Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Dr Breandán Mac Suibhne, a Fellow with NUI Galway’s Moore Institute, has been shortlisted for the Royal Irish Academy’s inaugural Michel Déon Prize for non-fiction for his book The End of Outrage: Post-Famine Adjustment in Rural Ireland.   Six books have been shortlisted from over 240 titles nominated through the Royal Irish Academy’s website, and the judging panel made their choice from the eligible titles. In shortlisting the titles they were looking for originality, quality of writing and contribution to knowledge and/or public debate. The €10,000 prize for the winning author is sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The author will also have the opportunity to deliver ‘The Michel Déon Lecture’ in France in early 2019.  Focused on a small community in the west of Ireland, The End of Outrage: Post-Famine Adjustment in Rural Irelandtells the story of schoolmaster who turns informer on a secret society – ostensibly in order to protect a farmer, James Gallagher, who had acquired land from his neighbours in the immediate aftermath of the Famine. It is at once a history and a memoir as the author’s forebears were among those who had lost land to Gallagher, and Dr Mac Suibhne probes how his own people came to terms with their loss. The End of Outrage was The Irish Times Irish Non-fiction Book of the Year in 2017, and in 2018 the American Conference for Irish Studies awarded it the Donnelly Prize for Books in History and Social Science. Congratulating Dr Mac Suibhne on the nomination, Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The recognition conferred by this nomination is well-deserved. The End of Outrage is a remarkable achievement – a brilliantly written and researched book that gives a hugely compelling account. As a work of style and storytelling it is worthy of Michel Déon. The connection with NUI Galway is also apt since Michel Déon was a great supporter of the library and donated thousands of French books to the collection over many years.” To reflect the work and interests of the French writer Michel Déon, who made Ireland his home from the 1970s until his death in 2016, the eligible categories for the prize were: autobiography, biography, cultural studies, history, literary studies, philosophy, travel. Authors of any nationality currently living on the island of Ireland who had published a non-fiction book in the period July 2016 to July 2018 were eligible.  The winner will be announced at an event in early December 2018. For full details of the prize visit www.ria.ie/michel-deon-prize. -Ends-

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

NUI Galway’s School of Law will host a one-day conference on Medical Negligence Litigation at the University on Saturday, 20 October. The conference, aimed at medical and legal practitioners, will address key issues in medical negligence including how to defend medical negligence claims; how to ensure that you have received informed consent; recent statutory developments on candour and open disclosure; and key issues in providing expert evidence. Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, former President of the Irish High Court will deliver the keynote address. He will be joined by an expert panel of speakers including: Margaret Muldowney, solicitor; Ursula Connolly, Lecturer at the School of Law, NUI Galway; Damien Tansey, solicitor. and Stephen Kearns, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Bon Secours Hospital, Galway, who is also a co-organiser of the conference. Law lecturer and co-organiser of the event, Ursula Connolly, said that the conference is timely given the recent scandals to hit the health system: “Recent events have highlighted the importance of patient safety and open disclosure and we are delighted to have been able to bring together an expert panel to discuss these issues. The conference organisers are particularly honoured to have the keynote address delivered by Mr Justice Kearns, one of the leading judges in the area of medical negligence.”   After a panel discussion, conference delegates will have the opportunity to engage with the experts through a Q&A session.    The conference will take place in Room HBB GO19, Human Biology Building, NUI Galway from 9am to 4.30pm. Five Continuous Professional Development hours will also be granted for attendance at this conference. Advance booking is required and delegates can register at www.conference.ie.    -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Scholarship to Advance Female Leadership in Business Organisations Following the success of the inaugural 30% Club Scholarship in 2017 for the Executive MBA (Masters in Business Administration) programme at NUI Galway, the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway are delighted to announce that the Scholarship, worth in excess of €13,000, has been awarded to Siobhain Quaid of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inverin and Emma Corcoran of Creganna Medical, Galway City. The 30% Club Ireland was officially launched in January 2015, with a goal to achieve better gender balance at all levels of business in Ireland. The 30% Club believes that gender balance on boards and executive leadership not only encourages better leadership and governance, but further contributes to better all-round board performance, and ultimately increased corporate performance for both companies and their shareholders.  Application numbers for the 30% Club Scholarship exceeded expectation with a very high calibre of strong female applicants. The judging panel noted that while most had enormous career potential and would have been worthy recipients, ultimately the award had to be split between two candidates. Reacting to the announcement Emma Corcoran commented: “I am beyond honoured to have been chosen to receive the 30% Club Scholarship for the Executive MBA at NUI Galway. In an evolving world where inclusion and diversity are the key to successful businesses the 30% Club is a fantastic initiative to promote balance at a leadership level in organisations. I am very excited to begin my MBA journey in NUI Galway. I chose the Executive MBA at NUI Galway due to their holistic business learning coupled with a focus on team dynamics and networking which enable peer and academic learning. To date I have enjoyed a challenging and rewarding career in the Medical Device Manufacturing Industry as an Engineer and an Operation Manger. I feel the executive MBA will be the spring board of my career in pursuing a leadership role along with enabling further networking between Creganna/TE Medical and NUI Galway. I am very grateful to NUI Galway and the 30% Club for providing me with this exciting opportunity to undertake the Executive MBA.”  Siobhain Quaid added: “I am hugely thankful of the 30% Club and NUI Galway for selection as recipient of the scholarship. The partnership in this initiative is testament to recognising and understanding the growing importance of diversity and inclusion in the development of successful leadership for organisations. I have thus far enjoyed a fulfilling and challenging leadership journey within the Pharmaceutical Industry and value the opportunity to study the Executive MBA at NUI Galway to continue to learn and grow as an influential leader and role model for many others. The Executive MBA at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway joined the 30% Club in promoting gender balance in business by awarding a scholarship toward half of the cost of an Executive MBA.  The NUI Galway Executive MBA has attained AMBA accreditation which is the global mark of excellence for MBA education. An MBA is one of the world’s most recognised and respected business and management qualifications. Critical to this is choosing an MBA programme with a proven track record that meets the highest international standards for MBA education. Professor Breda Sweeney, who was on the judging panel at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway, said: “The 30% Club scholarship has been a great addition to the Executive MBA programme at NUI Galway and continues to attract high calibre applicants. The Executive MBA can transform careers of graduates across diverse functional areas. Cutting-edge business concepts are discussed in the class room among peers and expert faculty and applied to real life scenarios to resolve business challenges. We at NUI Galway look forward to collaborating with the 30% Club in the future and welcome Emma and Siobhain to its new cycle of Executive MBA students.” For more information about the Executive MBA programme at NUI Galway please visit www.nuigalway.ie/mba. -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The University will also confer Honorary Degrees on Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford Almost 2,700 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which takes place from 15-19 October. This year there will be two sessions a day, at 10.30am and 3.30pm. A range of degrees from Undergraduate Certificates, Diplomas, Honours Bachelors, Higher Diplomas, Postgraduate Certificate and Diplomas, and Masters will be awarded to students graduating over the five days from the College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduates and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.” The University will also confer four Honorary Degrees throughout the week on: Catherine Corless, local historian, campaigner on behalf of survivors and deceased of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Sharon Shannon, internationally-recognised traditional Irish musician Helen Rochford Brennan, activist for rights of people with dementia Brendan Dunford, biodiversity campaigner and founder of BurrenBeo Trust. In recognising the recipients of honorary degrees, President Ó hÓgartaigh said: “In honouring these exceptional individuals, we signal what we value in a range of areas that matter to us and to our society – advocacy and human rights, local history, disability rights, music and environmental sustainability. NUI Galway is very pleased to recognise these exceptional individuals.  On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted to honour them and their achievements in this way.” The annual Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development ceremonies took place on Saturday, 13 October, where awards were conferred on over 1,000 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country. For further information on conferring ceremonies and live streaming options visit: www.nuigalway.ie/conferring -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Researchers at NUI Galway are undertaking a study that seeks to better understand what influences people’s decisions to take part in clinical trials in Ireland. Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. NUI Galway is inviting members of the public to participate in focus groups to gain an understanding of people’s opinions and perceptions around clinical trials that will be used to inform an online questionnaire. The study does not require people to take part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are a core component of medical advances and are an important step in discovering new treatments for breast cancer and many other more diseases, as well as new ways to detect, diagnose, and reduce the risk of disease. One of the biggest challenges today is that very few of the Irish population with common diseases are currently enrolled in clinical trials. Lead researcher of the study, Dr Michelle Queally from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, said: “We are currently seeking members of the public to take part in some conversations around clinical trials as part of a focus group. The focus groups will take one hour and we will discuss topics around what would, or what has influenced a person’s decision to take part in a trial. We want to hear from individuals who have experience in participating in a clinical trial or are about to embark on a clinical trial, and also those who have never participated in a clinical trial before.” This study is funded by CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Medical Devices at NUI Galway. Ethics approval has been granted for this study. The focus groups will be held at a location in Galway city and at a time that is convenient for everyone who attends. Refreshments will be provided. For more information and interest in participating in the focus groups contact, Dr Michelle Queally, NUI Galway at michelle.queally@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 492934. -Ends-

Monday, 15 October 2018

Event will also feature an open session for members of the public NUI Galway will hold the Alliance for Research and Innovation in Wounds (ARIW) Autumn 2018 Seminar Series on Friday, 19 October. The series, entitled ‘The Burden of, and Opportunities in Chronic Wound Care in 2018’, will take place in Áras Moyola, beginning at 9am. Wounds, whether they are as a result of a surgical procedure or due to an underlying condition such as diabetes or vascular disease affect up to 4% of the population. The majority of wounds will heal without incident but for approximately 30%, these wounds can last for weeks and in some cases years. Research studies have shown that having a wound, and in particular a chronic wound such as a leg ulcer, has a huge impact on the lives of those affected. They can cause depression, pain, isolation, and loss of time from work, and often a fear that they will reoccur. By working with affected members of the public, the ARIW aims to find solutions for these issues. Key speakers in the seminar include: Professor Julian Guest, visiting professor of health economics at King's College London and principal of Catalyst Consultants, who will discuss ‘The economic impact of chronic wounds’ Dr Jan Stryja, Salvatella Ltd, Czech Republic, and European Wound Management Association (EWMA) Council member, will deliver a talk on ‘Surgical site infections - report from European Wound Management Association’ Suzanne Moloney, CEO and Founder of HidraMed Solutions Ltd. will talk about ‘The burden of everyday wound care in hindradenitis suppurativa - the patient perspective’ Dr Ger O'Connor, Head of School of Physics at NUI Galway and CÚRAM funded investigator, will discuss ‘Star gazing - what opportunities lie ahead in wound care devices’ Professor Abhay Pandit, Medical Director of CÚRAM, will deliver the closing address The symposium will be followed by an open, round table discussion for people with a chronic wound from 2 -3:30pm, also in Aras Moyola. The open session aims to hear and take record of concerns that are of importance to the person with a wound and in so doing, help shape the type of research that should be conducted. Dr Georgina Gethin, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, said: “To date, research into finding interventions to help healing has been decided by scientists, clinicians, industry and academics, each with their own particular area of interest. But, the real experts in this area are the people and their families who live with wounds. The time has come for us to address this gap and to listen to, and work with, the public to understand what is really important to them and to know what problems they are having that we need to find solutions for. Ultimately we may be spending millions of Euro developing devices and dressings that do not address the really important issues for the patient.” The Alliance for Research and Innovation in Wounds was borne out of the need to bring together the expertise in research, education and clinical practice that exists in NUI Galway, Saolta and among private healthcare partners into one unit that will strive to further develop and expand wound care in Ireland and internationally. Attendance is free but delegates must register for the symposium at https://bit.ly/2NvRS7e, and for the open session at https://bit.ly/2Pz56ln. For more information on the open session please call 089 4899789. -Ends-

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Address will include panel discussion with former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights The Irish Centre for Human Rights and the School of Law will host a panel discussion with Dr Mary Robinson on the ‘The Necessity of Advocacy’ at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 24 October. Dr Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002) and the first female President of Ireland (1990-1997), has dedicated much of her life to human rights advocacy, deploying her skills as a lawyer, diplomat and political leader, to promote and defend the universality of human rights. Opening remarks will be provided by Professor Siobhán Mullally and the event will be chaired by Judge Tony O’Connor of the High Court.  Guest panellists include:  Dr Gearóid O’Cuinn and Gerry Liston of the Global Legal Action Network; Dr Maeve O’Rourke, Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Justice for Magdalenes; Professor Donncha O’Connell, NUI Galway and the Law Reform Commission; and Professor Niamh Reilly, NUI Galway. Professor Siobhán Mullally, Established Professor of Human Rights Law, and Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway highlights the importance of human rights advocacy: “2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement. Today we see human rights, and the institutions that grew from these human rights movements, under threat in many parts of the world. At a critical and often troubling time for human rights globally and in Europe, it essential that, as lawyers, we continue to advocate for human rights, and to reflect on the urgency and necessity of advocacy. This event, and the launch of new programmes in Law (BCL) and Human Rights and LLM in International Migration and Refugee Law, will ensure that at NUI Galway, we continue to play our part in training the next generation of human rights lawyers and advocates.” NUI Galway is widely recognised one of the world’s centre of excellence for human rights law and policy. The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier academic human rights institutions. Since its establishment, the Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy.  The School of Law will take the opportunity to launch two new courses on human rights at the event – an undergraduate degree ‘Law (BCL) & Human Rights’ and a postgraduate masters ‘LLM International Migration and Refugee Law’. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway said: “Next year marks the 170th year of teaching law at NUI Galway.  We are delighted that in our 170th year we will have our first intake of Law (BCL) and Human Rights students.  This is a unique undergraduate programme combining a full law degree with the study of human rights law.  We have made significant changes to our undergraduate programmes meaning that all students will undertake a yearlong professional work placement or study abroad in year three of their degree.  We are delighted to launch our Law (BCL) and Human Rights and LLM International Migration and Refugee Law at this event.  The School of Law and Irish Centre for Human Rights will continue to innovate in human rights scholarship and education and will support our students to realise their career ambitions and goals.” The panel discussion with Dr Mary Robinson entitled the ‘The Necessity of Advocacy’ will take place in the large lecture theatre of the Human Biology Building, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 24 October from 6pm to 8.30pm.  This event is free and open to the public but advance registration is essential at:  www.conference.ie    ENDS

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

In September 2018, NUI Galway admitted its first cohort of students undertaking a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in Music. This is an exciting development for music making and music education in the west of Ireland, and builds on the University’s established reputation for excellence in creative arts subjects. A feature of the four-year BA degree is that all students will have the opportunity in their third year to undertake a music-related placement. Students will also be able to work with top musical professionals throughout their degree, notably the current Galway Musicians in Residence, the ConTempo String Quartet, who performed at the official launch this week at the University. Speaking at the launch, Dr Aidan Thomson, newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Music at NUI Galway, said: “The new degree is ideal for students wanting a career in music. It combines rigorous musical training with the chance to work with top musical professionals from a variety of fields. I am confident that it will attract academically excellent students, for it has already done so: this year, the Leaving Certificate points for entry to the course were the highest for any Music degree in Ireland.” The core of the degree is a thorough grounding in musicianship - theory, harmony, keyboard harmony and critical listening - and training in the repertory and culture of western classical and Irish traditional music. Students will also take core modules in performance, composition and sound technology over the course of their first two years. The degree is thus aligned with the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council, meaning that graduates would be equipped to take postgraduate teaching qualifications in Music at primary and secondary level. Students will be able to learn from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts. The university is developing strategic partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway, and is building on existing expertise in Music in different disciplines within the institution. The degree complements many other disciplines within the College of Arts: English, Irish Studies, modern languages, and, most significantly, Drama and Film Studies. Students will have the chance to take modules that look at the relationship between music and theatre, and music and words, both academically and practically. In their final year, they will also take a module in writing about music and performance criticism, which is a feature of all creative arts subjects at NUI Galway. For more information on the new BA in Music visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/artsmusic or watch a video about the programme at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_P4RTwVNVQ.  -Ends-

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

NUI Galway student Jemima Burke was awarded joint-second place at the recent Bursary Awards of the Press Council of Ireland. The bursary awards are run annually and open to all students of media, journalism and communications in universities and colleges. Jemima, from Castlebar, Co. Mayo recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and will graduate from NUI Galway at the conferring ceremonies next week. Jemima receives her award of €500 for a series of features articles which were published in the Connacht Telegraph. The subjects of her articles were quite disparate, from a Belarusian woman now living in a small village in Mayo, to a young farmer’s hopes for the future, to a retired national school teacher who now offers Irish language classes to adults, to the role that tennis played in making a Dublin woman feel at home in Castlebar. All features stories told in a light and engaging manner with imagination and energy. Speaking at the event Seán Donlon, Chairman of the Press Council, said that in spite of the difficulties facing journalism today it was heartening to see so many good students undertaking journalism courses. He said that the standard of work submitted for the Bursary Awards was impressive and that he looked forward to seeing the winners’ by-lines in years to come. -Ends-

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Annual Research and Innovation Symposium, which took place on campus recently, featured the President’s Awards for Research Excellence. The aim of the President’s Awards for Research Excellence is to reward and celebrate the outstanding contributions of academic and research staff to excellent, relevant, and innovative research that enhances NUI Galway’s reputation at an international level. In the Early Stage Researcher Category, the winners were Dr Aideen Ryan from the School of Medicine for her research in the field of colon cancer immunology and inflammation; Dr Ted Vaughan from the College of Engineering and Informatics whose research focuses on the development of modelling techniques to address problems in areas such as composite materials, bone biomechanics and bone mechanobiology; and Dr Gerry Molloy from the School of Psychology for leading research on describing, understanding and seeking to change medication taking behaviour. In the Established Researcher Category, the winners were Dr Alison Forrestal from the Department of History for her research on the impact of the Catholic Reformation on early modern society, including clerical culture, missions and charitable welfare; and Professor Colin O'Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies for his outstanding and distinguished contribution to atmospheric and climate science nationally and internationally, and is a world-leader in the atmospheric aerosol and climate field. Research Supervisor Awards went to Dr Caroline Heary from the School of Psychology for her research in the social context of health and illness during childhood and adolescence and a Co-Director on the PhD in Child and Youth Research; and Professor Michel Destrade from the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics for his research in applying the principles of Continuum Mechanics to the modelling of soft matter, including biological tissues and gels. Announcing the awards, which are now in their fifth year, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “I congratulate you on this tremendous recognition of your commitment to driving innovation and research excellence. On behalf of the University community, I want to commend you for this commitment, and for the impact your research is having upon society and the economy.” At the event, the Ryan Award for Innovation in the area of marine, environment and energy was also announced. Now in its fifth year, the award went to PhD researcher, Conall Holohan from the School of Natural Sciences for his research project ‘Fat Anaerobic Digestion to Energy (FADE) Biotechnology’. Conall Holohan’s project aims to bring a new technology to market to treat fat contained in wastewater, and simultaneously produce renewable energy (biogas). Through utilising the latest breakthroughs in engineering and microbiology the project will work to make the food and beverage industry more sustainable. The €25,000 Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of environment, marine and energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust through Galway University Foundation and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. At the event, Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, spoke about the focus of the University’s research: “NUI Galway is committed to engaging in research with impact to address societal challenges. Our research contributes to new breakthroughs, findings, insights and ways of understanding the world. Through collaborations with other universities, companies, non-governmental organisations and citizens our talented research community is driving this impact and with it, our reputation globally.” The Research and Innovation Symposium also included keynote talks and panel sessions on ‘Open Research’ and ‘Innovation and Collaboration’ featuring Dr Lidia Borrell-Damian, Director of Research at the European University Association (EUA) and Dr Thomas Jørgensen, Senior Policy Coordinator at the EUA. -Ends-

Monday, 8 October 2018

NUI Galway will host the 4th Annual Trial Methodology Symposium 2018 at the Salthill Hotel on Thursday, 11 October from 9am-5pm. This flagship event brings together a host of individuals with an interest in trial methodology in Ireland. The Health Research Board-Trials Methodology Network (HRB-TMRN) based at NUI Galway, will welcome some of the world’s leading experts in trial methodology to the symposium with the theme for this year’s event entitled ‘Methodological Innovations in Randomised Trials’. Randomised trials, which can include clinical trials, healthcare interventions, clinical evaluations and behaviour change interventions, are studies conducted to evaluate the potential benefits and risks of healthcare interventions such as new medical treatments, and which provide the best evidence base for informing decisions on the effects of interventions. These are exciting and challenging times for clinical trials. The number and variety of treatments available is growing, increasing pressure on researchers to determine how these compare to current treatments. However, rising costs and regulations can make these trials expensive and complex. Now more than ever, high quality research is needed to ensure that the right trials are carried out, in the right way, and reported fairly and clearly. The HRB-TMRN promotes and encourages collaborative methodological research relevant to trials, to accelerate implementation of the most effective and appropriate methods to improve the quality of trials and ultimately, patient care. Those attending the symposium can expect a day filled with presentations from the world’s leading experts on innovative trial methodologies. Attendees will hear about a range of topics such as how novel methods are applied in clinical trials, the role of novel design in the trialist’s toolkit, innovative trial methodologies and robust evaluation of interventions, new opportunities for methodological innovation, and the future of evidence-based medicine in research, education, and clinical care. Guest speakers at the event include: Professor Gordon Guyatt, McMaster University; Professor Deborah Ashby, Imperial College London and founding co-director of Imperial Clinical Trials Unit; Professor Marion Campbell, Health Services Research Unit; Professor David Richards, University of Exeter; and Matt Sydes, University of London. Professor Declan Devane, Scientific Director of the HRB-TMRN at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that through the HRB-TMRNs growing reputation and increasing membership, it has attracted such an eminent panel of speakers to share their wisdom and expertise with us. We have no doubt that they will provoke and stimulate us to think more deeply about trial methodology and the part we can all play in ensuring that the science of how we do trials makes a meaningful contribution to how people experience healthcare.” Early booking is advised to secure a place. To register, visit: www.eventbrite.ie and search for ‘4th Trial Methodology Symposium’. For more information about the HRB-TMRN, visit: https://www.hrb-tmrn.ie/ or follow on Twitter @hrbtmrn. -Ends-

Monday, 8 October 2018

The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is conducting the H-FIT study, which aims to improve access to healthcare for people on the autism spectrum. The research team are currently recruiting people on the autism spectrum and their caregivers. Participants who take part in the study will be asked to complete anonymous questionnaires and/or interviews about their experiences in healthcare. This study is being carried out as people with autism are more likely to experience mental and physical health problems than the general population, and they also tend to use the accident and emergency department and general healthcare more often. However, this is not a result of being on the autism spectrum, but because people with autism experience more difficulties when accessing healthcare than others. Reasons for difficulties in accessing healthcare include a lack of knowledge and training about autism for healthcare providers, and the hospital environment itself (having bright lights, unfamiliar noises or smells). Chloe Walsh, a PhD researcher in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, who is leading the study, said: “Many of the challenges faced by people on the autism spectrum can be overcome relatively easily by making small changes in how healthcare is delivered. We need to identify the specific challenges that exist so that we can develop effective strategies to overcome them. It is hoped that this research will be used to develop a training program for healthcare professionals and students so that we can make healthcare visits more autism-friendly.” The H-FIT study is funded by the Irish Research Council. For more information or to participate in the H-FIT study, contact Chloe Walsh, School of Medicine, NUI Galway at chloe.walsh@nuigalway.ie or 091 493647. For more information, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/icapss/research/#heal. -Ends-

Monday, 8 October 2018

Tomás Ó Neachtain, the 2018 Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence at NUI Galway, will give a series of sean-nós singing workshops beginning at 7pm, Tuesday, 9 October, in the Seminar Room at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. Born and raised in Coilleach, An Spidéal, Tomás is part of a family which has a long and rich tradition of sean-nós singing. It is from his father, Tomás, that he heard and learned most of his singing, and indeed his father had learned from his father before him. His son Seosamh, a renowned sean-nós dancer and musician, was appointed as the first Sean-nós Dancer in Residence at the Centre for Irish Studies in 2009. The workshops are free and open to all. Further information available from Samantha Williams at 091-492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. -Ends- Ceardlann Amhránaíochta ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh  Cuirfear tús le sraith de cheardlanna amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós san Ionad an Léinn Éíreannaigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh, ag 7pm, Dé Máirt, 9 Deireadh Fómhair. Rugadh agus tógadh Tomás i gCoilleach, sa Spidéal. Chaith sé seal i Sasana mar fhear óg, ach is sa Choilleach a thóg sé féin is a bhean chéile Nancy a gclann. Bhí an teach inar tógadh Tomás lán d’amhránaíocht agus thug sé leis go leor amhrán óna athair, Tomás, a shealbhaigh an traidisiún áirithe sin óna athair féin. Dar ndóigh, ceapadh a mhac Seosamh mar Rinceoir Cónaitheach Sean-nóis in OÉ Gaillimh sa bhliain 2009, an chéad duine riamh ar bronnadh an gradam sin air. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091-492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

  NUI Galway OPEN DAY Programme   NUI Galway has announced the full programme of events for its next CAO Open Day on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October, 2018. Open Days are an excellent opportunity for prospective students, parents and families to explore NUI Galway’s courses, facilities and university life. Visitors will learn first-hand from lecturers and students about the learning experience at NUI Galway and career prospects for each of the degree programmes.   Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager stresses the importance of making your course choices. “An open day is one of the most important days in planning for making a CAO application as visitors can discuss their concerns with experts and thoroughly explore and compare different study options all in one place. Feedback from previous open days tells us that students and parents leave the event better informed and with better clarity on the course and career choice that is right for them.”   There is a packed programme of events, sample lectures and Masterclasses lined up for the day, including:   Over 80 stands providing information on courses, CAO points, employability, career progression routes, accommodation and fees. Over 100 subject talks designed to give students a real insight into studying at NUI Galway. Interactive sessions in Engineering, Information Technology and robotics. Tours of the campus, including the state-of the-art sports complex and student accommodation, and tours and talks as Gaeilge.   Parents are also advised to leave time in the schedule to attend the Parents Talk, a chance to experience the full range of Support Services on offer at the University, so that they can be reassured that their sons and daughters will be fully supported and reach their full potential during their time at NUI Galway.   Talk highlights for students include Sports and Sports Scholarships at NUI Galway, Career Opportunities and Inspiring Women in Engineering. For parents, a range of special talks focusing on topics such as SUSI Grants, Scholarship Applications and Student Life are scheduled.   To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays ENDS     Clár LAETHANTA OSCAILTE OÉ Gaillimh D’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh an clár iomlán imeachtaí do na Laethanta Oscailte CAO a bheidh ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 5 Márta agus Dé Sathairn, an 6 Deireadh Fómhair 2018.Is deis iontach atá sna Laethanta Oscailte do dhaoine ar spéis leo freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh amach anseo, dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlaigh eolas a chur ar chúrsaí, ar áiseanna agus ar shaol na hollscoile. Gheobhaidh cuairteoirí eolas ó léachtóirí agus ó mhic léinn faoin taithí foghlama in OÉ Gaillimh, agus faoi na deiseanna gairme a bhaineann le gach clár céime. Leagann Sarah Geraghty, an Bainisteoir Earcaíochta Mac Léinn agus For-rochtana béim ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le do chúrsa a roghnú. “Tá an lá oscailte ar cheann de na laethanta is tábhachtaí agus iarratas CAO idir lámha mar gur féidir le cuairteoirí aon ábhar imní atá acu a phlé le saineolaithe agus roghanna staidéir éagsúla a chur i gcomparáid lena chéile in aon áit amháin. Léiríonn an t-aiseolas atá faighte againn ó laethanta oscailte a bhí againn cheana go bhfágann daltaí agus a dtuismitheoirí an ócáid agus níos mó eolais agus soiléireachta acu maidir leis an rogha cúrsa agus gairme is fearr a fheileann dóibh.” Tá clár lán le himeachtaí, léachtaí samplacha agus máistir-ranganna eagraithe don lá, lena n-áirítear: Os cionn 80 seastán a chuirfidh eolas ar fáil faoi chúrsaí, pointí CAO, deiseanna fostaíochta agus deiseanna le dul chun cinn gairme a dhéanamh, lóistín agus táillí. Os cionn 100 seisiún eolais chun léargas ceart a thabhairt do mhic léinn ar an staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Seisiúin idirghníomhacha san Innealtóireacht, Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise agus róbataic. Turais den champas, lena n-áirítear an t-ionad spóirt den scoth agus loistín na mac léinn, mar aon le turais agus cainteanna trí mheán na Gaeilge. Moltar do thuismitheoirí chomh maith am a fhágáil ar leataobh sa sceideal chun freastal ar Chaint na dTuismitheoirí, áit a bhfaighidh siad eolas ar an réimse iomlán Seirbhísí Tacaíochta atá ar fáil san Ollscoil, ionas go mbeidh siad cinnte go dtabharfar tacaíocht iomlán dá gclann agus go mbainfidh siad barr a gcumais amach le linn a gcuid ama in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na gcainteanna do mhic léinn beidh cainteanna ar Spóirt agus ar Scoláireachtaí Spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh, Deiseanna Gairme agus Mná Spreagúla san Innealtóireacht. Do thuismitheoirí, beidh raon cainteanna speisialta ag díriú ar ábhair cosúil le Deontais SUSI, Iarratais ar Scoláireachtaí agus Saol na Mac Léinn. Chun an tairbhe is fearr a bhaint as an lá moltar do chuairteoirí breathnú ar amchlár na gcainteanna ar www.nuigalway.ie/opendays.    

Thursday, 4 October 2018

National Launch of Newly Revised MindOut Programmes for Schools   The MindOut programme, developed by NUI Galway and the HSE is proven to strengthen young people’s coping skills and improve overall mental health and wellbeing   The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., and Minister of State for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., have launched the revised MindOut programme for schools and the youth sector. Training in the programme will be provided by the HSE and the National Youth Health Programme.   The programme, developed by the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway and the HSE’s Health Promotion and Improvement Department, has been proven to strengthen young people’s social and emotional coping skills and improve their overall mental health and wellbeing.   The MindOut programme has been developed to support the social and emotional wellbeing of young people aged 15-18 years in Irish post-primary schools and youth sector settings. It aims to give teenagers time and space to identify what impacts on their mental health and to develop the skills needed to deal with these issues in their lives.   Launching the programme in Dublin, Minister Richard Bruton, said: “I am keen during my time as Minister to make sure that we are doing all we can to support students, teachers and schools in the area of Wellbeing. It is so important that our young people are equipped with the necessary resilience and coping skills to successfully manage whatever challenges they encounter in their lives. The MindOut programme supports students at a critical time, late teens, which can often be a stressful time for young people. The revised programme has been trialled in DEIS schools with very positive results so I’m delighted today to announce that it will now be rolled out to post primary schools all across the country.”   Minister with responsibility for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne T.D., said:“The MindOut programme is an excellent resource offering support for students and young people in improving their social and emotional wellbeing. It has been developed in consultation with young people, teachers and youth workers, and the results to date are very encouraging. They show that the programme has a very positive impact in our schools and in the youth sector, helping young people to cope in difficult situations, improving their mental health, and enabling them to reach their potential, to think well and be well.” The schools-based programme involves 12 classroom-based sessions, whilst the youth sector version is designed in modular format to be responsive to the needs of the particular group. The revised programme was piloted in DEIS schools and Youthreach centres before being finalised in 2017. A total of 18 training days will be provided to teachers and six training days will be provided to youth workers across the country this autumn.   Referring to the results, Professor Margaret Barry from the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The study findings show that the MindOut programme has very positive benefits for adolescents, leading to improved social and emotional skills such as coping and emotional regulation, and reduced levels of stress and depression, including for the most vulnerable young people. These findings support the delivery of the MindOut social and emotional learning programme in the senior cycle curriculum and the important impact it has on enhancing students’ resilience, mental health and emotional wellbeing, which play a key role in supporting positive outcomes in school and life more generally.”   Dr Cate Hartigan, Assistant National Director, HSE Health and Wellbeing said that the programme revisions were informed by the extensive research with the participating schools. Dr Hartigan also acknowledged the contribution of all involved in the development of the MindOut programme including young people, teachers, youth workers, the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, NEPS, HP&I, CAMHS, Jigsaw, NYCI, youth workers and Youthreach tutors.   The MindOut programme was originally developed in 2004, and was revised in August 2017 based on the feedback received from teachers, youth workers and young people following an evaluation of the original programme. This extensive evaluation, supported by additional PhD funding from the Irish Research Council, has been conducted by Professor Margaret Barry and PhD student, Katherine Dowling from the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway.   Teachers can register for MindOut Training on, www.sphe.ie and Youthworkers can register for MindOut Training on, www.nyci.ie.   To read the full MindOut programme Executive Summary Report, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/media/healthpromotionresearchcentre/files/MindOut-Executive-Summary-Report-2018.pdf   -Ends-

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Winners of the Inaugural NUI Galway Explore Innovation Awards 2018 Announced   Creating life-like skin, helping disabled drivers and introducing philosophy to children among winning concepts   Thursday, 4 October, 2018: The winners of a new competition to uncover innovative ideas with significant potential to become a business or social enterprise have been announced by NUI Galway.   The inaugural ‘Explore Innovation Awards’ uncovered some of the most promising and innovative activity on campus. Winning ideas included: creating life-like skin for use by surgical trainees; helping disabled drivers locate parking spots; and introducing philosophy to primary school children.   NUI Galway staff and students attended a special prize-giving ceremony hosted by the University’s Innovation Office where the winners across the two separate categories for staff and students were announced.   In the student awards category: First prize was awarded to Bronwyn Reid McDermott a Masters student in the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway for her novel innovation “Sutureself’ a simulated skin for advanced surgical trainees. Second prize went to Eoghan Dunne, Eviasmar Almeida and Guilherme Vaz de Melo Trindade, PhD students in the Translational Medical Device Labs in NUI Galway for their project ‘I can see you now’ which seeks to use imaging technology to develop a medical device to improve patient diagnosis for prostate cancer. Third prize was awarded to Aidan Breen, a PhD student in the College of Engineering and Informatics whose social innovation ‘Blue Spots Parking’ aims to help disabled drivers locate accessible parking spots in Ireland. This social innovation project will launch later in 2018.   In the staff awards category: First prize was awarded to Dr Orla Richardson from the Philosophy Discipline at NUI Galway for ‘P4C’. The project works with schools, community groups and organisations that want to think more deeply and effectively, together. Second prize was awarded to researchers Dr Peadar Rooney of CÚRAM, a researcher with CÚRAM, Dr Diana Gaspar of REMODEL, and Joshua Chao of REMEDI. Their project ‘Three Blind Mice’ aims to create Podcasts to promote science communication to non-scientific audiences. Third prize went to Dr Ed Osagie from Insight whose project ‘CDN’ aims to utilise crowd discounts utilising network effect models. Speaking at the event David Murphy, Director of Innovation at NUI Galway said: “The depth and breadth of proposals in these our inaugural Explore Innovation awards shows the diversity and creativity that we have across our campus. These awards give both students and staff the opportunity to flourish and develop their innovative ideas in a supportive, enabling and results driven environment. Over 30 applications to the competition were received and we are delighted to invest close to €10,000 in supporting these early stage ideas. The team will support the students and staff involved through the next stage of their projects.”   NUI Galway has been actively fostering new ideas and supporting over 100 collaborative staff and student projects since 2012 through its EXPLORE programme. EXPLORE is part of a wider innovation ecosystem at NUI Galway, explains David Murphy: “Many of the outputs of NUI Galway’s extensive research portfolio are licensed to industry or leads to a new spin-out company. Our Business Innovation Centre and the wider campus is currently home to over 40 companies, where we provide business supports and excellent facilities including labs and co-working spaces to start-ups. This all feeds into and connects with the wider region, supporting innovation and enterprises here in the west of Ireland.”   For more information about Explore, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/explore/   -Ends-

Thursday, 4 October 2018

NUI Galway Symposium to Critically Examine the Grey Areas of Sexual Consent   Negotiating sexual consent Today: What Role Can Performance Play in Changing the Script?   NUI Galway will host a one-day symposium that will bring together leading theatre practitioners and scholars to reflect on performance’s role in critically examining the boundaries and grey areas of sexual consent. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway on Friday, 12 October from 10am-6pm.   Featuring live performance, film screenings and panel discussions, participants include; Marc D. Rich and company members from the internationally acclaimed US-based social justice interACT Performance Troupe, cast members from Landmark Productions’ adaptation of author Louise O’Neill’s, Asking For It (adapted by playwright Meadhbh McHugh), and Lisa Fitzpatrick, author of Rape on the Contemporary Stage.   This symposium puts the participants work in conversation with ongoing NUI Galway-based Sexual Consent research led by Dr Charlotte McIvor from Drama and Theatre Studies and Dr Padraig MacNeela and Dr Siobhan O’Higgins from the School of Psychology, on the role of theatre, film and media in sexual attitude and behavioural change amongst third-level students. This follows on from the researchers’ autumn 2018 launch of their education and awareness campaign, Consent=OMFG (Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given) designed in collaboration with Drama Theatre and Performance and Psychology students at NUI Galway during the 2017-2018 academic year.   The symposium will also premiere the second of four short interactive consent films Dr Charlotte McIvor has developed with her Drama and Theatre Studies students as part of the Consent=OMFG multimedia public health campaign for third level students. The new film, ‘Kieran and Jake,’ one of a short series of four, was collaboratively written and researched by the students led by Dr McIvor. The interactive film gives the viewer control over characters’ decisions at key points, leading to three possible endings to each film. The four films (co-directed by McIvor and Mick Ruane) portray sexual encounters from heterosexual and LGBTQ perspectives, as well as long-term and casual sexual relationships.    Dr Charlotte McIvor says: “These short interactive films on consent invite viewers to experiment actively with the idea that one sexual encounter can have many possible outcomes when it comes to the negotiation of consent between partners. Through these interactive short films and the Consent=OMFG campaign, we aim to empower third-level students with the knowledge and confidence to make informed and ethical choices everyday regarding consent in their sexual lives across all relationships, all genders, and all sexual orientations.”   The Consent=OMFG awareness campaign sends out the message that consent should always be ongoing, mutual, and freely given. The campaign amplifies the messages at the heart of Dr MacNeela and Dr Higgin’s ‘SMART Consent’ workshops in order to spread them throughout the campus community. SMART Consent workshops were created through research led by MacNeela on sexual consent and sexual experiences of third-level students in Ireland, in partnership with organisations including Rape Crisis Network Ireland.   SMART Consent workshops have been provided at NUI Galway, UL, QUB, DCU, NCAD and GMIT, with over 2,000 students taking part to date resulting from research data from over 3,000 students nationwide being utilised to design the activities used within the SMART Consent workshops. To launch the campaign, the NUI Galway researchers launched a new report, ‘Are Consent Workshops Sustainable and Feasible in Third Level Institutions?’ last August.   During 2017-18, the researchers trained over 100 facilitators to lead SMART Consent workshops at NUI Galway, Queens University Belfast, the National College of Art and Design, Dublin City University, the University of Limerick, and Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. The report compares Pre-Workshop and Post-Workshop attitudes of 761 of the students who took part in a workshop with those trained facilitators during 2017-18:   This symposium is supported by the School of Drama and Theatre Studies, School of Psychology and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Research Support Scheme The first film, ‘Tom and Julie’ can be viewed at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg/ and the second film ‘Kieran and Jake’ will be available on the same link on the day of the symposium.   To register for the symposium, visit: www.eventbrite.ie and search for ‘Negotiating Sexual Consent’.   For more information about Consent=OMFG (Ongoing, Mutual, Freely Given)campaign, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/consent=omfg/.   To read more about Smart Consent, visit: www.nuigalway.ie/smartconsent/.    For more about interACT Performance Troupe, visit: http://www.cla.csulb.edu/departments/communicationstudies/interact/our-team/.   -Ends-

Thursday, 4 October 2018

NUI Galway Scientist’s TEDx Talk Will Broadcast to a Global Audience of 30 Million on TED.com Dr Michel Dugon from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway has had his TEDxGalway 2017 talk, ‘Spider Dust and Scorpion Juice: Are Bugs the Future of Therapeutic Drugs?’ selected by TED.com and it will feature on their website on Friday, 5 October, 2018. The talk will be distributed to over 30 million registered TED.com users around the world, a significant opportunity for an Irish academic to showcase their work to a global audience. Dr Michel Dugon, a lecturer in Zoology and founder and lead researcher of the Venom Systems and Proteomics Laboratory in NUI Galway, investigates the toxicity and the medical properties of spider venom with the hope of developing next generation antibiotics. His work focuses on the evolution of venom systems and on the potential of arthropod venom as a source of novel therapeutic agents. In his TED talk, Dr Dugon outlines the potential of spider venom as a source of novel chemicals and therapeutic compounds. Only about 0.01% of spider venom compounds have been characterized so far and millions remain to be discovered. Some of these complex compounds may be harvested in the future to address global concerns such as antimicrobial resistance. Dr Dugon is also the founder and director of the Eco Explorers science outreach programme at NUI Galway where he dedicates a sizable amount of his time promoting ecological awareness in the media and in schools throughout Ireland. Dr Dugon’s work has been featured on national and international networks including RTÉ, the BBC, Euronews and Sky. Dr Dugon says: “TED.com offers the largest online stage for academics to share ideas with a global audience. It is a huge honour to be featured on their website and this would not be possible without the fantastic work by organisers of local TEDx events throughout Ireland. I hope that my experience will encourage other academics to take to the stage in the future and inspire members of the public to engage with Irish science and technology.” Michel Dugon was awarded the 2015 Irish National Teaching Award in Higher Education and the 2017 NUI Galway Ryan Award for Innovation, and is currently working on developing the Venom Investigations for the Development of Antimicrobial Agents (VIDAA) network in collaboration with Irish, French and Belgian researchers. To ‘Take Action’ and support Dr Dugon’s continued research into Venom Investigations for the Development of novel Antimicrobial Agents, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/zoology/research/venom/ To view Dr Michel Dugon’s talk on TED.com on Friday, 5 October at 11am EST, visit: www.go.ted.com/micheldugon To read more about antimicrobial resistance and how the scientific community tries to address it, visit World Health Organization, at: http://www.who.int/antimicrobial-resistance/en/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

NUI Galway Publish Study on Economic Impact of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ireland    A new study published by NUI Galway researchers provides original insights into the economic impact of childhood autism spectrum disorders in Ireland. The study highlights the extent to which families pay for services relative to state funded services and provides a compelling case for significant additional state funded investment. The study was published this week  in the international journal, Autism – The International Journal of Research and Practice.   Findings from the study showed that on average, the annual cost per child for families amounted to over €28,000 as a result of paying for private autism spectrum disorders (ASD) services, lost income and informal care, while over €14,000 of state funded services were consumed. Families whose children were more severely affected and those with more than one child affected faced significantly higher costs. While 15% of children with autism spectrum disorders in the survey were from lone parent families who faced particular challenges in meeting needs.   The study was based on a national survey undertaken by NUI Galway in collaboration with staff from the Centre of Public Health in Queens University Belfast and was funded by the Irish Research Council and Autism Ireland.   Áine Roddy from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, and the study’s lead author, said: “The study shows that access to autism spectrum disorders services in Ireland is overly dependent on the ability of families to pay for those services and places substantial financial hardship on families already facing many challenges in meeting the complex needs of children with an ASD.”    Professor Ciaran O’Neill, Adjunct Professor of Health Economics at NUI Galway and co-author of the paper, said: “The study provides valuable insights into a neglected area of research. The findings should spur policy makers in Ireland to rethink the support provided to children with ASD and their families.”   To read the full study entitled ‘The Economic Costs and its Predictors for Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ireland: How is the Burden Distributed?’ in Autism – The International Journal of Research and Practice, visit: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1362361318801586   -Ends-

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn to Perform at Launch of NUI Galway’s Arts in Action Programme Irish music legends Frankie Gavin and Alec Finn will delight audiences with a very special performance as part of NUI Galway’s 2018-2019 Arts in Action programme launch today (Wednesday, 3 October) in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance from 1pm-2pm. Gavin and Finn recently reunited to celebrate 40 years of De Danann and will launch their new album as the opening event of the Arts in Action programme. Arts in Action presents a very exciting line-up of the best in Irish and international artists from around the world including; Declan O’Rourke, Donal Lunny, Zoe Conway, Máirtín O’Connor, Mercury Prize nominated English folk singer, Sam Lee and playwright Thomas Kilroy in conversation with Vincent Woods. Speaking about the programme, Arts in Action producer and artistic director, Mary McPartlan from NUI Galway, said: “What is powerfully unique to NUI Galway is the natural connection that exists between the creative arts and the existing academic structures, providing the students with access to continuous high end international and professional arts in all genres, which also creates credit bearing opportunities in academic modules. The new programme for 2018-2019 also reflects the growing collaboration between NUI Galway and the many other local and national arts organisations to bring rich and rewarding performances for the students and staff on a weekly basis.” In association with the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, Arts in Action will present a very special evening with the legendary traditional musician, Joe Burke who will be in conversation with piper and RTÉ broadcaster, Peter Browne, with live music from Deirdre McSherry, Eileen O’Brien, Conor Tully and Frankie Gavin. From Reykjavik in Iceland, the internationally celebrated, amiina, will perform Fantômas, an original live score to the silent masterpiece French film from 1913. amiina cut their teeth performing with Icelandic powerhouse Sigur Rós. They formed in the late nineties as an all-girl string quartet and now operating as a quintet, they have released four albums since their debut critically acclaimed album, Kurr in 2007. Music for Galway will present a series of concerts as part of the Arts in Action programme including: renowned classical pianist, Thérèse Fahy and flautist Madeleine Staunton; Hungarian Trio featuring pianist David Szábo, violinist Gergely Kuklis and clarinetistRobert Solyom; Baroque music trio, O’Brien, Robinson and Sweeney; celebrated composer and viola player, Sebastian Adams and Irish cellist, Yseult Cooper Stockdale; and Austrian duo, cellist Thomas-Michael Auner and pianist Maximilian Flieder; and a special performance by the Galway Music Residency Apprentice Ensemble Showcase. In theatre, Belfast Theatre Company Kabosh will present a production of Those You Pass on the Street. Written by Laurence McKeown, the play explores the complexities of dealing with the legacy of conflict, especially when that conflict is localised and personal. Other cultural delights include: Icelandic trumpet player, Birkir Matthiasson in a jazz collaboration with Galway-based musicians Matthew Berrill and Aengus Hackett; Flamenco Dancer, Irene La Serranilla from Granada in Spain; The NUI Galway Medical Orchestra will present Vena Vitae and will be joined by an ensemble of well-known jazz and traditional musicians, directed by Máirtín O’Connor. Arts in Action in association with An Taibhdhearc and Lelia Doolan will present the life and legacy of Lelia’s friend, the great actress, Siobhán McKenna featuring Rita Connollysinging the songs of Shaun Davey. The programme will also present the Annual Joe Heaney Lecture emphasizing his songs as performed by noted singers, Máire Ní Mhaoilchiarainand Caitríona Ní Cheannabháin, produced by Marianne Ní Chinnéide and Lillis Ó Laoirefrom NUI Galway. Students from Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at NUI Galway will share new work they have written and devised in response to Thomas Kilroy’s extraordinary archives housed at NUI Galway. Staging the Archive – Thomas Kilroy is directed by NUI Galway’s Charlotte McIvor and Catherine Morris with dramaturgical support from Barry Houlihan from the James Hardiman Library. To download the full Arts in Action programme, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/artsinaction/ -Ends-

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

NUI Galway Hosts Education Day for Public and Patient Involvement to Inform Healthcare Research   NUI Galway will host ‘EMPOWER’, an information and education day for the public, with a series of free workshops introducing ‘Public and Patient Involvement’ and developing the skills required to partner with researchers to guide and influence their work. All members of the public with an interest in health and social care research who would like to find out more are welcome to attend on Saturday, 6 October.   The Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) Ignite Programme aims to bring about a culture change in how healthcare research is conducted across NUI Galway. It supports health and social care researchers to involve members of the public in meaningful ways across the full research cycle and connects the public, patient and community organisations to researchers who are seeking PPI partners. This means that people who are likely to be using new treatments are directly involved in and shape the decisions made to produce them.   The EMPOWER workshops will be of interest to people who have ever wondered; how health research works: who comes up with ideas for research: and how does research bring about change – or does it?   Professor Sean Dinneen, Director of PPI Ignite at NUI Galway, said: “We are very keen to develop a public community who are interested in guiding and influencing researchers. Never has it been more important that the public voice and the voice of patients is clearly heard. These workshops will help those who attend to be able to articulate their opinions and make an impact on health research, practice and policy.   The workshops, some of which will be led by both researchers and members of the public, will feature the following topics:   Who, me? How each of us can make a difference to research - introduces research and Public and Patient Involvement. Clinical trials of new treatments – when can we believe the results? - looks at how to know what to believe about new health treatments. Deciding who gets the (research) money: how the public can have their say. Speaking up: advocacy training - develop your public speaking skills. Telling it as it is: communicating clearly - addresses a particular bug-bear for many, the importance of eliminating jargon and communicating in plain English. Some of the workshops will be of particular interest to people who have already been involved in Public and Patient Involvement, to further develop these skills, and other workshops are for people who have no previous experience.     The event is funded by the Health Research Board. The workshops are free and will run from 10am-4pm on Saturday, 6 October in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) building, North Campus, and people are welcome to attend all or some of the workshops.   Register on www.eventbrite.ie (search for EMPOWER) or email ppi@nuigalway.ie.   For more information, contact Bláthín Casey at ppi@nuigalway.ie or 091 492731. Follow on Twitter @PPI_NUIG or visit  www.nuigalway.ie/ppi.   -Ends-

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

NUI Galway Study on ‘Diversity Gap’ between Student and Teacher Populations in Ireland   Study raises serious questions with regard to the equity and diversity in Ireland’s future primary teaching body   Dr Manuela Heinz and Dr Elaine Keane from the School of Education in NUI Galway have carried out the first comprehensive and nationwide study in Ireland, which explores the socio-demographic backgrounds of entrants to primary teacher education programmes. The research was published this week (24 September 2018) in the peer-reviewed academic journal, Irish Educational Studies and looked at future primary teachers’ sex, nationalities, ethnicity, first language, social class, dis/ability and religious affiliations.   Key findings from The Irish Research Council funded Diversity in Initial Teacher Education (DITE) National Study:  99% of respondents identified as White Irish Settled and 100% specified either English or Irish as their first language. These figures contrast starkly with the greatly diversified pupil and general populations (Central Statistics Office, 2016: 11.6% of the population specified as non-Irish nationality, 82.2% of the population identified as White Irish Settled, and 13% of Irish residents speak a language other than English or Irish at home). 8% of undergraduate primary teacher entrants declared a disability, just over half the proportion recorded for entrants to higher education (8.0%). Undergraduate primary teacher entrants with physical and/or learning disabilities are significantly underrepresented compared to disabled higher education entrants. The participation rate of individuals with a learning difficulty was also significantly higher among postgraduate post-primary teacher education entrants. 4% of undergraduate primary teacher entrants were female and 17.6% were male. Initial teacher education entrants claiming Irish nationality only, are significantly overrepresented compared to the general population (88.4% Irish). The total absence of individuals of non-Irish nationality is also in stark contrast with the rising percentage of residents with non-Irish nationalities in Ireland (5.8% in 2002 to 11.6% in 2016. The top ten non-Irish nationalities living in Ireland according to Census 2016 are: Polish, UK, Lithuanian, Romanian, Latvian, Brazilian, Spanish, Italian, French and German nationals.) Roman Catholics are overrepresented (90%) and non-religious individuals (5%) are underrepresented in the undergraduate primary teacher entrant cohort compared to the post-primary student teacher cohort (86% Roman Catholic and 10% non-religious), and the general population in Ireland (78% Roman Catholic and 10% non-religious). Principal Investigators of the study, Dr Manuela Heinz and Dr Elaine Keane from the School of Education at NUI Galway, highlight: “DITE’s (Diversity in Initial Teacher Education National Study) core aim is to promote a diverse and inclusive teaching profession in Ireland by informing policy makers and educational practitioners about the current ‘diversity gap’ (between pupil and teacher populations) and by promoting discussions of the benefits and challenges associated with a more diverse teaching population, as well as the barriers that may discourage or prevent individuals from underrepresented groups from considering or pursuing teaching careers in Ireland.”   The study calls for further discussion of measures that can be taken to attract and recruit more individuals from minority groups into the teaching profession. Alongside the potential academic and Irish language barriers, it challenges educators and policy makers to consider other possible barriers preventing individuals from minority backgrounds from considering entering or, indeed, successfully progressing in teaching careers (such as, the culture of Ireland’s teaching profession and schools, hiring practices in schools, career guidance practices in schools, financial issues including programme fees, living costs, access to grants and other financial supports, the religious (mostly Catholic) ethos of Irish schools and primary Institute of Technical Education institutions, negative and discriminatory experiences).   Dr Manuela Heinz, said: “Our analyses of entrance patterns to, and diversity in, undergraduate primary initial teacher education is timely and highly significant in the context of the enormous diversification of school populations in Ireland over the past two decades. It is important that we take notice of the widening ‘diversity gap’ and that we critically interrogate structures and cultural practices of the Irish education system to identify potential barriers for individuals from underrepresented groups. Some of the more obvious barriers are related to the selection system which focuses on academic achievement and which specifies competency in Irish as an essential criterion.   “For many students who are refugees, have certain learning difficulties, or have come from abroad and did not speak English when they enrolled in school, the door to primary teaching is closed early as they can be granted an exemption from the otherwise obligatory Irish instruction at school where Irish, English and Maths are essential subjects for applicants to primary teacher education programmes in Ireland, a barrier to non-Irish nationals who weren’t educated in Ireland. The predominantly denominational (and mostly Catholic) Irish primary school and initial teacher education system may act as a further deterrent for people who do not share the religious beliefs and values espoused by the great majority of primary schools as well as colleges of education.”   Dr Elaine Keane, emphasised: “For national policy on widening participation in higher education to be evidence-based and effective, participation patterns within specific professional contexts and careers must be tracked and taken into account. Our findings point to the need to identify particular target groups specific to the teaching profession, and these may differ to those identified in the National Access Plan’s target groups for widening participation in higher education more generally. Patterns of access and participation for various socio-demographic groups often vary in different professions, and this will become increasingly significant into the future, as we need to extend widening participation focus and policy to include postgraduate and employment realms – into the professions - as other countries have already done – and as we are now doing in Ireland with respect to teaching.   Dr Manuela Heinz added: “We are hoping that this research will trigger more thinking about teacher demand and supply and the characteristics and qualities we are looking for in teachers. We also need to think ahead. Hopefully we will be able to recruit more students from minority backgrounds into initial teacher education programmes in the near future. A more diverse student teacher and teaching population will challenge teacher educators as well as schools, and for teachers to critically interrogate many taken-for-granted practices, for example in relation to what and how we teach on initial teacher education programmes, what supports students from minority backgrounds may need and what adaptations may be required at school placement level.”   The study also highlights the need for research that explores career motivations and decision making of students from minority groups as well as their experiences of initial teacher education and of teaching in Ireland.   The study was funded by the Irish Research Council as part of the ‘NUI Galway Diversity in Initial Teacher Education in Ireland’ (DITE) research project.    To read the full study in Irish Educational Studies, visit: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03323315.2018.1521731   -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

NUI Galway Study Discovers Novel Approach to Tackle Bowel Cancer   Scientists from the Regenerative Medicine Institute in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, in collaboration with Queen’s University Belfast, have found a new function for normal cells, called stromal cells, within tumours that point the way in better understaning and preciction of response to immunotherapy. The study has been published in the internationally renowned journal,Cancer Immunology Research.   Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting both men and women in Ireland. Current treatments can combine radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy, but response rates in late stage disease can be disappointing. To date, therapeutic developments to tackle the problem of bowel cancer spreading to other parts of the body have had limited success and new methods are urgently needed to improve survival for patients.   Immunotherapy is a new form of treatment where different medicines or cells can re-engineer a patient’s immune system to better target cancer cells for destruction. In some forms of cancer, immunotherapy has led to marked improvements in patient outcome for particular patients. Cancer cells can express substances to cloak themselves from attack from the immune system. These protein substances are a usually a vital part of regulating why the normal immune system doesn’t attack all cells but these normal protective mechanisms can be hijacked in tumours protecting the cancer from damage.  Immunotherapy attempts to overcome these hijacked systems and allow the immune system to kill cancer cells.   While these treatments hold potential for improving the treatment of therapy-resistant cancers with potentially fewer side effects, in general colon cancers respond poorly. The research findings indicate that normal stromal cells which surround a tumour could potentially contribute to that protective cloaking from the immune system and simultaneously drive the dangerous spread of these cells to other parts of the body.   By combining laboratory models with patient samples, the research team, led by Dr Aideen Ryan in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, has shown for the first time that PD-L1 (one of the protein substances involved in cloaking cells and tumours from the immune system), is expressed not only on the tumour cells but also on the normal stromal cells within the tumour. The expression of PD-L1 by these stromal cells essentially “switches off” the killing activities of the immune system, even before it reaches the cancer cells. The expression of stromal cell PD-L1 is even higher, in certain conditions such as inflammation, which can occur within the tumour. The combination of the cloaking processes in the stromal cells and tumour reduces the chances of the immune system killing the cancer cells and can drive these cells to spread and metastasise.   Using colon cancer cells and either normal or tumour exposed stromal cells, the research team found that blocking PD-L1 signalling increased the production of immune activating signals and increased the number of tumour killing T cells. Furthermore, in a pre-clinical model of colon cancer, anti-PD-1 therapy reversed the ability of tumours to grow and metastasize, increasing the effectiveness of anti-tumor T cells. In human samples, PD-L1 expression was observed to be higher in stromal cells exposed to human tumours than in the tumour cells themselves. Additionally, in tissue from two small groups of colon cancer patients, they confirmed higher expression of PD-L1 in the stromal cells compared to the colon cancer cells. This is an important finding as patients are currently chosen to receive this therapy based only on if the tumour cells express PD-L1 or not.   Lead author of the study, Dr Aideen Ryan from the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “This study proposes a change in thinking. Until now, if we wanted to know whether a colon cancer patient was likely to respond to immunotherapy, we would look at their tumour cells. This study has shown us that instead of just looking at the tumour cells we need to look at the environment surrounding the tumour as well.  Our findings address previous observations of positive anti-tumor responses to PD-1 immunotherapy in patients whose tumours have been deemed PD-L1 negative. Our findings  provide a clear motivation to assess stromal cell PD-L1 expression in order to better choose patients for immunotherapy.”   Dr Ryan added: “Our future research will investigate the exact ways by which the colon cancer cells interact with and dictate the function of noraml stroma within tumours to prevent recognition by immune cells. Understanding exactly how this happens may help to discover new ways in which we can prevent this, and enhance responses to new immune based therapy.”   Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research at Irish Cancer Society, commented:“This important study illustrates the extent of cutting-edge cancer research being undertaken by hugely talented scientists across Ireland. The findings by Dr Ryan and her colleagues are significant because they may point the way to much needed new applications of immune-based treatments for bowel and possibly other forms of cancer. Such findings are only made possible through many years of investment in high calibre researchers like Dr Ryan and her colleagues and we need continued support to generate further advances in our improving cancer outcome.   The study was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Cancer Society, Irish Research Council, and Galway University Foundation.   To read the full study in Cancer Immunology Research, visit: http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2018/09/18/2326-6066.CIR-17-0443   -Ends-

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

  NUI Galway Conference Will Look at How Ireland has Changed Since the Financial Crisis  “More reforms are needed to reduce economic and financial vulnerabilities. Ten years on, it is important that we debate what has really changed, and what else needs to change.” Professor Alan Ahearne, NUI Galway NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and Moore Institute will host a conference ‘10 Years On: How Ireland Has Changed since the Financial Crisis’ in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway on Friday, 28 September.  In the fateful decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Bank Guarantee of September 2008, much has happened in Ireland – financial crisis, deep recession, bailout by the ‘Troika’, a protracted period of austerity followed by vigorous economic recovery. But what has really changed over the last ten years? What developments in the financial and political system have taken place and what has been the cultural effect of the crisis? Will we repeat the same mistakes or find ways to avoid them? This major public event convened by the Whitaker Institute and the Moore Institute will examine these questions with a high profile group of participants, including keynote speeches by former Central Bank of Ireland governor, Patrick Honohan and playwright and author, Colin Murphy whose new two-part TV drama The Bailout on TV3/Virgin Media One, is based on his play of the same name, it looks back at how Ireland’s government had to seek a €64 billion EU/IMF bailout following the crash, and is a follow-up to Colin’s hugely successful The Guarantee. Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, said:“During the bubble years in the mid-2000s, Irish banks ballooned their lending to an overheated housing market, funded by short-term borrowing from international money markets. The Irish economy and government finances became dangerously dependent on the property sector. This time ten years’ ago, the chickens were coming home to roost. The financial crisis that followed prompted policymakers around the world to change the rules by which banks are regulated, government budgets are managed, and economic imbalances are identified and corrected.  But many of these new systems are untested. Effective early-warning systems are not yet fully developed. New challenges have surfaced over the past decade which may require new global multilateral institutions. And more reforms are needed to reduce economic and financial vulnerabilities. Ten years on, it is important that we debate what has really changed, and what else needs to change.” Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: “The Financial Crisis has defined a decade of Irish life. This event gives us a chance to think of the impact of the crisis and the changes it has brought, in economic, cultural and political life. Have we created the conditions to prevent a repeat of this experience? Can we recover from the shadow of austerity without launching into a new crisis? Looking back at the last ten years of global economic crisis, how has Ireland coped with this calamity compared to other countries? The UK responded by going back to its elites, vesting confidence in Eton and Oxbridge-educated politicians and then plunging into Brexit. The US took another course, with people tearing one another apart politically as their financial fortunes eroded. In Ireland, different cultural resources came into play. A certain dose of fatalism, low expectations from the political process, and memories of a country without money proved an unexpected resource. Ireland was the envy of Europe in how accepting we have been of retrenchment and austerity. (Water charges became the unexpected scapegoat!) Will all of this make us better prepared to avoid a repeat experience or more liable to slip into old errors and simply shrug when things are going wrong? What are the psychological effects of going from a Tiger to a lamb in need of outside protection?” Guest panelists include: Angela Knight CBE, former Chief Executive, British Bankers’ Association; Fiona Ross, Chair, CIÉ; Professor John McHale, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway; Frances Ruane, former Director, Economic and Social Research Institute; Stephen Collins, former Political Editor, The Irish Times; Professor Kate Kenny, Queen’s University Belfast and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor of History, NUI Galway. The conference will take place on Friday, 28 September, 2018 in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society lecture theatre, North Campus, NUI Galway from 2pm-6pm. The conference is free and open to the public but advance registration is essential at: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/10-years-on-how-ireland-has-changed-since-the-financial-crisis/ -Ends-

Monday, 24 September 2018

  NUI Galway to Co-Host Major International Conference in Dublin in 2019  Minister Creed welcomes the awarding of First Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme to Ireland Monday, 24 September, 2018: NUI Galway’s Centre for Health from Environment, Ryan Institute is delighted to announce that they will co-host a major international conference, the First Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme, which will take place in Dublin from 22-24 May 2019. The event was welcomed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed. People and animals have a lot in common. We depend on each other to survive. We share the same environment and sometimes the same couch. What’s good for the health of one is usually good for the health of the other. What is bad health for one is also very often bad for the other. For example, both humans and animals use a lot of antibiotics. This has led to the problem of antibiotic resistance which impacts not only humans, but also animals and our environment. The critical link between the health of people, animals and the environment is seen as increasingly important on a very crowded planet. This is captured in the global concept of ‘One Health’ promoted by UN agencies, including the World Health Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The One Health European Joint Programme (EJP) is a European Commission co-funded scientific collaborative research programme to help prevent and control food-borne and environmental contaminants that affect human health and is co-funded under the EU Research and Innovation Framework Programme, Horizon 2020. The One Health European Joint Programme will strengthen cooperation between its 40 partners (including the Med-Vet-Net Association) from 19 Member States. NUI Galway are one of only five Universities in the One Health European Joint Programme consortium. Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, said: “The hosting of this prestigious meeting arises out of the participation of my Department, Teagasc and NUI Galway in the EU Research and Innovation funded (Horizon 2020) - European Joint Programme on One Health, Zoonoses and Emerging Threats, which is coordinated by the French Agency ANSES.  The One Health project commenced on the 1st January 2018 and represents a significant coordinated investment by participating EU Countries and the EU Commission to combat foodborne zoonoses, antimicrobial resistance and emerging risks.” Dr Dearbháile Morris, lecturer in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, Deputy Director of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Health from Environment, and Co-Chair of the organising committee, said: “We are delighted to welcome our European partners to Ireland for the first annual scientific meeting of the One Health EJP. Adopting a One Health approach is key to managing existing and emerging risks to human health. Hosting the first Annual Scientific Meeting of the One Health European Joint Programme in Ireland provides an ideal opportunity to showcase national and international research in the One Health area, foster and enhance ongoing relationships with major research institutes across Europe and build the capacity of Irish researchers to participate in ‘One Health’ research.” NUI Galway and Teagasc are the Irish scientific partners in the One Health European Joint Programme and were jointly successful in a bid to host the first Annual Scientific Meeting in Ireland. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine strategically participates in the project and has established an Irish EJP Mirror Group for strategic dissemination and exploitation purposes. Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway highlighted: “NUI Galway are delighted to be working with Teagasc under our Strategic Research and Education Alliance to co-host this important conference on One Health. There is an urgent need for more integrated research, innovation and implementation measures on One Health to ensure that zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance do not compromise the health of our societies, both in Ireland and globally.” The programme has been built upon the principle of co-funding from the participating institutes and the European Union Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. As the largest European Joint Programme investment, it will cost €90 million, where 50% of its funding will come from the European Commission and 50% from the participating Member States.   For more information about the Centre for Health from Environment at NUI Galway, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/cheonehealth/. -Ends-

Monday, 24 September 2018

NUI Galway Announce 2018 Honorary Degrees Recipients Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford    NUI Galway today announced the names of those to be conferred with Honorary Degrees at the 2018 Autumn Conferring. The four individuals to be conferred during the week of 15 October are:  Catherine Corless, local historian, campaigner on behalf of survivors and deceased of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home Sharon Shannon, internationally-recognised traditional Irish musician Helen Rochford Brennan, activist for rights of people with dementia Brendan Dunford, biodiversity campaigner and founder of BurrenBeo Trust. Speaking on the announcement, NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution in their field.  In honouring these exceptional individuals, we signal what we value in areas that matter to us and to our society - local history, disability rights, music and environmental sustainability. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.  Each of those we honour also have a special bond with our region - drawing on the unique experiences, strengths and challenges with which we as a University also engage – history, environment, social policy and creative arts. On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted to honour them and their achievements in this way.”   Catherine Corless is a local historian known for her research into the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, Co. Galway and advocacy work on behalf of the survivors and the children who lost their lives.  She has been awarded the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Award in recognition of ‘exceptional humanitarian service’, and a Rehab Group People of the Year Award in 2018.   Sharon Shannon is a renowned traditional Irish musician from Co. Clare based in Galway who has influenced a generation of musicians.  With over 10 multi-award winning albums she has received many awards including Hot Press and Meteor Awards, and was the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award.   Helen Rochford Brennan has been at the forefront of developing new ideas and human rights strategies for people with dementia in Ireland and Europe since her diagnosis with dementia in 2012.  Currently Chair of the EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe she has an international track record as activist for people with dementia.   Brendan Dunford has been instrumental in re-invigorating biodiversity within the Burren through his initiative around Burren LIFE and the Burren programme.  He has applied science to a societal problem of biodiversity and heritage loss, working with communities to produce more sustainable food systems.  He was an instigator of The Burrenbeo Trust – a landscape charity dedicated to connecting all of us to our places and highlighting our role in caring for them.   -ends-     Céimithe Oinigh 2018 Fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh Catherine Corless, Sharon Shannon, Helen Rochford Brennan, Brendan Dunford Inniu d’fhógair OÉ Gaillimh ainmneacha na ndaoine a mbronnfar Céimeanna Oinigh orthu ag Bronnadh an Fhómhair, 2018. Seo a leanas ainmneacha an cheathrair a mbronnfar céim orthu an tseachtain dar tús an 15 Deireadh Fómhair:  -          Catherine Corless, staraí áitiúil, feachtasóir ar son na ndaoine a bhásaigh in Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama agus ar son iad siúd a tháinig slán as -          Sharon Shannon, ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda uirthi -          Helen Rochford Brennan, gníomhaí do chearta daoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh -          Brendan Dunford, feachtasóir bithéagsúlachta agus bunaitheoir Iontaobhas BurrenBeo. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhfógra, dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Tá an t-ádh ar OÉ Gaillimh céimithe oinigh den scoth a bheith aige in imeacht na mblianta agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad céimithe oinigh na bliana seo. Tá a c(h)ion féin déanta ag gach céimí oinigh daoibh ina réimse féin.  Trí chéim oinigh a bhronnadh ar na daoine iontacha seo, táimid ag tabhairt aitheantais do na nithe a bhfuil meas againn orthu i réimsí atá tábhachtach dúinn féin agus dár sochaí - stair áitiúil, cearta míchumais, ceol agus inbhuanaitheacht comhshaoil. Tá an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh a bheith in ann aitheantas a thabhairt do na daoine eisceachtúla seo.”  Tá ceangal ar leith ag gach duine a bhfuilimid ag bronnadh céim oinigh orthu lenár réigiún – agus cleachtadh acu ar an taithí, na láidreachtaí agus na dúshláin uathúla a bhaineann linne mar Ollscoil chomh maith - stair, comhshaol, polasaí sóisialta agus na healaíona cruthaitheacha. Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh tá áthas orm ceiliúradh a dhéanamh orthu agus ar a gcuid éachtaí.” Is staraí áitiúil í Catherine Corless agus tá cáil uirthi mar gheall ar an taighde a rinne sí ar Áras Máithreacha agus Naíonán Thuama, Co. na Gaillimhe agus mar gheall ar an obair abhcóideachta a rinne sí ar son na ndaoine a tháinig slán as agus ar son na leanaí a bhásaigh ann.  Mar aitheantas ar a ‘sársheirbhís dhaonnúil’ bronnadh Gradam Chearta an Duine de chuid Chomhairle Bharra na hÉireann uirthi agus bronnadh Gradam Rehab do Phearsa na Bliana uirthi sa bhliain 2018. Is ceoltóir traidisiúnta Éireannach cáiliúil í Sharon Shannon as Co. an Chláir atá ag cur fúithi i nGaillimh agus chuaigh sí i gcion ar ghlúin ceoltóirí.  Tá gradaim amach bainte amach ag 10 n-albam dá cuid agus is iomaí duais atá buaite aici lena n-áirítear Gradaim Hot Press agus Gradam Meteor, agus bhí sí ar an duine ab óige riamh ar bronnadh Gradam Saoil Meteor uirthi. Tá Helen Rochford Brennan ar thús cadhnaíochta maidir le smaointe nua agus straitéisí chearta an duine a fhorbairt do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh in Éirinn agus san Eoraip ón uair a dúradh léi go raibh néaltrú ag gabháil di féin in 2012.  Faoi láthair tá sí ina Cathaoirleach ar EWGPWD in Alzheimer Europe agus tá a cion déanta aici ar leibhéal idirnáisiúnta mar ghníomhaí do dhaoine a bhfuil néaltrú ag gabháil dóibh. Bhí Brendan Dunford lárnach i mborradh in athuair a chur faoi bhithéagsúlacht i mBoirinn trína thionscnamh Burren LIFE agus trí chlár Bhoirne.  Bhain sé úsáid as eolaíocht chun dul i ngleic le fadhb shochaíoch bhithéagsúlachta agus caillteanas oidhreachta, agus é i mbun oibre le pobail chun córais bhia níos inbhuanaithe a tháirgeadh.  Bhí sé ar dhuine den dream a chur tús le hIontaobhas Burrenbeo - carthanas tírdhreacha dírithe ar muid ar fad a cheangal lenár n-áiteanna agus aird a tharraingt ar an ról atá againn maidir le haire a thabhairt do na háiteanna sin. -críoch-

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

NUI Galway Conference to feature banking, business and financial experts NUI Galway’s Whitaker Institute and Moore Institute will host a conference ‘10 Years On: How Ireland Has Changed since the Financial Crisis’ in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway on Friday, 28 September.  In the fateful decade since the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the Bank Guarantee of September 2008, much has happened in Ireland – financial crisis, deep recession, bailout by the ‘Troika’, a protracted period of austerity followed by vigorous economic recovery. But what has really changed over the last ten years? What developments in the financial and political system have taken place and what has been the cultural effect of the crisis? Will we repeat the same mistakes or find ways to avoid them? This major public event convened by the Whitaker Institute and the Moore Institute will examine these questions with a high profile group of participants, including keynote speeches by former Central Bank of Ireland governor, Patrick Honohan and playwright and author, Colin Murphy. Guest panelists include: Angela Knight CBE, former Chief Executive, British Bankers’ Association; Fiona Ross, Chair, CIÉ; Professor John McHale, College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway; Frances Ruane, former Director, Economic and Social Research Institute; Stephen Collins, former Political Editor, The Irish Times; Professor Kate Kenny, Queen’s University Belfast and Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Emeritus Professor of History, NUI Galway. The event will be hosted and chaired by Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute and Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh will provide opening remarks. The conference will take place on Friday, 28 September, 2018 in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society lecture theatre, North Campus, NUI Galway from 2pm-6pm. The conference is free and open to the public but advance registration is essential at: http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/10-years-on-how-ireland-has-changed-since-the-financial-crisis/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

A new European-wide training network for early stage researchers in the field of disability rights has received €4.1m in funding from the European Commission’s Marie Curie programme. This network is known as the DARE Project (Disability Advocacy and Research for Europe) and will be co-ordinated by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, with the collaboration of seven partner institutions: the Institute for Social and Political Sciences, Portugal; Maastricht University, Netherlands; University of Leeds, UK; the European Disability Forum; the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities; the University of Iceland; and Swiss Paraplegic Research. Prof. Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator at NUI Galway, said: “The primary aim of DARE is to equip a new generation of researchers to respond to global challenges facing persons with disabilities and policy makers. Its goal is to give legitimacy, through research, to the lived experience of persons with disabilities, as a basis for law reform.” Fifteen Early Stage Researchers will be recruited across the network on a full-time basis over three years starting in September 2019 and will explore and develop recommendations for disability law and policy reform in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading civil society and public service organisations such as; JUSTICE, UK; AGE Platform Europe, Belgium; the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Switzerland; the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, USA; the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions, Belgium; Pi Consultancy, Netherlands; University of Limerick, Ireland; Lumos, UK; Christian Blind Mission, Ireland; European Social Network, Belgium; European Association of Palliative Care, Belgium; and Vision Sense, UK. -Ends-

Monday, 17 September 2018

NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights has formed a new collaboration with GLAN (Global Legal Action Network), which sees the creation of a placement scheme linking the Centre’s students to GLAN's high profile international legal actions. The collaboration is the first of its kind in Ireland and involves GLAN relocating some of its operations from London to Galway. The collaboration will be officially launched with a public seminar on ‘Transnational Lawyering in the Public Interest’ on Tuesday, 18 September in the Aula Maxima. The event is free and open to the public, including students and legal practitioners, and the audience will be able to hear the reflection of two guest senior practitioners, Kirsty Brimlow, QC and Colm O’Dwyer, SC on the potential for GLAN’s innovative strategy and their own experiences. GLAN’s collaboration with the Irish Centre for Human Rights will develop a legal education exchange where the Centre’s students can gain valuable experience working directly on legal actions tackling issues such as climate change, war crimes, torture and modern-day slavery. This collaboration follows on foot of a successful pilot scheme over the past summer. The event will be a chance for people to learn about GLAN’s unique line of work, taking legal actions across borders challenging powerful actors involved in human rights violations. Keynote speaker at the seminar, Kirsty Brimlow, Queen’s Counsel (QC) of Doughty Street Chambers in the UK, Chair of the UK’s Bar Human Rights Committee and a member of GLAN’s Advisory Committee, will talk about her own legal work on overseas human rights issues in Nigeria, Colombia, Iraq and Iran to name but a few. Kirsty practices in international human rights, public law and criminal law and has led trainings of Nigerian Bar Association barristers in the rights and protections of Internally Displaced People and Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Niger Delta. Kirsty will speak about her role in work on Guantanamo Bay cases before the United States Military Commission and on behalf of the Yazidis to the International Criminal Court. Colm O’ Dwyer, Senior Counsel (SC) will moderate the event. Colm is an Irish barrister who specialises in human rights, asylum, immigration and public law. He regularly pleads before the Superior Courts in Ireland and has appeared for the applicants/plaintiffs in a number of significant and frequently cited cases in the areas of asylum, protection, citizenship, EU and immigration law. Colm is a former member of the Bar Council and was the first chair of the Bar of Ireland Human Rights Committee. He is currently chair of the non-governmental organisation, Ruhama, which assists and supports women affected by prostitution and victims of trafficking. Other speakers include Professor Siobhan Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in NUI Galway and Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, whose team will be working directly with LLM and PhD students at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, on a range of transnational lawyering projects. Welcoming the new collaboration, Dr Gearóid Ó Cuinn, Director of GLAN, said: “This unique collaboration will provide GLAN with an Irish base to continue exploring new ways of tackling international human rights violations. As the Irish Centre for Human Rights has a track record of attracting highly capable students we have no doubt this placement scheme will strengthen our goal of identifying and pursuing impactful legal actions.” Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to launch this project with GLAN, to ensure that our graduates develop the legal skills necessary to secure accountability for human rights violations. GLAN’s work on the rights of migrants, climate change and air strikes in Yemen, addresses some of the most pressing issues of human rights and international humanitarian law today.” The event will take place in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 5pm-6.30pm on Tuesday, 18 September 2018. For more information about GLAN, visit: https://www.glanlaw.org/our-work -Ends-

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

4,000 students, parents and teachers expected from 5-6 October as new courses attract attention NUI Galway is launching a number of new degree courses in 2019 and will be showcasing them at NUI Galway’s up-coming Open Days on Friday, 5 and Saturday, 6 October. There is a packed programme of events lined up for the two days, including over 100 talks and masterclasses designed to give students a real insight into their options. Among the new courses on offer are BA (History and Globalisation), BA Education (Computer Science and Mathematical Studies), Law and Human Rights, and a new Law and Business degree amongst others. Lecturers and current students will be available at subject-specific stands in the main exhibition area in the Bailey Allen Hall. They will answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, career progression routes, study abroad opportunities and other information such as accommodation and fees. SUSI, the grant awarding body will also be there to help answer any questions around eligibility and the application process. Advising students and parents on the search for the right course Caroline Duggan, Student Recruitment Officer has six top tips: “Start your research online and get a copy of the NUI Galway prospectus. Once you have reviewed course structure and content it is vital to attend an Open Day, talking to those lecturing on the course and those who are already studying on the course gives students and parents an invaluable insight into what the content of the course is like, but also what university life is like in Galway.” Stressing the importance of being completely informed Ms Duggan recommends making the most of Open Days by asking as many questions as possible: “Ask lots and lots of questions. NUI Galway hosts a special information session for parents which is an invaluable forum to get information on student supports, fees and accommodation.” Lastly Caroline Duggan recommends parents and students get off campus: “Remember you are not just choosing a course you are choosing where you are going to live for the next three to four years so it’s important that you can see yourself living there and being happy.” The information session for parents will be hosted by John Hannon, Director of Student Services, and will take place in the Aula Maxima on Saturday, 6 October at 11am, and will be repeated again at 1pm. To get the most out of the Open Days, which run from 9am to 3pm, visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks and full programme in advance at http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/programme/. To find out more visit www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, phone 091 494398 or email visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-