Lecturer in EU Law Comments on 'What No Means for Ireland'

Lecturer in EU Law Comments on 'What No Means for Ireland'-image

Friday, 13 June 2008

An expert on EU Law has said that the Irish may well have condemned the Lisbon Treaty to the dustbin of history and that the Government must carefully consider the various options now open to it. Dr. Laurent Pech, a Lecturer in European Union Law at NUI Galway, was speaking as the referendum count for Galway West was being tallied. According to Dr. Pech, author of The European Union and its Constitution - From Rome to Lisbon, "18 Member States have ratified the Treaty. However, from a legal perspective, the rules governing the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty are clear-cut: unanimous ratification is required. No matter how practically absurd in a Union of 27 Member States, such unanimity has regularly led to ratification crises in some Member States. As the main points raised by the No side had nothing do to with the Treaty or misrepresented its actual contents, it may well be impossible to renegotiate the Treaty. Indeed, not only did the Lisbon Treaty accommodate Irish concerns and special interests, the No groups actually offered contradictory arguments. Accordingly, it will be almost impossible to take all these arguments into account." Dr. Pech suggests that there are various options for both the Irish Government and the European Union. "The EU can certainly continue to work on the basis of the Nice Treaty and seek to implement the most consensual provisions of the Lisbon Treaty on an ad hoc basis. Furthermore, if some Member States are willing to deepen European integration in certain areas, they may rely upon the provisions governing "enhanced cooperation" (Art. 43 of the Treaty on European Union). Another option is to let the ratification process follows its path. This is the worst scenario for Ireland as it may lead to its political marginalisation." He continued, "More realistically, the Irish government could seek to negotiate special arrangements and/or a new protocol which clearly states that Lisbon does not pose any threat to its neutrality, taxation regime, etc. This protocol would only restate the obvious but it might make it easier to convince Irish people to revote on the Treaty. In my view, it is also imperative that we, in Europe, agree that two new indispensable conditions should govern the ratification of any new European Treaty: Member States must accept its ratification on a super-majority basis rather than unanimity; and The new text must clearly articulate what would happen to the Member State(s) which will be unable to ratify it." -ends-

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Electronic Engineering Researchers from Academia and Industry Convene at NUI Gal

Electronic Engineering Researchers from Academia and Industry Convene at NUI Gal-image

Friday, 13 June 2008

Over one hundred Electronic Engineering researchers from academia and industry will convene in Galway next week for the 16th IET Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC 2008). The conference, which takes place from 18-19 June, will focus on the latest developments in the fields of Digital Signal Processing, Control, and Communications. The field of Signals and Systems research develops methods of understanding and manipulating complicated patterns of signals, sensed from the environment. It also develops methods for designing practical embedded electronic and computing systems to perform tasks such as Biomedical, Audio and Image Signal Processing, Cryptography, Wireless Communications and Control Engineering. The annual ISSC conference makes an important contribution to the advancement of related ideas and research, bringing together Irish and international researchers from industry and universities. Presenters at the ISSC 2008 conference will highlight methods developed to use integrated circuit technology advances, along with efficient signal processing, to more effectively perform engineering tasks. Dr. Fearghal Morgan of NUI Galway's Electronic Engineering Department and Conference Chair, "Ireland has a very successful, 25 year track record in the microelectronics industry and has a well established research infrastructure. Most of the world's top microelectronics design companies, including Intel, Cypress Semiconductor, Analog Devices and Xilinx, are located in Ireland. World-wide semiconductor revenue in 2007 was $257bn. This is predicted to rise to $321bn by 2010. Ireland has an expanding number of related start-up companies with global ambitions. Importantly, post-graduate research funding for Electronic Engineering and ISSC-related topics has never been better". ISSC 2008 will be hosted by the Department of Electronic Engineering and co-sponsored by the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). Conference proceedings are published by co-sponsor The Institute of Engineering and Technology (The IET). ISSC 2008 is also supported by MIDAS Ireland, Intel, Cypress Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Xilinx, Starlight Solutions and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. Dr. Morgan concludes, "We look forward to a successful ISSC 2008 conference, which will be a very important gathering in Galway for the network of Electronic design and research professionals. Hosting ISSC 2008 in Galway also gives us an opportunity to showcase the new NUI Galway Engineering building, which is due for completion in 2010. Planning permission has recently been obtained for this exciting €60m building project which will accommodate all of the NUI Galway Engineering departments." For further information on the ISSC 2008 conference, visit the website at www.issc.ie -ends-

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Summer School Puts Minority Rights Centre Stage

Summer School Puts Minority Rights Centre Stage-image

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host its 8th annual 'Minority Rights, Indigenous People and Human Rights Law Summer School' from 15-20 June, 2008. Almost 50 attendees will travel to Galway for the summer school from 15 countries to receive an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law. Relationships between those issues, minority rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples, will then be explored and debated during the course of the five days. Attendees of the school will be addressed by a host of notable speakers led by Professor Joshua Castellino, Professor of Law and Head of the Law Department at London's Middlesex University, and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor Patrick Thornberry, a member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, will also teach at the school. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr. Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said, "This summer school has grown in reputation over the years to become an important annual event for those interested in global affairs and human rights. This year we look forward to learning from each others experiences, whether it's that of Travellers in Ireland, aboriginal Canadians, or indigenous peoples in Chile." Other prominent lecturers include Martin Collins, who is a member of the Irish Human Rights Committee and a founding member and current Assistant Director of Pavee Point Travellers Centre. Two speakers will travel from South America specifically to join the faculty of the summer school, Dr. César Rodríguez Garavito from Colombia, and Dr. Nicolas Espejo from Chile, both of whose participation is being funded by the Latin American European American Human Rights Network (LAEHR). The Irish Centre of Human Rights at NUI Galway supports the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral level. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. -ends-

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New England Wins Inaugural NUI Galway Alumni Club Award

New England Wins Inaugural NUI Galway Alumni Club Award-image

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Alumni Association Board is pleased to announce New England as the winner of the inaugural 2008 Alumni Club Award. The Award provides recognition and financial support to alumni groups who are considered to have best represented NUI Galway in alumni club activity. The presentation to New England was made in Boston by Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, Professor Gerard Hurley, and announced during the recent Alumni Reunion 2008 in Galway. Three alumni clubs were short listed for the 2008 Alumni Club Award: Arts-Media (Dublin), Beijing and New England. The Award aims to encourage new ideas from NUI Galway alumni to create positive change for the University and its constituents. It also seeks to encourage existing NUI Galway alumni groups to increase the scale of their activities and supports the University's strategic priorities through increased alumni participation Alumni Clubs reflect regional, faculty and special interest groups within the graduate population and affords individuals the opportunity to stay connected with fellow graduates and the University. Clubs are the heart of the Association, bringing together communities of graduates throughout Ireland and the world. Active Regional Clubs are currently located in the USA (New England and the Tri-State area), Ireland, Japan, Korea, London and in China. Affinity Clubs in Ireland include: (Arts & Media – Dublin Club, and the Law Club - Dublin).

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NUI Galway Lecturer Appointed as Chairperson of Heritage Council

NUI Galway Lecturer Appointed as Chairperson of Heritage Council-image

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, has announced the appointment of Conor Newman as Chairman of the Heritage Council. Conor is a lecturer with NUI Galway's Archaeology Department and will continue to teach there while undertaking the new chairing role. The Heritage Council is an advisory body to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Minister Gormley congratulated Conor Newman, commenting that he has a "very considerable wealth of heritage experience and expertise which will greatly benefit the State in the role of Chairman of the Heritage Council". Newman's research interests include the archaeology of the 4th-6th century transition from Pagan to Christian Ireland and later prehistoric 'royal' centres, in particular the archaeology and landscape of Tara. He was director of the Discovery Programme Tara Survey and his work has been extensively published. According to Professor John Waddell, Head of NUI Galway's Department of Archaeology, "Conor Newman is a strong advocate of best practice and a dedicated professional archaeologist. His appointment to this important position is an acknowledgement of his undoubted expertise in heritage matters and is also recognition of the principled stand he and others took in opposing the present route of the M3 motorway and its incalculable damage to the landscape of Tara." Along with NUI Galway's Dr Mark Stansbury, Conor Newman is co-Director of a research project 'Columbanus: Life and Legacy'. Funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI-4), this project is investigating the textual and visual evidence of the life and work of the medieval Irish missionary Columbanus, whose striking impact on European culture is still insufficiently documented and understood. The project will result, among other things, in the creation of new digital editions and archaeological surveys. Newman has pursued postgraduate research in Britain, France and Italy and was visiting professor of Celtic Archaeology at the University of Toronto. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Irish Archaeology. Conor Newman teaches late prehistoric and early medieval archaeology at NUI Galway. At the University, archaeology is offered as an option to undergraduate Bachelor of Arts students, covering theoretical aspects and including field trips and practical learning. Four postgraduate study programmes are available, as well as part-time diplomas for adult learners, taught in Galway and Roscommon. -ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts International Conference on Breast Cancer

NUI Galway Hosts International Conference on Breast Cancer-image

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

NUI Galway's Department of Surgery will hold an inaugural International Breast Cancer Conference on 19–21 June. The main theme of the conference is multidisciplinary breast cancer care, which will be of interest to all professionals involved in breast cancer management including Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists and Breast Care Nurses. Several of the key speakers are well-known internationally and include Professor Joe Ragaz, from McGill University in Canada, and Professor Carsten Rose, from Lund University Hospital in Sweden. From the UK, speakers include Professor Carlos Caldas, University of Cambridge; Mike Dixon, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh; and Professor Ian Ellis, NHS Trust City Hospital, Nottingham. Professor Roger Blamey, Emeritus Professor (Surgery) and Consultant Surgeon, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, will deliver a keynote lecture entitled 'Lifetime Experience of Breast Cancer Management: Changing Times'. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery, NUI Galway and Conference Convener, "Breast cancer therapy is entering into a new era of individualised, patient-centered care. Each cancer has particular characteristics requiring individual approaches to therapy whether it is local surgery, radiotherapy, or newer biological targeted treatment. Some particular cancers pose major difficulties for diagnosis and some occur in patients who have a genetic predisposition or family history." Professor Kerin continued, "All of these issues will be discussed at the conference and we will also have an overview of changes in therapy from Roger Blamey and Joe Ragaz, two well established international experts. The University is proud to be associated with this meeting and is delighted that this prestigious international conference of this magnitude is bringing so much expertise to the city." National delegates and speakers features a 'Who's Who' of Irish Breast Cancer Management including Professor John Crown, St. Vincent's University Hospital; Dr. Ann O'Doherty, BreastCheck; Dr Fidelma Flanagan, Mater Hospital; Professor Tom Gorey, Mater Hospital; Dr. John Kennedy, St James's Hospital; and Professor Paul Redmond, Cork University Hospital. Local Galway contributors, apart from Professor Kerin, include Dr. Irene Sweeney, Dr. Maccon Keane, Mr Ray McLaughlin, Dr. Maeve Pomeroy, Mr Karl Sweeney and Professor Grace Callagy. The conference is being held in conjunction with the Nottingham series of meetings which take place on alternate years. For 20 years, the Nottingham meeting has been the best attended and most influential breast cancer meeting on these islands and the Galway meeting aims to ensure that these meetings are now annual events. The three-day conference takes place in the Arts Millennium Building on the NUI Galway campus. For further information on the International Breast Cancer Conference, please contact Grace Clarke at 091-524390 or grace.clarke@nuigalway.ie -ends-

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Former NUI Galway President Honoured

Former NUI Galway President Honoured-image

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Former President of NUI Galway, Professor Pat Fottrell, has been honoured by the National University of Ireland during a ceremony to confer honorary doctorates at University College Cork. Professor Fottrell was President of NUI Galway from 1996 to 2000, leading the University through a period of major change. Prior to becoming President he was Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, having served as a Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Established Professor of Biochemistry with the University. Under his research leadership, NUI Galway developed a widely recognised expertise in rapid diagnostic technology, which in turn led to the creation of one of the first campus companies, Noctech, which later became Cambridge Diagnostics. Speaking at the Honorary Conferring Ceremony, Dr. James Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented, "Pat Fottrell has a tremendous record of achievement and innovation across a range of activities including teaching and research, the commercialization of research, university management and leadership and the development and implementation of public policy. Under his innovative and energetic direction, NUI Galway developed its first strategic plan, defined and agreed its research priorities, created major research institutes including the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and increased student intake by over 30%." Dr. Browne added, "It is entirely appropriate that the National University of Ireland, in this its centenary year, should honour Pat Fottrell. Nobody better embodies the spirit and the achievement of the National University of Ireland." Following his retirement from the Presidency of NUI Galway, Pat Fotrell was invited to Chair the Board of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Under his leadership SFI has allocated almost €1 billion in research funding and has created a series of innovative programmes to support the highest quality research in universities. Professor Fottrell also serves on the Board of Teagasc and chairs its Research Committee. He is a member of the Board of Curators and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland and of the Galway Hospice Foundation. -ends-

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Business Information Systems and Virtual Technology Focus of Major International

Business Information Systems and Virtual Technology Focus of Major International-image

Friday, 6 June 2008

Over 400 delegates from 32 countries will visit NUI Galway from 9-11 June for the '16th European Conference on Information Systems'. The conference is being hosted by the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and will address emerging technology trends in business and society. A key conference topic will be 'virtual worlds' and the extent to which such computer-based simulated environments present real opportunities for businesses and educational institutions. IBM and IRCSET (The Irish Research Council for Science and Engineering Technology), in conjunction with researchers at CISC in NUI Galway have recently embarked on a new project to leverage virtual world technology. The project's aim is to link academic researchers and industrialists for value creation through innovation and collaboration. One of the researchers on this project will be Johan Gorecki, who was a member of the start-up team at Skype, and is now pursuing a PhD within CISC at NUI Galway. Speaking about the upcoming event, conference chair Dr. Willie Golden, Director of NUI Galway's CISC, commented, "Virtual technology is a truly exciting research area as it becomes increasingly sophisticated, moving from online games such as Second Life to use in an organisational setting. Companies such as Reebok, Wells Fargo, and Toyota have begun to explore virtual worlds as a potential space for open innovation. Bringing a prestigious international conference of this magnitude to NUI Galway will help facilitate the exchange of leading edge research and ideas". According to Brian O'Donovan, Program Director of the IBM Dublin Centre for Advanced Studies, and a participant at the conference, over 20,000 IBM staff are already active in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenWorlds. These worlds are used as collaborative environments for learning, training, corporate announcements, conferences, alumni meetings, commerce – 'vBusiness', recruitment, simulation, visualisation, and modelling. The keynote address at the conference will be by Richard Schroth, a 2008 Fulbright Senior Scholar, Information Sciences and one of the top 25 consultants globally as named by Consulting Magazine. For further information about the conference visit http://www.ecis2008.ie/ -ends-

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Public Invited to Learn about Environmental Change at NUI Galway

Public Invited to Learn about Environmental Change at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday, 11 June, from 2-5.30 pm, for its second annual 'ECI Research Day'. A series of short talks will address subjects such as heavy metal pollution, storm surge extremes in Irish coastal waters, and bioelectrochemical fuel cells. Throughout the afternoon, over 40 ECI researchers will display specially prepared posters on their research in areas such as Climate Change, Energy, Biodiversity, Environment and Health, Environmental Technologies, Environmental Informatics, and the Social and Economic Impacts of Environmental Change. Because of its location on the North Western periphery of Europe, adjacent to the North Atlantic Ocean, ECI is uniquely positioned to address this very challenging field of science. The rich variety of habitats and ecosystems, recognised as being of value in a European and global context, lends itself to the study of biodiversity and of ecological interactions in a variety of pristine terrestrial and aquatic environments. At the same time, demographic, socio-economic and human impacts in recent years are affecting the rate of environmental change in ways that urgently need to be researched. Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the ECI at NUI Galway, says, "Galway is home to a Research Centre of national importance in the field of Environmental Change, and at the ECI we are always looking to involve the local community in the work that we do here. We see the ECI Research Day as another opportunity to bridge the gap that sometimes can exist between research and society. In the area of environmental change it is essential that we all continue to learn from each other, and we welcome the chance to get feedback, and to exchange ideas, with interested members of the public." While much of the work of ECI takes place on campus, there is also a wide range of research projects happening around the country. External facilities include the Carron Field Research Station in the Burren, County Clare and the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, near Carna, County Galway. For more information on the ECI please visit www.nuigalway.ie/eci, and if you wish to attend the ECI Research Day please contact Dr. Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer at ECI, at sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie or on 091 495061. -ends-

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Emmy Award Winning Irish Actress among Honorary Doctorates at NUI Galway

Emmy Award Winning Irish Actress among Honorary Doctorates at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

NUI Galway has announced the graduands to be conferred with Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June, 2008. Ms Fionnula Flanagan is an Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Irish actress. She trained in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and has appeared in numerous films including, The Others with Nicole Kidman, Transamerica and Waking Ned Devine, as well as television series and stage productions. She also recently guest starred in the episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes" of Lost. She came to prominence in Ireland in 1965 as a result of her role as Máire in the Teilifís Éireann production of the Irish Language play, An Triail. Ms Flanagan established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of James Joyce in the 1967 film version of Ulysses. Justice Richard Goldstone served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and as Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has taught at New York University, Harvard, and Fordham Law Schools. He is presently a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2006 Goldstone taught at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Deirdre McCloskey, UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a leading economist, rhetorician, scholar and public intellectual. McCloskey has written 14 books one of the latest being The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce which is the first of a projected five-volume magnum opus. Before The Bourgeois Virtues her best known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) and Crossing: A Memoir, published in 1999, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Mr Eugene Murtagh is the founder and Chairman of Kingspan Group Plc. Since starting in the 1960s as a small family business Kingspan has grown to become one of Ireland s most successful companies. With a turnover in excess of €1.8 billion, the Group has 43 manufacturing plants in 28 countries around the world, employing over 6,500 people. Murtagh was appointed in 2000 by the Irish and British governments as a director of the International Fund for Ireland, which has invested €849 million in projects across the island of Ireland. Mr Donagh O'Donoghue is a prominent member of the Galway business community and a member of NUI Galway Governing Authority. O'Donoghue succeeded his father as Group Managing Director of Thomas McDonagh & Sons Ltd. in 1975 and grew the company significantly over a twenty-five year period. His catalogue of directorships includes Bord na Móna, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and Galway Airport. He has also served as board member of IBEC, Galway Chamber of Commerce and Druid Theatre Company. Mícheál Ó hUiginn, Uas. is a member of NUI Galway s Governing Authority and director of Ó hUiginn Teoranta, Galway. He has served successive terms on Galway City Council from 1964 until his retirement in 2004. During these forty years of service to the city of Galway, Mícheál Ó hUiginn has been Mayor of Galway for three terms and has made significant contributions to all aspects of civic life and local government, particularly in the area of education. Governor Martin O'Malley is the 61st Governor of Maryland. An American Democratic politician he previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. During his two terms as Mayor, Baltimore became a national model for improvement in public safety, government efficiency, education and economic development. As Governor he is now applying his experience to the State of Maryland and has been described by The Washington Post as a "governor unafraid of government". In 2005 Business Week listed O'Malley as one of "Five Fresh Faces" to lead the Democratic Party. Commenting on the announcement of this year's graduands, Dr. James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said, "We are delighted to confer honorary degrees on seven outstanding individuals: Fionnula Flanagan, Justice Richard Goldstone, Professor Deirdre McCloskey, Eugene Murtagh, Donagh O Donoghue, Mícheál Ó hUiginn and Governor Martin O Malley. This University is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Their contributions in many spheres – business, the arts, public service, education and justice – have been remarkable and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals." -ends-

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