NUI Galway Drama Students Take to the Stage with Druid

NUI Galway Drama Students Take to the Stage with Druid-image

Friday, 18 July 2014

Druid Academy students at NUI Galway to Perform at Galway International Arts Festival As part of Galway International Arts Festival, on Tuesday, 22 July, NUI Galway students will be performing in a reading of a new play at Druid Theatre. A Boy Called Nedd by Emily Gillmor Murphy is being staged as part of the “Druid Debut” series at this year’s Festival, and is a brand new play from Emily Gillmor Murphy. The reading will feature NUI Galway Drama students Deirdre Ní Chloscaí, Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, Joe Power and Niamh Ryan. In a unique development for Drama and Theatre teaching in Ireland, Druid and NUI Galway launched a new Druid Academy earlier this year, as part of a 10 year partnership between the two organisations. The participation of NUI Galway students in the event is one of many collaborations between University students and Druid. As part of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, the Druid Academy covers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, as well as PhD research opportunities.  The Druid Academy also provides training in drama that meets best international practice while also embedding the values associated with Druid into the teaching curriculum. A Boy Called Nedd tells the story of a sixteen-year-old boy trying to stay on course after his brother’s suicide. Nedd’s is a fast moving world. Here a relationship goes from awkward silences to making out to throwing insults at the speed of light. Here his least step out of line goes viral at the blink of an eye. Here the lures of the adult world – guns, included – are only a text or a mouse-click away. But how fast is he going that he should confuse grief for the need for revenge?  The play has strong language and explicit content.  NUI Galway Professor of Drama and Theatre Patrick Lonergan stated that this event will be a major opportunity for the students. “This event gives our students the chance to perform in a professional setting, working with a very exciting new writer, in a major theatre company, in Ireland’s major arts festival. As part of our continuing work with the Druid Academy, our students will continue to work closely with Druid on projects such as this." Druid Director-in-Residence, Thomas Conway, says: "the play is a dispatch straight from the frontline of contemporary teenage experience in Ireland. Not only does it show the world of Irish teenagers in a no-holds-barred fashion, it gets under its skin, revealing the kinds of pressure today’s teenager routinely experience. We’re excited in Druid to have students from NUI Galway join us for its presentation. We have been impressed to date with the connection they have made with the play and feel confident they will bring many great acting qualities to its presentation." Borne out of a vision of Galway as a location for the creation of excellent theatre, teaching in the Druid Academy will follow the Druid approach, focusing on ensemble as a mode of performance, rigorous critical analysis of theatre by both practitioners and audiences, and an awareness of the importance of audience, in a variety of locations: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The Academy has also led to the development of new courses, including three new MA programmes. These are in Irish Drama, Writing for Theatre, and Theatre Practice and Production. NUI Galway also offers a part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and has two very popular undergraduate Drama programmes. Students of the Druid Academy gain a unique insight into the world of professional theatre when they have the opportunity to stage an annual professional-standard production, directed by the Druid Director-in-Residence.  The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Three years ago that relationship was formalised into a strategic partnership that saw Druid and NUI Galway join forces to train the next generation of theatre-makers. This partnership moves on to a new level with the announcement of the Druid Academy. For further information on the part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies please visit ENDS

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Young Women with ADHD and Second Level Teachers Required for Research Study

Young Women with ADHD and Second Level Teachers Required for Research Study -image

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

NUI Galway’s School of Education is currently seeking young women aged between 14-20 with a formal diagnosis of ADHD to participate in a study to examine the impact the condition has on their educational and social experiences. This study is open to participants living in any geographical region of the Republic of Ireland. Participants will be asked to provide their opinions and insights regarding how ADHD affects their daily lives, academic performance and achievement, and their relationships with others.  They will be asked to complete one personal interview and one online questionnaire. Those participating will not need to travel to NUI Galway, as a researcher will travel to a location of their choosing.  This project represents an important advancement in ADHD research because very few studies of ADHD have taken place in Ireland, and fewer yet have considered the impact that ADHD has on the lives of young women.  Primary researcher of this project, Andrea Lynch said: “We do a lot of talking ‘about’ people with ADHD, and yet, very little communication takes place with people affected by ADHD. This study represents an important chance for young women living with the condition to have their voices and opinions heard, and to help others understand what it is truly like to live as a young woman with ADHD in the Irish context.” Additionally, this study is seeking the insights of second-level teachers who have some experience supporting students with ADHD in the classroom. This study represents a chance for teachers to reflect critically on their own educational preparation for working with students with ADHD, as well as their own praxis, and ways in which classroom inclusion for second-level students with ADHD could be increased. Teachers are asked to complete one online questionnaire and also asked to consider completing a personal interview which can be held at a time and location of their choosing.  Ms Lynch continued: “This study also represents a chance for teachers to reflect upon their experiences of teaching students with ADHD, and is an opportunity for them to express their opinions regarding the particular needs of second-level educators in supporting students with ADHD, and ways in which educational provision for students with this condition could be improved for this population.” Those interested in participating in this study should contact research Andrea Lynch at or on 087 1129868. -Ends-

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Minister Howlin Launches Open Data initiative

Minister Howlin Launches Open Data initiative-image

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Mr. Brendan Howlin, TD, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform yesterday, 22 July 2014, launched Ireland’s national Open Data Portal developed by Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway together with the research reports produced by Insight. The Minister said: “I am delighted to be launching Ireland’s national Open Data portal together with research compiled by Insight. This work builds on initiatives already in place in Ireland taking into account best international practice and will enable the development of a national Open Data strategy.” Open Data forms a core element of Ireland’s first Open Government Partnership (OGP) national Action Plan which, following Government approval tomorrow, I expect to publish and transmit to the OGP Steering Committee to facilitate Ireland’s full membership of the Partnership.  Insight was commissioned to carry out this research to develop the basic building blocks for a national Open Data strategy. The national Open Data Portal ( currently contains 418 datasets from 45 public bodies.  It is an alpha site, but an important first step.  The next steps to further develop it will be considered in tandem with experts in the public sector and the wider public. Going forward, the Minister would encourage public bodies to publish datasets on this portal.  The Minister said: “I am very excited about Open Data. Studies show that publication of official non-personal data in open format has the potential to drive more effective decision-making and efficient service delivery, spur economic growth, and empower citizens to take an active role in improving their own communities”.    Professor Stefan Decker, Director of Insight at NUI Galway, commented: "The Open Data Roadmap and Portal developed by Insight at NUI Galway is a great example of leveraging research results and expertise funded by Science Foundation Ireland and Enterprise Ireland for the good of society. Together with the civil society we are able to make a contribution to Ireland by enabling the use of public data assets for economic and societal benefit.” Insight’s work is being published to assist the development of an Open Data strategy for Ireland.  Submissions should be made by 5th September to ENDS About Insight, the Centre for Data Analytics Insight is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of Data Analytics. In a joint initiative between NUI Galway, DCU, UCC and UCD, Insight brings together more than 200 researchers, with 30 industry partners, to position Ireland at the heart of global data analytics research. Established by Science Foundation Ireland, Insight focuses on new ways to capture and understand data from the world around us, making better decisions for people, communities and industry, and creating a more informed society in a healthier, more productive world.

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University Honours Racing Masters

University Honours Racing Masters -image

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

As the Galway race festival continues, NUI Galway today conferred honorary degrees on two outstanding individuals from the world of Irish horseracing: Dermot Weld and Jim Bolger. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking at the conferring ceremony, said: “With the sporting world’s attention on Galway and Ballybrit this week, we are proud to celebrate the horseracing heritage of our city by recognising two of Ireland’s greatest racing trainers and breeders.  Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld are global figures in the world of horseracing.  They have distinguished themselves as breeders, trainers and leaders of the sport and in so doing have burnished Ireland’s reputation as a global centre for the equine industry. By honouring these two truly outstanding men, we pay tribute to their achievements by awarding them the highest honour which the University can confer, thereby associating their names forever with NUI Galway.” Dermot Weld, one of Ireland’s most renowned and successful racehorse trainers, at home and abroad, was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. To date, Dermot has trained in excess of 3,700 winners. He has trained the winners of twenty-two European Classic races and remains the only trainer outside of the US and Canada, to have won a leg of America's famous Triple Crown. Dermot has won races at both the Cheltenham Festival and at Royal Ascot and has enjoyed success at both meetings this year. Australia has been a country of note in his career with two wins in “the race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup. Dermot was the first trainer based in the northern hemisphere to win this most prestigious race when Vintage Crop stormed to victory in 1993. A qualified vet, Dermot was a leading amateur rider and was crowned champion on three occasions. He also rode winners in South Africa, the UK, France and in the US. Dermot was a long-serving director of the Irish National Stud and also served on the board of the Irish Horseracing Authority.  He is currently in his second term as a director of Leopardstown Racecourse. In 20l1, he was made an honorary member of the Galway Race Committee. Introducing Mr Weld, Dr John Newell, Senior Lecturer in Biostatistics at NUI Galway, reminded guests on Galway Plate Day, the highlight of the Galway racing festival, how synonymous this trainer is with Galway. “His attachment to the festival began when, as a nine-year-old, he led his father's horse, Highfield Lad, into the winner’s enclosure after victory in the Galway Plate.   Six years later, Dermot rode his first ever winner, steering Ticonderoga to victory in the Galway Amateur Handicap.Dermot holds the record of 17 winners over the seven days and won the Leading Trainer award for the 27th time last year.  So dominant has he been at Ballybrit over the last two-and-a-half decades, Irish bookmakers, Paddy Power suggested renaming the Galway Races to the ‘Dermot Weld Retirement Fund’.” Jim Bolger was conferred with a Degree of Doctor of Arts honoris causa. In a remarkable career that has spanned five decades, at 71 years of age; he remains one of the single most iconic figures in the game. At the age of 35, the Wexford native left his job in finance and began his training career in a yard at Clonsilla near the old Phoenix Park training ground. A farmer’s son who first dabbled in buying and selling show-jumpers, Bolger possesses rare vision and an insatiable work ethic. A master of his profession and a born leader, he has nurtured the careers of many of  leading figures in Irish racing, including Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore and his now son-in-law, Kevin Manning all of whom emerged from his famously uncompromising academy. Since moving to Coolcullen’s Glebe House in Co Kilkenny in 1982, he has developed one of the most acclaimed training centres in the world. Professor Michael Kerin, Professor of Medicine at NUI Galway and Research Director of the National Breast Cancer Research Institute (NBCRI), explained the honour for him in introducing Mr Bolger, “The elite realm of international flat racing is dominated by wealthy sheikhs, royalty and commercial conglomerates but Jim Bolger has fashioned a unique empire based on his eye for a horse, intellect, enthusiasm, ambition and hard work. It is a great honour for me to present Jim Bolger, Champion Horse Trainer and Breeder, Family Man, Educator, Organiser and Inspiration for the Doctor of Arts here at NUI Galway today.” The two graduands join the ranks of previous honorary alumni which include, among many others, Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Snr and Jnr, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan and Margaret Atwood. -Ends-   Bronnann an Ollscoil Onóir ar Mháistrí na Rásaíochta   Bronnann OÉ Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh ar Dermot Weld agus ar Jim Bolger   Agus féile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe faoi lánseol, bhronn OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh ar bheirt mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn inniu: Dermot Weld agus Jim Bolger.   Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt ag an searmanas bronnta: “Agus aird an domhain spóirt ar Ghaillimh agus ar Bhaile an Bhriotaigh an tseachtain seo, táimid bródúil oidhreacht rásaíochta capall na cathrach a cheiliúradh trí aitheantas a thabhairt do bheirt de na traenálaithe agus tógálaithe capall is fearr in Éirinn.    Tá aithne i bhfad is i ngearr ar Jim Bolger agus ar Dermot Weld i saol na rásaíochta capall.  Tá cáil bainte amach acu dóibh féin mar thógálaithe agus mar thraenálaithe capall agus mar cheannairí sa spórt agus ag an am céanna tá cáil bainte amach acu d'Éirinn mar ionad domhanda don tionscal eachaí.  Tá an onóir is airde is féidir le hOllscoil a bhronnadh ar dhuine á bronnadh ar an mbeirt iomráiteach seo as a gcuid éachtaí, rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh a gcuid ainmneacha luaite go deo le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh.”   Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Dermot Weld. Tá an tUasal Weld ar cheann de na traenálaithe capall rása Éireannacha is mó cáil agus is rathúla, sa bhaile agus thar lear.Go dtí seo, tá breis is 3,700 buaiteoir traenáilte ag Dermot. Tá dhá chapall is fiche traenáilte aige a bhuaigh ag rásaí Clasaiceacha Eorpacha agus is é fós an t-aon traenálaí, lasmuigh de Mheiriceá agus de Cheanada, a bhuaigh staid de Choróin Thriarach cháiliúil Mheiriceá. Tá rásaí buaite ag Dermot ag Féile Cheltenham agus ag Royal Ascot agus d'éirigh go maith leis ag an dá ócáid seo i mbliana.   Bhí baint mhór ag an Astráil le saol gairme Dermot agus bhí an bua aige ag Corn Melbourne faoi dhó, rás a ndeirtear faoi go stopann an tír ar fad le breathnú air. Ba é Dermot an chéad traenálaí lonnaithe sa leathsféar thuaidh a bhuaigh an rás iomráiteach seo le Vintage Crop sa bhliain 1993.   Is tréidlia cáilithe é Dermot agus bhí sé ina shármharcaí amaitéarach agus ina sheaimpín trí huaire. Bhí an bua aige chomh maith ag marcaíocht san Afraic Theas, sa Ríocht Aontaithe, sa Fhrainc agus i Meiriceá. Bhí Dermot ina stiúrthóir ar feadh i bhfad ar Ghraí Náisiúnta na hÉireann agus bhí sé ar bhord Údarás Rásaíochta Capall na hÉireann chomh maith.  Tá sé faoi láthair i mbun a dhara théarma mar Stiúrthóir ar Ráschúrsa Bhaile na Lobhar. Sa bhliain 2011, rinneadh ball oinigh de Choiste Rásaíochta na Gaillimhe de.   Agus é ag cur as Uasail Weld i láthair, chuir an Dr John Newell, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Bithstaitisticí in OÉ Gaillimh, i gcuimhne do na haíonna a bhí i láthair ar Lá an Galway Plate, buaicphointe fhéile rásaíochta na Gaillimhe, cé chomh mór is a shamhlaítear an traenálaí seo le Gaillimh.  “Thosaigh a ghrá don fhéile agus gan é ach naoi mbliana d’aois nuair a thug sé capall a athar, Highfield Lad, isteach i gclós na mbuaiteoirí tar éis dó an Galway Plate a thabhairt leis.   Sé bliana ina dhiaidh sin, bhí Dermot sa diallait dá chéad bhua riamh ar Ticonderoga i gCisrás Amaitéarach na Gaillimhe.Is ag Dermot atá an churiarracht as 17 mbuaiteoir thar na seacht lá agus bhuaigh sé an gradam don Traenálaí is Fearr don 27ú huair anuraidh.  Bhí sé chomh ceannasach i mBaile an Bhriotaigh le cúig bliana is fiche anuas gur mhol na geallghlacadóirí Éireannacha, Paddy Power, gur cheart “Ciste Scoir Dermot Weld” a thabhairt ar Rásaí na Gaillimhe feasta”.   Bronnadh Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána honoris causa ar Jim Bolger. Bhí gairm den scoth aige a mhair caoga bliain, agus tá sé fós, agus é anois in aois a 71 bliain, ar cheann de na daoine is mó cáil i saol na rásaíochta capall.   In aois a 35 bliain, d'fhág fear Loch Garman a phost le cúrsaí airgeadais agus chuir sé tús lena ghairm thraenála i gclós i gCluain Saileach gar do sheanfhaice traenála Pháirc an Fhionnuisce. Mac feirmeora é Bolger a thosaigh ar dtús ag díol agus ag ceannach seóléimneoirí agus tá fís ar leith aige chomh maith le heitic oibre dhoshásaithe.   Máistir a ghairme agus ceannaire ó thús, is iomaí duine mór le rá i saol na rásaíochta capall in Éirinn ar chabhraigh sé leo, ina measc Paul Carberry, Willie Mullins, Peter Scudamore agus Kevin Manning, atá pósta lena iníon anois. Tháinig siad ar fad amach óna acadamh a bhfuil cáil na diongbháilteachta air.  Ón uair a bhog sé go Teach Gléibe, Cúl an Chuilinn i gCo. Chill Chainnigh sa bhliain 1982, tá ceann de na hionaid traenála is mó cáil sa domhan forbartha aige.   Mhínigh an tOllamh Michael Kerin, Ollamh le Leigheas in OÉ Gaillimh agus Stiúrthóir Taighde na hInstitiúide Náisiúnta um Thaighde ar Ailse Brollaigh (NBCRI), an onóir a bhain leis an Uasal Bolger a chur i láthair, “Tá domhan éilíte na rásaíochta ar an gcothrom faoi cheannas móruaisle saibhre, lucht ríoga agus ilchuideachtaí tráchtála ach tá impireacht uathúil cruthaithe ag Jim Bolger le cúnamh ón gcumas nádúrtha atá aige féin ag plé le capaill, a chlisteacht, a dhíograis, a mhian agus obair chrua. Is mór an onóir domsa Jim Bolger, Traenálaí agus Tógálaí Seaimpín Capall, Fear Teaghlaigh, Oideachasóir, Eagraí agus Inspioráid a chur in bhur láthair inniu don Dochtúireacht sna Dána anseo in OÉ Gaillimh.   Beidh an bheirt seo anois i measc céimithe oinigh eile mór le rá a tháinig rompu cosúil le Nelson Mandela, Hilary Clinton, Christy O’Connor Sinsear agus Sóisear, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Enya, Anjelica Huston, Fionnuala Flanagan agus Margaret Atwood.   -Críoch-  

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How ageing blood stem cells lose function

How ageing blood stem cells lose function-image

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Scientists from NUI Galway have been involved in a significant new international study that explains how blood production declines with age. Published in this week’s Nature magazine, the research may provide ways of mitigating the effects of ageing on the blood which can lead to diseases such as anaemia, immunoscenescence, bone marrow failure and myeloid malignancies. The study was led by the University of California, San Francisco, in conjunction with NUI Galway’s Centre for Chromosome Biology and other researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid, the University of Chicago and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Our blood system can renew itself during our life. However, the key stem cells that are responsible for this become less effective as we age. This can give rise to blood diseases in older people, so the scientists sought to understand how these cells age. The study shows that critical components of blood stem cells’ replication machinery are lost during ageing, giving rise to replication stress, which is associated with cell cycle defects and chromosome gaps/breaks.This leads to particular biochemical marks being made on the genetic material that alter how genes work in aged blood stem cells and indicate the transcriptional silencing of ribosomal genes. It may be possible to manipulate these genetic marks for therapeutic or rejuvenation purposes. The research was led by was led by PhD student Johanna Flach and Professor Emmanuelle Passegué from the University of California. The collaborators from NUI Galway were Dr Pauline Conroy and Professor Ciaran Morrison, of the Centre for Chromosome Biology. Commenting on the work, NUI Galway’s Professor Morrison said: “Many changes happen in cells at the molecular level during ageing - key genes are affected and even the integrity of the genome itself may be altered. How these changes affect cell functions is complicated. We need to understand the mechanisms behind each biochemical activity to get an overall picture of how stem cells work and of how they age. This study indicates an important pathway toward ageing in haematopoietic stem cells - understanding this may ultimately let us mitigate the effects of ageing on the blood.” This work was funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the US National Institutes of Health, with the NUI Galway work being supported by Science Foundation Ireland.  The 60 scientists led by 11 Principal Investigators at the Centre for Chromosome Biology in NUI Galway are dedicated to understanding many different areas of chromosome biology, such as how cell proliferation is controlled, the structure and maintenance of the genome, precise control of genome duplication and how genes are expressed. Their work is critical to the ongoing scientific battle against cancer and other areas including human reproduction and fertility and genetic diseases such as Huntington’s Disease. -ends-

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June 2014

NUI Galway 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court Opens Delegate Registration

NUI Galway 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court Opens Delegate Registration-image

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at the School of Law, NUI Galway has opened registration for delegates for the 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court. The 2014 Summer School will be held on the 16-20 June in Galway. The summer school on the International Criminal Court (ICC) offered by the Irish Centre for Human Rights is widely recognised as the leading programme of its kind, attracting participants from around the world. Leading specialists will deliver comprehensive lectures over the course of five days which will provide delegates with a detailed working knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and operations. Lectures also speak to related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction, immunities and the role of the victims. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway says “Despite the recent veto of the proposal to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC, the Court is arguably the most important international institution to have been established since the creation of the United Nations. Its aim is combating impunity for atrocities, and it is at the forefront of a broader movement for achieving accountability and justice around the world.” The 2014 Summer School on the International Criminal Court will feature expert presentations from Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University and Chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights; Professor Don Ferencz, Middlesex University; Dr Shane Darcy, Dr Noelle Higgins and Professor Ray Murphy of NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights; John McManus, Department of Justice, Canada; Dr Mohamed El Zeidy and Dr Rod Rastan and Dr Fabricio Guariglia International Criminal Court; Professor Megan Fairlie, Florida International University College of Law, USA; Dr Nadia Bernaz, University of Middlesex; Dr Mohamed Elewa Badar, Reader in Comparative and International Criminal Law and Islamic Law at Northumbria University School of Law; and Dr Kwadwo Appiagyei Atua, University of Ghana. To register, visit or email for more information. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Geologists Discover Large Underground Rivers off Galway Bay and the Aran Islands

NUI Galway Geologists Discover Large Underground Rivers off Galway Bay and the Aran Islands-image

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Large network of underground rivers stretching up to 30 miles long and 70ft wide may be hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland Geologists from the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway have discovered large networks of underground rivers hidden under the seabed of Galway Bay, off the West coast of Ireland. The significant discovery was made by the researchers following conversations with residents from Inishmaan on the Aran Islands, who said their well of fresh water never ran out, when typically islands experience water shortages, and from fishermen who refer to freshwater risings along the south coast of Galway Bay. NUI Galway’s Earth and Ocean Sciences researchers concluded the water was likely to be flowing for several miles before emerging as 'freshwater rivers' out of the sea bed of Galway Bay. This water flow is caused by rain falling on the land, it runs through the limestone and then goes out under the sea. Research carried out by the NUI Galway Geologists identified that the 'freshwater rivers' are formed by water dissolving the limestone that underlies southern Galway and north Clare. This karstification process slowly created not only the distinctive topography of the Burren, but the conduits reaching out under Galway Bay and the Aran Islands, which could be up to 30 miles long. Wells intersecting these conduits produce more water than falls on the island as rain indicating that the water is sourced from the mainland. Dr Tiernan Henry, Lecturer in Environmental Geology, School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway said: “We were told about a well at a local hotel on Inishmaan that had an excellent supply of fresh water. The islands can have water problems, they are always short, but this well went deep into the rock and was getting more water than falls on the whole island.” The pure bedded limestones that form the islands are found throughout north Clare and south and east Galway. These rocks are particularly susceptible to dissolution by rainfall (and time) forming the distinctive drainage patterns of turloughs, swallow holes, sink holes and sinking rivers. Almost all of the freshwater in these areas flows in discrete zones within the rock discharging in springs found at the coast and in the bays and sea. The means by which these passages and conduits form is well known and well understood, but where they form, and the shapes they take are less easy to predict.  The research was funded by the Griffiths Award and supported by the University’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research. For more information visit the School of Natural Sciences at or Earth and Ocean Sciences at -ends-

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NUI Galway Hold International Conference on World War One

NUI Galway Hold International Conference on World War One-image

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

NUI Galway is pleased to announce an international history workshop entitled ‘Small Nations and Colonial Peripheries in World War I: Europe and the Wider World’ which will take place at the Hardiman Library in NUI Galway from 13-14 June. Organised by the discipline of History at NUI Galway, the conference will look at how the war impacted peoples, such as the Irish, who found themselves on the periphery of great powers and empires. Ranging from Ireland to Australia to Central Asia, the twelve speakers, including NUI Galway’s Dr John Cunningham, will consider how the war linked ordinary men and women from across the world to the conflict in Europe and across the globe. The keynote address will be delivered on Friday at 4.30pm by prominent American historian of World War One, Professor Michael A. Neiberg of the US Army College in Pennsylvania. Professor Neiberg will speak on ‘Small Nations inside a Big State: American Immigrant Communities react to War, 1914-17’. Professor Neiberg is the author of several widely-read books on ‘World War One, including Fighting the Great War: A Global History’ and ‘Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of WWI’. The conference is open to all, especially those interested in the World War I centenary. For further information on the conference visit -Ends-

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Applications Open for NUI Galway Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camp

Applications Open for NUI Galway Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camp -image

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Following the success of the Bio-EXPLORERS Easter Science Camp, the NUI Galway School of Natural Sciences is now taking bookings for three summer camp sessions. The Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camps will begin on Mondays, the 14, 21 and 28 of July, with each camp running for five days. Registrations are open to all aspiring young scientists aged 8 to 13 years old. The camps will run from 9.30am until 4.30pm from Monday to Friday. The cost for this exciting course packed with fun and exciting activities is €160 per child (€145 for additional siblings). Children will work as real scientists by performing and analysing experiments in a real research environment.  In the mornings, children will work with Dr Michel Dugon, the host of the RTE TV programme ‘Bug Hunters’. Activities will include discovering live local and exotic plants and animals, studying their habitats and understanding how they interact with their environment. In the afternoons, participants will understand how cells make our body work. With the dynamic team of Cell EXPLORERS, they will run their own experiments such as extracting DNA from cells, observing their own cells under small and large microscopes and building models. Bio-EXPLORERS is run and supported by NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences, and is composed of two science communication and public engagement programmes: Cell EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Muriel Grenon, and Eco-EXPLORERS, directed by Dr Michel Dugon. The programme’s primary goal is to inspire interest in science in the general public and to impact positively on science education. It proposes activities that are designed to engage children in a hands-on way and stimulate their interest in exploring science-related themes. Since its creation, the programme has engaged thousands of children in the West of Ireland and was actively involved in the Galway Science and Technology Festival. The ‘Fantastic DNA’ school visits and other Cell EXPLORERS activities are well known to primary school children in County Galway. The programme‘s volunteers have engaged more than 2000 pupils, teachers and parents since September 2013. The programme received the ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM’ Award from the Galway Science and Technology Festival this year. Since October 2013, Eco EXPLORERS has engaged over 6000 pupils across the West of Ireland on topics related to ecology, biodiversity and zoology. Bug hunting and live exotic creepy crawlies (including reptiles, spiders and giant beetles!) are at the core of the Eco EXPLORERS experience. Activities are led by Dr Michel Dugon, who is also the host of the RTE TV programme Bug Hunters. The 15-episode TV series has been selected to represent RTE at several prestigious media festivals (IFTA, Celtic Media Awards and Prix Jeunesse International). For further information on the Bio-EXPLORERS Summer Science Camp or to register, visit or email Places at the Camp will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis. -Ends-

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Minister Kathleen Lynch to Open International Disability Policy Entrepreneurship Conference at NUI Galway

Minister Kathleen Lynch to Open International Disability Policy Entrepreneurship Conference at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Minister Kathleen Lynch to open ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’ from 23-25 June 2014 Minister for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch TD will open a major international conference ‘Disability Policy Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century – Turning Ideas into Change that Transforms Lives’, on 23 June at NUI Galway. The conference will link future disability reform agendas with the research and policy work of the EU Marie Curie Initial Training PhD Network DREAM (Disability Rights Expanding Accessible Markets) coordinated by NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy. This event will bring together major agents of change in the disability policy field around the world and will focus in particular on how to translate the generalities of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into practicable reform strategies. Speakers will include international figureheads from research and policy including Baroness Vivien Stern CBE, and video addresses from Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, European Commission and Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The conference will build on the work of the European-wide DREAM PhD network, which for the past three years and which focused on how to give practical effect to the UN Convention in areas such as: fundamental rights, e.g. the right to community living; expanding economic and market opportunities for persons with disabilities; and sustaining change with appropriate and effective institutional mechanisms at regional and national level. This PhD network was among the first in the world with a focus on the UN disability convention and was funded by the European Union as a Marie Curie Initial Training Network. The 14 researchers have all had placements in policy-oriented institutions and have gained valuable experience in translating ideas into action. “We did not want to produce PhD books that remain on the shelf. We wanted to impart skills to people to become real agents of change and to perform useful roles in the future. It might be within governments, but it could also be in civil society or in commercial organisations,” says Professor Gerard Quinn, Principal Investigator on the project and Director of the Centre for Disability Law & Policy. “The phrase I use to sum it up is ‘policy entrepreneurship’ – developing people who can really bring about change that transforms the lives of our citizens with disabilities.” he concludes. The DREAM network includes NUI Galway, the University of Leeds, Maastricht University, the University of Iceland, NOVA Norwegian Social Research, Fundosa Technosite S.A. and Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF). More information is available at The event will interest all those concerned with the process of change including NGOs, DPOs, governments, international and regional organisations as well as business and services. It will also be of importance to academics, students and researchers interested in the UN convention as an engine of positive change for persons with disabilities. For more information visit or email   -Ends-

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