NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research

NUI Galway Receive Eleven Summer Student Scholarships for Health Research-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

Eleven NUI Galway research students were recently awarded Summer Student Scholarships by the Health Research Board (HRB). The aim of the HRB Summer Student Scholarships is to encourage an interest in health research and to give students an opportunity to become familiar with the research process, research techniques and methodologies through conducting a summer project. Nine of the NUI Galway awardees are from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway: Catherine O'Connor from Dunmore, Co. Galway; Maria Costello from Grattan Road, Galway; Blathnaid Murphy from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath; Caitriona Fahy from Loughrea, Co. Galway; Bríd Reale from Murroe, Limerick; Kate Fitzpatrick from Clonmel, Co. Waterford; Ruairí Irwin from Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Nicola Kavanagh from Arklow, Co. Wicklow; and Andrew Carroll from Knocknacarra, Galway. Also included in the scholarships were John Birrane from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Noreen Lenihan from Knocknagoshel, Co. Kerry, from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies. The Scholarship scheme is open to undergraduate students who are studying in a health-related discipline in a university in Ireland and who are not in the final year of their degree course. The research project must be in one of the following research areas: applied biomedical research, clinical research, health services research and population health sciences research. The Scholarship will support the students' participation in research over the summer and they will receive €250 per week for a maximum of eight weeks. Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: "The School of Medicine is delighted and proud of our medical students who have been awarded Summer Research Scholarships from the HRB. These awards are highly competitive and reflect the calibre of our students and supervisors. The strategic plan for the School of Medicine aims to embed research as an integral part of the undergraduate curriculum and encourage all students to become research active. These awards will promote this aim". -Ends-

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Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme

Final Call for Applications for the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway has issued a final call for applications to its Sports Scholarships Scheme for 2010/11. NUI Galway has a long tradition of excellence in sport and this has been enhanced by the recent success in Rowing, Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby as well as numerous individual achievements. The deadline for application for current and prospective students is Friday, 30 July. The Scholarship Programme is aimed at student-athletes of outstanding calibre who register as students of the University. In the current academic year, student athletes at NUI Galway received significant financial and professional support services. The scholarships aim to help aspiring young sportspeople to continue to develop their sporting prowess. Through the Sports Scholarship Scheme some 50 students were supported in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Gaelic Football and Hurling, Cycling, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. Applicants for sports scholarships must satisfy the academic criteria for entry to NUI Galway and must have applied to the CAO in the usual manner. Gary Ryan is Elite Sports Development Officer at NUI Galway: "The Sports Scholarship at NUI Galway is aimed at helping our athletes get better at their sport while they are succeeding academically at university, it is not just a reward for what you have achieved in the past it is an award to help you get better in the future". A former Irish Olympian and record-breaking sprinter, Gary Ryan sees a bright future for the NUI Galway sports scholarships: "Our efforts in developing a high performance sports environment in NUI Galway have already shown significant success with a large number of our Sports Scholarship students representing national teams and the success of our Hurling, Basketball, Soccer and Rugby teams amongst others in the past year. All of these achievements have been secured by students who are also receiving a world class education, and being supported by the scheme to meet the challenges of these dual goals" For the Scholarships, students who meet the University's entry requirements will be selected on merit by an independent panel. In addition to the scholarship, students will receive specialist support including physiotherapy, treatment of injury, fitness training, coaching and support for travel to national and international competitions. More details on the Sports Scholarship Scheme at http://www.nuigalway.ie/student-life/campus-activities/sports.html-Ends-

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2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced

2010 John McGahern International Seminar Announced-image

Monday, 5 July 2010

NUI Galway and Leitrim County Council have announced that the fourth John McGahern International Seminar commemorating the work of the renowned Irish writer, will take place from 22-24 July in Co. Leitrim. Last year's International Seminar attracted more than 150 participants from Ireland and overseas. The theme of the seminar is 'Literature and Education', and the keynote lecture will be given by Fintan O'Toole of The Irish Times. Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway says: "It is particularly exciting this year to have Fintan O'Toole as our keynote speaker. Not only is Fintan one of the foremost journalists in the analysis of modern Irish society and politics, as he demonstrates again in his recent book Ship of Fools, but he has also long been one of our most astute cultural and literary critics. His lecture promises to be an ideal combination of attention to McGahern's own work and the context of education in Ireland today". Other speakers at the event will include Dr Stanley van der Ziel of University College Dublin; Professor Joan Dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and the American short story writer, David Means. Dr John Kenny added: "This year's theme is especially appropriate at a time when Irish education at all levels is experiencing enormous challenges. As the son of a teacher and as a trained primary teacher himself, McGahern had a natural lifelong interest in education and this is deeply reflected in his fiction. He was an articulate exponent of the key role of reading and imaginative development in education – again and again in his essays and lectures he extolled the virtues of literary study". There will also be a viewing of the screen adaptation of McGahern's major novel, Amongst Women, after which the screenwriter, Adrian Hodges, will give a talk and discuss his encounter with McGahern's work. The Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill in Co. Leitrim, and Cootehall in Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the publication of volume 3 of The John McGahern Yearbook, edited by Dr John Kenny. The Yearbook is a lavishly illustrated hardback and it includes proceedings of the 2009 Seminar as well as a range of articles by writers and critics. The book will be launched on the opening night by Professor Seán Ryder, Head of English at NUI Galway. In addition to the public seminar, NUI Galway has organised the third intensive International Summer School on McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 27th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern and his life and times in 20th Century Ireland. The Summer School incorporates the International Seminar and continues at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim the week after the Seminar. The 2009 Summer School was attended by students from Italy and the United States as well as Ireland. Contributors to this year's Summer School, directed by Dr John Kenny, will include David Means; Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Irish authors Kevin Barry and Mike McCormack; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool and Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York. Special guest writers will discuss the creative and local contexts of McGahern's life and work. Announcing the McGahern events, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School NUI Galway is working to broaden access to the study of the craft of writing. We are delighted to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this important archive in the West of Ireland, we hold in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and especially for this region which we have served for over 160 years. I wish the 2010 McGahern International Seminar & Summer School every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". Speaking at the launch of the 2010 programme, Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire, said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to work in partnership with NUI Galway in organising the fourth International Seminar and Summer School. The Seminar is now an important part of Ireland's literary calendar and presents an excellent opportunity for both academic and general readers to engage richly with the work of John McGahern". For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar & Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Ends-

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PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick

PhD in New Media and Film launched by NUI Galway and the University of Limerick-image

Thursday, 1 July 2010

The University of Limerick and NUI Galway today (Thursday, 1 July) launched a new four-year structured PhD in New Media and Film. This development is one of the initiatives to come out of the NUI Galway-UL Alliance recently launched by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen T.D and will start in September 2010. Also announced at the launch was a Fellowship initiative to support the joint PhD through the award of a Doctoral Scholarship to the value of €15,000, to a student of the programme at each institution. The Scholarships are tenable for a maximum of four years. This structured doctoral programme is run jointly by the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway and the School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication at University of Limerick. It aims to promote research that integrates theoretical discourses on the impact of digital media on cultural and social expression with practical concerns and the media industries. Dean of UL's Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, Professor Pat O'Connor, welcomed the announcement: "This exciting development at fourth level exemplifies the way in which cross institutional collaboration can advance the Arts and Humanities in an innovative medium. The collaboration demonstrates that the combined strengths of universities can create innovative teaching programmes and move research to a higher level". Professor Pat O'Connor added: "The issues this new research initiative promises to address are of great significance for the art of cinema and for culture. The impact of digital technologies on the way audio visual works is produced and, importantly, how they are received and understood by audiences, will be at the centre of media research for some time". Dr Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: "Access to a wider range of complementary courses in a neighbouring university will enhance the possibilities for research in both institutions and build on our strengths". Contemporary work in this area is at the leading edge of study linking digital media to the traditions of narrative and image making. Whilst academically strong, the research should also lead to new concepts that are applicable to practice. It is based on the complementary nature of developed areas of teaching and research at both institutions. Dr David Coughlan, of UL's School of Languages, Literature, Culture and Communication: "Recent recognition of Irish achievements in film and visual effects shows that Ireland can compete internationally in the fields of new media and film, combining artistic brilliance with technical excellence. In the context of a media industry constantly seeking technical innovation and original vision, this unique programme, the result of UL's alliance with NUI Galway, represents an important investment in, and commitment to, Ireland's creative future." The NUI Galway-UL Alliance is an institution-wide alliance across all areas of activity including teaching, research, technology transfer, lifelong learning and the provision of services. The new Alliance will see NUI Galway and UL collaborate extensively in the area of teaching and learning. Exciting new initiatives include a unique 'Link to Learn' student exchange programme, which will enable students at either university to choose modules from the other institution as part of their programme. Other developments include the creation of a new joint Medical Academy at Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals, in addition to the development of a programme of activities to respond to the national objectives of building strong foundations in mathematics and science in primary and second level education. -Ends-

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New Legal Book Focuses on the Criminal Process

New Legal Book Focuses on the Criminal Process -image

Thursday, 1 July 2010

A new book entitled The Criminal Process by Tom O'Malley, Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway, provides a detailed analysis of all the key elements of the criminal process. Among the topics covered are the essential ingredients of a fair trial, the allocation of criminal jurisdiction, arrest and detention, investigation and search powers, prosecution and indictment, bail, the trial process, summary procedure, prejudicial publicity, delay, disclosure and preservation of evidence, confessions and the right to silence, the jury, sentencing principles, judicial review and other post-conviction remedies. While primarily devoted to Irish law and the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, it also draws extensively for comparative purposes on case law from other common-law jurisdictions such as England and Wales, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. This text, published by the leading international publishers Thomson Reuters, runs to 1,200 pages and is the only comprehensive legal text to deal with recently enacted legislation including the Criminal Justice Acts 2006 and 2007, the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Act 2009, the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. In the Preface to his book, Mr O'Malley highlights the need for more parliamentary scrutiny of criminal legislation before enactment; the desirability of monitoring the operation and implementation of legislation once it comes into force; and the urgent need for a systematic consolidation of existing criminal justice legislation. "The Criminal Process is set to establish itself as the leading text for criminal lawyers and is our best-selling law book for Round Hall this year. It has been extremely well received by criminal law practitioners" says Catherine Dolan, Commercial Manager at Round Hall, a subsidiary of Thomson Reuters. Tom O'Malley is a Senior Lecturer in Law at NUI Galway and a practising barrister. He has served on several law reform bodies, including a committee established to review the qualifications for appointment to the High Court and Supreme Court judiciary. He is currently a member of a steering committee appointed by the Courts Service to consider the establishment of a sentencing information system. He is the author of the leading Irish treatises on sentencing, sexual offences and sources of law, and has published many law journal articles. The Criminal Process is available to buy from Round Hall, www.roundhall.ie or 01 662 5301. -Ends-

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June 2010

NUI Galway Launch First Graduate Programme in Clinical Research in Ireland

NUI Galway Launch First Graduate Programme in Clinical Research in Ireland-image

Monday, 28 June 2010

NUI Galway, through the Health Research Board (HRB) Clinical Research Facility and the University's College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, recently announced the launch of a new graduate programme in Clinical Research. Medical research is an area of increasing focus within the Irish health sector, and the proposed MSc in Clinical Research will be the first of its kind in Ireland. The MSc in Clinical Research will begin this September and will provide training for the next generation of healthcare workers in research design, biostatistics and administration. Specifically, the course targets individuals who wish to become Principal Investigators or pursue a career in the operation, monitoring and control of clinical research. Initial intake will be restricted to ten places and will involve blended learning through a combination of didactic lectures, problem-based learning and distance learning and will be provided on a full-time or a part-time capacity. Course contributors include senior academics and medical professionals, who are actively engaged in clinical research from NUI Galway, Galway University Hospitals and McMaster University Canada. Commenting on the new course, Professor Larry Egan, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, NUI Galway and Interim Director, HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway said: "The absence of a graduate programme in Clinical Research has been a deficit in Irish education and healthcare. We welcome the MSc in Clinical Research, which will support our research activity at the HRB-Clinical Research Facility". "This innovative course will train a new generation of Clinician Scientists to the highest level. It addresses an important unmet need in medical education. We are especially excited about the association with McMaster University, a world-leader in clinical research" said Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of School of Medicine at NUI Galway. Aimed at individuals employed in the healthcare sector, this course has been developed to meet the needs of working graduates who wish to up-skill, specialise or change career direction. Course directors for the MSc in Clinical Research are Professor Martin O'Donnell and Dr John Newell of the HRB Clinical Research Facility, Galway, and Dr Aideen O'Doherty, National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway. NUI Galway welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health & Children Mary Harney TD earlier this year that € 7.5m in capital funding is being provided for the construction of a new Clinical Research Facility on the grounds of University Hospital Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway is a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway. The facility is supported by funding from the Health Research Board and has been operating since March of 2008. The purpose of the Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is to improve human health through the generation of new medical knowledge from patient based research. The guiding philosophy of the CRF is to stimulate, engage and support health care professionals from diverse areas of expertise to undertake high quality clinical research. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 15 July. For further details on the course visit www.crfg.ieor www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/clinical-research.html. -Ends-

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Minister Officially Launches Energy Systems Engineering Programme at NUI Galway

Minister Officially Launches Energy Systems Engineering Programme at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 June 2010

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan T.D. officially launched the B.E. Programme in Energy Systems Engineering today (Monday, 28 June) at NUI Galway. The new course, which will be based in the new Engineering Building currently under construction at NUI Galway, has been developed in partnership with key members of the Energy industry including; ESB, GE Energy, Airtricity, Bord Gáis, Wavebob, a wave energy technology company, and ARUPS and RPS, two consulting engineers' practices. Speaking at the launch, Minister Ryan said: "The Government has set out ambitious plans for energy, and particularly renewable energy over the next ten years. In order for these plans to come to fruition, we must seek to build on our technical expertise, and continue to add to the highly-skilled energy workforce in this country. These are the skills we need to move from our current level of 15% renewable electricity to 40% by 2020 and to develop this industry to its full potential. It is in developing a strong academic platform, with practical, on-site experience that our future successes will be guaranteed. I must commend NUI Galway and its industry partners for their foresight in developing this course, which I'm sure, will be in great demand". The strong links with industry provides the degree programme with very practical routes. The partnership will also support innovation and technology transfer, working with a cluster of energy companies in the West of Ireland including Wavebob, Eirecomposties, Enerit, and C&F Engineering. The Energy Systems Engineering programme will incorporate aspects of traditional civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, with emphasis on energy policy, economics, environmental issues and a strong focus on informatics. The programme will include a range of additional optional modules which will provide students with maximum flexibility to choose from diverse career paths. The multidisciplinary programme will culminate in integrated design projects that address the sourcing, conversion and utilisation of energy. Subjects on offer will also include strong elements of civic engagement and service learning, with, for example, student volunteers travelling to India and Africa to install solar systems. Students are also required to study a broad range of related subjects, including Economics, Sociology and Politics, and Law and Science. The current National Development Plan and Programme for Government have placed a strong focus addressing energy issues. The new course on offer has been developed to meet a range of requirements of the 'Green Tech' sector and will play a key role in the furthering the Government's Smart Economy agenda. Additionally, the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation listed energy as a research priority. The course will enhance and further support the strong energy research activity that already exists on the NUI Galway campus. Graduates of the programme will be multidisciplinary engineers equipped to solve problems across the whole spectrum of energy systems. The new degree programme can be applied for through the CAO as change of mind option. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, says; "The B.E. in Energy Systems Engineering at NUI Galway is designed to meet Ireland's future demand for graduates in the emerging energy sectors. The new programme builds on a strong tradition of engineering in the University going back more than 150 years. These energy graduates are critical to Ireland's recovery and can play a crucial role in the emerging fields of renewable energy and smart grids". Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented on the new course: "NUI Galway is well positioned to deliver such an engineering programme in energy, as it has a strong range of all relevant engineering disciplines within its College of Engineering and Informatics. The new Engineering Building on campus, due for completion next summer, incorporates many sustainable energy and environmentally friendly features. In itself, the building will provide a real-life experimental environment for students of the new programme". -Ends-

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NUI Galway Honour Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees

NUI Galway Honour Four Outstanding Individuals with Honorary Degrees-image

Friday, 25 June 2010

Four outstanding individuals were conferred with honorary degrees from NUI Galway today, Friday 25 June, 2010. Those honoured were Bernard Collins, Anne Maria Dennison, John Killeen and Seán Ó hUiginn. Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne said: "NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals. In different ways, they represent and exemplify the talents and achievements of modern Ireland in the fields of business, engineering, international relations and social and cultural development. We are delighted to honour them individually as well as the groups they represent". Bernard Collins – Doctor of Laws Bernard Collins is a seasoned businessman with 30 years international management experience. Mr Collins is an investor, chairman and non-executive director of several medical device companies, six of whom are based in Galway. One of the highlights of his career was bringing Boston Scientific Corporation to Ireland and establishing Lifemed, to promote growth and partnership in lifescience companies. He is a non-executive director of IDA Ireland, Creganna, Irish Life & Permanent and Arc Royal and a board member of IDA Ireland. He also holds the position of chairman of Vhi Healthcare, Heartsine Inc USA, Haptica, AnsaMed, Proxy Biomedical, Aerogen Ireland Ltd / Aerosurge Ireland Ltd, Vysera, Vivasure Medical and Creagh Medical. He is Chairman of Cancer Care West, the largest cancer patient support centre in Ireland which in 2007 opened Inis Aoibhinn, a residence for patients undergoing radiotherapy treatment at University Hospital Galway. Anne Maria Dennison – Doctor of Arts Anne Maria Dennison is National President of the Irish Countrywomen s Association (ICA) which celebrates its centenary in 2010. A native of Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick, she joined the ICA in 1989 and over the past 21 years she has held leadership roles at every level of the ICA, the largest women's organisation in Ireland,. Anne Maria has represented ICA, on Limerick County Community and Voluntary Forum and has been Honorary Secretary of its Executive Committee. She has been a member of Limerick County Council Cultural Action Group, with responsibility for organising a programme of events in Limerick County during Seachtain na Gaeilge. She participated in the National Economic Social Forum on Child Literacy and Social Inclusion Project and is currently a member of the Teagasc Education and Training Forum. John Killeen – Doctor of Laws Born in Roscommon, John Killeen, began his career with structural engineering firm, Stanislaus Kenny & Partners in Dublin where he worked as assistant project manager on Ireland's first large scale tunnel project, the Grand Canal Scheme. Mr Killeen is CEO of the Colas Group (Cold Chon) and Chairman of the Galway Docklands Redevelopment Committee. Mr Killeen is a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers in London, the Insitute of Engineers of Ireland (now Engineers Ireland) and the Academy of Engineers of Ireland. He is former President of the Institute of Engineers in Ireland and former Chairman of Engineers Ireland, West Region. In 1997 he was Founding President of the Academy of Engineering in Ireland. As Chairman of 'Let s Do It Galway' he led the effort that brought the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway. In May this year he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Galway for his work in promoting the development of Galways docklands for bringing successive international festivals to Galway as part of the last and next Volvo Ocean Race. Seán Ó hUiginn – Doctor of Laws NUI Galway graduate and Mayo native, Seán Ó hUiginn, has held a succession of key roles in the Department of Foreign Affairs including Secretary to the Irish Embassy in Berne, Deputy Head of the Irish Delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Consul General of Ireland in New York, Irish Ambassador to Saudia Arabia, Joint Secretary of the Anglo-Irish Secretariat in Belfast, Ambassador to Denmark and headed the Anglo-Irish Division of the Department as Second Secretary. Mr Ó hUiginn was appointed Irish Ambassador to the United States in 1997 and served as Irish Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 2002 to 2006 and from then to retirement in 2009 as Irish Ambassador to Italy. He holds honorary doctorates from several American universities and was appointed Grand Officer of the order Della Stella della Solidarita Italiana by the Italian Government. Today's graduands join the ranks of previous honorary conferees which include among many others Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O Connor Snr and Jnr, Enya, Sean Purcell, the late Merv Griffin, Anjelica Huston and Fionnuala Flanagan. -Ends-

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Irish Conference of Medievalists

Irish Conference of Medievalists -image

Thursday, 24 June 2010

NUI Galway will host the Irish Conference of Medievalists from 25–27 June 2010. More than 70 medievalists from Ireland, Australia, Finland, Germany, the US and the UK will come together for the 24th annual gathering to attend a series of 15 sessions covering the latest research in history, literature and archaeology. The keynote address on Friday 25 June, will be given by Professor Thomas Charles-Edwards and is entitled 'Wales and the Irish, 400–700,' Professor Charles-Edwards is the author of the acclaimed study Early Christian Ireland (Cambridge 2007), which the journal History described as 'THE definitive book on Ireland between the fourth and ninth centuries.' Further sessions of the conference will cover a range of subjects from crowd control in sixth-century Clonmacnoise to sheela-na-gigs (often obscene female figures found on the walls of medieval churches). Two areas of special emphasis will be panels on the Amrae Coluimb Chille, the Old Irish lament for St Columba, and reports on the latest work done by the Discovery programme, the public institution set up to pursue advanced research in Irish archaeology. NUI Galway's Dr Jacopo Bisagni, chair of the Galway organising committee, said, 'The Irish Conference of Medievalists is one of the largest medieval conferences in Ireland, so it's a real privilege for us to host it this year. All of us in Galway are looking forward to three days of interesting papers and good craic.' -Ends-

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NUI Galway Launch new Intergenerational Community Learning Model

NUI Galway Launch new Intergenerational Community Learning Model -image

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

NUI Galway, in collaboration with St Vincent de Paul, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and Galway Community College, yesterday (Tuesday, 22 June) launched a new community model of Intergenerational Learning, adapting the University's current Living Scenes Intergenerational Programme, which has been operating in Irish Secondary Schools for the last ten years. The current school-based model of Living Scenes is a groundbreaking educational programme, the first of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. NUI Galway's Director of the Living Scenes Programme, Dr Mary Surlis, contends that: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish Society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in local communities, regenerating relationships between the older and younger generations is crucial in responding to the challenge currently facing our society. Working with Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre and the Galway Community College provides an ideal opportunity to extend the current remit of the programme to a wider target group and the University is delighted to be involved in this collaboration". The Living Scenes Community Programme is a collaborative education initiative which will target teenagers and retired older adults. This model will be based in Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre (St. Vincent's de Paul), participants will take part in a weekly structured curriculum over a 30 week period. The programme will focus on positively impacting on the lives of both groups through empowering, enabling and relationship building in a specifically designed learning environment which allows both groups to develop, bond and form new relationships and friendships. Commenting on the potential for the programme Loretta Needham, Centre Manager, Croí na Gaillimhe Resource Centre, said: "This new programme, assisted by the Maureen O'Connell Fund of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, offers an exciting opportunity for us to link with NUI Galway and to be involved in piloting a community model of Intergenerational Learning which will benefit a wide spectrum of our participants throughout Galway City and County and further afield". Rita Duffy, Principal Galway Community College, comments: "It is heartening for us to see NUI Galway reach out to young people who have no tradition of third-level education in their families or communities. Society is losing a wealth of talent and creativity because the gifts of these young people remain under-developed. Our students, like all teenagers, invest heavily in relationships. We are delighted that they will have an opportunity to work with and benefit from the wisdom of people who have faced and overcome many of life s challenges. We welcome the opportunity for our students to engage in learning that is meaningful, relevant and attainable. Galway Community College is particularly grateful to Dr Mary Surlis for this exciting new initiative and to Loretta Needham for investing in the education and welfare of our students". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos - reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work in an intergenerational capacity with younger and older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -Ends-

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