NUI Galway Summer Conferring

NUI Galway Summer Conferring -image

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

NUI Galway today (26 June) conferred over 250 students including 72 doctoral degrees from across all disciplines. The largest cohort of students to graduate was 120 future doctors who received their Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) degree. Among the cohort of medical students, Galway City native, Jennifer Scott, received 8 out of 15 Final Medical Medals for her academic performance. Every year, NUI Galway award the Final Medical Medals to the student who receives the highest mark in each subject area. Speaking at the ceremony, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate each of today’s graduates. It is very encouraging to see the number of research and graduate degrees which we are conferring today. These graduate numbers continue to grow. From a base of about 50 doctorates per year at the turn of the millennium, we now confer up to 4 times that number annually.” President Browne added words of encouragement to graduates conferred at the ceremony: “Do not lose hope or courage in this current economic climate. You have what it takes to make a difference in our society. The opportunities you have to create your own environment and to shape your own futures are enormous.” International students were well represented at the ceremony, with the University welcoming a large number of graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia. -ENDS- __________________________ Searmanas Bronnta an tSamhraidh in OÉ Gaillimh Inniu (26 Meitheamh) bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna ar bhreis is 250 mac léinn, 72 PhD san áireamh, i ngach disciplín. Ar an ngrúpa is mó díobh bronnadh Baitsiléir Onóracha sa Leigheas, Baitsiléir sa Mháinliacht agus Baitsiléir sa Chnáimhseachas (MB, BCh, BAO) ar 120 ábhar dochtúra. Fuair Jennifer Scott as cathair na Gaillimhe, duine de na mic léinn leighis, 8 mBonn don Bhliain Deiridh Leighis as 15 Bhonn dá feidhmíocht acadúil. Gach bliain, bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Boinn Deiridh Leighis ar an mac léinn leis an marc is airde i ngach ábhar. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne le linn an tsearmanais: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, tréaslaím le gach duine agaibh. Ábhar misnigh dúinn ar fad is ea go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna taighde agus iarchéimeanna á mbronnadh againn inniu. Tá níos mó agus níos mó céimeanna á mbronnadh againn bliain i ndiaidh bliana. Bhíodh 50 céim dhochtúireachta in aghaidh na bliana á mbronnadh againn ag tús an chéid ach bronntar a cheithre oiread sin anois gach bliain."  Dúirt an tUachtarán leis na céimithe gur cheart dóibh aghaidh a thabhairt ar na blianta amach rompu le teann dóchais:  “Ná cuireadh cúrsaí geilleagair an lae lagmhisneach oraibh. Tá an cumas ag gach duine agaibh dul i bhfeidhm ar an tsochaí ar shlí éigin.  Níl teorainn ar bith leis na deiseanna atá agaibhse an cineál saoil is mian libh a chruthú daoibh féin agus lántairbhe a bhaint as na deiseanna a thiocfaidh in bhur dtreo sna blianta amach romhainn.” Bhí mic léinn idirnáisiúnta i láthair chomh maith ag an searmanas, agus an Ollscoil ag fáiltiú roimh chéimithe as an Malaeisia, i measc tíortha eile. -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway Awards Gold Medal for Community Contribution

NUI Galway Awards Gold Medal for Community Contribution-image

Thursday, 27 June 2013

NUI Galway graduate Melanie Hennessy, was presented with the University’s Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) Clinical Science Gold Medal for Community Contribution at her graduation yesterday. This Clinical Science Gold Medal for Community Contribution is being awarded for a second year and is sponsored by the CKI.  The medal is awarded to the student who has demonstrated a long-term commitment and positive contribution to community and society. A native of Cloughleigh, Co. Clare, Melanie first travelled to Nepal to volunteer seven years ago. During her time at NUI Galway, she established her own university society, Draíocht, to generate funds to build an orphanage for the children of Nepal where she is currently working on improving the lives of these children. Since its establishment, Draíocht has founded a primary and secondary school in Nepal, providing free education to over 700 students. Melanie, through her work with Draíocht, also helped to construct buildings for locals to set up their own businesses and organised health camps, including dental camps and women and child health check-up camps. She also set up another charity TEAM Nepal, which she runs with a friend. In 2010 Melanie was named as one of Ireland’s Outstanding Young People of the Year, before being selected by the Junior Chamber International as one of their JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World. Lorraine McIlrath, Co-ordinator of NUI Galway’s CKI, said: “CKI at NUI Galway is delighted to support and honour the outstanding contribution to community that Melanie has made during her time at NUI Galway.  She has not only established a very ethical community based organisation in Nepal but has also involved many of her peers in the activity. Melanie is the ideal graduate citizens who will go on to impact upon society in the most positive way.” Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, said: “The School of Medicine, NUI Galway is delighted to honour the outstanding societal contribution of Melanie Hennessy in establishing the Draíocht charity. Melanie is an exemplar of the well rounded student we wish to cultivate at NUI Galway, a student who is diligent in her studies, but maintains a healthy work-life balance while humbly applying her considerable talents and skills in the service of other less fortunate people. I know that Melanie's remarkable work has inspired many of her peers and this gold medal is fitting recognition of her efforts.” -ENDS-

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May 2013

NUI Galway Launches New Engineering and Informatics Taught Masters Programmes

NUI Galway Launches New Engineering and Informatics Taught Masters Programmes-image

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics has announced that it will provide a suite of new taught postgraduate programmes across various Engineering and Informatics subject areas. Commencing in September 2013, the full-time, one year postgraduate programmes have been devised in response to the requirement by Engineers Ireland who, from 2013 onwards, require graduate engineers to hold an accredited Master degree (Level 9) to satisfy the educational standard to become a Chartered Engineer. Professor Gerard Lyons, Dean, College of Engineering and Informatics said: “These new programmes are excellent examples of how NUI Galway engages with industry in order to inform our postgraduate programmes. Engineering and ICT are key strategic priorities for Ireland and for NUI Galway. The University recognises the importance of equipping our graduates with the skills and knowledge needed to support the rapidly growing engineering and ICT sectors in Ireland and abroad. We believe that these Masters programmes are very timely for Ireland and that its graduates will play a significant role in harnessing the opportunities and challenges for tomorrow’s economy.” These new innovative Masters programmes are designed to provide highly qualified graduates with advance engineering and informatics skills and are aimed at those who wish to work professionally as a Chartered Engineer. “Our students benefit from the University’s unique combination of ground-breaking academic expertise, professional practice and access world-class facilities. These new courses are a wonderful opportunity for students to explore many advanced topics in engineering and informatics”, said Professor Mike Hartnett, Vice-Dean for Teaching and Learning with the College of Engineering and Informatics. The first intake of students for the new Masters programmes across the disciplines of Civil, Mechanical, Energy and Biomedical Engineering will be in September 2013. Masters programmes for Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Computer Science and Information Technology will commence in 2014. Applications are now open and the deadline is Saturday, 1 June 2013. Applications will be accepted via the PAC application process, on which the new courses are listed. For more detailed information about these programmes visit www.nuigalway.ie or contact Sharon Allman at 091 492101 or sharon.allman@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

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Judge McGuinness Appointed Chair of NUI Galway Governing Authority

Judge McGuinness Appointed Chair of NUI Galway Governing Authority-image

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Judge Catherine McGuinness was appointed today as Chair of NUI Galway's Údarás na hOllscoile (Governing Authority). Údarás na hOllscoile, the University's Governing Authority, is responsible for managing and controlling all of the affairs of the University. Catherine McGuinness is a retired Supreme Court judge, former senator and lifelong activist. In January 2012 she was appointed to the Council of State by President Michael D. Higgins. Judge McGuinness was called to the Bar in 1977 and to the Inner Bar in 1989. She was a member of Seanad Éireann from 1979-82 and was previously a member of the Council of State from 1988-90. She served as a Judge of the Circuit Court from 1994-1996; of the High Court from 1996-2000; and of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006. From 2005-2011 she was President of the Law Reform Commission. She is currently Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway. In addition to her judicial career, Catherine McGuinness has served on the Employment Equality Agency, the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation and the Irish Universities Quality Board. In June 2011 she became patron of the Irish Refugee Council and in November 2011 she was appointed Chairperson of the "Campaign for Children". She has also just completed her role as personal representative to the Minister for Foreign Affairs through Ireland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE during 2012 in the field of Human Rights and on the Freedom of Religion. Speaking of the appointment, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: "Judge Catherine McGuinness brings a unique breadth of experience and judgement to the role of Chairperson of Údarás na hOllscoile. We are delighted and privileged that she will chair the University's Governing Authority for the next three years.  My colleagues and I look forward to working with her to further develop NUI Galway and our ambitious plans for the future.” Judge McGuinness commented from NUI Galway on her appointment: “I am hugely honoured to be appointed as Chair of the Governing Authority. I have many connections with Galway, even apart from being Adjunct Professor at the School of Law here at NUI Galway, and am delighted to be able to strengthen these connections and I hope over the next few years  to help the University in achieving its mission.” Judge McGuinness’s term of office extends to 2016. ENDS ____________________ An Breitheamh McGuinness Ceaptha ina Cathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh Ceapadh an Breitheamh Catherine McGuinness inniu ina Cathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá Údarás na hOllscoile freagrach as gnóthaí uile na hOllscoile a bhainistiú agus a rialú. Is breitheamh ar scor ón gCúirt Uachtarach í Catherine McGuinness, is iarsheanadóir í freisin agus tá sí ina gníomhaíoch i rith a saoil. In Eanáir 2012, cheap an tUachtarán Micheál D. Ó hUiginn ar an gComhairle Stáit í. Glaodh ar an mBreitheamh McGuinness chun an Bharra i 1977 agus chun Barra na Sinsear i 1989. Bhí sí ina comhalta de Sheanad Éireann ó 1979-82 agus roimhe seo chomh maith bhí sí ina comhalta den Chomhairle Stáit ó 1988-90. Bhí sí ina breitheamh sa Chúirt Chuarda ó 1994-1996; san Ardchúirt ó 1996-2000; agus sa Chúirt Uachtarach ó 2000-2006. Ó 2005-2011, bhí sí ina hUachtarán ar an gCoimisiún um Athchóiriú an Dlí. Tá sí ina hOllamh Cúnta le Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh faoi láthair. Sa bhreis ar a gairm mar bhreitheamh, tá sealanna caite ag Catherine McGuinness leis an nGníomhaireacht um Chomhionannas Fostaíochta, an Fóram um Shíocháin agus Athmhuintearas agus Bord Feabhais Ollscoileanna na hÉireann. I Meitheamh na bliana 2011, ceapadh í ina pátrún ar Chomhairle Dídeanaithe na hÉireann agus i mí na Samhna 2011, ceapadh í ina Cathaoirleach ar "Campaign for Children". Tá sí díreach tar éis a seal a chur isteach mar ionadaí pearsanta ag an Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha i rith Chathaoirleacht na hÉireann ar Eagraíocht na Náisiún Aontaithe um Shlándáil agus Chomhoibriú san Eoraip (OSCE) in 2012 i réimse na gCeart Daonna agus na Saoirse Creidimh. Ag labhairt dó faoin gceapachán, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Tugann an Breitheamh Catherine McGuinness taithí agus breithiúnas ar leith chuig an ról mar Chathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile. Is mór an phribhléid agus an t-údar bróid dúinn go mbeidh sí ina cathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile sna trí bliana seo romhainn.  Táim féin agus mo chomhghleacaithe ag súil go mór le bheith ag obair léi chun OÉ Gaillimh agus ár bpleananna uaillmhianacha don todhchaí a bhrú chun cinn.” Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an mBreitheamh McGuinness in OÉ Gaillimh faoina ceapachán: “Is mór an onóir dom a bheith ceaptha mar Chathaoirleach ar Údarás na hOllscoile. Is iomaí sin nasc atá agam le Gaillimh, seachas a bheith i m’Ollamh Cúnta i Scoil an Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh, agus is mór agam a bheith in ann na naisc sin a threisiú agus táim ag súil go mbeidh mé in ann cabhrú leis an Ollscoil a misean a bhaint amach as seo go ceann cúpla bliain.” Mairfidh téarma oifige an Bhreithimh McGuinness go dtí 2016. -Críoch

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Bio-Diversifying Agriculture and Diet is Crucial to Global Health, according to new book

Bio-Diversifying Agriculture and Diet is Crucial to Global Health,  according to new book -image

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

While over 1 billion people are overweight and obese around the world, an estimated 868 million are undernourished. This paradox is explored in a new book, Diversifying Food and Diets, co-edited by Professor Danny Hunter who is an Adjunct Lecturer in Botany and Plant Science (BPS) at NUI Galway. The book explores the concept of agricultural biodiversity, in the context of the challenge of under-nutrition in many parts of the developing world and unhealthy diets in developed countries. Agricultural biodiversity has a key role to play in food and nutritional security, according the book’s authors. Such biodiversity can be a safeguard against hunger, as well as a source of nutrients for improved dietary diversity and quality. It can also strengthen local food systems and environmental sustainability. Currently, 195 million children around the world, under the age of five, are stunted from malnutrition. Meanwhile, in developed countries, obesity has been linked to the rise of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. “It’s a question not only of the quantities of food people are eating but also the quality of that food,” explains Professor Hunter. Professor Hunter is the Theme Leader for Agrobiodiversity in the NUI Galway Plant and AgriBiosciences Research Centre (PABC). He says: “It is essential to understand how the global agricultural system and the benefits derived from agricultural biodiversity influence the drivers of global dietary consumption patterns, nutrition and health status, in particular in the developing world. The lack of diversity is shown to be a crucial issue, particularly in the developing world where diets consist mainly of starchy staples with less access to nutrient-rich sources of food such as animal proteins, fruits and vegetables.” He adds: “As this book highlights, local biodiversity has the potential for contributing to food security and nutrition, as well as for enhancing adaptation to global climate change. Some of these species are highly nutritious and have multiple uses.” Diversifying Food and Diets uses examples and case studies from around the globe to explore strategies for improving nutrition and diets, and identifies gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed to better promote agricultural biodiversity. Case studies include a project in India which promotes nutritious native millets, efforts to identify and develop nutritionally rich indigenous vegetables and fruit trees in sub-Saharan Africa, and a UK-based community group’s urban gardening approach. The Head of the Plant and AgriBiosciences Centre at NUI Galway, Professor Charles Spillane highlighted that: “This book makes a valuable and timely contribution to efforts to improve public health through dietary and nutritional interventions. As all of the foods that we eat are either directly or indirectly derived from plants, the health status of millions of people in both developed and developing countries could be improved through improved access to a wider diversity of nutritious plant-based foods. Key challenges for both mitigation and adaptation strategies regarding adverse climate change impacts will be to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture while making agricultural systems more resilient. The development of low-environmental footprint crop systems which can maintain prodictivity and harness benefits of agricultural biodiversity remains a major challenge facing humanity.” Professor Hunter emphasised that while the book aimed to highlight some of the available options for improving the use of agricultural biodiversity, there was no silver bullet for the serious challenges facing the global population in the production, distribution and healthy consumption of food. “People need to consider ways of diversifying and improving their diets, which really does require a major transformation of the global food system. This will become an even greater challenge with the global population expected to reach around nine billion by 2050.” -ends-

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NUI Galway Hosts Exhibition of Irish Artist Thomas Ryan

NUI Galway Hosts Exhibition of Irish Artist Thomas Ryan-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

NUI Galway will present an exhibition of the work of prolific Irish artist, Thomas Ryan, who works in oils, pastels, pencil, charcoal and watercolour, and has been painting for over 60 years. Thomas Ryan is renowned for imaginative re-workings of historical and religious episodes and he is also heralded as an important chronicler of the changing face of Ireland, through his portraiture, and paintings of exteriors and interiors of buildings. The exhibition will include two of his large historical paintings, ‘The Flight of the Earls’ and ‘G.P.O. 1916’, both oil on canvas and painted in the great European Tradition. These paintings, which were selected for the exhibition by Thomas Ryan and the NUI Galway Arts and Theatre Office, normally hang inside Dublin Castle and Leinster House, respectively, and have been generously loaned by the artist and the Institutions. Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer at NUI Galway, said: “This is a real coup for the University and the city and we are delighted to accept works of such calibre. This is a unique opportunity to witness a master in our midst.” On show as part of the exhibition Thomas Ryan: Selected Workswill be portraits, self-portraits, religious paintings, interiors, still lives and landscapes, many loaned from the artist’s home, for this ‘retrospective’ of his career. Two portrait highlights on show are a pastel drawing, ‘Seán Keating, aged 82 years’ and a drawing of the late Professor of Marine Science, ‘Padraic O’Céidigh’, which is part of the NUI Galway Collection.  In addition, there is a selection of watercolours from a recent project, Dublin and Thereabouts, when Mr Ryan painted the buildings and places that took his fancy in Dublin, 2010-2011, all painted directly from the subject, and mostly in one sitting. Born in Limerick in 1929, Thomas Ryan trained in the School of Art, Limerick under Richard Butcher and at the National College of Art and Design, under Seán Keating and Maurice MacGonigal. He was President of Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts from 1982 to 1992, is a Founder Member of the European Council of National Academies of Fine Art (Madrid), and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy, London and Scottish Academy, Edinburgh. His work hangs in major collections and he was the designer of the one pound coin and millennium fifty pence. He lives in County Meath, and produces most of his work in his studio. Thomas Ryan: Selected Workswill be officially opened on Tuesday, 15 May at 5pm by the University’s  Secretary, Gearóid Ó Conluain and Thomas Ryan will be in attendance. The exhibition will run from 15 May to 7 June in the Mechanical Soils Lab (adjacent to Áras na Mac Léinn) from 11am – 4pm, Monday to Saturday. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Student Wins BBC Theatre Award

NUI Galway Student Wins BBC Theatre Award-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Máiréad Ní Chróinín, Digital Arts & Humanities PhD student at NUI Galway, yesterday received the BBC Northern Ireland Irish Language Theatre Award on behalf of her company Moonfish Theatre.  The award is part of the Stewart Parker Trust Awards and was presented in the Abbey Theatre by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins.  Set up in honour of the late Belfast playwright, Stewart Parker, each year the Trust offers awards to new Irish playwrights to encourage new writing for the theatre throughout Ireland. Máiréad is co-director, with her sister Ionia, of Moonfish Theatre in Galway, and the company was awarded the prize for their bi-lingual show 'Tromluí Phinocchio / Pinocchio - a Nightmare'.  The show premiered in Galway in March 2012, and went on to have successful runs in the Dublin Fringe Festival and on the main stage in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin in 2012, before touring nationally in March 2013. The show will be onstage again in Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe as part of the Babaró International Children's Festival in Galway in October 2013. Kate Costello, an NUI Galway graduate who teaches on the NUI Galway BA Connect programme was producer for the Moonfish Theatre production. The BA CONNECT programme at NUI Galway is a four-year BA degree which offers all the benefits of a two-subject Bachelor of Arts degree together with a specialism of your choice. ENDS

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Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter is the Best Medicine-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Galway hosts Ireland’s first Laughter Championship Ireland’s firstLaughter Championship will take place on Sunday, 5 May at 2pm in the Galway Harbour Hotel, Galway in aid ofJigsaw, Galway. Organised by NUI Galway student, Siobhan Kavanagh, the charity event coincides with next month’s Well Being in Ireland conference, where researchers from all over the world will gather in Galway to discuss the design of a national well-being index for Ireland. Laughter Championships are a new craze taking off worldwide re invented by Albert Nerenberg. Contestants are asked to demonstrate different types of laugher (e.g. a maniacal laugh or a diabolical laugh) and are then judged on their technique. The main aim is to improve the expression of positive human emotions. The growing popularity of Laugher Championships is partly due to the rise of Laughter Yoga, a modernised variant of Hasya Yoga. Laughter yoga is an aerobic exercise which involves breathing exercises, laughter exercises and guided meditation (yoga nidra), to provide participants with a safe space to laugh. Siobhan Kavanagh is a PhD student in Child and Youth Research in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology and a member of the Irish Laughter Yoga association. Her research with Dr Padraig MacNeela, Lecturer in the University’s School of Psychology, investigates the impact of Laughter Yoga on well-being. “Although laughter has been described as the best medicine, researchers are only starting to understand the positive effects it can have on the body and mind, or indeed on well-being. Research on laughter yoga has found many benefits, for example, increased levels of life satisfaction, positive emotion and decreased stress levels. However, to date there has only been a handful of different studies completed, and a lot of the 'evidence' for laughter yoga comes from humour based research. We need to be mindful when we are telling people about the positive effects of laughter yoga, that research is still in the early stages. However, ancedotally, laughter yoga participants report a range of benefits”, explains Siobhan. The event is free to attend with live entertainment, including laughter yoga demonstrations, face-painting, games and music and there is a €10 charge to enter the championship, with the chance of winning the title of Irish Laughter Champion. All proceeds will be donated to Jigsaw, a free and confidential support service for young people in Galway city and county. All competitors will be required to attend a workshop at 1pm in preparation for the laughter championships. For further information on competing, or to volunteer at the event email irishlaughterassociation@gmail.com. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Host Conference on Future Role of EU Structural Funds

NUI Galway Host Conference on Future Role of EU Structural Funds-image

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A Major Test for the European Union – stop spending taxpayers’ money to Institutionalise EU citizens. There is a clamour around Europe to ensure that increasingly scarce European monies are not spent on institutionalising its citizens but are used instead to help States to promote a philosophy of living independently and being included in the community. To highlight the issue and press claims for a change in the Funds, a broad spectrum of European interest groups covering the disabled and the elderly, as well as national and international policy makers, will be brought together at a major conference organised by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway on Friday, 3 May. The issue is urgent as negotiations to agree new Regulations governing the EU Structural Funds are in their final stages. Advocates are not calling for more money – simply for an end to spending the available monies on institutions and a commitment of available resources to help the process of community living. The conference, ‘Community Living for All’ - A Conference on the Future Role of the European Union Structural Funds to Advance Community Living for Older People and People with Disabilities’, is organised in association with the Irish Presidency of the European Council with the support of European Foundation Centre (EFC), Belgium and Fundación ONCE, Spain.  Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “Ireland has taken initial positive steps in the right direction with the ‘Ending Congregated Settings’ report and the National Positive Ageing Strategy.  We have to make sure that our taxpayers’ money is not being used via the Structural Funds to achieve the opposite effect elsewhere in Europe.” Professor Quinn continued: “Both disabled and older citizens have a common cause here.  We owe it to our fellow disabled and older EU citizens across Europe to end bad practices and help generate real added-value put of diminishing EU funds.  It is very important that your voice is heard loud and clear.” The rejection of the conditionalities proposed by the European Commission for accessing and using the funds has particular legal implications as it probably exposes the EU to legal liability under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is the first UN human rights treaty to be ratified by the EU as such.  Professor Quinn added: “What are our citizens to think if the EU ratifies such a major international instrument and then keeps it at arms length where it matters most.  We certainly cannot preach to others if we fail to ensure basic respect for the convention in how major EU financial instruments are crafted. The conditions proposed by the Commission or something with the same effect have to be restored to the Regulations to keep faith with Europe’s 80 million persons with disabilities.”   The conference will be opened by Minister of State Kathleen Lynch T.D., who has responsibilities both for older people and people with disabilities, and one of the sessions will be chaired by Minister of State Brian Hayes T.D. The keynote address at the conference will be delivered by Professor Jerome Bickenbach on the unity of purpose between the disabled and older European citizens on community living and ageing in pace.  It will be addressed by the European Commission (DG Justice and DG Regio), the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, The EU Fundamental Rights Agency and high level representatives for European civil society (European Disability Forum) and Age Platform Europe. Jan Jarab, Regional Representative for Europe of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who will be a participant in the conference, said: “The Office of the High Commissioner is committed to the promotion of community living and inclusion in society for older persons as well as for children in need of alternative care and persons with disabilities.” Professor Quinn added: “We are proud of where Ireland has come from and its clear aspirations for the future. But the rights we take for granted should not be confined to us. Lets be both smart and ethical in how the EU spends our money. This conference will explore the need for these conditions and whether or how they can be achieved as the drafting of the new regulations reach a climax in early summer 2013.”  All are welcome and no prior knowledge of the Structural Funds is assumed or required. More information on the conference is available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp/events/community_living_for_all.html and individuals can register at www.conference.ie. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Student Selected for Washington Ireland Program 2013

NUI Galway Student Selected for Washington Ireland Program 2013-image

Friday, 3 May 2013

NUI Galway student, Maria Campbell has been handpicked as one of 30 students to represent Ireland and Northern Ireland in the USA this summer. A final year Legal Studies, Sociology and Politics student, Maria will complete an eight-week internship in Washington DC, following the footsteps of previous NUI Galway students who have interned in the offices of then US Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, former Presidential Candidate Senator McCain, at the Headquarters of the World Bank and at CNN. A native of Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Maria has been involved with Foróige, Ireland’s largest youth organisation, as a member, volunteer leader and recently co-founder and Auditor of Foróige’s first college society. During this time she has lead a team to win two national citizenship awards and was selected for the inaugural Albert Schweitzer leadership program. Maria recently completed an internship in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre based in NUI Galway. Commenting on the announcement of the internship, Maria said: “I am both honored and excited to be given such a great opportunity.  I have already met some truly inspirational people and look forward to representing NUI Galway on the program.” Getting onto the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) is highly competitive with over 500 students from across, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Great Britain competing for a few coveted places. The WIP students are required to commit to a minimum of 30 hours of public service before their placement in Washington DC, and are encouraged to take on a new community service project. While in Washington DC the students will complete an extensive leadership curriculum with their peers – developing their leadership skills and learning from the leadership experiences of those in Global leadership positions. Students will also complete an individual internship. For more information visit www.wiprogram.org. -ENDS-

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