NUI Galway Academics Appointed to Council of State

NUI Galway Academics Appointed to Council of State-image

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Professor Emeritus in History have been appointed by President Michael D. Higgins to sit on the Council of State. Judge Catherine McGuinness, Adjunct Professor of Law has also been nominated by the President. Other nominees include Mr Michael Farrell, Professor Deirdre Heenan, Mr Ruairí McKiernan and Ms Sally Mulready. Professor Gerard Quinn Professor Gerard Quinn is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the NUI Galway School of Law.  The Centre is part of a new Lifecourse Policy Research Institute at the University which researches policy innovation covering age, child and family as well as disability.  He is a graduate of UCG (BA, LL.B.), was called to the Irish Bar in 1983 and holds a masters (LL.M.) and doctorate in law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School.  His specialization is international and comparative disability law and policy. Professor Quinn led the delegation of Rehabilitation International (RI) at the UN Working Group that elaborated the new UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  He has worked in the European Commission and held a number of posts such as Director of Research at the Law Reform Commission and First Vice President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe).  He is a former member of the Irish Human Rights Commission.  He voluntarily participates on a number of international boards dealing with disability law and policy issues. Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh is Professor Emeritus in History and former Dean of Arts and Vice-President of NUI Galway. A former member of the Senate of the NUI and of the Irish-US Fulbright Commission, and a former Cathaoirleach of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Professor Ó Tuathaigh has published widely – in Irish and English – on many aspects of modern Irish history. Judge Catherine McGuinness Judge Catherine McGuinness was called to the Bar in 1977 and to the Inner Bar in 1989.  She was a member of Seanad Éireann from 1979-82 and was a previous member of the Council of State from 1988-90. She served as a Judge of the Circuit Court from 1994-1996, of the High Court from 1996-2000 and of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006. From 2005-2011, she was President of the Law Reform Commission. She is currently the Adjunct Professor of Law at NUI Galway. Michael Farrell Michael Farrell is the senior solicitor with Free Legal Advice Centres. He was involved in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and is a former co-chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.  Michael was a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission from 2001 until last year and is currently the Irish member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.  He is also a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society.Professor Deirdre Heenan Deirdre Heenan is Provost and Dean of Academic Development for the University of Ulster’s Magee Campus, where she a member of the Senior Management Team. She was appointed to a Lectureship in Policy Studies at the University of Ulster in 1995 and became a Professor in 2007.   Professor Heenan is a co-founder and former co-director of the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey which has become a key statistical resource for schools, academics and policy makers.  Her particular areas of expertise are devolution, education and social care. In 2008-9 Deirdre spent nine-months working as a policy adviser in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister. Last year she was appointed by Health Minister, Edwin Poots, to join the five strong panel of advisers to assist with the Review of Health and Social Care Services in Northern Ireland. Ruairí McKiernan Ruairí McKiernan is a community activist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of the national youth organisation SpunOut.ie. He is also a founder and organiser of the Possibilities 2011 Social Summit. Ruairí is a business graduate and is a recipient of numerous awards including a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Award, a Net Visionary Award, and a Junior Chambers International Award.  After 8 years as CEO of SpunOut.ie, he recently stepped down to develop new social innovations. Sally Mulready Sally Mulready has made a huge contribution to the Irish emigrant community in Britain over many decades. She was born in Dublin and moved to Hackney, London with her mother in the 1970s.  Sally is a local Labour councillor in the London Borough of Hackney since 1997. In her former capacity as the Secretary of the Federation of Irish Societies, Sally was involved in securing the Irish Government’s agreement for the creation and funding of five Survivor Outreach Services in Britain.  She is also a founder member of the Irish Women’s Survivors Network and Director of the Irish Elderly Advice Network.  Sally was prominently involved in the campaign to free the Birmingham Six and is currently active in the Magdalene Laundries issue.

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CAO Information Days for Mature Students at NUI Galway

CAO Information Days for Mature Students at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

NUI Galway will host two CAO Information Days on Thursday, 19and Friday, 20 January in the Arts Millennium Building on campus. These drop in sessionsare specific to mature students aged 23 (or over) who may not have had the opportunity of participating in third level studies previously and who are now considering embarking on this new journey. The information sessions will take place from 10am to 4pm each day. Information will be provided on all full-time degrees available to mature students at NUI Galway, the entry requirements for each degree and on how to fill your CAO application correctly and on the selection process itself.  There will also be a focus on financial and other supports within the University during your time as a student. NUI Galway advises all mature students to apply through the CAO system, which has a closing deadline for applications of Wednesday, 1 February, 2012.  In particular, mature Arts applicants should note that the MSAP Exam (Mature Students Admissions Pathway Exam) is required for entry to programmes in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies degrees. Mature applicants for Arts degrees must apply firstly through the CAO before 1 February and then register on-line for the MSAP exam at http://www.msap.acer.edu.au/ The MSAP exam will take place on Saturday, 18 February, 2012 at testing centres nationwide. A short talk providing information on the MSAP exam and tips on how to prepare and register for the exam will take place from 1pm to 1.30pm on both days of NUI Galway’s CAO advisory sessions. Trish Hoare, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, has noticed a growing interest in returning to formal study: “With the economic downturn, many are looking to develop new employment opportunities by studying for a degree. However it is imperative that prospective students know how to apply correctly through the CAO, deadlines of application and are aware of assessments involved for some degree programmes.” Speaking in advance of the advisory sessions, current mature student at NUI Galway Caroline Gorman, said: “My return to college first started with the NUI Galway Commerce Foundation course in 2009.  Successfully completing this course gave me both the opportunity and confidence to start a full time degree.  Thanks to the skills I learned through the part time access course, I found it much easier to make the transition into full time education, and subsequently succeed in my exams.  I’ve just begun the second year of my BComm degree, and I love every minute of it!  I would encourage anyone thinking of studying Commerce as a mature student to take full advantage of these fantastic courses and of the advisory sessions, and to explore the possibilities which they can create for the future.” ENDS

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Brendan Duddy’s ‘Red book’ Goes Online

Brendan Duddy’s ‘Red book’ Goes Online-image

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The full text of the ‘red book’, intermediary Brendan Duddy’s handwritten account of the 1981 hunger strike negotiations, has now been made available online by the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway where the document is held as part of the Brendan Duddy Archive. A transcript of the handwritten diary, originally created in 2001 by a relative of Brendan Duddy’s in consultation with him, has also been placed online. The documents, when set alongside the recently released official papers from the UK National Archives, and the Republican account originally outlined in the book ‘Ten Men Dead’, add significantly to our knowledge of the 1981 hunger strike negotiations. Commenting on this announcement, Dr Niall O Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Politics at NUI Galway, said: “This fractured and occasionally very personal handwritten record provides us with a sense of the intensity of these contacts and the biting tensions at this intersection between the British government and the Provisional Republican leadership. It provides an informal record of these contacts from the perspective of the intermediary that adds significantly to our understanding of the dynamics of these backchannel negotiations. It highlights in particular the importance of struggles over deadlines and the timing of moves by both parties.” Deposited at NUI Galway in 2009, the papers of Brendan Duddy provide a unique insight into the resolution of the ‘Troubles’. The archive includes coded diaries of contact as well as messages exchanged between the British Government and the Provisional Republican leadership. The Duddy papers are directly related to the papers of Ruairí Ó Brádaigh, former President of Sinn Féin, which are also held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. Together these archives constitute one of the most important sources for understanding the attempts to resolve conflict in Ireland that culminated in the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, noted: "The James Hardiman Library is pleased to provide wider access to this important document by making it available online as part of our digitisation initiatives." Research on the papers involves collaboration between NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology and the University of Ulster’s International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE) Documents can be viewed at: archives.library.nuigalway.ie/duddy/

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Irish Minister of Health to Speak at Nation’s First Ever International Autism Conference

Irish Minister of Health to Speak at Nation’s First Ever International Autism Conference-image

Thursday, 12 January 2012

The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at NUI Galway, in partnership with Autism Speaks and The American Ireland Fund, Launch the First International Autism Conference in Ireland The Irish Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research, in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, in partnership with Autism Speaks, Galway University Foundation and The American Ireland Fund, are delighted to announce their first international conference, "Autism Spectrum Disorder: from Clinical Practice to Educational Provision," which began today, Thursday 12 January and Friday, 13 January 2012.THE conference continues tomorrow when Minister of Health, Dr James Reilly TD will address an audience of over 600 researchers, healthcare professionals, teachers, and parents from around the world. The conference will unveil the latest research on early diagnosis of autism and will focus on providing practical solutions and approaches to diagnosis, clinical management, education, and adult service provision. “This is a tremendous example of transatlantic cooperation to tackle one of the most demanding and complex issues affecting millions of families worldwide,” said Kieran McLoughlin, CEO of the American Ireland Fund.  “The partnership between Autism Speaks and NUI Galway and the willing support of our donors is a wonderfully tangible expression of the depth of Irish-American relations.” International experts from the fields of health and education will discuss best practices, from diagnosis to intervention. Experts include Professor Connie Kasari from the Centre for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA; Professor Cathy Lord, Director of the Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital Institute for Brain Development; Professor Richard Foxx of Penn State University; and Professor Helen McConachie of Newcastle University.   “We are delighted to be hosting such distinguished international experts,” said Conference organiser and lecturer in Psychology at NUI Galway, Dr Geraldine Leader. “It is only through the use of the latest up-to-date evidence based practices that we can ensure best outcomes for all individuals on the autism spectrum.” Parents of autistic children have been invited to attend and participate in workshops on early intervention and caring for children on the autism spectrum. Adrian Jones, a parent of an autistic child, a board member of Autism Speaks and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, welcomed the conference. “Our family has been dealing with autism since we got Liam's diagnosis 10 years ago, during which time we have been fortunate to benefit from the insight and guidance of experts in the field,” Jones said.  “We've seen the impact that Autism Speaks has had in generating awareness throughout the US, and the tangible benefits to families of its many programme initiatives. We hope the insights of global experts at this conference will accelerate improvements in care for Irish children and adults with autism.” Virginia Bovell, co-founder of the Tree House School in London, will speak about her longtime campaign for autism services in England. Bovell will share stories of raising her son Danny, who is on the spectrum, and discuss her experience in the context of the wider policy and intellectual environment. The conference workshops will highlight new technologies and practical strategies for managing challenges faced in schools for helping children on the autism spectrum. They will discuss treating associated medical conditions, and present the latest research on early signs of autism and the use of medication for people on the autism spectrum. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said the conference highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to autism research and underscores the translational dimension of the University’s work.  “With over 600 parents, professionals and support workers present to learn from best international practice, we are bringing our research-led teaching from the clinic to classroom and back again,” Browne said. “This conference will be an important landmark for many families affected by autism.” The Centre for Autism and Neurodevelopment Research at NUI Galway will be officially launched by President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins on Friday, 24 February. For further information on the conference, or to register, visit www.conference.ie. ENDS

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NUI Galway Observatory Open Nights

NUI Galway Observatory Open Nights-image

Monday, 16 January 2012

NUI Galway's Centre of Astronomy will continue its 2011/2012 programme of open evenings at its Imbusch Observatory in Dangan. The Observatory provides state-of-the-art observing facilities for NUI Galway's astrophysics students and the open evenings are an opportunity for the general public to come in and visit. Weather permitting, the free open evenings will take place at 7pm on 25 January, 8 and 22 February, and 7 March. An informative hour-long lecture will be followed by a hands-on viewing of the sky by night, weather permitting. The Imbusch Astronomical Observatory was opened in 2004 and is used by students studying Physics and Astronomy at NUI Galway. The observatory is equipped with a modern computer controlled 16" telescope and camera, and a radio telescope with a hydrogen line spectrometer, which is able to map out and measure the velocity of the sun and the Milky Way. There is also a 10" portable telescope - computer controlled – for visual observations of planets, star clusters, nebulae and other bright objects. Bookings are limited to two tickets per person and is strictly by ticket only. Tickets are allocated on a first come first served basis. All bookings are by email and those interested should send requests to tara.shanahan@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-  

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Mature Students at NUI Galway to Benefit from €60,000 in Scholarships

Mature Students at NUI Galway to Benefit from €60,000 in Scholarships-image

Monday, 16 January 2012

NUI Galway has announced details of new scholarships scheme for mature students. In total, 30 new scholarships will be awarded, consisting of €2,000 per student for every year of their study. The new initiative is open to mature applicants, 23 years and over, applying through the CAO by 1 February, and commencing study in autumn 2012. Scholarships will be awarded based on merit, and those interested should apply as normal through the CAO process. The top 30 applicants will be automatically selected for a scholarship and notified before September 2012. The 30 scholarships will be allocated across three areas: Entrants via the Mature Student’s AdmissionsPathway (MSAP). Entrants via the Access Foundation programmes. Entrants who are mature (23 years of age at 1 January of year of entry), who are entitled to enter the programme to which they are admitted from School Leaving results. There are some limitations on who will qualify for possible selection, for example, students with a Local Authority Higher Education grant or similar awards will not be eligible for the scholarship. Interested students should visit the NUI Galway website for further detail about the scholarships and for information about the general mature student application process.Dr Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway, explains: “The new Scholarships for Mature Students are an incentive to attract more of the brightest and most committed students, and to support their return to full-time education. Mature students bring so much to the campus and to their classmates, and we hope to offer the scholarship as a support in making the transition into third-level education easier.”Mature students make up a significant part of the student population at NUI Galway, with over 1,200 full-time mature students across all schools and disciplines.For more information on studying at NUI Galway as a mature student visit www.nuigalway.ie/mature/scholarships or phone 091 492 695. -ends-

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Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies to Take Centre Stage in New Degree Programme

Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies to Take Centre Stage in New Degree Programme-image

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

An exciting new four-year degree programme has been officially launched by NUI Galway. The BA degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies is designed for students with a keen interest in all aspects of drama and performance. It is a world-class programme, providing a unique opportunity to study drama, theatre and performance from a practical, theoretical and historical perspective. Students will benefit from the dynamic partnerships forged by NUI Galway with key arts organisations including Druid Theatre Company, the Galway Arts Festival and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Also, throughout the year, the campus is a hot-bed for drama productions and related performance events. NUI Galway has an annual week-long theatre festival and regular performances by the popular DramSoc take place in theatres on campus, as well as in Galway’s Druid Theatre, and Black Box. Students also perform at the Galway’s Town Hall Theatre, which was recently named Ireland’s best theatre venue in the annual ERIC awards, and stages exciting productions throughout the year. Teaching on the programme will take a variety of forms, from lectures and seminars to practical workshops, performances and internships. One of the most innovative features of the programme is its emphasis on putting learning into practice, through seminars in acting and directing, through workshops with professional theatre companies, and through the option of internships with arts organisations and professional placements in third-year. “Our students benefit from the University’s unique combination of groundbreaking academic expertise, professional practice and access to some of Ireland’s leading artists. This new course is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore all aspects of performance from theatre to film, storytelling and new media”, commented the programme director, NUI Galway’s Patrick Lonergan.” “With its fine tradition of student drama, its location in the West of Ireland and its proximity to the Gaeltacht, NUI Galway provides an ideal location for the study of Ireland’s diverse range of performance traditions - from the many innovative theatre companies of Galway city to séan nós singing, storytelling and dance traditions. Our programme builds on this diversity and aims to show that theatre takes a variety of forms - all of which expand our conception of what is possible in the world,” said Dr Lionel Pilkington, Head of the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. Often referred to as Ireland’s cultural capital, Galway has a renowned reputation as an international centre for innovative drama, theatre and performance. The city has seen the establishment of several flourishing theatre companies whose founder members were students of the University. Among the most illustrious of our graduates are the three Druid Theatre Company founding members, Tony-Award-winning Director, Garry Hynes and the actors Marie Mullen and the late Mick Lally. Garry Hynes has commented on the new course, saying: “Just as I, informally, took my first steps in the theatre in NUI Galway, I am now, through this programme looking forward to helping the emergence of the next generation of theatre makers from my alma mater.” Recent graduates have gone on to achieve success with many leading theatres in Ireland and in London, joining such schemes as the Abbey Theatre’s New Playwrights’ Programme and the Rough Magic SEEDS project. In the last two years alone, NUI Galway graduates have won such awards as the PJ O’Connor Prize (RTÉ) and the JMK Trust award for finding Britain’s finest theatre directors. The first intake of students for the new BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies will be in September 2012. Applications will be accepted via the CAO process, on which the new course code is GY118.  -ends-         ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------                                                        Leagan Gaeilge   Drámaíocht, Amharclannaíocht agus Taibhiú i lár an stáitse ar Chlár Nua Céime Sheol OÉ Gaillimh clár nua spéisiúil céime ceithre bliana. Tá an chéim BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies leagtha amach do mhic léinn a bhfuil spéis ar leith acu i ngach gné den drámaíocht agus den taibhiú. Is clár den chéad scoth é, a chuireann deis uathúil ar fáil do mhic léinn staidéar a dhéanamh ar an drámaíocht, ar an amharclannaíocht agus ar an taibhiú ó pheirspictíocht phraiticiúil, theoiriciúil agus stairiúil. Bainfidh mic léinn tairbhe as na comhpháirtíochtaí dinimiciúla atá cruthaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh le príomheagraíochtaí ealaíon amhail Compántas Druid, Féile Ealaíon na Gaillimhe agus Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Ina theannta sin, is iomaí léiriú drámaíochta agus imeacht eile a bhíonn ar siúl ar an gcampas i rith na bliana. Bíonn féile bhliantúil a ritheann ar feadh seachtaine ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh agus, chomh maith leis sin, bíonn léirithe rialta ar siúl ag an DramaSoc sna hamharclanna ar an gcampas, in Amharclann an Druid agus sa Dubhlann. Bíonn mic léinn ar an stáitse chomh maith in Amharclann na Cathrach i nGaillimh, áit a ainmníodh le deireanas mar an t-ionad amharclainne is fearr in Éirinn ag na gradaim bhliantúla ERIC. Bíonn léirithe thar a bheith spéisiúil ar siúl san Amharclann seo ar feadh na bliana. Beidh cineálacha éagsúla teagaisc ar siúl ar an gclár, léachtaí agus seimineáir, ceardlanna praiticiúla, léirithe agus intéirneachtaí san áireamh. Ar cheann de na gnéithe is nuálaí a bhaineann leis an gclár tá an bhéim a chuirtear ar an bhfoghlaim phraiticiúil, trí sheimineáir san aisteoireacht agus sa stiúradh, trí cheardlanna le comhlachtaí gairmiúla amharclannaíochta, agus trí intéirneachtaí le heagraíochtaí ealaíon agus socrúcháin oibre proifisiúnta sa tríú bliain. “Baineann ár gcuid mac léinn tairbhe as an meascán uathúil atá san Ollscoil maidir le saineolas ceannródaíoch acadúil, cleachtas gairmiúil agus rochtain ar chuid de phríomhealaíontóirí na hÉireann. Is iontach an deis é an cúrsa nua seo do mhic léinn féachaint ar gach gné de léiriú ó amharclannaíocht go scannán, scéalaíocht go meán nua,” a deir stiúrthóir an chláir, Patrick Lonergan. “In OÉ Gaillimh, tá traidisiún láidir drámaíochta i measc na mac léinn, táimid suite in Iarthar na hÉireann agus muid an-ghar don Ghaeltacht, agus mar gheall air seo ar fad is iontach an áit í OÉ Gaillimh le staidéar a dhéanamh ar thraidisiúin éagsúla taibhithe na hÉireann – ó na comhlachtaí nuálaíocha amharclannaíochta i gcathair na Gaillimhe agus an traidisiún a bhaineann le hamhránaíocht ar an sean-nós, scéalaíocht agus damhsa. Tógann an clár seo ar an éagsúlacht sin agus é mar aidhm leis a léiriú gur iomaí taobh a bhaineann leis an amharclannaíocht – agus go gcuireann siad ar fad leis an íomhá atá againn maidir le céard is féidir a bhaint amach sa saol,” a dúirt an Dr Lionel Pilkingtom, Ceann Scoil na nDaonnachtaí in OÉ Gaillimh. Tugtar príomhchathair chultúir na hÉireann ar Ghaillimh go minic agus tá cáil ar an gcathair mar ionad idirnáisiúnta do dhrámaíocht, d’amharclannaíocht agus do thaibhiú nuálaíoch. Bunaíodh roinnt compántas drámaíochta sa chathair agus ba mhic léinn san Ollscoil a bhunaigh iad. I measc na gcéimithe is clúití atá againn tá an triúr a bhunaigh Compántas Druid, Garry Hynes, Stiúrthóir a bhuaigh gradam Tony, agus na haisteoirí Marie Mullen agus Mick Lally atá imithe ar shlí na Fírinne. Labhair Garry Hynes faoin gcúrsa nua, a rá: “Díreach mar a thóg mise mo chéad chéimeanna, go neamhfhoirmiúil, san amharclannaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh, tá mé ag súil go mór anois le cabhrú leis an gcéad ghlúin eile teacht chun cinn ó mo alma mater tríd an gclár seo.” Tá céimithe imithe ar aghaidh ag baint a gcáil amach in amharclanna clúiteacha in Éirinn agus i Londain, ag glacadh páirte i scéimeanna cosúil le Clár nua Drámadóirí Amharclann na Mainistreach agus tionscadal SEEDS de chuid Rough Magic. Le dhá bhliain anuas, tá céimithe de chuid OÉ Gaillimh tar éis gradaim ar nós Duais PJ O’Connor (RTÉ) a bhaint chomh maith le gradam an JMK Trust do na stiúrthóirí amharclainne is fearr sa Bhreatain. Tosóidh na chéad mhic léinn ar an BA nua in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies i Meán Fómhair 2012. Glacfar le hiarratais tríd an CAO, agus is é GY118 cód an chúrsa nua. -críoch-

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Major Jobs Boost as Construction Resumes on NUI Galway Campus

Major Jobs Boost as Construction Resumes on NUI Galway Campus-image

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

400 jobs as part of €75 million spend on university developments There was a major boost for employment in the West of Ireland today as NUI Galway announced the beginning of five construction projects on its city centre campus. An estimated 400 jobs are expected to be created in the construction sector as work begins on five new buildings valued at €75 million. The University has awarded a contract for the completion of three new world-class research buildings to Galway-based contractor, JJ Rhatigan & Co, including an Arts Humanities Social Sciences Research Building and two buildings dedicated to Biomedical Science Research. These buildings, which had been temporarily stalled by the receivership of a previous contractor, will be completed on a phased basis from the end of 2012 into early 2013. Work has already begun on the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building, located beside the existing James Hardiman Library. The Building will provide a unique research environment to transform Galway’s rich cultural resources into social and economic opportunity. The new facility will be a national and international resource that integrates research and training in the Humanities, Digital Cultures, Creative Industries, Business, Social Sciences, Human Rights, Advocacy, and Public Policy. Construction will shortly re-commence on the Biosciences Research Building, located near the Corrib Village student accommodation in Dangan. The third building, a combined Clinical/Translational Research Facility, will be located on the grounds of University Hospital Galway and will also begin in early 2012. Together, these two facilities will enable NUI Galway to build on its existing strength in the biomedical sciences area. NUI Galway is located at the centre of the medical device and healthcare industries in Ireland and the new facilities are expected to enhance the national capacity and international standing of Ireland in the biomedical sciences arena. The new infrastructure requirements on campus stem from the rapid growth of research activity, in biomedical science for example, which directly supports the region's vital medical devices industry. Infrastructure requirements are also being fuelled by dramatic rises in student numbers. Speaking about the development of the research infrastructure at the University, President Jim Browne commented: “I am delighted that these strategically important projects are underway. The investment in research infrastructure will have an immediate benefit in bringing much-needed jobs to the construction industry. Concentrating resources on biomedical science and arts, humanities and social sciences research at NUI Galway will have a major impact on the medical technologies and the creative arts industries in the West of Ireland. We have the opportunity now to provide two distinct Irish industry sectors with relevant, world-class research solutions, transforming national leadership into global competitiveness.” Work has also got underway on two other buildings on the NUI Galway campus. An €8m extension to the Arts Millennium Building, which will house the University’s growing School of Psychology, is scheduled for completion during 2013; JJ Rhatigan & Co is the contractor. Construction has re-commenced on an extension to the student branch of the Bank of Ireland, located on the Arts/Science Concourse. BAM Building Limited will complete this extension. Commenting on the investment in the campus, Vice-President for Capital Projects, Mr Keith Warnock said: “The University will play its part in revitalising the economy and bringing much-needed jobs to the construction sector. We are investing in world-class facilities for our students. At present, we are investing €.75 million per week in developing our campus so that we can offer students a learning environment that is second to none.” -ends-                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Leagan GaeilgeBorradh Fostaíochta leis an Obair Thógála ar siúl arís ar Champas OÉ Gaillimh 400 post mar chuid d’infheistíocht €75 milliún i bhfoirgnimh san OllscoilDea-scéala do staid fostaíochta Iarthar na tíre inniu gur fhógair OÉ Gaillimh go gcuirfí tús le cúig thogra tógála ar champas na hOllscoile. Meastar go gcruthófar 400 post in earnáil na tógála nuair a thosóidh an obair ar chúig fhoirgneamh ar luach €75 milliún. Tá conradh tugtha ag an Ollscoil do chonraitheoir na Gaillimhe, JJ Rhatigan & Co, chun trí cinn de na foirgnimh thaighde den chéad scoth a thógáil. Is iad sin an Foirgneamh Taighde sna Dána, sna Daonnachtaí & sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus dhá Fhoirgneamh Taighde don Eolaíocht Bhithleighis. Cuireadh moill leis an obair thógála seo nuair a cuireadh an conraitheoir roimhe seo faoi ghlacadóireacht. Tógfar céim ar chéim anois na foirgnimh agus beidh siad réidh faoi dheireadh 2012 nó tús 2013. Tá tús curtha leis an obair cheana féin ar an bhFoirgneamh Taighde sna Dána, sna Daonnachtaí & sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta, le taobh Leabharlann Shéamais Uí Argadáin. Beidh timpeallacht uathúil taighde san Fhoirgneamh a úsáidfidh acmhainní iontacha cultúir na Gaillimhe mar dheis shóisialta agus eacnamaíoch. Áis náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta a bheas san fhoirgneamh nua a thabharfaidh taighde agus oiliúint le chéile sna Daonnachtaí, Cultúr Digiteach, Tionscal Cruthaitheach, Gnó, Eolaíochtaí Sóisialta, Cearta Daonna, Abhcóideacht, agus Polasaí Poiblí. Tosóidh an obair thógála arís go luath ar an bhFoirgneamh don Eolaíocht Bhithleighis in aice le Baile na Coiribe sa Daingean. Beidh an tríú foirgneamh, Foirgneamh Taighde Cliniciúil/Aistritheach, suite ar thalamh Ospidéal na hOllscoile agus cuirfear tús leis an tógáil go luath in 2012. Cuirfidh an dá fhoirgneamh seo le cumas OÉ Gaillimh i réimse na n-eolaíochtaí bithleighis. Tá OÉ Gaillimh suite i lár cheantar na dtionscal feistí leighis agus cúram sláinte in Éirinn agus meastar go gcuirfidh na foirgnimh nua le cumas náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta na hÉireann i réimse na n-eolaíochtaí bithleighis. Teastaíonn na foirgnimh nua seo ar an gcampas mar gheall ar an mborradh as cuimse atá tagtha ar ghníomhaíocht taighde, san eolaíocht bhithleighis mar shampla, rud a thacaíonn go díreach le tionscal feistí leighis an réigiúin. Tá géarghá le breis spáis freisin mar gheall ar an méadú mór atá tagtha ar líon na mac léinn. Ag labhairt dó faoin bhforás ar bhonneagar taighde na hOllscoile, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Uachtarán Jim Browne: “Táim fíorshásta go bhfuil na tograí tábhachtacha seo ar bun. Beidh tairbhe ag an infheistíocht seo sa bhonneagar taighde ó thaobh poist a bhfuil géarghá leo a chruthú i dtionscal na tógála. Má dhírítear acmhainní ar an eolaíocht bhithleighis agus ar an taighde sna dána, sna daonnachtaí agus sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta in OÉ Gaillimh beidh an-tionchar aige sin ar thionscail na dteicneolaíochtaí leighis agus na n-ealaíon cruthaitheach in Iarthar na hÉireann. Tá an deis againn anois réitigh taighde chuí den chéad scoth a sholáthar do dhá earnáil ar leith in Éirinn rud a chuirfidh lenár n-iomaíocht mar cheannairí náisiúnta ar fud an domhain.” Tá tús curtha leis an obair chomh maith ar dhá fhoirgneamh eile ar champas OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfear síneadh €8m le hÁras Dán na Mílaoise. Lonnófar Scoil na Síceolaíochta, atá ag méadú, anseo nuair a bheidh sé críochnaithe in 2013; is é JJ Rhatigan & Co an conraitheoir. Tá an obair tosaithe arís ar shíneadh a chur le brainse na mac léinn de Bhanc na hÉireann, atá suite ar Shlí Dála na nDán/na hEolaíochta. Cuirfidh BAM Building Limited barr smólaigh ar an obair seo. Ag labhairt dó faoin infheistíocht ar an gcampas, dúirt an Leas-Uachtarán um Thionscadail Chaipitiúla, an tUasal Keith Warnock an méid seo a leanas: “Beidh a ról féin ag an Ollscoil chun borradh a chur faoin ngeilleagar agus poist a bhfuil géarghá leo a chruthú in earnáil na tógála. Táimid ag infheistiú in áiseanna den chéad scoth dár mic léinn. Faoi láthair, táimid ag infheistiú €.75 milliún sa tseachtain sa champas ionas go mbeimid in ann timpeallacht foghlama den chéad scoth a chruthú do na mic léinn.” -críoch-  

>> Read full story about Major Jobs Boost as Construction Resumes on NUI Galway Campus

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone

NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone-image

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Athlone on Thursday, 26 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programme, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies which is brand new for 2012. “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Athlone, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Athlone is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit”, says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. To find out more about the information evening in Athlone, contact Celine O Donovan, Schools Liaison Office at NUI Galway, on 087 2391219 or celine.odonovan@nuigalway.ie  -Ends-  

>> Read full story about NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Athlone

New Report on Dementia in Ireland Launched by Minister for Health

New Report on Dementia in Ireland Launched by Minister for Health-image

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A report that will lay the foundation for Ireland’s first National Strategy for Dementia was launched by the Minister for Health, James Reilly, in Trinity College Dublin today (January 18, 2012).  The report estimates prevalence rates of dementia in Ireland; quantifies the economic and social costs of dementia; assesses current service availability for people with dementia and best practice in dementia care nationally and internationally. It was launched on the occasion of the opening of the conference ‘Developing a National Dementia Strategy’. Creating Excellence in Dementia Care: A Research Review for Ireland’s National Dementia Strategy − is the result of a joint collaboration between researchers at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway (Professor Eamon O’Shea) and the Dementia Services Information and Development Centre’s Living with Dementia research programme at Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital (TCD Associate Professor Suzanne Cahill and Dr Maria Pierce). The report was funded by Atlantic Philanthropies to provide evidence-based research for the purpose of supporting the development of a National Dementia Strategy, which the Government has promised to develop by 2013. “The next stage of the process in developing a national strategy will require direct consultation with people with dementia, their family members and with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the development of an inclusive and holistic strategy on dementia that will stand the test of time and will reflect the needs and interests of the key stakeholders. Policy formulation and implementation for dementia requires the direct involvement of the Department of Health and consultation with a much wider coalition of interests and stakeholders,” concluded co-author, NUI Galway’s Professor Eamon O’Shea. Commenting on the significance of the research, Trinity Associate Professor Suzanne Cahill said: “At a time when across Europe, much progress has been made in mobilising joint action in the fight against dementia, dementia remains hidden and largely invisible in Ireland and is a hugely underfunded and underprioritised health issue in the country. Several countries including England, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia have now well developed strategies, some indeed being onto their second and third iterations. The recent government promise of a new National Dementia Strategy for Ireland by 2013 is both opportune and timely. Although the number of people with dementia is set to rise significantly, having an evidence base available to inform the direction of future public policy on dementia makes it a lot easier to design care services supporting the individual and family members to live well with dementia and to die in dignity with dementia.” There are about 41,740 people with dementia in Ireland*, of whom 26,000 live at home. An estimated 3,583 (approximately 8.6% of all people with dementia) have early onset dementia.  Approximately 4,000 new cases of dementia arise in the general Irish population every year and the incidence of dementia is higher than cancer and heart disease with numbers expected to more than treble over the next thirty years. The research review suggests that the majority of the 26,104 people with dementia living at home in the community most probably do not have a formal diagnosis. This has implications for individuals and families planning for an uncertain future and for developing appropriate pathways to care. There are an estimated 50,000 family carers in Ireland looking after someone with at least one of six specified symptoms of dementia. The review suggests that about two-thirds of all long-stay residents in the country have dementia with many of these people again not having a formal diagnosis. The economic and social costs of dementiaThe report estimates the overall cost of dementia in Ireland to be just over €1.69 billion per annum, 48% of which is attributable to informal care provided by family and friends to those living with dementia in the community. A further 43% is accounted for by residential long-stay care, while other formal health and social care services contribute only 9% to the total costs of dementia. Consistent with per capita estimates from other countries, the average cost per person with dementia in Ireland is estimated at €40,500. Improving care in the community and providing greater support for families will require additional public spending, including having to make difficult choices about the reallocation of some of the existing institutional resources to community care given the perilous state of the public finances. Gaps in Service ProvisionIn Ireland, early diagnosis, and sometimes any diagnosis, is the exception rather than the rule and Irish GPs like their European counterparts experience difficulty diagnosing this illness and would welcome more training and resources.  Family caregivers are the linchpin to the success of community care but only a small proportion of people with dementia are receiving critical services such as day care, public health nursing, home care packages and respite.  Community care services for people with dementia and their carers remain under-developed, inequitable, and fragmented. In this country very few people with dementia have been allocated a case manager (the approach taken in some European countries) to directly represent their interests. One of the resounding weaknesses of Irish home care services is that these services are not underpinned by legislation nor are they provided on a statutory basis. In the absence of the required level of community support, people with dementia will continue to be placed in long-term care prematurely. People with dementia sometimes end up in hospital A&E departments or as in-patients in these hospitals, settings far from ideal given their unique and complex needs. Formal assessment and diagnosis of patients admitted to hospital who might have dementia is a necessary condition for better care and support, including appropriate long-term placement. A review of care for people with dementia in acute care settings in Ireland is urgently needed. A dementia champions’ programme in acute hospitals would facilitate a more person-centred approach to care.  Two thirds of people in long stay care are estimated to have dementia. In Ireland there are few alternates to the nursing home model of care and whilst some facilities have dementia specific beds these are the exception rather than the rule.  International evidence suggests a trend towards providing care for people with dementia in long-stay settings in small-scale (maximum of 8 to 10) homely and specialised care settings. Key elements for the new Strategy arising from the research: greater emphasis on primary prevention and on ways of avoiding or delaying the illness particularly through reducing  heart disease and stroke enhanced public awareness about dementia early diagnosis through improving access to memory clinics and enhanced multidisciplinary training and education in dementia for primary care workers, hospital staff and people working in long-stay settings case management models of integrated care expansion of dedicated and flexible community-based services, for example, day care services and family support programmes, for people with dementia and their carers development of new and expanded psychosocial approaches to complement existing medical and neurological models of service delivery in the community and in residential care units development of small-scale, appropriately designed, residential care units greater awareness, ownership and leadership of dementia in the acute care sector further expansion and availability of palliative care services for people dying of and with a dementia development of appropriate services for people with early-onset dementia, including people with Down syndrome enhanced information systems on the number of people with dementia, severity of the disease, placement patterns and quality of life.-ends-  

>> Read full story about New Report on Dementia in Ireland Launched by Minister for Health

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