November 2010

UN Special Rapporteur on Disability is Keynote Speaker at Disability Conference

UN Special Rapporteur on Disability is Keynote Speaker at Disability Conference-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy will host the International Conference on National Disability Strategies on Friday, 10 December, in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway. This conference will launch the recent findings of the Centre's research project on National Disability Strategies and the critical success factors which enable strategies to make a difference for people with disabilities at grassroots level. The keynote speech will be delivered by United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability, Shuaib Chalklen. South African Shuaib Chalklen plays a leading role in monitoring progress around the world and nurturing Governments in the right direction. The conference will be formally opened by Minister John Moloney T.D., Minister of State for Disability and Mental Health. Other key international figures involved in disability law reform speaking at the conference will include: Anne Hawker, current President of Rehabilitation International and Advisor on disability to the New Zealand government; Stefan Trommel, key drafter of the UN disability convention, member of the International Disability Alliance Secretariat and former Director of European Disability Forum; Siobhán Barron, Director of the National Disability Authority and Angela Kerins, Chairperson, Equality Authority. Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the researcher for this project in the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, has written a book for Cambridge University Press on a global comparative study of National Disability Strategies, entitled From Rhetoric to Action: Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – the use of National Disability Strategies which is due to be published in 2011. Some of the key recommendations for improvements in the Irish National Disability Strategy in this book will be highlighted at the conference. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, said, "This is an exciting event for NUI Galway. Some of the most influential disability reformers and activists in the world will be here to share ideas about how to link national disability strategies to the achievement of the UN disability convention and ensure that such strategies work well. This is even more important in a recession. I would urge all those who have an interest in advancing disability policy in Ireland and abroad to attend this important event." The conference is open to all members of the public. The conference programme and further information including how to register for the event is available at www.nuigalway.ie ENDS

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NUI Galway wins 28 National University Awards

NUI Galway wins 28 National University Awards-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NUI Galway graduates and students have received 28 of the 101 NUI Awards 2010 presented last week. The national awards are granted by the National Universities of Ireland annually. Four NUI Galway recipients were awarded the NUI Travelling Studentships in the Humanities and Social Sciences and in the Sciences. They are: Francis O'Connor, Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh, Leon Harding and Lisa Mulee. Michelle Farrell was awarded the NUI EJ Phelan Fellowship in International Law. Michelle Farrell will take up her Fellowship at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Anne Molloy was awarded the French Government Medal and NUI Prizes for Proficiency in French. NUI Galway also featured prominently in the Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Literary and Medical Awards, winning twenty-two medals in this competition. The literary Awards went to Áine Uí Fhoghlua (Ghaeilge), Jacinta Hennigan (3rd prize German), Florry O'Driscoll (Italian), Anna B Sikora-Carelse (Spanish) and Sinead Cawley (3rd prize Spanish). Fourteen of the twenty-two Dr Henry Hutchinson Stewart Scholarships were awarded to NUI Galway's School of Medicine. Six of these students were granted first place scholarships. These students received €1000 and a medal, with a further five students being awarded medals for second place and three more awarded medals for third place. The awards span thirteen different subject areas within the School of Medicine. Medical Scholarships were also awarded in Biochemistry, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway says: "This is a fantastic result for NUI Galway and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and follows on previous high achievements in past years in these annual awards. We are very proud of all our students who both competed for these awards and those who were successful. It reflects the very high standard of medical education and commitment from teaching staff and engagement in learning by the students. It complements successes already received this year in student research bursaries from the health Research Board (HRB), completion of special study modules (SSM) by students in Medicine and the Arts and community engagement initiatives; Ms Melanie Hennessey was chosen as one of ten top young adults in the world by Junior Chamber for her Humanitarian efforts in Nepal. These achievements illustrate the commitment of the School of Medicine to the holistic development of our students to produce well grounded and well rounded doctors of the future. We will strive to continue with these successes into the future with plans to initiate a School of Medicine Orchestra in this Academic Year." Professor Dunne adds. Congratulating the winners, University President Dr. James J. Browne said, "NUI Galway's recent success at the NUI Awards highlights the calibre of students studying on our programmes, as well as underscoring the quality of the teaching programmes here at NUI Galway. These awards will add significantly to each student's academic reputation and I commend them on their well-deserved accolades." ENDS

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Irish Centre for Human Rights launch Report on Racism in Taxi Industry

Irish Centre for Human Rights launch Report on Racism in Taxi Industry-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will launch a report in December which verifies and documents allegations of racism in the taxi industry in Galway. The Centre launched an investigation in July this year to examine racially based tensions in the taxi industry within the city. The interest of the Irish Centre for Human Rights arises from the nature of the institution itself, part of its mandate being community engagement and contribution, as well as its position as Essential Partner in the Galway City Partnership Anti-Racism Strategy. Its capacity is attested to by an international reputation as a leading institution for human rights research, teaching and advocacy. Dr. Vinodh Jaichand, Deputy Director of the Centre, led this methodological, evidence-based research into the question of racism within the Galway city taxi industry through interviews and surveys and focused on employment opportunities and user practices and perceptions. The results of this research form a concise, but also encompassing report, which can replace untested statements and often reactionary comments with detailed knowledge and a deeper understanding. The report is addressed immediately to the people, associations and institutions of Galway, but also more widely to the national government and Irish society as a whole. Recommendations are directed to NUI Galway, the Irish Centre for Human Rights itself, the Equality Authority, the media, Galway City, Galway Chamber of Commerce, the Gardai, the Government of Ireland, and the general public. Dr. Jaichand positions the report within a context where, "Racism has become an increasingly noticeable element in the backdrop to Galway life. Nationally and locally, reports of race-based incidents reflect an increase in the growing anxieties of the general population, due to the inevitable hardships of a recession and intensified competition over jobs and resources. Racial discrimination should never be justified and accommodated because human rights are not a luxury to be observed only when we are a well-off society." Protecting and promoting human dignity has been the foundation of work at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway since its inception in 2000. The Centre pursues this work in all contexts, internationally and locally, through research, teaching, advocacy and community engagement. Speaking during the recent tenth anniversary celebrations of the Centre, the Director, Professor William Schabas said that, "This report, which we believe will have real consequences in addressing local tensions in Galway, confirms the contribution that the Irish Centre for Human Rights makes to the city." He added that, "This is a fundamental issue that should concern us all, one which requires prompt attention to correct the situation." The report will be launched at 6pm on Friday, 10 December at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Guest speaker on the night will be Michael D Higgins, TD. Friday, 10 December also marks the worldwide recognition of human rights defenders. All members of the press and public are very welcome, and warmly invited to attend. For further information please contact Dr. Vinodh Jaichand on 086 167 8682, vinodh.jaichand@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

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First International Language Conference at NUI Galway

First International Language Conference at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

NUI Galway will host its first International Language Conference entitled Translation, Technology and Autonomy in Language Teaching and Learning on 10 to 11 December, 2010. Over 80 speakers will examine issues relating to translation, technology and autonomy in language learning and teaching over the two days. Speakers will present in Irish, French, Spanish, Italian and English and delegates registered for the Conference come from up to twenty countries and fifty third-level institutions. The Conference will appeal to a diverse audience including language teachers at primary, secondary and third level as well as translators and those with an interest in language acquisition. The inaugural event is hosted by the School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at the University. There will be three keynote addresses at the Conference. They include Professor David Little, who is a retired Head of the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin and has been involved in the European Language Portfolio at European level since 1998. Professor Henrik Gottlieb is Associate Professor and Head of the Centre for Translation Studies & Lexicography at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and his fields of research include corpus linguistics, lexicography and language contact studies. The third keynote address will be delivered by Dr Daniel Cassany, a lecturer in the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. His expertise lies in the field of written communication. Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín from Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge says "We are delighted with the response we have received for this Conference, from places so diverse as Jamaica and Malaysia, to Waterford and Cork. It will provide a great opportunity for us to learn from our colleagues in the areas of language teaching and translation from all across the world, and it will also provide an opportunity for staff and students in NUI Galway to showcase their work and to share ideas with an international audience." This Conference has gained funding from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities & Social Sciences. ENDS

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Top Irish Entrepreneurs Talk Business at NUI Galway

Top Irish Entrepreneurs Talk Business at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 29 November 2010

"The economic downturn should not deter people from starting their own business", that's according to three of the top entrepreneurs in the country. Dylan Collins, Jolt Online Gaming; Philip Reynolds, C&D Foods Ltd. and Terence Monaghan, Managing Director TCRS Ltd. (formerly of BetaTHERM) gave their views, advice and guidance on entrepreneurship at NUI Galway recently. Chaired by Pádraig Ó Céidigh, the panel discussion focused on the characteristics of entrepreneurs, the importance of leadership and strategy, and how overcoming challenges and learning from mistakes is critical in the entrepreneur's journey. The event was organised by the NUI Galway Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the Cairnes School of Business and Economics in conjunction with the MBA Association of Ireland Western Chapter. Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Programme Director and organiser of the event, highlighted the importance of these events for budding entrepreneurs stating that "the panellists gave a great insight into their journeys and experiences. Their stories are very valuable for anyone who is planning on becoming an entrepreneur or those who are at an early stage in building their own businesses". The discussion highlighted the rich, dynamic and varying forms entrepreneurship can take. For example, Philip Reynolds took over an indigenous family run business which has now become an international supplier of pet foods on the global market with plants in the UK and Holland and a turnover of €150 million. Dylan Collins brought his entrepreneurial skill to a love of gaming developed during his college days. Collins is widely considered to be one of the most experienced online gaming/media entrepreneurs in Europe, having founded three companies with three successful exits (two of which to leading NASDAQ companies). His company was recently acquired by GameStop for $300 million. Terence Monaghan is a Galway man who showed his entrepreneurial drive and ambition when he spearheaded the management buy-out of BetaTHERM in the late 1990's which was subsequently sold at a significant profit. Terence is now Managing Director at TCRS Ltd. and is a global entrepreneur with a significant presence in China. The panellists gave honest, candid and insightful input about their success and challenges to date. The importance of effective staff recruitment practices and ensuring a good fit between employee competence and attitudes with the requirements of the job was suggested as critical by all entrepreneurs. "The management team is what differentiates successful from unsuccessful companies" said Terence Monaghan. The entrepreneur's leadership capability was also discussed and Dylan Collins argued that "effective leadership is about having a vision and guiding people towards it – even if the course changes". All three entrepreneurs agreed that the economic downturn should not deter people from starting their own business. "Entrepreneurship takes many forms and is not only about starting up a business and can be done at any stage in someone's career" said Pádraig Ó Céidigh in his concluding remarks at the event. -Ends-

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Disability Seminar to Examine what Ireland can learn from the Developing World

Disability Seminar to Examine what Ireland can learn from the Developing World-image

Monday, 29 November 2010

The Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway will host a seminar which will examine important lessons that Ireland can learn from the developing world about the full inclusion of people with disabilities in the lives of their communities. The event, which is being organised in conjunction with the disability and development Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), CBM Ireland, will take place on Monday, 6 December, in the g Hotel, Galway. The seminar will look at the key role that local government can play in promoting the full involvement of people with disabilities in social, economic and cultural activities. Keynote speakers at the seminar will include: Deputy Michael D. Higgins, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson for the Labour Party; Cllr Michael Crowe, Mayor of Galway City and Mayor Rony Molina of the San Jose de Buena Vista Province in the Philippines. David McAllister, the National Director of CBM Ireland, said, "As one of Ireland s largest disability and development NGOs, we are very happy to be involved in organising this seminar with the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway. Speaking at the seminar is Mayor Rony Molina from the Philippines who is a dynamic Mayor who has worked hard to promote the rights of people with disabilities in his province. Mayor Molina will be sharing his knowledge and experience with Irish local councillors and council officials who attend this seminar." Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said, "We are delighted that such an important seminar is being held in Galway in early December. The Centre has spent many years carrying out research and promoting best practice in the area of disability. This seminar presents an opportunity to let people know about the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed, and will implement over the next year or two. This Convention will transform the lives of people with disabilities for the better. We believe that Galway City Council can lead the way in showing how this can be done." -Ends-

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NUI Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

NUI Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights Celebrates Tenth Anniversary-image

Thursday, 25 November 2010

NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights recently celebrated ten years of teaching, research and advocacy activities. A number of events were held to mark the momentous occasion including a Gala dinner hosted by Senator David Norris and a live Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the Centre who was prevented from travelling for the event. The Irish Centre for Human Rights has its origins in the early 1980s, when Kevin Boyle and Mary Robinson launched a unit in NUI Galway in response to a general appeal from the Council of Europe. Video messages were played at the Gala dinner from both founding members. Around 150 people attended on the night, including representatives of the judiciary, government, academia, civil society, alumni and current students. The highlight of the dinner was a remote Skype meeting with Shawan Jabarin, graduate of the 2004-5 LLM class and now the director of Al Haq, the very distinguished Palestinian Non Governmental Organisation NGO. The Israeli government would not allow Shawan travel to Galway to receive an award from the Centre. In addition to the dinner a conference was held on the theme of 'Forgotten Rights, Forgotten Concepts'. Keynote speakers were Professor Andrew Clapham, Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, who addressed questions relating to the spread of human rights to non-state entities, and Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Professor at Washington University School of Law, who spoke on draft Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. Professor William A Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway says, "It was very gratifying to see so many former students return to Galway, where they got their first training in the field of human rights. In so many ways, the Irish Centre for Human Rights contributes in a positive and substantial way to combating injustice and inequality, in various parts of the world." ENDS

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NUI Galway Winter Conferring

NUI Galway Winter Conferring-image

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Over 1400 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from 24 to 26 November. Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra will also be conferred with an honorary Master of Rural Development degree. Born in Milltown, Co. Galway, Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra was educated in St. Jarlath's College in Tuam, Co. Galway and in St. Patrick's College in Maynooth where he was ordained in 1960. Canon Ó Flannabhra will be honoured in recognition of his enormous contribution over the past five decades to the rural development of the Connemara area through his establishment of co-operatives, Youth Clubs, Group Water Schemes, Gaelic Games pitches and his campaign for University education through Irish for the Gaeltacht. Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today we are proud to honour Canon Mícheál Ó Flannabhra for his contribution to rural development and education in the West of Ireland. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise his exceptional achievements and commitment to the region." In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Team Enabling the Future of the Web

NUI Galway Team Enabling the Future of the Web-image

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

A new project which aims to make it easier for government agencies and Web developers to access information from other organisations across the globe is being co-ordinated by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway. LOD Around-the-Clock (LATC) project is an EU co-funded project comprised of leading Linked Open Data researchers and practitioners. Co-ordinated by the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, NUI Galway, LATC brings together a team of Linked Data researchers and practitioners from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), Institut für Angewandte Informatik, Universität Leipzig (Germany) and Talis Ltd (United Kingdom) who will, over the next two years, support people and institutions in consuming and publishing Linked Open Data, on the Web and in the Enterprise. The LOD cloud is a collection of over 200 datasets that offer open data published according to the Linked Data principles. In total over 25 billion interlinked facts are available in the LOD cloud from various domains: governmental data, media, health-care and life science, user-generated data (blogs, twitter, etc.), bibliographic data, geographical data, etc. The emerging Web of Linked Data is the largest source of multi-domain, real-world and real-time data that currently exists. As data integration and information quality assessment increasingly depends on the availability of large amounts of real-world data, these new technologists are going to need to find ways to connect to the Linked Open Data (LOD) cloud. With the explosive growth of the LOD cloud, which has doubled in size every 10 months since 2007, utilizing this global data space in a real-world set-up has proved challenging. The amount and quality of the links between LOD data sources remains sparse and there is no well-documented and cohesive set of tools that enables individuals and organizations to easily produce and consume Linked Open Data. A new project aims to change this, making it easier to connect to the LOD cloud by offering support to data owners, such as government agencies, Web developers who want to build applications with Linked Data, and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that want to benefit from the lightweight data integration possibilities of Linked Data. In addition to the LATC core team, a large Advisory Committee with more than 35 members participates in the LATC activities: governmental organisations such as the UK Office of Public Sector Information and the European Environment Agency; researchers and practitioners such as the University of Manchester, University of Economics Prague, Vulcan Inc., CTIC Technological Center Spain, the Open Knowledge Foundation; last but not least standardisation bodies, including W3C (represented by Sir Tim Berners-Lee). Director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway Professor Stefan Decker said, "Dissemination of data is an enabler for the smart economy. We are proud to co-ordinate the LATC project, as it plays a key role to help people and institutions to publish and consume Linked Open Data in Ireland and throughout Europe." ENDS

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4th Annual NUI Galway Gala Dinner in New York Honours Coca-Cola Executive

4th Annual NUI Galway Gala Dinner in New York Honours Coca-Cola Executive-image

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

NUI Galway hosted its fourth annual Gala Dinner on 17 November at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. This year's honoree was Irial Finan, NUI Galway Class of 1977 and Executive Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company and President of Bottling Investments and Supply Chain The evening featured a special performance by internationally acclaimed singer Mary Black, who brought the sold-out crowd to their feet with hits like No Frontiers and Song for Ireland. Past honorees include actor Gabriel Byrne; Former US President Bill Clinton; philanthropist Loretta Brennan Glucksman and singer/songwriter Paul Brady. NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne said, "This year's event was our most successful to date and attracted a capacity crowd from the United States as well as Ireland. We were pleased and proud to honour Irial Finan, a graduate who has achieved great success in his career, but has never forgotten the importance of giving back to the next generation of Galway students." Chief Executive of Galway University Foundation, Tom Joyce said, "In his capacity as a Director of the US Board of the Galway University Foundation, Irial has played an important role in promoting the global impact of NUI Galway's programmes and re-engaging US based Galway graduates in the life of the University." Proceeds from the Gala Dinner will support the expansion of NUI Galway's archives through the acquisition of new collections and the development of humanities programming for its newly built Arts, Humanities and Social Science Research Building. ENDS

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