NUI Galway honours seven outstanding individuals with Honorary Degrees

NUI Galway  honours seven outstanding individuals with Honorary Degrees-image

Monday, 27 June 2005

- Honorary Doctorates conferred on Marian Finucane, Cyril Ramaphosa, Fr Alex Reid, Prof Alim-Louis Benabid, George Clare, Bernard McNicholas and Sean Purcell National University of Ireland Galway recognises the achievements of seven outstanding individuals at an honorary conferring ceremony today (Friday). The calibre of each of the individuals to be conferred reflects NUI Galway's commitment to the study and promotion of human rights and global humanitarian law. Each honouree was chosen for his or her outstanding contribution to society through social work, philanthropy, medicine, arts or culture. The conferring ceremony further underpins NUI Galway's work in enhancing the lives of Irish communities while fostering strong relationships with organisations and individuals worldwide. The Honorary Conferring Ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garret Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said, "It is a particular honour for me to welcome these seven individuals to NUI Galway to be conferred with honorary degrees. Each has given so much of their personal and professional lives to advance human rights, enrich minds and capture the spirit and imagination of millions worldwide. I am proud that these individuals will now be associated with NUI Galway, as they have had such a profound effect on communities worldwide." Marian Finucane is one of Ireland's best known broadcasters. In a career spanning four decades she has been a transforming influence in the lives of Irish people, highlighting social injustices and encouraging social change. She is a Board Member of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which has led her to raise funds in support of the construction of an AIDS hospice and orphanage in the Khayelitsha township of Cape Town, South Africa. As part of this effort, Marian and her partner have established a Charity, Friends in Ireland, to extend their philanthropic work in South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa has dedicated his life to improving the lives of the people of South Africa. He is renowned for his work with the trade union movement but is also recognised internationally for the key role he has played in bringing about a peaceful end to apartheid. He steered South Africa towards its first democratic elections in 1994, when he was elected chair of the new Constitutional Assembly and became a Member of Parliament. He is currently active in the private sector as chairman of Millennium Consolidated Investments. Fr Alex Reid has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for the crucial role that he has played in the Northern Ireland peace process. He was the key person in ensuring that dialogue was initiated between various parties at critical stages in the development of the peace process, and provided compelling moral arguments for the cessation of violence. It has been said that the peace process would not have been as successful without his involvement. Professor Alim-Louis Benabid, chairman of neurosurgery at the Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery. He is leading a team of neurologists developing revolutionary new methods to fight neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. The method, Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), involves high-frequency electrical stimulation of the brain. Following the operation, the main symptoms practically disappear, and most patients can stop taking medication. George Clare, journalist and author, was born in Vienna, Austria in 1920. In the aftermath of Hitler's Annexation of Austria, virulent anti-Semitism erupted and drove many Jews into exile. George's best-selling memoir, Last Waltz in Vienna (1981) was translated into seven languages and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. The memoir tells, among other things, of how George and his mother Stella travelled to Galway for George to help set up a ribbon factory. Bernard McNicholas is a native of Bohola, Co. Mayo. In the early 1960s he succeeded his father as head of McNicholas Engineering Ltd. Under Bernard's leadership the company has developed into one of the most professionally managed, multi-disciplinary companies in its field today. In 1993 the AIB in Britain named him Irish Businessman of the Year, as much for his philanthropy as for his business acumen. He has been a mentor and a leading figure in the Irish community in London. Among the charities he supports are Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin and the John Durkan Leukemia Trust. Sean Purcell, from Tuam, County Galway, is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of the skills of Gaelic football. An extremely versatile player, he is generally held to be one of the game's greatest ever centre-half forwards and was elected in that position on the GAA/An Post 'Team of the Millennium'. He won an All-Ireland colleges medal with St Jarlath's, Tuam in 1946, and in his career with the Tuam Stars Club, he won ten County Championship titles. He won one All-Ireland senior football medal with Galway and three Railway Cup medals with Connacht, in 1951, 1957 and in 1958, when he was captain. - ENDS -

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International Conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning

International Conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning-image

Monday, 20 June 2005

NUI Galway is the first Irish university to host a conference centred on the civic mission of higher education, which will address issues related to the introduction of 'Service Learning' to the higher education curriculum. Service Learning, a new concept in Ireland, encourages third-level students to explore issues vital to society through active participation or service in communities, non-governmental organisations and other similar organisations. The international conference on Civic Engagement and Service Learning – Universities, Students and Community, will take place on campus on the 23rd and 24th June 2005. The Conference is timely as the Irish Government's Department of Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs actively encourages the expansion of service learning to all third level colleges in Ireland. The conference has emerged from the university's commitment to civic engagement and to a body of work embedded in the Academic and Strategic Plans, entitled the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI). A number of keynote speakers will participate from the US, South Africa and the UK including representatives of organisations such as the Ford Foundation, Campus Compact and development agencies. Amongst the keynote speakers from NUI Galway is Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer in Service Learning at the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) and conference organiser. Commenting on the importance of Service Learning, she said, "We are entering into a phase of development in third level university life where we are encouraging and urging students to consider their civic responsibilities and to explore issues vital to society by participating in community work and non-governmental organisations. We support the Taoiseach's recent announcement of his intention to establish a task force on active citizenship, which will advise on how to maintain and develop a culture of active citizenship. As Irish society continues its obsession with material well being, we believe that civic engagement at third level is vital to ensure and foster a sense of social responsibility for the future." Already, a number of Service Learning pilot projects are underway at NUI Galway, with both the students and academic leaders reporting a high satisfaction rate. Postgraduate IT students have worked with Macnas, the Galway-based street theatre group, to assist in the development of a website, create a performance database, network the organisation's computers and connect Macnas to broadband. Students learned about the community sector and resource constraints of working in community in Ireland. Nursing Studies introduced a module on International Nursing, which saw students travel to under-developed countries, including Zambia and Belize, where they worked with Aids patients and as care assistants in orphanages and community hospitals. Through this module the students examine cultural and political factors underpinning the health care system, reflected on the experience through a "Trans-Cultural Diary" and presented their experiences at a series of seminars. Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering students have engaged with Goal and the Niall Mellon Township Challenge to better understand their sense of civic and social responsibility and how their engineering skills can positively contribute towards society. Development of a new BA programme entitled 'Humanities and Society' which enable students prepare for work within the non-governmental agency community, nationally and internationally. The Faculty of Law will soon offer Clinical Education Placement experiences in the legal and community agencies to enable the integration of theory to practice, in some cases offering pro bono legal advice to disadvantaged groups. Service Learning was devised by academics in the United States in the early 1970s and since then has been strategically implemented in over 950 universities and colleges, largely supported through a national organisation, Campus Compact, which NUI Galway has joined as the first non-US based institution. Lorraine McIlrath says this conference "marks the departure of a very exciting journey of international significance and one which we hope will strengthen the academic, civic and personal experience of students, staff and community within all higher education institutions in Ireland and beyond." Ends

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Fógraíonn Banc na hÉireann €2.5 milliún mar thacaíocht d'fhorbairt inmharthana i

Fógraíonn Banc na hÉireann €2.5 milliún mar thacaíocht d'fhorbairt inmharthana i-image

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Inniu (16 Meitheamh 2005), d'fhógair Banc na hÉireann go dtabharfaí €2.5 milliún chun geilleagar teangalárnach eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Ba é Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach – Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola a d'fhógair an maoiniú ag fáiltiú in Ionad Ealaíon Bhanc na hÉireann. Tabharfar an maoiniú d'Fhondúireacht na hOllscoile mar chuid dá feachtas €50m Daoine & Áit. Tabharfaidh an €2.5m tacaíocht don obair atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a seoladh le gairid in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, institiúid náisiúnta €35 milliún atá tiomanta do cheannródaíocht in oideachas tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil trí Ghaeilge. I dteannta na gclár 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). Tabharfaidh an t-airgead ó Bhanc na hÉireann tacaíocht do chláir acadúla a chur ar fáil sna hionaid seo chun a chur ar chumas na bpobal áitiúil scileanna a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt. Díreoidh cláir ollscoile sna hionaid seo ar fhostaíocht inmharthana a chruthú, a thabharfaidh deis do chéimithe fanacht ina n-áit dúchais agus cur le hinfrastruchtúr teangeolaíoch agus teicneolaíoch an cheantair. Agus an tacaíocht á fógairt is é a dúirt Des Crowley, Príomhfheidhmeannach - Seirbhísí Airgeadais Miondíola Bhanc na hÉireann: "Tugann Banc na hÉireann tacaíocht láidir do gheilleagar teangalárnach, eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Feicimid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge mar thionscnamh ceannródaíoch agus nuálaíoch agus tá an-áthas orainn tacú le Feachtas Daoine & Áit OÉ, Gaillimh. Tá riar maith dár ngnó in Iarthar na hÉireann agus tá beagnach 1,000 duine fostaithe againn ann – mar sin, ar bhealaí éagsúla, táimidne ag iarraidh tacú le daoine, le pobail agus leis an saol san Iarthar." Dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an méid seo: "Cuirimid fáilte mhór roimh an tacaíocht ghnaíúil seo ó Bhanc na hÉireann a láidreoidh an obair nuálaíoch atá déanta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. Tá tiomantas na hOllscoile don Ghaeilge le feiceáil inár straitéis an seomra ranga agus an tsaotharlann taighde a thabhairt chuig an nGaeltacht agus tacú leis na pobail sin féinspleáchas eacnamaíoch agus teangalárnach a bhaint amach. Cuirimid fáilte roimh chinneadh Bhanc na hÉireann páirt a ghlacadh san fheachtas Daoine & Áit trí thacú le ceann de na cláir thosaíochta. Ghlac Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh, buíochas le Banc na hÉireann as a thacaíocht airgid agus dheimhnigh sé go méadófaí réimse clár acadúil a bhí á gcur ar fáil cheana féin ag an Acadamh, lena n-áirítear cúrsaí i staidéar an aistriúcháin, sa chumarsáid, sa teicneolaíocht faisnéise, i raidió agus teilifís, de réir mar a thiocfaidh forbairt ar an institiúid. Críoch

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Bank of Ireland announces €2.5 million towards support of sustainable developmen

Bank of Ireland announces €2.5 million towards support of sustainable developmen-image

Thursday, 16 June 2005

Bank of Ireland today (16 June, 2005) announced a commitment of €2.5 million towards the strategy of developing a language-centred, knowledge-based economy in Gaeltacht areas. The funding, which will be channelled through the Galway University Foundation at NUI Galway as part of its €50m People & Place campaign, was announced by Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at a reception in the Bank of Ireland Arts Centre. The €2.5m contribution will underpin the work of NUI Galway's recently launched Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, a national €35 million institute dedicated to pioneering third-level education through the medium of Irish. In addition to its campus programmes the institute will develop three outreach Gaeltacht centres, two in the Galway Gaeltacht (Carna and An Cheathrú Rua) and one in Donegal (Gaoth Dobhair). The Bank of Ireland contribution will support the provision of academic programmes in these centres designed to empower local communities to engage in, and benefit from skills and learning that are key to the development of a knowledge-based economy. University programmes delivered at these centres will focus on the creation of sustainable employment, providing graduates with the opportunity of remaining in their native place and further strengthen the linguistic and technological infrastructure of the area. Speaking at the announcement, Des Crowley, Chief Executive - Retail Financial Services at Bank of Ireland said: "Bank of Ireland strongly supports the development of a language centred, knowledge based economy in Gaeltacht areas. We see Acadamh na hOllscolaiochta Gaeilge as a ground breaking and innovative initiative and are delighted to support the NUI Galway People & Place Campaign. A major proportion of our business is in the West of Ireland and we employ almost 1,000 people along the Western seaboard – so, in different ways, we actively seek to support people and communities and life in the West." Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "We warmly acknowledge this generous support from Bank of Ireland which will copper-fasten the innovative work undertaken by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. The University's commitment to the Irish language is exemplified in our strategy of bringing the classroom and the research lab to the Gaeltacht and by supporting those communities to achieve language-centred, economic self-reliance. We salute Bank of Ireland in its decision to participate in the People & Place campaign by directing its support toward one of our priority programmes. Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach (CEO) of an tAcadamh, thanked Bank of Ireland for its financial support and confirmed that the range of academic programmes already provided by an tAcadamh, including those in translation studies, communications, information technology, radio and television skills, will be extended as the institute develops. Ends

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Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Summer Meeting at the NCBES

Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland Summer Meeting at the NCBES-image

Tuesday, 14 June 2005

The National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science will host the Summer Meeting of the Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland (Biomedical Sciences section) on Thursday and Friday, 16th and 17th June. On Thursday, researchers from all over Ireland will compete for the Donegan Medal, which is awarded for the best oral research presentation. The Donegan Medal Competition is open to postgraduate students presenting their research for the first time at a scientific meeting. A Research Symposium entitled "Regulation of smooth muscle function" will be held on Friday. The symposium, sponsored by Boston Scientific, will focus on research into smooth muscle tissue lining the uterus (of interest to scientists studying disorders of pregnancy)and smooth muscle tissue lining blood vessels, which is a critical factor in blockages of arteries leading to heart attack. The Plenary Speaker at the Symposium is Cardiologist Dr. Bradford Berk, a world leader in Cardiovascular Research, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Professor Terry Smith, NCBES Director and NUI Galway RAMI Council representative, is local organiser of the symposium. Ends

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Presentation of Historical Documents to James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway

Presentation of Historical Documents to James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway-image

Monday, 13 June 2005

An important collection of primary, unpublished documents, with other material, relating to the discussions between Irish Republican leaders and representatives of the British Government, during 1974/1975, on the subject of a settlement of the Northern Ireland problem and of Anglo-Irish relations, was presented to the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway today (3.00pm, Monday). The Papers were presented by Mr Ruairí Ó Brádaigh and following normal archival preparation, will be available for research by scholars, under normal academic and library conditions. The Papers will be a unique source for researchers intent on exploring the intentions, perspectives and political strategy of the Republican leadership at this particularly crucial interlude in the mid-1970s. Professor Robert W. White, Department of Sociology, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, who has had access to the Papers, and who is writing a study of Mr. Ó Brádaigh and the Irish Revolutionary tradition, was also present at the presentation. Ends

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NUI Galway hosts first European Summer School in Disability Law

NUI Galway hosts first European Summer School in Disability Law-image

Monday, 13 June 2005

The Law Faculty at NUI Galway, which has been closely involved in the debate concerning the legal rights of persons with disabilities in Ireland and abroad, will host the first ever European Summer School on Disability Discrimination Law from the 4th to the 15th July 2005. The Summer School has attracted major financial backing from the European Commission as part of its general campaign against disability discrimination. It will explore a new EU Directive that offers substantially enhanced legal protection for disabled Europeans who number at least 45 million. The Summer School is open to all members of the public as well as their legal advisers interested in finding out more about the new Directive as well as its potential uses for and on behalf of persons with disabilities. NUI Galway's Law Faculty includes many staff members who have had direct litigation experience before courts such as the US Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Highlights of the Summer School include a series of talks by Professor Peter Blanck who is a leading disability rights litigator before the US Courts and by Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University. The main aim is to equip the participants with the practical skills needed to begin making use of the EU anti-discrimination law in the disability context. The Director of the Summer School, NUI Galway's Professor Gerard Quinn said: We are proud of our research track record at NUI Galway in the area of Disability Law and view this Summer School as a logical development in the area. The Summer School is designed to provide persons with disabilities from all over Europe with a unique learning opportunity to find out more about their rights at a European level and to begin exercising them more forcefully. We expect a diverse range of disabled participants from throughout Europe which will provide a huge learning opportunity in itself. The knowledge provided to the disability groups and their legal advisers should enable them to craft better legal strategies at both the European and Irish levels. A dedicated website has been set up for the Summer School and can be accessed through the Faculty of Law at NUI Galway: http://www.nuigalway.ie/law/Disability_summer_school/index.html Ends

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Galway author, Ken Bruen to speak at NUI Galway Crime Writers Conference

Galway author, Ken Bruen to speak at NUI Galway Crime Writers Conference-image

Tuesday, 7 June 2005

Award-winning Galway writer, Ken Bruen is among a number of internationally acclaimed authors who will contribute to a conference on Memory in the Crime Genre, which will take place in the Information Technology Building, NUI Galway on 10th and 11th June, 2005. Ken Bruen, whose novels include The White Trilogy, 'Vixen', 'The Guards' and 'The Magdalen Martyrs', will give a public talk on his work at 6.00pm on Saturday 11 June in Room 125. Bruen, has published 11 books since leaving a career in teaching that brought him to South America, South East Asia, Africa and Japan. Crime Writer, Peter Tremayne will give a public lecture entitled "Sister Fidelma s World: Crime and Punishment in 7th Century Ireland," at 6.00pm on Friday 10th June again in Room 125. Sister Fidelma first appeared in short stories in 1993 and has gone on to enjoy critical acclaim. A Celtic scholar of note, Tremayne's other works include 'The Druids' and 'Dictionary of Celtic Mythology.' Dr Eamonn O Ciardha from the Keough Institute for Irish Studies, Notre Dame University, will open the conference with a keynote address on "The Irish Outlaw". The conference, hosted by NUI Galway's departments of French and Spanish, in association with the Centre for Irish Studies, has attracted delegates from Latin America, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, in addition to those from Britain and Ireland. Ends Information from: Kate Quinn, Dept of Spanish, NUI Galway on 091 492702 Phil Dine Dept of French, NUI Galway on 091 492391

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July 2005

Urgent need for Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services in Galway

Urgent need for Brain Injury Rehabilitation Services in Galway-image

Monday, 11 July 2005

Severe brain injury is the most serious outcome of many road traffic accidents. Having received medical treatment, it is vital for the patient to undergo an effective rehabilitation programme to ensure maximum recovery. However, as there is just one specialist rehabilitation centre in Ireland which is based in Dublin, most people have no option but to return home where they are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. Professor Agnes Shiel of NUI Galway's Department of Occupational Therapy says that treatment facilities and a proper rehabilitation service should be available in Galway. She was speaking in advance of the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference 2005 at NUI Galway (11th and 12th July), where international delegates addressed issues including neuropsychological or memory rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation and socio-emotional functioning. Professor Shiel said: "In Ireland, specialist rehabilitation of problems such as serious brain injury is wholly inadequate. There is only one specialist rehabilitation unit and this is based in Dublin. A successful rehabilitation programme needs to be accessible both in terms of starting as soon as possible after the injury is incurred and also in terms of location – that is - it needs to be regionally based so that the person's return to their community can be facilitated. A city the size of Galway should have a dedicated brain injury rehabilitation facility. " According to Professor Shiel, the average head injury survivor is male and aged between 15 and 25 years. While the numbers with physical difficulties are small (about 10% of the total), the vast majority have ongoing problems with memory, concentration, planning and paying attention. These difficulties mean that they may be unable to lead independent lives, work in open employment and resume their lives as before. Many return home and are dependent on their families for the rest of their lives. These problems are also experienced by people who incur brain injury from other causes, such as stroke, brain haemorrhage and tumours. This is creating a significant population of people living with ongoing severe difficulties. While people with brain injury may access local Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy and Neuropsychology services, these services are already stretched to capacity. It is estimated that there are approximately 150 people per 100,000 in the UK who have ongoing difficulties as a result of brain injury. Professor Shiel says that accurate figures for the Irish population are not available but are possibly higher because of the higher number of road traffic accidents. However, survival rates after head injury are increasing she says. This is mainly due to car safety features such as airbags, improvement in acute and intensive care and advances in pharmacological treatment of secondary complications. "However, the increased survival rates mean that there is an ever-increasing population of people who survive with significant and debilitating problems. Many survivors of head injury never access a rehabilitation programme and cope as best they can with the help of family and friends." Among those addressing the Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Conference in NUI Galway was Professor Barbara Wilson OBE from Cambridge who helped establish one of the first centres in the UK for memory rehabilitation. Professor Skye McDonald from Sydney discussed emotional difficulties experienced by people suffering from brain injury who are unable to respond to non-verbal communication, while Professor Nadina Lincoln from the University of Nottingham compared different types of rehabilitation pointing out the most effective. Ends

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NUI Galway History Professor elected by British Academy

NUI Galway History Professor elected by British Academy-image

Monday, 11 July 2005

Nicholas Canny, Professor of History and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change at NUI Galway, has been accorded the exceptional accolade of being elected as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy at the annual meeting of the Academy on 7 July 2005. According to the Academy, this is the 'highest honour that the Academy is able to confer in recognition of scholarly distinction'. It is awarded each year to only seven scholars from all subjects in the humanities who may be chosen from any country in the world except the United Kingdom. Professor Canny is only the second living scholar resident in the Republic of Ireland who has been honoured in this way. In the citation recommending Professor Canny for election, reference was made first to his consistent record of scholarly publications spanning thirty years and including two prize winning books, the most recent Making Ireland British, 1580-1650 (Oxford University Press, 2001); and The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland, (Harvester Press, 1976); then to his outstanding career as a teacher of History at undergraduate and post-graduate levels; and finally to his leadership role in promoting multi-disciplinary research in the Humanities in Ireland and abroad. Particular mention was made of his leadership role at NUI Galway that led to the establishment of the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change. This Centre, created by the Higher Education Authority under its Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions has recently completed its first major research programme to the highest international standard. The Centre facilitates multi-disciplinary and co-operative research on topics related to the histories of human migration, settlement and cultural change. The Centre has forged strong collaborative links with other national and international institutions, including Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies Zagreb, Croatia and the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Uppsala. Congratulating Professor Canny on his success, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "This is a great honour for an outstanding historian. Through his own research and the leadership he has shown in the Centre for the Study of Human Settlement and Historical Change, Professor Canny has demonstrated the highest standards of scholarship and academic excellence we are so proud to have at NUI Galway." Ends

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