Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student

Political Web Visibility Rankings Website Created by NUI Galway Student -image

Friday, 4 March 2011

An online visibility tracking website created by postgraduate student of NUI Galway, David Dolphin, has shown that the fifteen independent candidates elected to the 31st Dáil, topped web visibility rankings in their constituencies, highlighting the importance of having a web presence during the recent General Election. The website td2011.com monitored the number of news articles, blog posts and websites which mentioned each candidate's name in the week running up to the election. According to the results, twelve of the elected independents were the most visible independent candidate in their constituency, while three others had the second most visible web presence. All elected independents were one of the top five most visible candidates in their constituency. In order to determine candidates positions, David wrote an algorithm to rank all 566 candidates based their web presence. Web visibility then was monitored for the candidates from 1 February until the day before the election Thursday, 24 February. David Dolphin, creator of td2011.com says: "The results extracted from the website show that the internet is a useful tool independents can use to inform the electorate of the issues they stand for. It highlights the growing role of internet presence as a factor in Irish elections. The Web is particularly important for independent candidates as it gives them a voice when they don't have the brand recognition that comes with party membership." Full rankings for all independent candidates can be found online at: http://www.td2011.com/indy. -ends-

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'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo

'Humanities in the West' Visits Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo-image

Friday, 4 March 2011

The folklore and philosophy of the West of Ireland was explored by NUI Galway's Dr Tom Duddy in Castlebar yesterday (3 March). In a free, public talk, Dr Duddy spoke about 'From Folklore to Philosophy: the life and work of William Larminie of Castlebar'. William Larminie was born in Castlebar in 1849. A poet and collector of folklore, he also translated the work of the great Irish-born philosopher, John Scottus Eriugena. The talk, which took place in the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, gave an account of Larminie's own life and discussed his contribution to Irish cultural life. Dr Duddy's lecture was part of the 'Humanities in the West' series of talks, sponsored by the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. Throughout this series, University lecturers visit different regional centres (Castlebar, Roscommon and Sligo) to lecture on a range of topics from philosophy to Gaelic games to ideas of space and mobility in contemporary Ireland. 'Humanities in the West' is an initiative of the Civic Engagement Committee in the School of Humanities and is one of a number of annual initiatives designed to publicise the teaching and research that takes place in Humanities at NUI Galway. Further talks are planned in Roscommon on 29 March, where Dr Seán Crosson of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, will discuss 'Representing the Nation through Sport: The National Film Institute's Gaelic Games Films, 1948 – 1968'. His presentation will consider a series of films made in Ireland during the period that were centrally concerned with representing and promoting the nation through sport. The talk, which will include rare highlights footage of Roscommon competing in the all-Ireland football finals of 1943, 1946 and 1962, takes place in the Roscommon Arts Centre at 8pm. In Sligo on 5 April, Dr Nessa Cronin of the Centre for Irish Studies, will talk about 'Haunted Landscapes: Place, Space and Mobility in 21st Century Ireland'. This illustrated talk will look at the changing face of the Irish landscape from 1993 to the present day. In particular, it will focus on issues relating to the legacy of urban sprawl and rural 'development' in contemporary Ireland and how such changes have been represented in the Irish literary sphere. Of interest to a wide audience, from local community development groups to individuals interested in Irish heritage and contemporary literature, the talk takes place in The Model, Sligo, at 8pm. Further information is available from Karen Walsh 091 495689. For more information on the work of the School of Humanities (including podcasted lectures), visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/humanities/. -Ends-

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Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations

Research Provides Communication Guidelines in Cross-Cultural GP Consultations-image

Thursday, 3 March 2011

NUI Galway researchers have won a prestigious award for their work on the development of guidelines to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. Dr. Anne MacFarlane, Lecturer in Primary Care, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine has led the Health Research Board Partnership Award with colleagues Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway and Alice O'Flynn and Diane Nurse of the HSE Social Inclusion Unit. This research has used innovative participatory research methods to enable the meaningful involvement of health service users from the migrant community and health service providers in the development of a guideline to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. This research was recently awarded the Professor James McCormack medal for best research presentation at the Association of University Departments of General Practice Annual Scientific Meeting. This is important research for service users with limited English and their general practitioners who face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations because they do not have a shared language or cultural background which results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. According to Dr. MacFarlane; "A key finding from the research is that all those involved with the research do not think the current status quo of using family members including children and friends as interpreters, is acceptable. They wish to have access to formal, trained interpreters who are monitored and evaluated in practice." Members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, who participated in the research last April, were invited back to the University recently to hear details of the key findings and to provide feedback about the emerging content of the guideline to the research team. Seven representatives of the migrant community have formed a research team with academic researchers. The Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS) are Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. They trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway and this training enabled them to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to 'have a voice' in the development of the guideline, working in their own languages and with SUPERS from their own cultural backgrounds. As one SUPER (Florence Ogbebor) remarked, "This type of research actually brought the voices of the people upstream to the policy makers, where their voices could be heard". The use of participatory research approaches for research based on academic-community partnerships is very innovative in Irish primary care and the involvement of the Centre for Participatory Strategies has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the project. Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún said, "In this research project, we found it very exciting to experience the enthusiasm and creativity of the SUPERS. Together, we co-designed the research process, and culture-proofed all the research materials - this ensured that no migrant participants would be offended by the visual images we use with groups where not everyone readily reads and writes. This is one of the strengths of the participatory approach used, no one is disenfranchised and everyone's voice counts." -Ends-

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Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway

Photos of Actor Arthur Shields on Display at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The general public are invited on a trip down theatrical memory lane at NUI Galway, as images from the archive of the Abbey Theatre actor Arthur Shields (1896-1970) are exhibited. The selection of photographs from the Shields Family Archive will be on display in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library until 18 March with many more images featuring in a powerpoint display. John Cox, Librarian at James Hardiman Library, says this is a fascinating display: "As well as photographs, visitors will also be able to view correspondence and publicity material from the Abbey Theatre's tours of North America, which were managed by Arthur Shields in the 1930s. As an interesting footnote, in Easter 1916, Arthur Shields fought with the Citizen Army in the GPO when he was just 19 years old, and several items relating to the uprising are on display." The exhibition is just part of the Shields Family Archive collection which is housed at the James Hardiman Library, and includes posters, programmes and playscripts. In addition, there is a large audio-visual collection of tapes and video, including around fifty hours of interviews with Abbey players recorded in the 1970s. Also in the Archive are the papers of Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur's brother. Both brothers had successful acting careers in Hollywood, each appearing in more than fifty films, beginning with John Ford's production of The Plough and Stars in 1936. The exhibition takes place in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway until 18 March (closed on 17 March). The Library is open until 10pm Monday to Friday, and until 5.30pm at weekends. Admission to the exhibition is free. The University has also made over 150 images from the Shields Family Archive available online at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/shields. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Professor to Speak at United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Youth

NUI Galway Professor to Speak at United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Youth -image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

NUI Galway's Professor Pat Dolan will participate in the United Nations Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on 'Dialogue and Mutual Understanding across Generations' in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, 8 and Wednesday, 9 March. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the UN Member States and the UN Secretariat with expert opinion on dialogue and mutual understanding as it relates to generations. In doing so, it seeks to explore the family structure as a framework for enhancing intergenerational dialogue between younger and older persons and exploring its impact in a broader context including, community, education and the workplace. The event will endeavour to review the existing policies and good practices in the area of intergenerational dialogue. It will develop recommendations on how strategic investment in activities and initiatives aimed at promoting intergenerational dialogue can help further youth development and social integration policies. Professor Dolan, who is UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research at NUI Galway, was invited to participate in the meeting by the United Nations on the Family and the United Nations Programme on Youth, in the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Professor Dolan's address will focus on "lessons learnt from existing approaches to promote dialogue and understanding and enhance youth involvement". Professor Dolan adds, "Civic engagement ranging from community based charity work to social justice/cause led action, enables new friendships and coping capacity for youth in need in Ireland and globally. This UN Forum will explore how Ireland can help move this from a vision to a reality." The meeting is being convened in observance of the International Year of Youth 2010 to 2011 and as part of the preparations for the Twentieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which will take place in 2014. The event is being held in cooperation with Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD). -Ends-

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Centenary of International Women's Day to be Celebrated at NUI Galway

Centenary of International Women's Day to be Celebrated at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on Tuesday, 8 March, will be marked by a series of events at NUI Galway. International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911, when more than one million women and men attended rallies around the world campaigning for women's rights. Now a well established worldwide event, International Women's Day has become an annual fixture at NUI Galway. The Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway will be co-hosting a series of events throughout the week of 7 to 11 March. According to Dr Niamh Reilly, of the Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway: "Over the last hundred years many gains have been made that have transformed the position of women in Ireland and around the world. However, there remain persistent and serious gender gaps that must be addressed before we can say that gender equality has been truly achieved. On average male workers and professionals continue to enjoy higher earnings and to occupy more senior positions in both the private and public sectors than women do. In Ireland especially, women are severely under-represented in formal politics and decision making positions, women continue to carry an unfair burden of responsibility for unpaid caring work in the home, and women are many times more likely than men to be subjected to domestic violence, rape and sexual exploitation." Events at NUI Galway will begin on Monday, 7 March, at 12.30pm in Áras Moyola with a seminar by Inez McCormack, women's and human rights activist, first female President of the Irish Congress of Trade Union and Chair of the Participation and Practice of Rights project, on 'Women, Power and Powerlessness'. On Tuesday, 8 March, at 8pm in the O Flaherty Theatre, the Galway Film Society will screen 'Women without Men'. The film brings together, on screen, the personal and the political in the story of four women and the way their lives are affected by the turbulence of the anti-Mossadeq coup in Iran. Directed by Shirin Neshat, it was the winner of Best Director Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival 2009, and will be preceded by an introduction from NUI Galway's Niamh Reilly. A celebration of the life and work of Diana Leonard (1941-2010), Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education and Gender at the University of London, and founder of the Centre for Research on Education and Gender, takes place on Wednesday, 9 March, at 12.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building. Finally, on Friday, 11 March, a public seminar of the Gender Arc Research Alliance, which is part of the NUI Galway-UL Strategic Alliance, will examine Historical Perspectives on International Women's Day. Speakers will include Caitríona Clear, Senior Lecturer in History, NUI Galway and Bernadette Whelan, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Limerick. This event takes place at 1pm in Áras Moyola. Dr Nata Duvvury, also with Global Women's Studies Programme, notes that: "Persistent underlying patterns of discrimination against women in most societies make women and girls disproportionately vulnerable to an array of harms from extreme poverty and wartime sexual violence to human trafficking and exposure to HIV/AIDS. Thankfully, there are many men and women the world over who are ardent defenders of women's human rights and gender equality. The centenary of International Women's Day offers a welcome opportunity to celebrate their successful efforts to challenge inequalities to date and to remind ourselves that no country yet can boast a perfect record on achievement of genuine gender equality for all groups of women and for sexual minorities." The events at NUI Galway are hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme in conjunction with the Galway Film Society, the Gender Arc Research Alliance (NUI Galway-UL), and NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, and Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. All are welcome to these free events, for further information contact Gillian Browne at gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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February 2011

NUI Galway Students' Union Launches Student Enterprise Awards

NUI Galway Students' Union Launches Student Enterprise Awards-image

Monday, 28 February 2011

The Student Enterprise Awards, a competition to encourage enterprise and innovation among students, has been launched at NUI Galway. The NUI Galway Students' Union initiative invites students across campus to put forward proposals for a project or business, with a prize of €15,000 for the overall winner. The competition embraces both the innovative and creative abilities of students to formulate a concept, with finalists being offered a chance to turn their idea into reality. The overall winner will not only receive €15,000 direct investment to launch their project, but also invaluable expert guidance and mentoring. Two runner-up prizes are also on offer with financial investment of €2,000. Peter Mannion, NUI Galway Students' Union President said: "We are acutely aware of the hardship being faced by students and their families in these difficult economic times. The Student Enterprise Awards provide an excellent opportunity for young people in particular to apply their skills and talents. By providing the initial financial boost and expert guidance, the Awards have the potential to launch several initiatives that could create much needed employment and investment." The Student Enterprise Awards aim to unlock the potential of NUI Galway students by providing financial support and expertise for students who wish to start a project in the areas of Business, Arts and Social Entrepreneurship. Damien Cosgrove, NUI Galway Students' Union Commercial Services CEO said: "Students' Union Commercial Services is delighted to be involved in this important competition. The University is full of innovative ideas, energetic people and a strong spirit of enterprise. Our company has always been hugely impressed with the culture of entrepreneurship amongst the NUI Galway students. Now, more than ever, students need to be encouraged and supported to turn this spirit of enterprise into real jobs." The Student Enterprise Awards are generously supported by NUI Galway Students' Union Commercial Services Ltd., NUI Galway and the NUI Galway Technology Transfer Office. According to Neil Ferguson, Acting Director of the Technology Transfer Office: "This competition plays an important part in creating a culture of entrepreneurship within our University and is leveraging the huge capacity of our students from across all colleges. We have an excellent history and reputation for start ups and innovation on campus and it is hoped that this competition will add to this by successfully launching new powerful ideas and innovative start-ups which will benefit the Irish economy". The closing date for submissions is Friday, 8 April and applications are available from http://www.suenterpriseawards.com/. -Ends-

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Nuclear Power for Ireland to be Discussed at NUI Galway

Nuclear Power for Ireland to be Discussed at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 28 February 2011

Philip Walton, Emeritus Professor of Physics at NUI Galway, and nationally-renowned nuclear energy expert, will lead a free public talk at the University on Wednesday, 9 March. 'Nuclear Power for Ireland: Facts and Fiction' will discuss all aspects of nuclear power as it relates to Ireland. Historically the Irish Government's policy has been firmly opposed to nuclear energy on the grounds of the risks it poses, yet some argue that nuclear energy is one of the cleanest, safest and economic forms of energy available to mankind today. Professor Walton will be joined by Professor Ian McAulay and Mr Denis Duff to explain why they believe Ireland should adopt nuclear energy as an important part of our energy mix. All three are members of the Better Environment with Nuclear Energy (BENE) group. According to Professor Walton, nuclear power has been employed successfully over the past 50 years by many countries yet Ireland continues to reject it. He says, "We cannot afford to continue to reject this power source out-of-hand, while we continue to rely on fossil fuel imports for most of our electricity production. This is simply untenable." He continues: "Wind energy will not be able to supply even 40 per cent of our electricity without major changes to our electricity system, and even then it is not certain if this can be achieved. What we can consider are modern safe reactors which would fit with little or no need for modifications to the National Grid. It would be possible to have a number of these plants providing jobs and safe, clean environments in a number of areas of Ireland. We would then have reliable energy, independent of dwindling fossil fuel supplies with their world price fluctuations. For the sake of homes and businesses in the future, the least we can do is to understand the fact from fiction in this whole debate." The event takes place at 6.30 pm on Wednesday, 9 March, in the Colm O'hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. To book a place at the event, contact Adam Beatty, Physics Society, NUI Galway, on 087 9055911 or physicsnuig@gmail.com -Ends-

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NUI Galway Soccer Club reaches the Collingwood Cup Final

NUI Galway Soccer Club reaches the Collingwood Cup Final-image

Thursday, 24 February 2011

NUI Galway Soccer Club have reached the Collingwood 2011 Cup Final. The club had a convincing win over Limerick (6 – 1) on Tuesday and a tough victory over Jordanstown yesterday (2-1). NUI Galway will take on UCC who knocked holders UCD out in the semi final, later today. The game will be played in Trinity s College Park pitch at 2.30. NUI Galway have won the Collingwood Cup six times: 1955, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1995 and 1999. The Cup has been played for annually since 1914 apart from 1915 to1919 during World War One and on one other occasion in 1933/34. The tournament, played over four days, is an all island competition involving 13 Universities and this year's favourities and last year's winners UCD were the first winners in 1914 overcoming Queen's University, Belfast.

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New Book by NUI Galway Professor Examines How Evolution Works

New Book by NUI Galway Professor Examines How Evolution Works-image

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A new book by an NUI Galway Professor of Zoology examines how evolution works by changing the course of embryonic and post-embryonic development. In Evolution: A Developmental Approach Professor Wallace Arthur asks questions like what separates humans from chimpanzees? Is it the genetics of our populations, or our different structures and behavioural capabilities? The book tackles key themes such as developmental repatterning, adaptation and coadaptation, the origins of evolutionary novelties, and evolutionary changes in the complexity of organisms. Together these themes explain how evolution works by changing the course of embryonic and post-embryonic development, providing a title influenced by the new approach of evolutionary developmental biology, 'evo-devo'. A key difference between Evolution: A Developmental Approach and other evolution textbooks is the integration of basic population-based evolutionary concepts with comparative developmental genetics. Organised on conceptual lines, with the themed chapters and case study examples, the book enables students to see the common principles underlying the evolution of different developmental pathways. Professor Arthur says, "There are many evolution texts 'out there', but there are none that cover the ground in the same way as this one. This book adopts a very specific approach to the evolution of animals and plants – an approach in which the central theme is how evolution works by altering the course of egg-to-adult development. This is a book about how evo-devo can be integrated with other approaches to evolutionary biology, giving us a more complete view of evolution than has ever been available before." Evolution: A Developmental Approach was launched yesterday at NUI Galway by NUI Galway President Dr James J. Browne. -Ends-

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