small college. It synthesises diverse elements of tradition and cutting edge, the local and the global, placing students at the interface of artistic currents. The two-year, full-time postgraduate programme, which will commence in September 2003, will enable graduates to Produce a final exhibition, the quality of which will demonstrate that they have acquired the confidence, skills and maturity necessary to function as successful artists Be able to critically evaluate their own work and that of their peers, informed by contemporary fine art practice Exhibit strong expressive and communicative Display increased intellectual capabilities and more advanced understanding of the philosophical and cultural concerns shared by contemporary fine artists Ends Information from: Eleanor Franklin, Director of Communications Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare. T. 065-7077200 /F. 065-7077201 Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway T. 091-750418 / mobile 087-2986592 Note for Editors: Burren College of Art Established in 1994 against the backdrop of Newtown Castle with its fully restored minstrel's gallery and its striking circular rooms All College amenities are newly constructed providing state-of-the art facilities for students Situated 3km from Ballyvaughan and 40 minutes from Galway city Provides study programmes in Drawing, Painting, Photography, Sculpture, which are incorporated into the following: Four year Bachelor of Fine Arts Residency Programme Two 15-week BFA Semester Programmes Annual Summer Schools Hosts Annual Spring Conference and Burren Law School (theme for May 2002: "Identity and the Law"). National University of Ireland Galway Founded in 1845 Seven Faculties: Arts, Celtic Studies, Commerce, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science Student population: 12,000 Arts Postgraduate Programmes include: MA in Theatre Studies; MA in Publishing; MA in Conquest and Colonialism Consistently promoting the Arts in the West of Ireland by hosting a Writer-in-Residence twice annually in both the Irish and English languages; Organising Public Lecture series in Art and Literature; and hosting the only Ensemble-in-Residence in the West of Ireland Academic excellence and cosmopolitan atmosphere encourage creativity and experimentation in music, drama and literature. Carol Becker is Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the author of numerous articles and several books including: The Invisible Drama: Women and The Anxiety of Change; The Subversive Imagination: Artist, Society, and Social Responsibility; Zones of Contention: Essays on Art, Institutions, Gender and Anxiety; and, most recently Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformation and the Changing Politics of Art. Prof. Sir Christopher Frayling Rector of Royal College of Art in London, and Professor of Cultural History there. Established pioneering postgraduate courses in the history of design, modern cultural theory and the conservation of artefacts and visual arts administration. On New Year's Eve 2000 he was knighted for ''services to art and design and education''. An historian, a critic and a broadcaster he is well known for his work on BBC Radio and Television. His '6 part television series ' The Art of Persuasion' about advertising, won a Gold medal at the New York Film & Television Festival. Other broadcasts have won awards and critical acclaim. He has publiushed over a dozen books and numerous articles on visual culture, design and history, over the last 25 years. Sir Frayling was the longest serving member of the Arts Council of England. Sir Huw Wheldon once called him ''the Kenneth Clark of the popular arts'' –Kenneth Clark of Civilisation fame, that is …

Tuesday, 9 April 2002

Release date: 9 April, 2002 Minister Treacy announces major conference in Photonics for Galway in September SPIE, a worldwide organisation of engineers and scientists working in the field of Optical Engineering and Photonics, will hold their first regional conference outside of North America in Galway, on 5-6 September, 2002. Announcing this major conference on Opto-electronics, Photonics, and Optical Imaging in NUI, Galway, Mr. Noel Treacy T.D., Minister for Science, Technology and Commerce, welcomed the goal that had been set down for the meeting by the organisers –  to promote photonics-based industries in Ireland and Europe, and to showcase the world-class companies, universities, and research programmes within Ireland. Minister Treacy indicated that "this goal matches very well with the strategies of our Department for the promotion of Photonics in Ireland". The conference – called OPTO-Ireland - will be hosted by the National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) in NUI, Galway and its director, Professor Tom Glynn, is the conference chairman. The annual conference of the Irish Machine Vision and Image Processing (IMVIP) group will also form part of the International conference and will be chaired by Dr. Andy Shearer of the Information Technology Department in NUI, Galway. Papers are invited under 10 separate themes and the conference will have three parallel sessions for two days. The conference is expected to attract about 400 participants and about 75 exhibits. Courses aimed at both academics and industrial personnel will run in parallel with both the conference and exhibition. Minister Treacy pointed out that "national funding and support agencies are currently targeting photonics for further support and development as a national strategy. It is certain that the communications networks of the future will use all-optical signalling to replace the mixed optical-electronic systems now in place. Multinational telecoms companies in Ireland are now being joined in this area by several Irish start-up companies – the fruits of long-term investment in university research." Laser technology is also being widely used in other fields and is now an important part of equipment testing, chip manufacturing, automation, and quality control. Nowhere said Minister Treacy " is this more evident than in the medical device industry in Ireland and particularly in the West, where in a remarkably short time span lasers have moved centre stage in the manufacturing process and are now widely used for cutting, welding, marking, and in various metrology applications ". Many of these developments have been facilitated through joint research and development projects with the NCLA, and with support from Enterprise Ireland. Concluding, Minister Treacy congratulated the organisers of OPTO-Ireland, emphasising that "this international conference represents a significant opportunity for the researchers and companies using lasers and optical instrumentation in Ireland and these, along with the growing number of start-up companies, will oversee the next phase of expansion of photonics technologies in Ireland". Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. (091) 759418 ncla@nuigalway.ie www.wpie.org/conferences/calls/02/ire/ www.physics.nuigalway.ie/ncla/

Thursday, 30 May 2002

Release date: 28 May, 2002 New Report Highlights Needs of the Dependent Elderly A report, written by Dr. Eamon O'Shea of the Department of Economics, NUI Galway for the Council of Europe on "Improving the Quality of Life of Elderly Persons in Situations of Dependency", highlights the need for a socially functioning society as opposed to an economically functioning society, in terms of care of the elderly. The report, introduced at the World Assembly on Aging in Madrid in April 2002, will be formally presented to Governments at the European Conference on Aging in September 2002. It is predicted that the number of over-65s will double in the next thirty years and, within the elderly population, the oldest age categories are the fastest growing. Dependency, the report states, is likely to increase in line with the general ageing of the population in Europe, particularly dementia-related dependency, which is an increasing function of age. "It is important in light of these facts," says Dr. O'Shea "to look at the well-being and quality of life of all people as they grow older, including people with lifelong disabilities". The report gives a number of recommendations for improving the quality of life of dependent elderly people: The autonomy, integrity and dignity of elderly people must be taken into consideration at all times and participation and independence must be encouraged; Primary healthcare should be coordinated with social care and secondary care and delivered by appropriately trained staff; Home-based care for dependent elderly people should be delivered locally in a flexible manner within the framework of an integrated health and social care system; Day care centre and respite care provision should be expanded for all dependent elderly people, including people with dementia; People with dementia should receive services in appropriately designed environments from people who are specifically trained to deliver such care. The report places great emphasis on the importance of a social focus on care of dependent elderly people in later life. Therefore, an area of particular importance is that of family care. Family carers have a very important role to play in the care of dependent elderly people but, from a social viewpoint, they cannot be assumed to be a free resource. The report recommends that the needs of family carers be explicitly recognised through the granting of legislatively-based rights and the provision of appropriate information, training, respite and other support services. Other recommendations include special attention given to the development of a variety of geriatric medicine facilities including: day hospitals which cater to the individual needs of the dependent elderly; assessment and rehabilitation services; and high quality long-stay care in a variety of settings staffed by trained personnel. "At the heart of this report" said Dr. Eamon O'Shea, "is the recommendation that the prevention of dependency for elderly people should be a central tenet of health, social care and environmental policy throughout life. Overcoming ageist attitudes within society, for example, is a way of working towards preventing dependency in later life. What is important is that elderly people are treated as citizens with the same rights and responsibilities as younger people." The report concludes with the key message that full citizenship rights for all dependent elderly persons is crucial and these rights should be guaranteed by law. Solidarity must be collective and public if the full potential of elderly people with disabilities and their carers is to be realised. "This solidarity must be maintained and enhanced through dialogue and discussion amongst all of the social partners," said Dr. O'Shea " and these discussions should include the elderly themselves." --ENDS-- For further information:Maire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI Galway 091-750418

Tuesday, 21 May 2002

Release date: 21 May, 2002 Galway Research Team leads the way in Car Recycling Drive When it comes to recycling, Galway has led the country in recent years. Now, a Galway research team is leading the world in the recycling of cars. A new EU directive, set to come into force this month, will mean that cars will have to be recycled when they reach the end of their lives. The European End of Life Vehicle Directive aims to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill when cars are disposed of. A research group in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Research Unit (CIMRU) in NUI, Galway, is working on a project to develop the most efficient methods of recycling cars. The CIMRU team is working on the basis that there is a hierarchy of options for dealing with old cars. The most preferable option is to reuse parts. Material and recycling comes next with disposal in landfill being the least preferred option. Currently, some 75% of the weight of cars is recycled with the remaining 25% sent to landfill. This waste accounts for 10% of all hazardous waste generated yearly in the EU. The disposal of fluids such as oil, brake fluid and petrol can cause serious pollution unless disposed of properly. Other materials including foam, plastics and wiring also qualify as hazardous waste which may have detrimental effects on the environment. The EU End of Life Directive aims to reduce the amount of hazardous waste being sent to landfill to 15% by 2006 and to 5% by 2015. To achieve this, car manufacturers will be encouraged to use more reusable and recyclable materials in their cars and also to design products that will be easier to recycle when they reach the end of their lives. The team in CIMRU will help by coming up with computerised methods of tracking these materials throughout the lifetime of the car. The Directive also proposes that all cars be depolluted before being recycled. This involves removing all oil, petrol, brake fluid and other such dangerous materials. Currently, there are between eight and nine million cars disposed of annually in Europe and 150,000 in Ireland. About 7% of these are illegally dumped as abandoned wrecks. In addition to coming up with a system that will deal with all these aspects of car recycling, the tools being developed in CIMRU can also be applied in other areas, such as in the disposal of hospital waste. According to Neil Ferguson, the project manager at CIMRU: "we, together with our Irish and European partners, will come up with systems that are primarily aimed at car recycling and hospital waste treatment. However, we will be developing methodologies that can also be applied to other areas. We are developing a suite of tools that can be used for end of life recovery across all sectors". ENDS Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel: 091-750418

Monday, 20 May 2002

Release date: 20 May, 2002 NUI Galway Professor appointed to Sierre Leone's Truth and Reconciliation Commission Professor William A. Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at the National University of Ireland, Galway, has been appointed by the President of Sierra Leone, Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, as a member of the country s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission, which will begin its fifteen-month mandate on 1 June 2002, is to create an impartial historical record of Sierra Leone s brutal civil war during the 1990s. The Commission is modelled on similar efforts in South Africa and Guatemala. It is also required to address the needs of victims and to promote reconciliation in the country. "Sierra Leone s Truth Commission is somewhat unique, in that it will operate in parallel with criminal prosecutions of the most serious offenders by the newly created Special Court", Professor Schabas explained. The Special Court was established in January by an agreement between Sierra Leone and the United Nations. "Truth commissions are increasingly recognised as useful and effective mechanisms to promote peace and reconciliation in societies emerging from conflict, and to combat impunity", said Professor Schabas. "They can ensure accountability where the more traditional approach of criminal prosecution is not possible. They are particularly effective in providing a voice for victims and in establishing what really took place." The Sierra Leone Truth Commission is made up of seven commissioners, four of them nationals of Sierra Leone, and three of them non-nationals who were nominated by Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In addition to Professor Schabas, the other non-nationals are Yasmin Louise Sooka, a former member of the South African Truth Commission, and Satang Ajaaraton Jow, former Gambian Minister of Education. During 2002 and 2003, Professor Schabas will travel regularly to Sierra Leone in order to carry out his functions as a commissioner. William Schabas is an internationally recognised specialist in international human rights law, with a particular expertise in the area of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. A prolific author, he has published twelve books on human rights subjects of which the most recent, An Introduction to the International Criminal Court, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2001. His work as a human rights monitor and investigator has taken him to such countries as Rwanda, Cambodia, Kosovo, Chechnya, the Sudan and El Salvador. A national of Canada, Professor Schabas has lived in Ireland since January 2000, when he took up the chair in human rights law at the National University of Ireland, Galway. For more information on the Truth Commission, see: http://www.sierra-leone.org/trc.html. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press & Information Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Thursday, 9 May 2002

Release date: 9 May, 2002 Minister identifies new Fish Species suitable for Commercial Farming while launching new Marine Research Programme The award of a massive €13 million to the Martin Ryan Institute at NUI, Galway by the Higher Education Authority has lead to a further €6 million being raised in what is a true example of a Public Private Partnership. Atlantic Philanthropies Ltd., based in the United States, has come on board to support an ambitious marine research programme that will build both scientific capability and the physical resources required to support it. The unique partnership continues a strong tradition of PPP at NUI Galway. Tony Ryan (of Ryan Air), led the trend when he funded the establishment of the MRI in 1992. Aquaculture research is one of the many areas of marine research in which the Martin Ryan Institute is involved. Aquaculture is one of the world's major growth industries and accounts for 25% of all fish landings. In Ireland, the sector has grown in output value from €51 million in 1994, to €97 million in 2000 and now employs 2,200 on a full and part-time basis. Salmon, mussels and oysters, have been successfully farmed since the 1970s. Now a new report identifies turbot, halibut and cod, as species with the best prospects for development in the immediate future. The report of the New Species Development Group will be launched by Mr. Frank Fahey, T.D., Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, today (Thursday, 9 May at 2.00 p.m.) in the Martin Ryan Institute, in NUI, Galway. Established by the Minister in December 2001, the Group was charged with drawing up an integrated plan of action designed to facilitate and accelerate the commercial cultivation of new species in the short term. To support the diversification by the aquaculture sector into the cultivation of new marine finfish species, the New Species Development Group has devised a Six Point Integrated Strategy which includes the following: Facilities Support the development of dedicated hatchery and juvenile management in Irish R&D facilities under the NDP, 2000-2006. Skills Build the Irish Human resource capacity, expertise and key skills in areas such as genetics, hatchery technology and management, fish health broodstock management and feed research Species State agencies to prioritise and fast-track the three main species –turbot, halibut and cod – in the hatchery, juvenile and growout phases, in partnership with private entrepreneurs. Partnership/Investment Build international alliances and promote international investment in new species Promotion/Marketing State agencies to promote the public image and market perception of Ireland as a location for Fish Health and Licencing Department of Marine & Natural Resources to adopt a proactive Fish Health and Licence strategy for management of new species. Mr. Declan Clarke of NUI, Galway's Martin Ryan Institute, who is Chairman of the New Species Development Group, says the report's recommendations present both a challenge and an opportunity to fast-track the development of aquaculture in Ireland. "Compared to countries such as Norway, Canada and France who have been to the forefront of new species diversification over the past decade, Ireland's aquaculture industry is relatively underdeveloped and we now have an opportunity to avail of the advances in new technologies, as well as consumer demand for continuity of supply and product consistency". One of the first major steps in building this required capacity in marine finfish R&D will be the establishment of Ireland's first cod hatchery at the MRI Carna Laboratories. As an initiative which is funded by the Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Marine Institute and is supported by Trouw Ireland Ltd and BIM, the collaborative nature of the project ensures a multidisciplinary input, both from a research and most importantly a commercial viewpoint. The major capital development programme being undertaken at the MRI Carna Laboratories, will facilitate just this type of collaborative research, both in the basic marine science fields and also on the more applied sector. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418; Mobile 087-2986582 Note for Editors: The term 'new species' in the Report refers to those species that are being considered for commercialisation, that are not in mainstream production and have the potential to sustainably contribute to the Irish economy within the coming decade, specifically they refer to marine finfish such as turbot, halibut and cod. In the context of new species covered in this report the financial investment required is estimated at €500,000 to €3 million. In evaluating the economic aspects of new species the following criteria apply: Reliability and cost of juvenile supply Detailed knowledge of costs of production and markets Growth rates achievable in ambient - Fish health and local environmental parameters The availability of local expertise Adequate information to devise a specification for a commercial plant New Fish Species prioritised for commercialisation: Turbot, Halibut and Cod. Turbot: The commercial farming of turbot is well established in Spain, France and Chile. Early turbot production trials in Ireland and Europe showed encouraging results and a commercial turbot farm is now established in Connemara. Halibut is a cold-water species, which is a high priced fish with an established market. Most research has been undertaken in Norway, Scotland and Iceland. Cod: Economic models draw parallels with salmon farming which is similar in terms of methodology and requirements. Studies undertaken in Norway indicate that costs must be significantly reduced to make the industry competitive with salmon farming. In addition to Turbot, Halibut and Cod, other finfish species considered to have potential for aquaculture include Haddock, Sea Bass and Hake The Irish domestic market for seafood is worth €110 million and Irish seafood exports were valued at €330 million in the year 2000. --------------------

Tuesday, 7 May 2002

Release date: 7 May, 2002 NUI Galway to address Market Efficiencies in the Road Freight Sector A team of researchers at the Department of Information Technology at NUI, Galway is currently investigating a unique approach to the improvement of efficiency in the haulage industry. The latest statistics* from the CSO show that the total vehicle kilometres travelled by Irish goods vehicles was 1,023 million, of which approximately 62% were on loaded journeys with the remaining 38% on empty journeys. Total activity in terms of tonnes-kilometres was 7,016 million, from which an estimate of 12.9 million was loaded journeys. The problem of 'empty running' and full utilisation of truck capacity is one that faces all hauliers with the average lading factor (capacity utilisation) at only 60%. The team at NUI, Galway is seeking to develop software that will enable the fleet manager to optimise route planning, fleet capacity and cost effectiveness. The proposed V-LAB (or Virtual Logistics Multi-Agent Broker) integrates the capabilities of mobile intelligent agents, AI-based optimisation, GPS positioning and time-stamping and distributed object technology. A prototype system is planned for the real time brokerage and co-ordination of 'on-the-move' road freight carriers. Over one billion tonne-kilometres of road freight transport is generated in the EU and in this market alone a 10% effective increase in capacity would mean a reduction of about 100 million tonne-kilometre journeys and significant reductions in CO2 emissions. "The research programme investigates the usage of innovative technology through the convergence of computing, communications and satellite-based positioning technologies to address the apparent inefficiency in the operation of road freight haulage" said Dr. Michael Madden of the Department of Information Technology, NUI, Galway. "A solution to this problem would mean very large and quantifiable benefits for fleet operators and indeed the economy as a whole." The product will serve as a broker between the fleet management agent and the manufacturers and shippers and will, through analysis of route planning, capacity, special requirements for haulage such as refrigeration, ensure that fleets are maximising capacity usage and increasing efficiency. Funding for the project of €500,000 was received from Enterprise Ireland. --ENDS— For further information: Maire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418 *CSO Road Freight Transport Survey 1999

Tuesday, 18 June 2002

release date: 18 June, 2002 NUI Galway to Honour Individuals for their Outstanding Contribution to Society One of the most successful Irish-American politicians of his generation and a man who has close links with Galway, will be among six people who will be conferred with Honorary Degrees at NUI, Galway on Friday, 28 June, 2002. William (Bill) Bulger was President of the Massachusetts Senate from 1978 to 1996, making him the longest-serving holder of that office in the history of the State. During his long and illustrious career as Senate President, William Bulger oversaw the introduction of legislation for improved education and healthcare services in Massachusetts, paying special attention to the needs of the poor and disadvantaged. In 1996, he became the twenty-fourth President of the University of Massachusetts. Under his leadership, the University has made significant progress, in terms of academic activity, research funding and private support. William Bulger grew up in South Boston, which had one of the strongest Irish communities in the US. He married Mary Foley, whose mother Sarah came from Carna, Co Galway and they have nine children. The Senator and his wife retain strong links with the west of Ireland, which they have visited on a number of occasions. Another person who has made an extraordinary contribution to her community and who will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree is Sister Helen Prejean. About twenty years ago, Sr. Helen began ministering to persons sentenced to death in Louisiana penitentiaries. She wrote about her experiences in her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking, which was adapted and turned into the Oscar-winning film of the same name, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. Sr. Helen is a member of an inner-city religious community in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her encounters with Louisiana's death row soon focussed her phenomenal energies and charismatic persona onto the more general issue of capital punishment. She is currently one of the leading activists in the United States and internationally for the abolition of the death penalty. Ali Hewson and Adi Roche, of the Chernobyl Children's Project, are household names in Ireland for their tireless efforts in alleviating the suffering of the victims of one of the world's most famous nuclear accidents. Ali Hewson is the Chernobyl Children's Project active and working patron and is deeply involved, with Adi Roche, in every aspect of the project. Adi Roche is the founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project. Under her leadership, the Project has initiated sixteen aid programmes, delivered medical aid valued at over $25m to the areas affected by the nuclear accident and brought over 8,500 children to Ireland for rest and recuperation. Over 60 children have been brought to Ireland for life-saving operations and treatment. In 1998, Adi Roche received Belarus' s highest national honour, the Frantsysk Skrayna Order for her outstanding contribution to the life of the Belarussian people. More recently, Ali Hewson has spearheaded a postcard campaign to persuade the British Government to close the nuclear power plant at Sellafield. An Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws will be conferred on both women. Dr Rosa Gonzalez-Casademont, is Professor of English at the University of Barcelona. She will be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Literature Degree. Dr Gonzalez-Casademont is well known in Spain for her work in promoting the study and appreciation of Irish literature and film and was responsible for the setting up of the Spanish Association of Irish Studies in 2001. Professor Salvatore Rionero is Professor of Rational Mechanics at the University of Naples. Since 1980, he has been Director of the annual International Summer School in Mathematical Physics at Ravello, at which scientists from NUI Galway and UCD have given courses. Professor Rionero is Author/Co-author of over one hundred papers and numerous books and has made many distinguished research contributions in the areas of non-linear stability of viscous fluids and qualitative estimates for partial differential equations. He will be conferred with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway.Tel. 091 750418

Tuesday, 11 June 2002

Release date: 10 June, 2002 Germaine Greer to lead International Line-up at Centre for Irish Studies Conference in NUI Galway 'Ned Kelly and the Irish Inheritance' is the provocative title of a talk to be delivered by Germaine Greer at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway on Wednesday 19 June. Professor Greer will deliver the keynote address at the Twelfth Irish Australian Conference, 'From Youghal Harbour to Moreton Bay: Remembered Nations, Imagined Republics', 19-22 June, which brings together many of the most eminent scholars in Irish Australian studies from Ireland, Australia, Britain, South Africa and New Zealand. With more than fifty papers scheduled for presentation, the Galway conference is set to be the largest to date with papers presented on a broad range of issues including migration, ethnic identities, multiculturalism, health and gender, Irish-aboriginal relations, industrial relations, republicanism, language, literature and the efforts of Irish missionaries in Australia. 'We are particularly pleased with the diversity of the material which will have considerable appeal to a general audience and will greatly extend considerably the scope of future research in Irish-Australian studies,' says Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies. 'The timing of the conference is also auspicious given the recent and unprecedented development in of Irish Studies in the antipodes which has seen the establishment of centres for Irish Studies at some of Australia's most prestigious universities in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and elsewhere. It also confirms our commitment to a more outward looking inclusive definition of Irish Studies.' Among the more intriguing titles in the conference programme are Ann McVeigh's talk on child migration which has been the subject of recent television documentaries such as 'The Leaving of Liverpool' and 'The Lost Children'; Rosemary Sheehan's comparison of the treatment of women prisoners in Mountjoy and Melbourne jails; and Chris Eipper's 'Virgin Worship, Desire, Sex and Gender' which is part of a work in progress provisionally titled Virgin Mothers, Bad Girls and Murdered Babies. Chris Whittington's study of Haemochromatosis, a hereditary condition, involving iron deficiency, which has its highest incidence among Irish people and their descendants, will provide interesting insights into this little-known condition. 'Free Women on a Savage Frontier' is a title of Pat Jacobs' talk, which looks at the work of a group of Irish nuns among Aboriginal and Asian people in Broome, Beagle Bay and Lombadina, one of the most violent frontiers in Australia, when the pearling industry was at its height. Other highlights include a reading on Thursday, 20 June, by John McGahern from his acclaimed new novel, That They May Face the Rising Sun, which has just been awarded the Irish Fiction Award at Listowel Writers Festival and on Friday, 21 June, there will be an evening of songs, poems and ballads from Irish-Australia with Seán Tyrell, Shane Howard and Vincent Woods. A new collection of Australian Landscape Studies by Connemara artist, Mary Donnelly, will be exhibited throughout the four days of the conference. Everyone is welcome to attend the conference and a daily registration fee includes access to all events as well as lunch and coffee. All the conference proceedings will take place in the Ó Tnúthail Theatre, AM150, Arts Millennium Building, NUI, Galway. The evening events will commence at 8.00 p.m. in AM250, Arts Millennium Building. Admission to the evening presentations by Germaine Greer, John McGahern, Evelyn Conlon, Seán Tyrell, Vincent Woods and Shane Howard, is by ticket only and is free of charge. Tickets are available in advance from Áras Fáilte, the University's Information Centre. (Tel. 091 750418). Full details of the conference programme are available on the Centre for Irish Studies website at www.irishstudies.ie or from Conference Director Dr Louis de Paor, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI, Galway. Tel: 353+91+512198 Email: louis.depaor@nuigalway.ie Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway.Tel. 091 750418

Tuesday, 4 June 2002

Release date: 4 June, 2002 Scientists discover new link between marine algae and climate regulation Research by NUI, Galway's Professors Colin O Dowd and Gerard Jennings, along with a team of leading scientists from Finland, Germany, and the US have discovered a new mechanism for marine aerosol formation. Marine aerosols, and their cloud-forming component, comprise one of the most important climate regulation systems through their reflectance of the sun's rays. Their research concluded that biogenic iodine vapours, released from marine algae such as plankton, kelp and seaweed, drives marine aerosol formation and thus climate regulation. Changes in marine biota activities will alter the emissions of iodine vapours, which in turn, will alter the Earth's "heat-shield". The NUI, Galway, team are conducting more research into this topic this month and next, through a research programme funded by the European Commission and involving a group of 12 research institutes from around Europe and the US. The research is being conducted at the Mace Head Atmospheric Science Research Station in Carna, Co. Galway. The studies at Mace Head are supported through the use of two research aircraft, one leased and managed by NUI, Galway, and a second from a German research Institute. The research planes are based in Galway and will help to quantify the regional extent of these aerosol plumes along the coast and out over the ocean. The initial results were published this week in Nature, the premier research journal world wide, Professor O'Dowd's second article published in the journal in as many months. The first was focused on aerosol formation from volatile organic carbon-based vapours released from the forest canopy. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418

Tuesday, 4 June 2002

Release date: 4 June, 2002 NUI Galway Facilitates New Approach to Finance Management A groundbreaking series of round table meetings, organised by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and facilitated by Martin Fahy, a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Information Systems at NUI Galway, is examining the effectiveness of Strategic Enterprise Management (SEM) processes amongst leading companies. Two Irish companies are taking part in the round table discussions, which examine ways in which the finance functions of organisations can leverage off investment in Enterprise Resource Planning. "Effectiveness in terms of strategic enterprise management is a key competitive advantage for any company," said Dr Martin Fahy. "I believe however that we, as finance professionals are not living up to management's expectations. Technologies such as ERP, data warehousing, budget and planning software are all designed to improve efficiencies to businesses but the full potential is not being realised. This is not necessarily a technology issue - it means a re-think of the way in which organisations approach strategic management." The round table meetings form part of a two-year research project with eight companies in total taking part. The companies themselves, blue-chip companies chosen for their innovative approach to management issues, are funding the project. "These meetings are an opportunity for companies to fundamentally re-think how they conduct their business." continued Dr. Fahy. "Many finance professionals feel that they don't have the time to look in detail at their processes. With these meetings they are off-site and have an opportunity to discuss issues of concern with other like-minded organisations. Industry is looking for what has been described as 'thought-leadership' from Universities and we can offer ideas and principles on which organisations can base their strategies for management. Inefficiencies in the finance function are creating work and Finance Directors must be able to take a step back from current IT systems and assess their effectiveness. We need to examine how the current technology can be exploited in order to achieve the reporting and analysis objectives set out by management. What we don't want is a situation where SEM is seen as a quick fix solution for a firm's financial reporting inadequacies. The Round Table is essentially a think-tank designed to help firms and others develop best practice approaches to developing their SEM capability. As such the purpose of the Round Table is to bring together a range of finance professionals in firms from different industries to share experiences and identify solutions." The Round Table will also have consultants and academics who will be providing thought leadership on emerging trends and approaches and helping the firms develop a pathway to better SEM capability. "The Round Table will meet every 8 to 10 weeks and over, a twelve-month period, we ll develop a range of best practice approaches", says Dr. Fahy. The companies taking part include Powergen, BBC and Unilever. Project web site is: www.cimasem.com ENDS For further information:Maire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. 091-750418

Wednesday, 17 July 2002

Release date: 15 July, 2002 The James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, is hosting an exhibition entitled "In their element: 25 years of the Galway Arts Festival". The exhibition will be formally opened on July 18th, by the President of the University, Dr. Iognáid O Muircheartaigh and will be followed by an address by Kieran Corcoran, a Board Member of Galway Arts Festival. The venue for the exhibition will be the foyer of the James Hardiman Library. It will be open to the public from 19th July, from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and will run to the end of August. This exhibition, conceived to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Galway Arts Festival, will contain a selection of the material from the Galway Arts Festival Archive, which has been presented to the University and the Library by the Board of the Festival. It will depict the Festival over 25 years, and will include many photographs, posters, and programmes illustrating its development from a small but vibrant local arts festival, to Ireland's premier international arts event. This was achieved with no little effort and skill by a dedicated group of organisers and artists over that time and, thanks to their work, the Galway Arts Festival has become an integral part of the artistic life of the city, and is firmly associated in the popular mind with Galway. Indeed, through this and other cultural events, Galway has become synonymous with artistic endeavor in a way that no other Irish city has done, reflecting not only the traditional role the west has played in the national imagination, but also the vibrant youth culture, which has come to the fore in the last number of years. It is particularly fitting that NUI, Galway should be home to this Archive, given the strong connections between the University and the City over the years, and in particular with Galway Arts Festival. The first Festival began as an alliance between the Galway Arts Society and UCG Arts Society, and the University has provided venues for the Festival down through the years. Visitors will see in this exhibition, through the personalities and events of many festivals, these very close ties as they reflect the creativity spanning a quarter of a century. The need to preserve this collection and make it accessible to researchers was seen as critical by the Library Archives Service not just as a record of things past, but as a way of inspiring the talents and imagination of a new generation of artists as we enter this new millennium. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Wednesday, 17 July 2002

Release date: 15 July, 2002 8th of March - Invisible Women - at Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway The Bank of Ireland Theatre at NUI Galway features prominently in this year's Galway Arts Festival fringe programme. New plays written by students of the university's MA programme in Drama and Theatre Studies will be showcased throughout the Festival at one of Galway's most intimate and exciting creative spaces. A new one act play entitled '8th OF March - Invisible Women', will be performed at the Bank of Ireland Theatre daily at 1.00 p.m. from Monday 22nd –27th July, 2002. Written and directed by Geri Slevin, it tells the story of three Irish women, Bríd Óg, Margaretta and Bernie, who are prisoners of circumstance, place and time. In the 19th century, Brid Óg was imprisoned during the Famine years and transported to Melbourne, Australia. In the 20th century Margaretta served three months in Northern Ireland's High Security Armagh Women's Prison, during the dirty protest and Bernie, is currently serving a sentence in Dublin's Mountjoy Women's Prison. The play is performed by Finnuala Gallagher and Angela Ryan of 'dhá éan' Theatre Company, which focuses on innovative, provocative work by or about women. The company explores concepts of cultural fusion in collaboration with a diverse group of writers and directors. Other recent productions include Strange Glove (Sligo and Dublin, 2002) and Jocasta (Belltable, 2001). Geri who has worked in England, Australia, Holland and Greece, met Finnuala and Angela while undertaking a Master's in Drama and Theatre Studies this year at NUI, Galway. 8th of March – Invisible Women, was premiered earlier this year at NUI, Galway's Muscailt Arts Festival on International Women's Day. If you are looking for original and exciting theatre during this Arts Festival, don't miss this lunchtime play. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Office, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Wednesday, 10 July 2002

Release date: 10 July 2002 Yamanouchi European Foundation Award presented for research into Lung Condition Severe lung problems, resulting in the inability of the patient to deliver oxygen to tissues, constitute one of the main reasons for admission to Intensive Care Units. Acute lung injury, which can lead to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), is a devastating disease process, which occurs predominantly in young, previously healthy people and is responsible for thousands of adult and paediatric deaths annually worldwide. A team of researchers from National University of Ireland, Galway, University College Hospital, Galway and University College Dublin, lead by Dr. John Laffey, has been presented with the prestigious Yamanouchi European Foundation Award, to investigate a novel therapeutic approach to this problem, which is hoped will lead to better outcomes. The award is valued at $150,000. "When ARDS occurs in the context of multisystem organ failure, mortality rates over 60% have been reported with significant damage to the lungs in over 50% of survivors", says Dr. John Laffey. The research team, which also includes Professor Tim O'Brien of NUI, Galway's Department of Medicine and Professor Paul McLoughlin of UCD, have embarked on the two-year research project. The social cost of ARDS to society, both in financial terms, and in terms of personal suffering is enormous. The condition confers a considerable long-term illness and disability burden on the individual sufferer and on society. Quality of life in survivors from ARDS is poor with debilitating long-term pulmonary, psychological and neurological complications being common. "We are delighted to have been presented with the Yamanouchi European Foundation Award", said Professor O'Brien. "It is a tremendous support for our research, the outcome of which will benefit the many people worldwide who suffer from acute lung injury. It also recognises the valuable collaborative research taking place between the University and the Hospital. Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr. Joe Harford, Trustee, Yamanouchi European Foundation and President and Chief Executive Officer of Yamanouchi Ireland Co., Ltd., congratulated the recipients. "The award winning project is a prime example of co-operation between universities through interdisciplinary research. The long-term benefits from this project will be substantial adding to our understanding and treatment of acute lung injury and ultimately benefiting the quality of peoples lives. Established in 1993 by Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the Yamanouchi European Foundation promotes the advancement of medical and related sciences by supporting programmes and activities that contribute to the advancement of an increasingly healthy society. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Monday, 8 July 2002

Release date: 8 July, 2002 Third Inter Celtic Hydrology Colloquium at NUI Galway The Third Annual Inter-Celtic Colloquium on Hydrology and Management of Water Resources, will take place from today (8 July) to Wednesday (10 July) in NUI, Galway. Entitled 'Celtic Water in a European Framework – Pointing the Way to Quality', the Colloquium will be addressed by hydrology experts from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Britain, South Africa and Poland. The event is organised by Professor Conleth Cunnane of NUI, Galway's Department of Engineering Hydrology. During the past year, publication and enactment of the European Union Water Framework Directive, has set challenging targets for member states with regard to the long-term management of European water resources. By the year 2016, quality of all surface and ground waters in member states must, through a combination of planning, treatment and remediation, be returned to their original pristine state. One of the most important principles of the EU Directive is the emphasis on a holistic and integrated approach towards maintaining water quality. A cooperative strategy in the management of this valuable natural resource is called for, which includes the extracting, purifying and distribution of water, as well as the efficient treatment of waste water. Topics which will be addressed at the Colloquium include, Water Quality – Pressures and Responses; Integrated River Basin Management; The Scientific Support for Management; Risk Assessment, Perception and Management; and Social history of Water use in Celtic Lands. NUI, Galway's Department of Hydrology has a distinguished international reputation for teaching and research. Hydrology is studied at the University by students of the undergraduate programmes of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Earth & Environmental Science. Ends For further information:Maire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. 091-750418

Tuesday, 27 August 2002

Release date: 27 August, 2002 Designing Tomorrow s School: OECD Programme on Educational Building Conference at NUI Galway Education is considered as one of the most important social and political priorities, to which much effort is dedicated in financial terms. As the size of the educational sector grows, governments throughout Europe and elsewhere are mobilising resources to build educational facilities that respond to new demands. Within that context, architects and educators in many countries have set out to design the school of the future and policy makers have tried to make the best choices in terms of school planning and management. An international seminar organised by the OECD Programme on Educational Building (PEB); the Ministry of Education and Science, Ireland; and the National University of Ireland, Galway will take place in NUI, Galway from the 1-4 September, 2002. The seminar will be officially opened by Mr. Noel Dempsey. T.D., Minister for Education and Science, at 9.00 a.m. on Monday 2 September in the Ó Tnúthail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI, Galway. The quality of the delivery of education and training in the knowledge society depends to some extent on the appropriate design of educational buildings. Facilities must be of good quality, flexible, and must meet the needs of their users. The purpose of the seminar is to look at some recent attempts to conceive the school of tomorrow and to give an idea of what has been concretely achieved and what evolutions can be expected in the near future. The event will concentrate on existing examples of innovative institutions in various countries and will attempt to define some of the basic concepts that will affect the future of school buildings. Participants will have the opportunity to study current and potential future international developments, to exchange experience and to draw conclusions for their own work. Issues which will be addressed at the seminar include the following: What are the major current trends in school design that can be identified at international level? How do situations vary from one country to another and why? What are the major developments that will affect the design of school buildings in the future? How will school building design concretely respond to those challenges? To which extent do information and communication technologies impact on the design of educational facilities? How does school building design reflect the priorities of sustainable development? What recommendations can be formulated regarding the configuration of the school of the future? Which actions should or could be taken on the national/international level? How should some important questions about financing be articulated with the question of the design of educational facilities? What evolutions can be expected? An exhibition presenting educational institutions featured in the OECD Programme on Educational Building compendium of exemplary educational facilities, Designs for Learning, published in 2001, will take place in conjunction with the seminar. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418; Mobile 087-2986592.

Monday, 23 September 2002

Release date: 13 September, 2002 NUI Galway named 'Sunday Times' Irish University of the Year The Sunday Times University Guide has named NUI Galway as Irish University of the Year 2002. This is the newspaper s inaugural award in Ireland and recognises excellence in Irish third level education. NUI Galway, came out on top over twenty-one other universities and institutes of technology in the Republic, following analysis of a range of criteria including grades, retention, research, student services, access for students who are socio-economically disadvantaged, and contribution to development at local and national levels. NUI Galway did exceptionally well in all of these areas. The Sunday Times identified NUI Galway as having the best graduate and post-graduate employment record of all the universities. It has the lowest dropout rate in Ireland, while almost half of its graduates get a first or 2:1 degree. Excellence in research has resulted in a consolidation of world-class expertise in areas such as biomedical engineering science, marine science and environmental science. According to the Sunday Times, NUI Galway's access programme is one of the most extensive of any third-level institution in Ireland. Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "As a university we are delighted and proud that the Sunday Times has recognised the hard work and outstanding achievements of our students and staff. NUI Galway has a long and distinguished record of scholarship and research. This designation of NUI Galway as University of the Year is an accolade which we welcome and an acknowledgement, based on clearly enunciated criteria, of the quality of education provided by NUI Galway." For more information please visit: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3501-412629,00.html or Click here to see press clipping 1 Click here to see press clipping 2 Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Monday, 23 September 2002

Release date: 23 September, 2002 NEW PROGRAMME TARGETS NEXT GENERATION OF MANAGERS First on-line Masters programme in Technology Management launched. To meet the challenges facing Irish industry in increasingly competitive global markets, a new postgraduate programme has been designed specifically to equip managers with the expertise to develop the innovative capacity of their organisations. The first on-line programme of its kind, the M.Sc. in Technology Management is also the first collaborative university postgraduate degree in Ireland. Funded by Enterprise Ireland, through the National Development Plan, the two-year, part-time programme is under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA), which includes NUI, Galway, the University of Limerick and University College Cork. The M.Sc. in Technology Management will be launched in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday 27th September, at 2.30 p.m. The programme is directed to professionals and managers in all businesses, but particularly those in new businesses and those expanding or introducing new technology or developing new product and processes. "This programme which is designed to enable participating companies to gain competitive advantage through technology innovation and R&D, lays the foundation for economic recovery which will be based on high value added products and processes so that the structural changes within the Irish economy can be consolidated and developed in the future", says Professor Roy Green, NUI, Galway, Academic Director of the programme. The programme is designed and developed in a distance-education format, allowing participants to access it remotely, by conventional means and via the Internet. Access is therefore greatly improved and the interruption to a participant's work and the corporate workplace will be minimised. "Research has shown that a course offered entirely on-line is not the most effective learning tool", says Professor Eamonn Murphy, University of Limerick, Associate Academic Director of the programme. " We therefore intend to use a blended model of on-line material together with class contact at regular intervals". Dr. Barry O'Connor, University College Cork, Associate Academic Director of the programme supports this innovative mode of course delivery stating that "the programme provides students with an opportunity to apply course content in a practical context through work-based assignments and an in-company research project. Indigenous companies and SME innovative applications will be of special focus in the programme." The M.Sc. in Technology Management will bring together lecture material on strategy, policy (both national and international), recognised methodologies, skills and processes which will enable the participants and their companies to make fully-informed decisions relating to all aspects of technology innovation. Students on this exciting programme will have full access to the expertise, libraries and research facilities of the three Universities collaborating in this unique venture. Graduates of the programme will be in a position to guide their companies to exploit technology effectively in the short, medium and long term. The Atlantic University Alliance was established in 1999 with the objective of making the collective expertise and resources of NUI, Galway, University College Cork and the University of Limerick available to industry. The formation of the AUA demonstrates the commitment of the three participating universities to playing a full and dynamic role in the development of the Irish economy, especially along the Atlantic seaboard. Ends Information: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press and Information Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel: 091 750418

Monday, 16 September 2002

Release date: Tuesday, 17 September, 2002 Racial Awareness and Ethnicity Meeting at NUI Galway Ethnic diversity and racial tolerance, at a time when such issues are prevalent in the national consciousness, will be the subject of a meeting at NUI Galway organised by CLIOH (Creating Links and Innovative Overviews to enhance Historical Perspective in European Culture). The meeting, which takes place on Saturday 21st September, is the national meeting of CLIOH, a European wide network aimed at bringing the study of history and a critically formed historical perspective to bear on the challenges facing European society and education today. Entitled 'Racial Discrimination and Ethnicity', the meeting is being organised by Professor Steven Ellis of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at NUI, Galway and will feature talks by historians from throughout Europe including experts from Iceland, Austria, Italy and the UK. Topics under discussion include 'Language, Ethnicity and Nationalism in Europe', 'Discrimination in late Medieval Ireland' the 'The Lost Ethnical Variety: Poland during and after World War II' and 'The integration of the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia'. CLIOH is a large-scale EU project, involving 55 universities, aimed at developing innovative methods in the way history is taught and studied in Europe at all levels. The network, with the support of the Socrates and the Culture 2000 programmes of the European Union, aims at highlighting the role teaching of history plays in forging attitudes. Ends Information: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press and Information Officer. Tel: 091 750418

Monday, 2 September 2002

Release date: 2 September, 2002 REPRESSION AND DESIRE: THE SEXUAL POLITICS OF ISLAM The Women's Studies Centre at NUI, Galway will hold its Annual Lecture at 8.00.p.m., on Thursday, 12 September 2002, in the Ó Tnúthail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI, Galway. Guest speaker will be Lara Marlowe, Irish Times correspondent, who will recount her experiences working in an often sexist Islamic world, and assess the causes of the subjugation of Muslim women. The lecture is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. In Nigeria last March, Islamic Law was used to justify a death sentence for adultery against an illiterate woman who bore her ex-husband s daughter. Safiya Husseini was pardoned after an international outcry. There was never any question of punishing the ex-husband.. For Saudi women, a recent report by Amnesty International notes that torture is "a nightmare haunting them everywhere, including in the sanctity of the home where it takes place at the hands of their husbands or in the case of foreign domestic workers, their employers". For much of the past two decades, Irish Times correspondent Lara Marlowe has worked as a journalist in Muslim countries. In Afghanistan last year, she saw a woman squat on the ground and cringe when spoken to. Afghan men refused to divulge the first names of women, which can be known only by close male relatives. In Saudi Arabia too, Marlowe met women reduced to the status of chattel by their male owners . In Algeria, where the ten year-old civil war continues, women have been raped by security forces and kidnapped by Islamist rebels who claim Allah gives them the right to enslave women. Is Islam inherently sexist? Or are abuses like those mentioned above the result of tribalism, ignorance and despotism? Some theologians claim the advent of Shari a actually improved the fate of women, and that Islam advocates equality of the sexes. To what extent is this true, and why is it so often distorted in practice? "Almighty God created sexual desire in ten parts," Mohamed s son-in-law Ali ibn Taleb, the first Shi ite leader, wrote. "Then he gave nine parts to women and one to men." Muslim theologians advocate the segregation of men and women because they believe desire is a force so powerful that the faithful must be protected from it. The veiling of women is the most obvious manifestation of this distrust of female sexuality. Muslim women often accuse westerners of being obsessed with the hijab, or Islamic dress code. But has the West imposed another kind of dictatorship on women, one of perfect figures and eternal youth - as the Moroccan Muslim feminist Fatima Mernissi insists? "What good are Western women s diplomas and intelligence, if physical beauty is considered the supreme value for her sex?" Mernissi asks. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Wednesday, 30 October 2002

Release date: 29 October, 2002 NUI Galway Conference to address Gender Matters in Higher Education Fifty-seven per cent of all full-time students are women. Yet, when it comes to employment whether in the public or private sector, women's representation in senior educational or managerial positions is well below this figure. For example, according to the HEA (Higher Education Authority), in 2000 in Higher Education, only 7% of Professors, 8% Associate Professors and 17.5% Senior Lecturers were female, and in the Private Sector the figures are similar. According to the IBEC National Survey 2001, of Chief Executives, 8% were female and Senior Managers/Heads of Functions 21% were female. A conference entitled "Gender Matters in Higher Education", which will address these issues will take place in NUI Galway on the 8th - 9th November, 2002. The conference will be officially opened by Michael D. Higgins T.D., in the Ó Tnúthail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building on Friday, 8 November at 7.00 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Professor Áine Hyland, Vice-President of University College, Cork. Education is a human right and an essential tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace (Beijing Platform for Action, paragraph 69). It is the single most important factor associated with demographic and economic change for women in Ireland. This is a pattern repeated globally. Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women has proved to be one of the best means of achieving sustainable development and economic growth. Despite the appearance of gender neutrality, education within Ireland is still highly gendered. Strong differences are apparent between managers and managed, in choice of career studies and in the teaching and medical professions. The NUI, Galway conference will highlight the current gender discrimination in the higher education sector for staff and students and discuss initiatives that could address the imbalance, concluding with a 'Plan for Action' session. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI Galway. Tel. 091-750418

Wednesday, 30 October 2002

NUI, Galway Law Lecturer, Donncha O'Connell, has been appointed to the newly-established EU Network of Experts on Fundamental Rights, which held its inaugural meeting in Brussels last week. The network was established by the European Commission in September 2002 (on foot of a European Parliament Resolution of July 2001), following a competitive tender process. The network consists of legal experts who are authorities on human rights from each of the EU Member States. It is entrusted with the preparation of an annual report on fundamental rights in the European Union and must assist the Commission and Parliament in the adoption of a human rights policy within the Union. It will contribute to an evaluation of the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights both by the EU institutions and by the Member States over a five-year period. Donncha O'Connell has recently returned to a lecturing position at the Law Faculty, NUI Galway, following a three-year leave of absence in which he was the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties. He is currently a board member of Amnesty International Irish Section and of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd. but will serve on the network of experts in an independent capacity. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI Galway Tel. 091-750418

Monday, 14 October 2002

Release date: 14 October,2002 Tissue Engineering - the new Frontier of Medical Science Galway seminar to explore the health and employment potential of Tissue Engineering Advances in medical science in recent years have been quite extraordinary, enhancing quality of life and human longevity to a degree unimaginable ten years ago. One area, still in its infancy in Ireland in terms of research, but with huge potential for patient care is that of tissue engineering. Two of the world's foremost authorities on tissue engineering will address a seminar entitled 'The Present Future of Tissue Engineering', which begins at 4.00 p.m., in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway, on Tuesday, 5 November, 2002. Professor Robert Nerem of the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA and Professor David Williams, Professor of Tissue Engineering at the University of Liverpool, will share their knowledge and expertise in a subject which carries new hope for patients worldwide. The seminar is being organised by the Bio-Medical Engineering Division of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland. Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that applies the principles of engineering and the life sciences to the development of biological substitutes that restore, maintain, or improve tissue function. The ability to engineer or regenerate lost tissue due to injury, aging, disease, or genetic abnormality holds exciting promise. With the development of complex three-dimensional tissue constructs, scientists are beginning to meet clinical needs. Not only does tissue engineering provide the potential to radically improve many medical therapies but it also involves significant financial savings, as for example, in organ transplantation. In standard organ transplantation, a mismatch of tissue types necessitates lifelong immuno-suppression, with its attendant problems of graft rejection, drug therapy costs and the potential for the development of certain types of cancer. In addition, there is the risk of rejection of the tissue and the surgery itself always carries some risk. To date, progress in tissue engineering has achieved the following successes: Design and growth of human tissues outside the body for later implantation to repair or replace diseased tissues. The most common example of this form of therapy is the skin graft, which is used in the treatment of burns. Implantation of cell-containing or cell-free devices that induce the regeneration of functional human tissue. This approach relies on the purification and large-scale production of appropriate 'signal' molecules, like growth factors to assist in tissue regeneration. In addition, novel polymers are being created and assembled into three-dimensional configurations, to which cells attach and grow to reconstitute tissues. An example of this is the biomaterial matrix used to promote bone re-growth for periodontal disease. Development of external or internal devices containing human tissues designed to replace the function of diseased internal tissues. This approach involves isolation of cells from the body, using such techniques as stem cell therapy, placing them on or within structural matrices and implanting the new system inside the body or using the system outside the body. Examples of this approach include repair of bone, muscle, tendon and cartilage as well as cell-lined vascular grafts and artificial liver. The seminar will feature a panel discussion with experts in the fields of medicine and engineering in Ireland, including the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway. Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press and Information Officer, NUI Galway. Tel: 091 750418. Mobile: 087-2986592

Wednesday, 9 October 2002

Release Date: 8 October, 2002 VIRUS REACHES IRISH SEALS MORBILLIVIRUS INFECTION has been confirmed in the carcase of a harbour seal, one of four found dead at the Aran Islands. Dr Jimmy Dunne and Jane Gilleran of the Zoology Department, NUI Galway examined carcases reported by Dr Michael O Connell at Inishmore on 21st September. They forwarded tissue samples for analysis to Dr. Seamus Kennedy, Veterinary Sciences Division of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland. That analysis has confirmed the presence of morbillivirus infection in tissues of one of the seals. This is the first confirmation of morbillivirus infection in a seal in Ireland during the current European epidemic. About 15,000 seals have died in the waters of continental Europe in the past five months including approximately 1,900 along the east coast of England. Last week, tests carried out in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development laboratory in Belfast indicated that the virus had spread to the seal population on the east coast of Scotland. The last major seal epidemic hit northern Europe in 1988 and killed over 18,000 seals, including hundreds along the coast of Northern Ireland. No cases were evidently identified from the Republic at that time. It is likely that Irish seals now have little immunity against the virus and are at risk of large-scale mortality. Previous surveys have estimated the total number of Irish harbour seals to be about 2000. The Zoology Department at NUI Galway has been studying the biology of Harbour seals in the Galway Bay area since 2000 and has calculated its population to number at least 400 individuals. The seal virus has never been reported to cause illness in humans. However, dying or dead seals may be more accessible to people resulting in an increased risk of infection by other organisms carried by seals, particularly through infected bites or wounds. Members of the public are therefore advised not to approach sick seals or carcases which may be washed ashore during the present high tides. It is likely that the seal virus could cause illness in dogs that have not been vaccinated against distemper. Dogs should therefore be kept away from sick seals or carcases. Sightings of carcases should be reported to either Duchas (Tel. 01-6473000) or the Irish Seal Sanctuary (Tel. 01-8354370). Ends Information from:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel.091 750418

Tuesday, 8 October 2002

Release Date: 8 October, 2002 NUI, Galway appoints Sean-Nós Singer in Residence The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI, Galway has announced the appointment of Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin to the position of Sean-Nós Singer in Residence, the first such appointment at the University. In welcoming the appointment, Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies, said this latest appointment represents an important extension of the dynamic connection between the University and the performing arts. 'It is a timely acknowledgement of the tradition of Sean-Nós singing as a highly developed and sophisticated art form which is particularly strong in the Connemara Gaeltacht. Through her work at the University and in the wider community, particularly in the Gaeltacht, Bríd Ní Mhaoilchiaráin will bring further distinction to that great tradition.' A native on An Aird Thoir in Carna, Bríd cites her great-uncle, Joe Heaney, her granfather Máirtín Éinniú and her mother Bairbre as formative influences on her singing style. Her first foray into the world of competitive singing was at the inaugural Féile Joe Éinniú in 1986 where she was awarded Corn Joe Éinniú for the most outstanding young singer at the festival. Since then she has won numerous awards including Corn Mháire Nic Dhonnchadha, Corn Sheáin Óig Uí Thuama and Corn Tom Pháidín Tom. She was runner-up in Comórtas na mBan at the Oireachtas Festival in 2000. Over the coming twelve months, Bríd will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in Carna and at other venues throughout Connemara and the Aran Islands. She will also record her own work and that of other singers. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI, Galway. For further details, contact Louis de Paor at louis.depaor@nuigalway.ie. Phone: 091 512198 Ends Issued by: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

Monday, 7 October 2002

Release Date: 7 October, 2002 Public Lecture on Atlantic History at NUI Galway The new Centre for the Study for Human Settlement and Historical Change at NUI, Galway will host its inaugural public lecture entitled On the Contours of Atlantic History on Thursday, 17 October, 2002. The lecture will take place at 8.00 p.m., in the Ó Eocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. Professor Bernard Bailyn, Director of the International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World, Harvard University will deliver the lecture. All are welcome. Bernard Bailyn has been the most distinguished of the senior historians at Harvard University over the past half century; a fact acknowledged by his appointment in 1981 as the Adams University Professor at Harvard. More recently, he has established and directed the highly successful Harvard International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World. Professor Bailyn s many books have had an Atlantic dimension starting with his influential study of "New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century". After this he immersed himself in the study of the pamphlets which were published to justify the challenge to British authority that culminated in the American Revolution of 1776. The pinnacle of Bailyn s endeavours on this subject was his book "The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution", which was awarded both the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes in 1968. More recently, he has been engaged in a massive study on emigration described in his book "The Peopling of British North America". The first instalment of this undertaking has appeared under the title "Voyagers to the West: Emigration from Britain to America on the Eve of the Revolution". Besides these and many other books, Bernard Bailyn has been an influential and successful teacher, and has lectured extensively throughout the world. NUI, Galway was awarded €2.5 million by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to establish the Centre for Human Settlement and Historical Change. The award in 2000 under the HEA Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions was the largest amount ever given to a university for humanities research. A new purpose-built research centre, which will be officially opened early in 2003, has been built. The Centre will contribute significantly to the understanding of the economic, social, cultural and political factors at work in Ireland, Europe and throughout the world in earlier centuries as well as in the recent past. The Centre will build on existing expertise in NUI, Galway in different areas, including History, Archaeology, Irish Studies and a range of literatures and languages. It will focus the work of some two-dozen established academics and bring within its new dedicated building some thirty young doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. A programme of research into the historical creation of colonies, cultural landscapes and planter societies around the world and in Ireland itself will be carried out at the Centre. It will also research the new worlds in the Atlantic and Pacific produced by Europeans on the move - new worlds that profoundly changed the old world of Europe. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418

Monday, 7 October 2002

Release date: 7 October, 2002 Leading Architect to give public talk at NUI Galway Following on from Andrew Folan s highly popular opening talk last Tuesday night NUI, Galway s Talking Through Their Arts series, continues with a presentation by award-winning architect, Paul Kelly at 8pm on Tuesday, 15 October. The talks take place on Tuesdays, at 8pm, in the Ó hEocha theatre at the Arts Millennium building, NUI, Galway. Tickets at €4 / €2 per session are available on the door. Paul Kelly is a partner in Fagan Kelly Lysaght Architects who established practice in 1998. They received joint first prize for their entry to the Smithfield Urban Design Competition in 1991 and second prize in the Third International Yokohama Competition. Most recently they have been shortlisted in the Kildare and Monaghan Civic Offices Competitions and received second prize in the Wolfe Tone Park Design Competition. They have been exhibited, both individually and together, and have received several Architectural Association of Ireland Awards and an AAI Special Mention as well as RIAI Regional Awards 2002, for the Stacey House and Silicon and Software Systems. One of their most recent, exciting design projects has been the Esat Tower at Park West, Dublin. While the primary function of the tower is to support a mobile phone antenna, the architects have given an acceptable face to a potential health hazard through good design, which is carefully mannered and thoughtfully articulated. Paul Kelly will discuss his influences and the hallmarks of good, contemporary design. The series also features distinguished artists: Rita Duffy, Brian Maguire and Maud Cotter. Each works in a variety of media including screenprint, stained glass, public sculpture, painting, video and new technologies. These talks give voice to the individual creative experience and, in so doing shed light on issues in contemporary Irish art. The artists will survey their own work using slides, discuss their art making process and share their thoughts on Irish art today. Details on the wide range of Autumn/Winter arts activities are available from the NUI, Galway Arts Office webpage: www.nuigalway.ie/arts_office Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI Galway. Tel. 091 750418