University Gala Banquet Features Alumni Awards

University Gala Banquet Features Alumni Awards-image

Monday, 5 March 2007

NUI Galway's eighth annual Gala Banquet, took place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday, 3rd March 2007, and featured the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards as well as celebrating student volunteerism as the banquet theme. The 2007 Gala Banquet celebrated the ALIVE (A Learning Initiative & Volunteering Experience) programme which enables students to register for volunteering opportunities. ALIVE was established in 2003 to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering in the community. Income from the Gala Banquet itself will also contribute to this initiative. The award winners on the night were; Dr Pat Gullane, Medtronic Vascular Award for Health Care and Medical Science; Dr Reg Shaw, Seavite Award for Natural Science; Irial Finan, Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce; Seán O Rourke, AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts; Paddy and Tom Coffey, TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics; Máiréad Ní Nuadháin, Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge and Brian O Donnell, NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, and Chair of the Gala Banquet Committee, NUI Galway said; "The Alumni Awards recognise the many Galway alumni who are leaders in their professions and excel in their pursuits at national and international levels. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 60,000 graduates worldwide." This year's event also included a programme of activities on campus when each of the award winners was hosted by their respective faculties. The award winners also attended the annual award winner's lunch in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. MC for the night was RTÉ presenter Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh and distinguished guests in attendance included Éamon Ó Cuiv T.D., Mr Enda Kenny T.D., Mr Frank Fahy T.D., Michael D. Higgins T.D. and Adjunct Professor of Human Rights at NUI Galway, RTÉ broadcaster Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Alan Kerins, Galway Senior Hurler, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Aer Arann, Senator Feargal Quinn of Superquinn and also Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway and Gary Cullen, former CEO of Aer Lingus and current CEO of Aer Arann. -ENDS- Contact: Michelle Ní Chróinín, Press & Information Officer, NUI Galway 091-493361 or

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Debut performance of NUI Galway Drama Studies production

Debut performance of NUI Galway Drama Studies production-image

Monday, 5 March 2007

A new play by well-known writer Biddy Jenkinson will be performed by students of NUI Galway's Ard Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht, the country's first University course in Drama Studies through the medium of Irish, as their end of year production on 10 and 11 March 2007 in Amharclann Chois Fharraige, Indreabhán. Crosántacht is a retelling of the well-known legend, Diarmuid and Gráinne, and tells the story of the latter's return to Tara after 15 years. Leaving a war in her wake, Gráinne arrives home to find preparations under way for her younger sister's wedding to the heroic but aging Fionn Mac Cumhail. Sheer mayhem ensues with the court jesters providing much of the comic action. Former artistic director of the Taibhdhearc Darach Mac Con Iomaire is director of the play, which is a physical and boisterous production. Course director Nora Nic Con Ultaigh says she is excited about the performance. "This is the first year of the course and everyone, between cast and crew, is working very hard on the production. "The play gives students the opportunity of utilising the skills they have learnt during the course and it gives them the experience of working with a professional director." Crosántacht will be staged in Amharclann Chois Fharraige, Seanscoil Shailearna, Indreabhán on 10th and 11th March at 8.00pm. -ENDS- For bookings or for more information please call 091 593017.

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April 2007

World Renowned Astro-Photographer to Speak at NUI Galway

World Renowned Astro-Photographer to Speak at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 30 April 2007

The most famous Astro-photographer in the world, Professor David Malin of Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO), and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, is to deliver a unique lecture at the Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway on Monday, 14th May at 7pm. The event, which is a unique opportunity to meet the David Malin, will have the theme David Malin - The Man Who Colours Stars: Talks on Capturing Ancient Light. Announcing the event the Director of the Centre for Astronomy at NUI Galway, Prof. Michael Redfern said: "This talk is a unique opportunity to meet one of the world's great astro-photographers. He was the person that made us all realise that the stars, galaxies and nebulae are not in black and white, but are in glorious colour. The wonderful images that we get nowadays, from Hubble, for example, owe everything to his pioneering work." Professor Malin said: "In this talk I will briefly review the history of astronomical imaging and the profound effect it has had on our knowledge of the universe. I will also discuss the art and science of colour photography in astronomy and how the vivid colours of clouds of gas and dust can be at the same time be real and yet invisible through the telescope. I will also describe ways in which the subtle colours of the brightest stars can be captured with simple photographic techniques." Photographs created by David Malin can be found in many popular astronomy books and magazines, and are displayed in museums and planetaria throughout the world. Previews of his work can be seen on This event is free and open to the public and as interest is expected to be high pre-booking is essential. Please email to book seats. The visit is part of a tour that starts in the Armagh Planetarium and will go on to Limerick University and to the Blackrock Planetarium & Science Centre, Cork. ENDS

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NUI Galway offers new Honours Degree course in Medical Physics

NUI Galway offers new Honours Degree course in Medical Physics-image

Monday, 30 April 2007

The Department of Physics at NUI Galway is to offer a new full-time degree in Physics with Medical Physics. The four-year course, leading to an Honours BSc degree, starts in September 2007. There is currently a considerable demand for qualified medical physicists in Ireland and in response to this demand, the Department of Physics in conjunction with the Medical Physics Department at Galway University Hospitals, have introduced the new course. The programme will combine essential core physics modules, with medical physics, chemistry, mathematical science, biology and anatomy. Prof. Wil Van der Putten, Director of the Medical Physics & Bioengineering Centre, Galway University Hospital, welcomed the new course. "This is a new programme which merges a core programme in Physics with additional material in biology, anatomy, and various medical diagnostics and instrumentation. There is currently a considerable demand for qualified medical physicists in Ireland and the UK and this demand is expected to grow in the future." Graduates from the programme will be well qualified to proceed to professional medical physics training at Masters Degree level. There are also exciting career opportunities in the medical device and health care industry* and in the health and safety sector. Prof. Tom Glynn, Head of the Physics Department, NUI Galway, said: "Graduates of this course will receive an education in physics, instrumentation, and computational techniques - with a strong emphasis on the medical applications. They will acquire useful skills such as, problem solving, data handling, critical reasoning, and computing, all of which are essential elements in their careers. As well as pursuing a further career in medical physics, graduates will also have employment options in research, industry, teaching, energy and environment and in many other areas" Prof. Van der Putten added: "The degree will provide comprehensive training in Physics, as many graduates, without the basic Physics training, are currently seeking to build a career in Medical Physics but the lack of a fundamental grounding in Physics is preventing them from achieving accredited status." Graduates from this programme can seek employment in the wide range of careers open to regular physics graduates but will also have a strong foundation in medical physics and will be well qualified to proceed to professional medical physics training at Masters Degree level. The degree course is listed on the CAO website as GY316 and is open for entry in 2007 through the CAO process, using the change of mind option. There is a link to the course brochure on the CAO website. ENDS

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NUI Galway Course Receives Recognition from the Department of Education and Scie

NUI Galway Course Receives Recognition from the Department of Education and Scie-image

Monday, 30 April 2007

The Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, has received recognition from the Department of Education and Science, as an acceptable entry requirement for primary teaching postgraduate courses in the training colleges. Students who possess the Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge will also be allowed entry to second year Irish on the BA in Scoil na Gaeilge, NUI Galway. This diploma gives the student an extra qualification whilst studying for his/her degree in another faculty or subjects. "This is an excellent opportunity for those who would like a degree in Irish or a postgraduate qualification in primary school teaching" according to Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, Director of Oifig na Gaeilge Labhartha, NUI Galway, Galway. She went on to say "To date, more than two thousand people have completed the Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge and it is in more demand now than ever before". The Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge is a two year part-time course. This year, applicants will be offered a choice of three levels in the Diploma, based on levels C1, B2 and A2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. Nuala Uí Aimhirgín said "We have been offering staff and students of NUI Galway and the general community this course to afford them the opportunity to improve their spoken and written ability in the Irish language. The course has been designed to give students good communication and written skills in the Irish language". Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is a national institute of NUI Galway dedicated to pioneering third level education through the medium of Irish. As well as courses on campus, the institue has developed three external centres in the Gaeltacht; two of those are in Galway (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and the third is in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). Applications are currently being accepted for the course. For more information, contact Mary Ní Niadh, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 495248 or email ENDS

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Cúrsaí ó OÉ Gaillimh aitheanta ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta

Cúrsaí ó OÉ Gaillimh aitheanta ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta-image

Monday, 30 April 2007

Tá an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge, á thairiscint ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh aitheanta ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta mar cháilíocht inghlactha iontrála don Iarchéim i mBunmhúinteoireacht sna Coláistí Oiliúna. Ag cur leis sin, tá cead isteach sa dara bliain Gaeilge de chuid an chúrsa BA, Scoil na Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ag an mac léinn a bhfuil an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge bainte amach acu. Tugann an dioplóma seo cáilíocht bhreise don mhac léinn Ollscoile fad is atá sé/sí ag déanamh na céime i ndámh nó in ábhair eile. "Is deis iontach é seo do dhaoine atá ag iarraidh céim sa Ghaeilge nó Iarchéim i mBunmhúinteoireacht a bhaint amach" a deir Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, Riarthóir Oifig na Gaeilge Labhartha, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Dúirt sí freisin "Go dtí seo, tá an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge bainte amach ag os cionn dhá mhíle duine agus tá éileamh níos mó anois ná riamh air". Cúrsaí dhá bhliain páirtaimseartha atá i gceist leis an Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge. I mbliana, beidh trí leibhéal dioplóma á thairiscint d'iarrthóirí, bunaithe ar leibhéal C1, B2 agus A2 de Fhráma Tagartha Coiteann an Chomhchreata Eorpaigh. Dúirt Nuala Uí Aimhirgín, "Táimid ag cur na gcúrsaí seo ar fáil do mhic léinn agus do bhaill foirne OÉ Gaillimh agus don phobal i gcoitinne le go mbeadh deis acu cur lena gcumas i labhairt agus scríobh na Gaeilge. Is é aidhm na gcúrsaí scileanna maithe cumarsáide agus scríofa sa Ghaeilge a thabhairt d'iarrthóirí". Is Institiúid Náisiúnta de chuid OÉ Gaillimh é Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gcúrsaí ar an gcampas, déanfaidh an institiúid forbairt ar thrí ionad sheachtracha sa Ghaeltacht; tá dhá ionad acu sin i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe (Carna agus an Cheathrú Rua) agus ionad eile i nDún na nGall (Gaoth Dobhair). Táthar ag glacadh le hiarratais do na cúrsaí seo anois. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil, cuir glaoch ar Mary Ní Niadh, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ag 091 495248 nó seol ríomhphost chuig Críoch

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Seminar on International Development Issues at NUI Galway

Seminar on International Development Issues at NUI Galway-image

Friday, 27 April 2007

A senior academic from the Madras Institute of Development Studies in India will deliver a public seminar addressing international development issues on Wednesday, 2 May at 5pm. Professor Ananta Kumar Giri's presentation will be called 'Reflections and Mobilisations: Development as Global Responsibility' and will take place in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre at NUI Galway. Professor Giri will draw on his theoretical knowledge and practical experience of international development. He has carried out fieldwork on global justice movements such as Attac in Europe which fights for the implementation of Tobin tax. Professor Giri has also extensively researched Habitat for Humanity, a project where people from materially affluent countries build houses with families in low-income countries. According to Professor Giri, "When we talk of development we are primarily wedded to the world of development interventions. In this world, international donor agencies play a determinant role, sometimes in "partnership" with states and local groups. However, there is unease with such an interventionist conceptualisation and realisation of development which leads its critics to label it as a new form of imperial domination". Professor Giri s recent work on global responsibility has seen him call for a greater merging of the disciplines of philosophy and anthropology. His interest in practical spirituality has also brought him face to face with the challenge of inter-religious dialogue or lack thereof, and he has been studying the recent upsurge of Hindu-Christian conflicts in India in a comparative global perspective. Dr. Iain Mac Labhrainn, Director of the Centre for Learning and Excellence at NUI Galway and leader of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative comments, "In NUI Galway, there has been a considerable amount of research work which focuses on aspects of civil society, social needs and community development. We are delighted to have Professor Giri here to share his research and knowledge in this area." The event is being jointly hosted by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) and Development Education and Research Network (DERN). To reserve a place please contact Mary Bernard at 091 493823 or by e-mail ENDS

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International Seminar to Commemorate John McGahern

International Seminar to Commemorate John McGahern-image

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Leitrim Co. Council, in partnership with National University of Ireland Galway, have announced that an International Seminar will be inaugurated in Co. Leitrim during 26 to 29 July, 2007, to commemorate the work and literary achievements of John McGahern. The Seminar will provide the launching pad for a major International Summer School on one of Ireland's best known and respected modern writers, which will commence in Leitrim during summer 2008. John McGahern, who spent his early years in South Leitrim and North Roscommon, lived most of his working life near Fenagh in Leitrim where he combined his literary commitments with an enduring love of farming and rural life. Since his death in March 2006, much has been written and remembered about his literary achievements. Most recently, he was posthumously honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by his colleagues and peers at the Irish Books Awards, 2007. Speaking at the announcement, Sinéad Guckian, Cathaoirleach of Leitrim County Council, spoke of meeting him when Leitrim County Council commissioned a portrait of the writer in 2002: "John was a world class writer, witty and good humoured. I was fortunate to have met him and I know that he was held in the highest esteem by the members of our Council as well as by all the people of Leitrim. I am delighted with the plans to celebrate his work". Leitrim County Manager, Jackie Maguire welcomed the project and particularly the involvement of NUI Galway; "The aim of this project is to bring people closer to the work of John McGahern. The decision of NUI Galway to commit to this partnership with Leitrim County Council enables us to continue the dialogue between the place in which John McGahern lived and the university with which he shared his life's work." John McGahern had a long association with University College Galway, now National University of Ireland, Galway. For over thirty years he contributed to courses at the University, including, up to 2005, a major annual workshop at the University's International Summer School. He directed the National Writers' Workshop in Galway in 1979 and 1989. His extensive archive is now held at the James Hardiman Library of NUI Galway. Speaking at the announcement of the International Seminar, the President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said "NUI Galway is very pleased to be associated with this important literary project in Co. Leitrim which recognises and honours one of Ireland's finest writers". Contributors to the International Seminar will include eminent writers, critics and academics as well as local writers. The keynote address - John McGahern: The Novel and the Story - will be delivered by Prof. Declan Kiberd, University College Dublin. Other speakers will include Dr. James White and Dr. Eamon Maher. The seminar will be coordinated by Dr. John Kenny, Department of English, NUI Galway. 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. ENDS

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Public lecture to discuss An Energy Policy for Ireland

Public lecture to discuss An Energy Policy for Ireland-image

Monday, 23 April 2007

A public lecture addressing the topic An Energy Policy for Ireland by Prof. John Simmie is to be given in the Roundstone Community Hall, County Galway, on Friday, 27 April at 7pm. Professor Simmie will try to square the demands of our economy and our commitments to the Kyoto Agreement. The lecture is organised as part of the Unfolding Ideas series in association with NUI Galway. Professor Simmie, a regular contributor to programmes such as the Last Word with Matt Cooper, the Six One News, Eamonn Dunphy and Pat Kenny Live, has also contributed to the print media on climate change, incineration and the Corrib gas line. He holds controversial views on global warming and climate change insofar as it applies to Ireland. Professor Simmie is Director Emeritus of the Combustion Chemistry Centre in NUI Galway, the only such research body in this country, and one of the very few of its type in the world. NUI Galway is also a centre of Bio-Energy Research. Unfolding Ideas is a Colloquium Series launched by NUI Galway to provide a forum for scholars, educators and artists to engage in a series of public talks, group discussion and workshops. The programme is organised by the Faculty of Arts and Galway University Foundation. ENDS

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NUI Galway astronomers make important pulsar discovery

NUI Galway astronomers make important pulsar discovery-image

Monday, 23 April 2007

Researchers at the Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway have made an important discovery regarding brown dwarfs which has revealed that these "failed stars" can possess powerful magnetic fields and emit lighthouse beams of radio waves thousands of times brighter than any detected from the Sun. The team of Gregg Hallinan, Stephen Bourke and Caoilfhionn Lane; scientists based at the Armagh Observatory; and US researchers in New Mexico and Arizona, has discovered that the brown dwarfs are behaving like pulsars, one of the most exotic types of object in our Universe. "Brown dwarfs tend to be seen as a bit boring – the cinders of the galaxy. Our research shows that these objects can be fascinating and dynamic systems, and may be the key to unlocking this long-standing mystery of how pulsars produce radio emissions," said Mr Hallinan who presented his findings at a recent meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society in Preston, UK. Since the discovery of pulsars 40 years ago, astronomers have been trying to understand how the rotating neutron stars produce their flashing radio signals. Although there have been many attempts to describe how they produce the extremely bright radio emissions, the vast magnetic field strengths of pulsars and the relativistic speeds involved make it extremely difficult to model. The researchers have found that brown dwarfs are now the second class of stellar object observed to produce this kind of powerful, amplified (coherent) radio signal at a persistent level. The emissions from the brown dwarfs appear to be very similar to those observed from pulsars, but the whole system is on a much slower and smaller scale, so it is much easier to decipher exactly what is going on. Importantly, the mechanisms for producing the radio emissions in brown dwarfs are well understood, as they are almost identical to the processes that produce radio emissions from planets. Dr Aaron Golden, lecturer at the Department of Information Technology, who supervised the group said: "The observations that yielded this discovery involved the use of some of the world s finest astronomical facilities, but it was sheer hard work and focussed, inspired analysis that have put astronomical research at NUI Galway on a global stage. "I think it is particularly important to stress that such world class research being lead by astronomers at NUI, Galway is a testament to the quality and ability of our postgraduate students on campus, and a vindication of the University s recent decision to approve the setting up of the Centre for Astronomy." Mr Hallinan added; "It looks like brown dwarfs are the missing step between the radio emissions we see generated at Jupiter and those we observe from pulsars". The group is now planning a large survey of all the known brown dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood to find out how many are radio sources and how many of those are pulsing. If a large fraction of brown dwarfs are found to pulse, it could prove a key method of detection for these elusive objects. ENDS

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