Winter Honorary Conferring at NUI Galway

Winter Honorary Conferring at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Almost 800 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway today (Wednesday, 25 November 2009) at the University s winter conferring ceremonies. John Lynch, musical director of the Kilfenora Ceilí Band and regional development activist Mr Tony Barrett, will also be honoured with a Master of Music (honoris causa) and Master of Arts (honoris causa) respectively. In awarding the Master of Music honoris causa on John Lynch, NUI Galway is honouring not just the current Kilfenora Céilí Band but all those renowned musicians of earlier decades, from Kilfenora itself and from elsewhere, who have created a century of outstanding musical tradition. In 2009, the Kilfenora Céilí Band, the country's oldest Céilí Band and an enduring icon at home and abroad of the traditional culture of Ireland, celebrates the centenary of its foundation. Tony Barrett, is being honored for his personal contribution to local and regional development across the region and the Gaeltacht, to the Irish Cooperative Movement, and to a range of University projects. Mr Barrett was a member of the first class of the Master's in Rural Development degree at NUI Galway, graduating in 1987. Speaking in advance of the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented: "NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today's honorary graduands - John Lynch and Tony Barrett - have made valuable and distinctive contributions in the areas of traditional music and community development. In very different ways they have added to the social and cultural life of Ireland and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals". Kilfenora Céilí Band band will play a short selection in the Aula Maxima at a private lunch following the conferring. This will be a repeat performance, as University archives show that the band played in the Aula Maxima in 1937 for the Sigerson Cup Céilí. In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating throughout the day 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. Céimeanna Oinigh an Gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Bronnfar céim ar bhreis agus 800 mac léinn as cúig choláiste OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé Céadaoin, an 25 Samhain 2009) i searmanais bhronnadh céimeanna an gheimhridh san Ollscoil. Chomh maith leo sin, bronnfar Máistreacht sa Cheol (honoris causa) ar John Lynch, stiúrthóir ceoil Bhanna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach agus Máistreacht sna Dána (honoris causa) ar an ngníomhaire d'fhorbairt réigiúnach, Tony Barrett. Agus Máistreacht (honoris causa) sa Cheol á bronnadh ar John Lynch, tá aitheantas á thabhairt ag OÉ Gaillimh do na ceoltóirí cáiliúla as Cill Fhionnúrach féin agus as áiteanna eile a bhí sa bhanna le blianta anuas agus a chruthaigh traidisiún ceoil an chéid. In 2009, tá Banna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach, an banna céilí is sine sa tír agus a bhfuil clú agus cáil air i bhfad agus i gcéin, ag ceiliúradh céad bliain ó bunaíodh é. Tá aitheantas á fháil ag Tony Barrett as an obair atá déanta aige don fhorbairt réigiúnach agus áitiúil sa cheantar agus sa Ghaeltacht, do Ghluaiseacht na gComharchumann in Éirinn, agus do thograí éagsúla Ollscoile. Bhí an tUasal Barrett sa chéad rang Máistreachta i bhForbairt Tuaithe in OÉ Gaillimh agus bronnadh a chéim air i 1987. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, roimh an searmanas: "Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh ceangal a bheith aici leis an oiread sin céimithe oinigh den scoth ó bunaíodh í. Tá éacht déanta ag céimithe oinigh an lae inniu – John Lynch agus Tony Barrett – sa cheol traidisiúnta agus san fhorbairt pobail. Ar bhealaí atá an-éagsúil óna chéile, chuir siad beirt go mór le saol sóisialta agus cultúrtha na hÉireann agus tá ríméad ar OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo". Ag lón príobháideach i ndiaidh an tsearmanais, seinnfidh Banna Céilí Chill Fhionnúrach cúpla port san Aula Maxima. Ní hé seo an chéad uair ar tharla a leithéid. Léiríonn cartlann na hOllscoile gur sheinm an banna céilí san Aula Maxima i 1937 do Chéilí Chorn Sigerson. Beifear ag bronnadh céimeanna, ard-dioplómaí, Máistreachtaí agus PhDanna ar mhic léinn i rith an lae ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Críoch

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President McAleese Honours NUI Galway Teacher at National Awards Ceremony

President McAleese Honours NUI Galway Teacher at National Awards Ceremony-image

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Dr Aisling McCluskey from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Maths at NUI Galway has been awarded a National Teaching Award by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. The awards were presented at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle on behalf of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL). More than one hundred guests attended the ceremony on 18 November including Higher Education Authority representatives, senior management of many higher education institutes as well as family and friends of the award winners. Jennifer Murphy, Manager of the National Academy, welcomed the guests and highlighted the significance of the awards programme in recognising and rewarding teaching in Higher Education. Winners of the five Awards were nominated by senior managers within their institutions and selected by a committee which included international representatives as well as representatives of the Irish University Association, the Institutes of Technology Ireland and the Union of Students in Ireland. The committee was chaired by Professor Áine Hyland, Chair of the Academy's international advisory board. Awards were also presented to Helena Lenihan, University of Limerick;; Amanda Gibney, University College Dublin; Susan Bergin NUI, Maynooth; and a team from the Dublin Institute of Technology - Michael Seery, Claire McDonnell, Christine O'Connor and Sarah Rawe. Bettie Higgs and Marian McCarthy from University College Cork received a Special Commendation. Despite the diversity of disciplines and Institutions represented, the award winners shared an enthusiasm for teaching that combines with their own research expertise to create an exciting learning environment for students. The Award comprised a crystal vase, a certificate and €5,000, which can be used for further professional development and enhancement of teaching. President McAleese presented the awards highlighting the significant role of integrating research, teaching and learning in the recovery of a sustainable economy. She encouraged teachers to lead by example and to provide innovative and creative teaching and learning opportunities in our higher education institutions. She added that the National Awards were a significant and welcome development in Irish Higher Education. Michael Kelly, Chairman of the HEA closed the ceremony, saying: "This morning I was inspired and inspiration runs throughout the approaches adopted by the award winners which make for attention grabbing teaching". Ends-

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Minister Brady Launches Report on Injuries in Ireland

Minister Brady Launches Report on Injuries in Ireland-image

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Ms Áine Brady, T. D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion today (25 November, 2009) launched a new report entitled 'Injuries in Ireland'. Injuries or accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in Ireland after cancers, diseases of the circulatory system and respiratory diseases, with an estimated 1,500 fatalities a year. Tripping and falling were one of the main causes of injuries among adults, according to the report, with the home being the most common location of injury. The report, which was commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, is part of a series from data collected for 'SLÁN 2007: Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition in Ireland'. The research came out of collaborative work by NUI Galway, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Economic and Social Research Institute, and University College Cork. Key findings contained in the report include: Findings show that 9% of all adults and 43% of all school children reported one or more medically attended injuries in the previous 12 months. Injuries were more prevalent among men and boys, and among those in the age group 12-29 years. Of adults reporting an injury requiring medical treatment, 52% reported 3 or more days of lost activity. Activity loss due to injury was more common among those with lower income, unemployed and medical card holders. Among the adult population, the main locations where injuries occurred were in the home, at a sports facility and on the road. The main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activities, work-related injury and injury during work around the house. Among school children, the main locations where injuries occurred were in sport facilities, at home and in school, while the main activities leading to injury were sports or physical activity. Among the younger population, fall-related injuries were not likely to translate into hospitalisation and fatalities were very rare. Among the older population, fall-related injuries requiring hospitalisation were as common as self-reported fall-related injuries. Dr Michal Molcho of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway was lead author on the report: "This report provides the most comprehensive information to date on injuries in Ireland. The findings indicate that injuries are more common in young people and in the elderly, and that more severe injuries are more prevalent among those less well off. The findings also indicate the main locations and activity leading to an injury providing us with important information as to where we should target prevention efforts". The full report is available on line at www.dohc.ie or www.slan07.ie. -ends-

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NUI Galway Researchers Win Inaugural SFI Research Image Competition

NUI Galway Researchers Win Inaugural SFI Research Image Competition-image

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Professor Kevin Sullivan, Professor of Cell Biology, and Dr Lisa Prendergast, Postdoctoral Fellow at NUI Galway were recently crowned winners of the SFI Research Image Competition with their image – 'Troubled Cell Division'. This new competition offered Science Foundation Ireland-funded researchers the opportunity to submit digital images created during the course of their research. The winning image shows a dividing cell whose spindle has been disturbed by removing a single protein from the chromosome. The image was taken during research into what might cause a cancer cell to fail in cell division and die instead of multiplying. Professor Sullivan explained: "Our work is aimed at understanding how human cell division works. This knowledge can then be used in the discovery and validation of new drugs for cancer chemotherapy. The mechanism we're studying, the mitotic spindle in cell division, is already a proven target for effective chemotherapy drugs including Taxol and Vinblastine. The idea we're pursuing is that we can potentially lower the toxicity of spindle poisons or target them more specifically to cancer cells". Professor Sullivan's laboratory is in the Centre for Chromosome Biology within the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway. The Centre is a grouping of 11 independent research laboratories with over 80 researchers focused on understanding the functions of genetic material, and how this influences human diseases such as cancer, neurological and developmental disorders. Research in the Centre for Chromosome Biology is supported by funding bodies including Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, IRCSET, the European Union and the Irish Cancer Society. For more information about the Centre for Chromosome Biology, please visit www.chromosome.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Offers Another Event for Astronomy Enthusiasts

NUI Galway Offers Another Event for Astronomy Enthusiasts-image

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

The fourth in a series of public talks organised by NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will focus on the dramatic stars known as Pulsars. The free event takes places at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 25 November, in Physics Room 220, Arts & Science Building, NUI Galway. Pulsars have been intensely studied for more than 40 years and ongoing research at NUI Galway is seeking to solve some of the many remaining mysteries that surround these stars. The death of massive stars, a phenomenon known as 'supernovae', brings into being the neutron stars that are Pulsars, but there is still much to be discovered about their properties. The lecture will be given by NUI Galway's Dr John Mc Donald who says: "Pulsars are one of the most fascinating stars in the universe. Although relatively small physically, they are like galactic lighthouses, emitting massive amounts of radiation. In an area the size of Galway, a neutron star can possess the equivalent mass of our entire Sun. All of this matter and energy is contained within truly immense electromagnetic and gravitational fields, which spin up to 650 times a second". During the talk, Dr Mc Donald will explain the origins of these stars, starting right from the birth of normal stars, through their violent death, to their stunning rebirth as some of the most extreme and enigmatic objects in the known Universe. His talk will also discuss what is known and yet to be discovered about Pulsars, and the research currently being undertaken at NUI Galway s Centre for Astronomy. The series of public talks co-incides with the International Year of Astronomy which takes place throughout 2009. More details of all the talks can be found on http://astro.nuigalway.ie/outreach.php -ends-

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Did Darwin Solve it All? – Lecture to Celebrate Darwin Year

Did Darwin Solve it All? – Lecture to Celebrate Darwin Year-image

Monday, 16 November 2009

A public talk entitled 'Did Darwin Solve it all? – Evolution 150 years on' will be given by Professor Wallace Arthur, Professor of Zoology, at 7.30pm in the Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway on Tuesday, 24 November. It is widely known that 2009 is 'Darwin Year' and exactly 150 years ago, on 24 November, 1859 Darwin's masterpiece The Origin of Species was published. This book forever changed the way we look at the entire living world, including the human species. Professor Arthur explains: "There was heated debate immediately after the publication of Darwin's book. Then, over the next few years, that debate gradually subsided as the evolutionists won the day. But what is the situation now regarding the theory of evolution? Did Darwin really solve it all? Or are there major gaps in the theory?". One famous present-day evolutionist – the English biologist Richard Dawkins – thinks that Charles Darwin (together with Alfred Russel Wallace) did indeed solve it all. He remarks at the start of one of his books: "Our own existence once presented the greatest of all mysteries, but it is a mystery no longer because it is solved. Darwin and Wallace solved it, though we shall continue to add footnotes to their solution for a while yet". However, many biologists do not agree with Dawkins, and NUI Galway's Professor Wallace Arthur is one of them. In this lecture, Professor Arthur will explain why he feels that current research into evolution is doing much more than 'adding footnotes' to Darwin's work. The talk is open to the public and refreshments will be served. Those interested should contact Anne Quinn, Zoology, Martin Ryan Institute, NUI Galway at 091-492323. Ends-

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The Irish Times Editor to Speak at NUI Galway

<i>The Irish Times Editor</i> to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 16 November 2009

Editor of The Irish Times, Geraldine Kennedy, will be the lead participant at a Discourse on the 'Challenges to Press Freedom in the 21st Century' at NUI Galway on Thursday, 26 November at 6-8 pm. Also speaking will be Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, and there will be ample opportunity for interactive discussion with the audience after the formal presentations. The event will be chaired by University President, Dr James J. Browne. Speaking in advance of the event, Professor Nicholas Canny, Director of the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, NUI Galway remarked: "The Discourse will provide an interesting blend of the opinions of a working journalist and editor who has had practical experience of being brought before the courts to uphold principles of press freedom, with those of an expert on the kinds of challenges to press freedom that present themselves in non-western societies". The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the IT Lecture Theatre 250, NUI Galway. Ends-

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Two NUI Galway Students Reach Final to Battle for Meteor Apprentice

Two NUI Galway Students Reach Final to Battle for Meteor Apprentice -image

Friday, 13 November 2009

Two students from NUI Galway's J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics have beaten over 1,700 other candidates to make it to the final seven of Meteor's Apprentice competition. Meteor Mobile Communications is running the competition to mark their sponsorship of the award winning TV series, The Apprentice. The winner will serve an apprenticeship in the marketing department at Meteor next summer. Battling it out for the prize will be 21 year old Emma Curtis, a final Commerce student specialising in Spanish and Marketing. Emma, originally from Kinsale, Co. Cork, hopes to work in an International Corporate Events Company. Also in the final is 22 year old, Galway city native Senan Cronin. Senan is in his final year in Business Information Systems at the University. While the 12 candidates battle it out in the boardroom under self made millionaire and taskmaster Bill Cullen on the TV3 hit The Apprentice, candidates in the Meteor apprenticeship role will have to answer to Meteor s Head of Product Marketing, Bill Blake. Commenting on the search, Bill Blake, Meteor s Head of Product Marketing, said: "We're looking forward to seeing what the Meteor Apprentices are made of. There's a great opportunity here for the successful candidate who will spend next summer working within the marketing department. This extensive role will allow the winner to get a feel of the varying functions within marketing, from devising offers and choosing mobile phone ranges to retention and the exciting world of advertising. For the candidate s final week with Meteor, they get to choose which area they really want to focus on". Expressing her delight at Emma and Senan's success, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway, said: "At the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics we are continuously challenging our students to achieve their potential. We are delighted that Emma and Senan will have an opportunity to showcase their skills to a worldwide audience". Each week the candidates will be given a specific task to complete and can be tracked and voted for by the public on the www.apprenticeunseen.ie. -Ends-

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Terry Eagleton to Speak 'On Evil' at NUI Galway

Terry Eagleton to Speak 'On Evil' at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 13 November 2009

Professor Terry Eagleton, arguably one of the most influential of living literary critics, will deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway entitled 'On Evil' on Tuesday, 17 November, at 6pm in IT Lecture Theatre 250. Professor Eagleton is Adjunct Professor of Cultural Theory based at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway. Professor Eagleton's specialities are literary and cultural theory and the English-language literature and culture of Ireland, on which he has recently completed a trilogy of works. His forthcoming book, "On Evil" is on the topic of evil and its place in our contemporary world. A recent preview by Yale University Press states: "In a book that ranges from St. Augustine to alcoholism, Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Mann, Shakespeare to the Holocaust, Eagleton investigates the frightful plight of those doomed souls who apparently destroy for no reason. In the process, he poses a set of intriguing questions. Is evil really a kind of nothingness? Why should it appear so glamorous and seductive? Why does goodness seem so boring? Is it really possible for human beings to delight in destruction for no reason at all?" Professor Terry Eagleton is the author of many books, including "Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate". The event is free and open to the public. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Survey Finds Irish Youth Happier and Healthier than those in the UK

NUI Galway Survey Finds Irish Youth Happier and Healthier than those in the UK-image

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

An in-depth comparison of health and well-being between children in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales reveals that childhood in Ireland is healthier and happier than in neighbouring countries. The survey, co-authored by NUI Galway was conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, includes information from more than 20,000 children aged 11-15 years. The 136-page report 'Young People's Health in Great Britain and Ireland' looks at issues like health, symptoms, well-being, eating patterns, physical activity, substance use, family and peer relationships and school life. Irish children are more likely than their UK counterparts to report high life satisfaction, and less likely to report feeling low or having poor body image. In this country, children are more likely to engage in physical activity and less likely to spend excessive time on computers or on games console use. They are also most likely to live with both parents and in bigger households, to report that they are able to talk to their fathers about things that bother them and to spend time with friends after school. The report also highlights the lack of data on sexual behaviour among Irish adolescents. "These patterns uncovered illustrate how we compare with our nearest neighbours" said Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway, one of the authors. "This report goes into greater depth on these issues than we have ever had before, showing differences between boys and girls, age groups and children from different family backgrounds". Dr Nic Gabhainn added: "It is important that we recognise the differences as well as the similarities between children in the UK and Ireland. This report suggests that it is important not just to borrow unquestioningly from UK policy and practice when we are trying to improve child health – but that we need to work out where we are similar and where we are not and be more selective in what we do". In the report, age, gender and inter-country differences are documented, as well as patterns in youth health and well-being by levels of family affluence. Copies of the document are available from hbsc@nuigalway.ie or download www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc/ -Ends-

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