Thursday, 4 October 2007

Tá ómós tugtha ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, don fhiontraí, an Dr Tony Ryan, a cailleadh inné. Bhí sé 71 bliain d'aois. Bhí an Dr Ryan, ar bhronn OÉ Gaillimh Céim Dhochtúireachta Oinigh sa Dlí air sa bhliain 1987, ar dhuine de na fiontraithe ba mhó cáil in Éirinn. Ba é a bhunaigh Guinness Peat Aviation agus Ryanair. Bhunaigh an Ollscoil Institiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain sa bhliain 1992, an t-ionad um thaighde muireolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh. Bunaíodh an Institiúid seo le cabhair ón Dr Tony Ryan a thug bronntanas don Ollscoil in onóir a athar, Martin Ryan (1902-1955). Fear fadbhreathnaitheach ba ea an Dr Ryan, agus is mór an tionchar a d'imir sé trí Institiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain a bhunú mar cheann de na mór-institiúidí um thaighde muireolaíochta ar domhan. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "Tá cáil ar fud an domhain mhóir ar Tony Ryan mar fhear gnó cumasach agus mar fhiontraí nuálach. Chomh maith leis sin, mairfidh sé inár gcuimhne mar dhaonchara eolach agus mar fhear a léirigh suim sna healaíona. Ábhar mórtais dó freisin ba ea gur Éireannach é. Tá gach duine anseo in OÉ Gaillimh a bhain leas as an bhfís a bhí aige agus an tacaíocht a thug sé d'Institiúid Mháirtín Uí Riain go mór faoi chomaoin aige. Is mian liom ar an ócáid bhrónach seo, comhbhrón a dhéanamh lena theaghlach agus lena chairde thar ceann gach duine anseo in OÉ Gaillimh." CRÍOCH

Thursday, 4 October 2007

NUI Galway President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh has paid tribute to the entrepreneur Dr Tony Ryan who died yesterday at the age of 71. Dr Ryan, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University in 1987, was one of Ireland's foremost entrepreneurs as founder of Guinness Peat Aviation and Ryan Air. The Martin Ryan Institute, which is the home of marine science research at NUI Galway, was established by the University in 1992 and made possible by the support of Dr Tony Ryan who made a generous gift to the University in honour of his father, Martin Ryan (1902-1955). Dr Ryan's foresight has had far-reaching effects, particularly in establishing the MRI as one of the foremost marine research institutions in the world. The NUI Galway President said: "Tony Ryan s achievements as an astute businessman and innovative entrepreneur are world-renowned. He will also be remembered as an insightful philanthropist and an enlightened man of the arts, with a strong sense of pride in his Irishness. We in NUI Galway, who benefitted from his vision and his support of the Martin Ryan Marine Science Institute, are deeply indebted to him. On the sad occasion of his passing, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and close friends on behalf of NUI Galway. ENDS

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Collaboration with world-leading pharmaceutical company will raise Ireland's international profile in new medical discoveries Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today (Wednesday 3rd October 2007) announced that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), with the support of IDA Ireland, is investing up to €14.6m in a collaboration with the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN) and NUI Galway, on a major Research & Development programme for the discovery of new therapies to treat Alzheimer's Disease. At present, drugs available on the market can only treat the symptoms rather than the causes of Alzheimer's Disease. Alzheimer's is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by the gradual death of cells in the brain leading to brain malfunction, and is set to become one of the developed world's largest socioeconomic healthcare burdens over the coming decades. An estimated five million Europeans of 65 years or more are currently suffering from Alzheimer's and related dementias, costing European Governments an estimated €55 billion annually.1 It is estimated that at present 1 in 3 eighty year olds suffer from Alzheimer's Disease2; and it is expected that about 11 million Europeans will suffer from Alzheimer's and related dementias in the next 50 years.3, 4 The prevalence of the disease is greater among women than men, because women, on average, live longer than men. The research programme announced today seeks to understand the causes of these diseases, and to develop therapies to assist in ameliorating these serious medical and social conditions. Minister Martin said, "This high-level collaboration is yet another example of how Ireland is rapidly becoming a leading global location for drug discovery and translational medicine. The status, reputation and capabilities of the parties involved are well matched to the strategic objectives of this ambitious, indeed ground-breaking project. This programme represents unrivalled proof of confidence in the future of the biotechnology sector in Ireland." The Minister also commended the availability and level of technical expertise internationally and here in Ireland to undertake this project. "The work to be carried out through this collaborative programme is very sophisticated and complex in nature. The GSK scientists, academic researchers and clinical partners in this consortium in Ireland are all established and respected researchers, representing the finest minds available on an international platform. The resources and expertise of the local clinical management at GSK's existing R&D bases in Ireland will also be at the disposal of this programme, helping to cement the very highest levels of scientific confidence and competence in the project," the Minister continued. Dr Neil Upton, Head of Translational and Pharmacological Sciences said "GSK is strongly committed to developing new medicines for neurological diseases. We currently have numerous research programmes across all phases of Research and Development for Alzheimer s Disease, some of which aim to alleviate symptoms and others to slow or halt disease progression. To turn these early projects into effective medicines for AD, we have increasingly invested in translational research and state-of-the-art technologies in order to support dose-prediction, identify novel pharmacodynamic end-points and aid selection of appropriate patient populations for clinical studies. This collaboration represents a meeting of minds, where all three institutions strongly believe that hypothesis driven research and translating preclinical discovery research into clinical assessment and investigation at the earliest possible time point is in the best interests of patients who are waiting for much-needed treatments." GSK has a very strong heritage in Ireland, employing over 1,600 people in sites across Cork, Dublin and Waterford. GSK's manufacturing operation in Currabinny, Co. Cork, which employs more than 600 people, has invested significantly in R&D activity in recent years and will be closely involved in the project. This partnership is the second GSK/academic collaboration in Ireland, GSK having collaborated with the IDA and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) in a joint investment worth up to €13.7 million last year with the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) into R&D in gastrointestinal diseases. GSK has eleven Centres of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD) worldwide. For this collaboration, TCD and NUIG will work jointly with GSK's UK based Neurology CEDD on the development of tools designed to make future clinical trials in Alzheimer's Disease more efficient, employing 22 highly qualified medical professionals, PhD students and Post-Doctoral Scientists. Prof. Nicholas Canny, Vice-President for Research at National University of Ireland, Galway said the university is delighted with the collaborative research programme with Trinity College and GlaxoSmithKline. "We hope that our studies into novel cognitive, electrophysiological and behavioural endpoints in patients with Alzheimer s disease together with the complementary investigations at our partner university Trinity College will lead to a better understanding of this devastating disease, ultimately leading to new approaches in disease treatment." Neuroscience is one of the major research strengths of Trinity College Dublin. The Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience is the only dedicated research centre in neuroscience on the island of Ireland. Trinity has strategically built its core competence in neuroscience over the past years through a funding base involving the Higher Education Authority, Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board and international agencies via their support for outstanding quality science. TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty said "With the support of IDA, this new venture with GSK cements Trinity College Dublin's position as a leading international reference site for neuroscience research. This model of strategic growth and partnership in areas of international research quality is at the heart of Trinity s research agenda". "As a university we are committed to world class excellence in research. This new collaborative research programme will enable leading academics and experts in neuroscience develop pioneering new therapies in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease. As the only dedicated research institute in neuroscience in Ireland, it is fitting that TCIN should play such a central role in this project," concluded Dr John Hegarty.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Rocks, Rails and Ríomhaire: A Geo-Multimedia Tour of the Connemara Landscape on the Galway-Clifden Railway A Public lecture on Rocks, Rails and Ríomhaire: A Geo-Multimedia Tour of the Connemara Landscape on the Galway-Clifden Railway will be given by Ronán Hennessy, a PhD Student in the Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences & Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 2 October at 8 pm. The seemingly untamed natural landscape of Connemara, and its potential as a tourism attraction, was a major factor in the routing of a railroad through the region in the closing years of nineteenth century. To celebrate the geological and railway heritage of Connemara, Mr. Hennessy has worked closely with the Galway Heritage Forum and with Galway County Council Heritage Officer Marie Mannion, to design a virtual field trip of the Connemara landscape. Using Google Earth as the virtual tour 'landscape', users can embark on a field trip following the now disused 49 mile long railway line, discovering the region's rich geological and geomorphologic heritage. 'Disembarking' at any of the eight stations along the route, users can investigate the local geology, visit the nearby mines and quarries, explore the famous glaciated Inagh and Maam valleys, and even take off from Alcock and Brown's landing site near Clifden – bound for Newfoundland, which coincidently shares a similar geological history with Connemara. Dr. Martin Feely, Senior Lecturer, Geofluids Research Group, Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences and Environmental Change Institute said, "Ronán s presentation will give a flavour of the revolution that is taking place in science with the transfer of real landscapes to the virtual space of pan, zoom, tilt and play. The lecture will appeal to people of all ages and interests as it combines archaeology, heritage, geology, local history and environmental technology." The lecture will take place in the Orbsen Building Seminar Room, Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway. Tea, Coffee & Beverages will be available from 7:30p.m. Attendance is free and all are welcome. ENDS

Monday, 1 October 2007

NUI Galway is pleased to welcome Aer Arann as sponsor of its newly launched Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership. The award will acknowledge alumni who have made an outstanding contribution in the area of local and national sports achievement, sports coaching, sports health, sports promotion and/or development. Since 2000 NUI Galway has been annually awarding graduates who as a result of their outstanding contribution to Irish and international life have, in a very special way, honoured their former alma mater. The Aer Arann Sports Award will join the University's seven other Alumni Awards which award excellence in commerce, healthcare, science, engineering, IT, the arts, law and public service. Announcing the new Award, Professor Gerard Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway, said: "This Sports Award reflects a very strong legacy of past and ongoing NUI Galway sporting accomplishment. We will have a very strong pool of candidates from which to choose our winners. The Award brings to a perfect complement our Awards programme - each reflects a discipline, faculty or walk of life in which NUI Galway students have gone on to excel at national and international level". Aer Arann Chairman, Mr Pádraig Ó Ceidigh was awarded the Alumni Award for Business and Commerce in 2002. Commenting on the sponsorship of the new Sports Award, he said, "Aer Arann is committed to strengthening the communities in which we do business, and we re proud to be part of this programme. The candidates for the NUI Galway Sports Alumni Award represent a passion for achievement, which is an inspiration to my colleagues in Aer Arann and to me personally." The Awards will be presented to the distinguished alumni at the University's annual Gala Banquet, which will take place in Galway's Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday, 1 March, 2008. Previous NUI Galway Alumni Awards recipients include: Seán O'Rourke, RTÉ journalist; Irial Finan, President, Coca-Cola; and Michael D. Higgins T.D. -ends-

Monday, 1 October 2007

Tá áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh fáiltiú roimh Aer Arann mar urraitheoir ar an nGradam nua Alumni don Spórt. Tabharfaidh an gradam nua aitheantas do chéimithe a bhfuil sárobair déanta acu i spórt áitiúil agus náisiúnta, oiliúint spóirt, sláinte spóirt, cur chun cinn agus/nó forbairt spóirt. Ón mbliain 2000, tá gradaim bhliantúla bronnta ag OÉ Gaillimh ar chéimithe a bhfuil sárobair déanta acu i saol na hÉireann agus go hidirnáisiúnta, agus a bhfuil onóir tugtha acu dá bharr don Ollscoil. Gradam amháin é Gradam Spóirt Aer Arann as seacht ngradam eile Alumni san Ollscoil nach mbronntar ach ar fheabhas i dtráchtáil, cúram sláinte, eolaíocht, innealtóireacht, TF, ealaín, dlí agus seirbhís phoiblí. Agus an Gradam nua á fhógairt aige dúirt an tOllamh Gerard Hurley, An Leas-Uachtarán um Thionscnaimh Straitéiseacha agus Gnóthaí Seachtracha, OÉ Gaillimh: "Léiríonn an Gradam Spóirt seo an traidisiún láidir atá in OÉ Gaillimh ó thaobh éachtaí i gcúrsaí spóirt. Is iomaí iomaitheoir a mbeadh an gradam seo tuillte acu. Mar gheall go bhfuil Gradam Spóirt anois againn tá gradam againn do gach disciplín, dámh nó dálaí saoil ina bhfuil éacht déanta ag mac léinn as OÉ Gaillimh sa tír seo agus thar lear". Bronnadh Gradam Alumni ar Chathaoirleach Aer Arann, an tUasal Pádraig Ó Céidigh don Ghnó agus an Tráchtáil in 2002. Ag labhairt dó faoi urraíocht an Ghradaim Spóirt, dúirt sé, "Tá Aer Arann tugtha do phobail a láidriú, pobail ina ndéanaimid gnó, agus tá áthas orainn a bheith páirteach sa chlár seo. Léiríonn iarrthóirí Ghradam Spóirt Alumni OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil fonn orthu éachtaí a dhéanamh; rud ionspioráideach é sin do mo chomhghleacaithe in Aer Arann agus dom féin go háirithe." Bronnfar na Gradaim ar an alumni ag Mórfhéasta Bliantúil na hOllscoile, a bheas ar siúl in Óstlann Radisson SAS na Gaillimhe Dé Sathairn, an 1 Márta 2008. Bhuaigh Seán O'Rourke, iriseoir RTÉ; Irial Finan, Uachtarán, Coca-Cola; agus Michael D. Higgins T.D. Gradaim Alumni OÉ Gaillimh roimhe seo. - críoch -

Friday, 30 November 2007

The year's winner of the Connacht Tribune Gold Medal for Journalism is Ms Rachael Finucane, from Limerick. Ms Finucane achieved first class honours on the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway. The Medal was presented by Mr David Hickey, MD of Connacht Tribune Newspapers yesterday, 28th November, at NUI Galway. Ms Finucane who is currently working as a Staff Reporter with the Limerick Independent, is a graduate of UL where she also achieved First Class honours in her BA. During her postgraduate studies in journalism at NUI Galway Rachel was a regional winner (Third Level) in this year s Hotpress All Write Now competition. Ends

Monday, 26 November 2007

Amárach in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh bronnfar Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána (honoris causa) ar dhuine de na haisteoirí is mó cáil agus meas in Éirinn (Dé Máirt, 27 Samhain). Is é Gabriel Byrne duine de na haisteoirí is mó cáil ar domhan agus bronnfar céim air mar chuid de shearmanas bronnta an gheimhridh in OÉ Gaillimh, tráth a mbronnfar céimeanna ar thart ar 800 mac léinn as coláistí agus scoileanna éagsúla san Ollscoil freisin. Thosaigh Gabriel Byrne amach mar aisteoir leis an Focus Theatre anseo in Éirinn sular thosaigh sé ag aisteoireacht sa Royal Court Theatre i Londain sa bhliain 1979. Ghlac sé páirt ina chéad scannán dar teideal Excalibur sa bhliain 1981. Ba é John Boorman a stiúir an scannán eipice Artúrach seo. D'oibrigh Gabriel Byrne le cuid de mhórstiúrthóirí na pictiúrlainne – Deartháireacha Coen, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, John Boorman, David Cronenberg agus Bryan Singer ina measc. Ghlac Gabriel páirt i scannáin neamhspleácha agus stiúideo, mar aon le trí scannán a stiúradh agus dhá scannán a scríobh. Lena chois seo ar fad, ghlac sé príomhról i 35 príomhscannán lena n-áirítear Miller's Crossing, The Usual Suspects, Into the West, The End of Violence, Dead Man, Vanity Fair agus Spider. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Rod Stoneman, Stiúrthóir Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston, "Is aisteoir é Gabriel Byrne a thugann a shamhlaíocht agus na carachtair a chruthaíonn sé smaointe agus íomhánna den scoth dúinn agus cúis áthais dúinn an onóir seo a bhronnadh air. Tugann sé dea-shampla dúinn ar fad trí pháirt a ghlacadh i ngníomhaíochtaí cultúrtha agus carthanachta in Éirinn – gníomhaíochtaí a léiríonn spiorad na flaithiúlachta agus tiomantas dá thír dhúchais." Bronnfar cáilíochtaí ar mhic léinn i gcaitheamh an lae, mic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na Faisnéisíochta; Coláiste an Dlí; Coláiste na Tráchtála; Coláiste na hEolaíochta agus Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh roimh an searmanas, "Cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh céim oinigh a bhronnadh ar Gabriel Byrne – aisteoir Éireannach den scoth agus aisteoir a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta bainte amach aige mar aisteoir cumasach. Cúis áthais ar leith is ea go bhfuil Gabriel Byrne inár measc inniu mar gurb é seo an chéad bhliain cáilíochtaí a bhronnadh ar mhic léinn a d'fhreastail ar na cúrsaí nua agus nuálacha scannán agus meán digiteach. Céim Dhochtúireachta sna Dána atá á bhronnadh ar Gabriel Byrne mar aitheantas ar an méid atá déanta aige ar mhaithe leis an tionscal scannán in Éirinn agus go hidirnáisiúnta." Ag an searmanas bronnta seo freisin, bronnfar cáilíochtaí ar mhic léinn ó chúrsaí nua den chéad uair – M.A. in Ardscileanna Foghlama, M.A. i bhFealsúnacht: Eitic, Cultúr agus Athrú Domhanda, M.A. sna Meáin Dhigiteacha, M.A. i Léiriú agus Stiúradh, agus M.A. in Abhcóideacht agus Gníomhaíochas Poiblí. CRÍOCH

Monday, 26 November 2007

Increased demand for Electronic Engineering Graduates Expected Researchers from NUI Galway are part of a national group awarded just under €4m by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for the development of mobile healthcare technology. The group will develop technology to assist clinicians with more effective remote monitoring of out-patients in their own homes. Drivers for the technology include an ageing population, increasing pressure on centralised healthcare facilities and the need to reduce the number of in-patients. Many such applications involve the generation and analysis of large quantities of biological signals for each patient, driving the need for sophisticated electronic signal processing techniques. A key focus of the research will be efficient operation for longer life in mobile devices. The research group, entitled "Efficient Embedded Digital Signal Processing for Mobile Digital Health" (EEDSP), is led by University College Cork, and in addition to NUI Galway, includes academic researchers from University of Limerick and University College Dublin, as well as a number of industry partners. According to Dr. Edward Jones, Lecturer in Electronic Engineering and leader of the NUI Galway team, "This grant from SFI will help the EEDSP group to advance the state of the art in this area of increasing importance to society. At the same time, a steady supply of graduates will be required to meet the needs of the rapidly growing digital healthcare industry. Dr. Jones added, "Electronic Engineering offers a tremendous range of possible careers over a wide range of sectors that are critical to society. Some of these might not immediately spring to mind to leaving cert students, including this relatively new and rapidly growing area of digital and mobile healthcare". NUI Galway is holding its annual Open Day on Thursday, 29 November, and those interested in electronics as a career should drop by the Electronic Engineering stand at this event to find out more. -ends-

Monday, 26 November 2007

One of Ireland's best known actors and most appreciated sons will be conferred tomorrow (Tuesday, 27 November) with a Degree of Doctor of Arts (honoris causa) at National University of Ireland, Galway. Gabriel Byrne is one of the best known actors in the world and he will be conferred as part of the winter conferring at NUI Galway along with over 800 students from across the faculties and schools. Gabriel Byrne started his acting career with Ireland's Focus Theatre before joining London's Royal Court Theatre in 1979. His film debut came soon after, in John Boorman's 1981 Arthurian epic, Excalibur. He has worked with some of cinema's leading directors, including the Coen Brothers, Wim Wenders, Jim Jarmusch, Ken Loach, John Boorman, David Cronenberg and Bryan Singer. Moving between independent and studio films, in addition to producing three pictures and writing two, he has starred in 35 feature films, including Miller's Crossing, The Usual Suspects, Into the West, The End of Violence, Dead Man, Vanity Fair and Spider. Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, said, "Gabriel Byrne is an artist whose imagination and performances have offered us irreplaceable ideas and images and we are pleased to honour him for this. His involvement with Irish cultural activities and charitable works is exemplary, reflecting a generosity of spirit and commitment to his homeland." Students will graduate throughout the day from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; Faculty of Law; Faculty of Commerce; College of Science; and College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Speaking ahead of the conferring, President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said, "We in NUI Galway are delighted to honour Gabriel Byrne as an outstanding Irish actor, who is respected internationally as a master of his craft. We re especially pleased that on the day we graduate the first students from new and innovative programmes in film and digital media, that we are honoured by the presence of Gabriel Byrne, who receives a Doctor of Arts for his outstanding contribution to Irish and international film." Some students at the conferring ceremony will be the first to graduate from certain new courses, such as the MA in Advanced Learning Skills, MA in Philosophy: Ethics, Culture and Global Change, MA in Digital Media, MA Production and Direction, and MA Public Advocacy and Activism. ENDS

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

'Minerals, metals, molecules and microbes' The Mineralogical Society Distinguished Lecturers programme comes to the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, on Thursday 29 November, with a lecture by Professor David Vaughan of the University of Manchester. Professor Vaughan will deliver a lecture on "Minerals, metals, molecules and microbes: environmental mineralogy and sustainability", at 8pm, with refreshments from 7.30pm, in the Orbsen Building Seminar Room. Environmental mineralogy is the study of minerals with the purpose of understanding and assessing their influence in the movement and fixing of organic and inorganic contaminants at and near the earth's surface. According to Professor David Vaughan, of the University of Manchester, "Metals are critically important both as resources and potential pollutants. Understanding how they can be concentrated or dispersed at the Earth's surface depends on new knowledge, at the molecular scale, of processes involving mineral surfaces, ultrafine particles and mineral-microbe interactions." The lecture will address the following questions: How do we use minerals to contain waste? Can minerals offer green solutions to the problems of waste management? How do minerals assist in the remediation of contaminated soils and waters? How do flora and fauna interact with minerals in rocks and how do they work to break down stone buildings and walls? What are some of the state-of-the-art techniques used to study metal cycling in the environment? Dr. Martin Feely, of the Geofluids Research Group in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, says that, "On a local level, one of the most visual examples of the importance of mineral-microbe interactions is the manner in which lichen work to degrade Ireland's old stone walls. Understanding how this process occurs is relevant for geologists, archaeologists, environmental consultants, botanists and microbiologists." This lecture is free and open to the public and is hosted by NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute (ECI) and Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences. For more information please contact sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie or phone 091 495061. ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2007

Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of National University of Ireland, Galway will today lead a high level delegation to China of academic representatives from various university faculties and research centres. Over the course of the 5-day visit the delegation will be expanding and strengthening links by meeting with, and in many instances signing memoranda of understanding and partnership agreements between NUI Galway and 17 Chinese institutions. * Developing stronger educational links with China is not only a key feature of NUI Galway's international strategy but features prominently in the Irish government's Asia strategy (1999-2009). Some of the benefits of these links are graduate placement, recruitment and co-operation in the field of research and development. Ms Anna Cunningham, Director of International Affairs at NUI Galway, said, "Attracting high calibre international research Masters and PhD students is a strategic priority for NUI Galway. We are fortunate to have solid links in place already with a range of prestigious Chinese universities. The objective of this visit is to formalise these links and create further opportunities for reciprocal exchange of postgraduate students and collaborative research." During the visit Professor William Schabas of the Irish Centre for Human Rights will deliver a paper at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) with which NUI Galway will sign a formal agreement. Among the other institutions formalising agreements with NUI Galway will be Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and the Institute of Oceanology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao, who will forge a formal linkage with the Martin Ryan Marine Research Institute, NUI Galway. In addition, the Beijing Alumni Chapter launch will be hosted by Ambassador Declan Kelleher at the Irish Embassy. Speaking ahead of the visit, President Ó Muircheartaigh said, "This historic visit to China represents a wonderful opportunity for NUI Galway to build upon the strong existing relationships between our university and China. With over 70 alumni in China, Galway is the Irish university with the most China-based graduates. The visit by this delegation will be a platform for our existing and developing connections with China - so that these can be strengthened and built on, thus paving the way for increased cooperation in educational exchange, in research & development and in greater cultural understanding." Dr Louis de Paor, Director of the Centre for Irish Studies and Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, will visit Nanjing and Fudan Universities with a view to attracting Master and PhD students for a period of study at the Centre. The Centre currently has a student from Nanjing, sponsored by the China Scholarship Council conducting her doctoral research on the work of Roddy Doyle. Professor Barry says, "In order to establish these exchanges NUI Galway are providing Chinese language classes where 30 students are currently enrolled with two lecturers from Beijing. During the next academic year at NUI Galway, it is planned to offer undergraduate students the option of studying Chinese as part of Arts and Commerce programmes." In his remarks at the launch of the Alumni Chapter, the President reminded alumni and guests that the links between NUI Galway and Beijing would be further enhanced by the participation of three current students and 1 alumni in next year s Olympics in Beijing who will compete in sprinting (Paul Hession, 110 & 200m) rowing (Alan Martin, Cormac Folan) and the 20km walk (Olive Loughnane). ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2007

The NUI Galway Open Day will take place from 9am - 3pm on Thursday, 29 November. Thousands of secondary school students from all over Ireland are expected to attend, along with their parents and teachers. The day will showcase 17 new degree courses which will be on CAO forms for the first time in 2008. With a radical departure from traditional Arts degrees, the new CONNECT Programme from the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies is offering seven new four-year degrees. The CONNECT programmes are designed to increase the employability of graduates by developing distinctive skills and creating connections with life beyond the campus. During third-year, students will be immersed in their specialised field, this opportunity might include: project-based work, educational placement in the community, portfolio preparation, creative practice, study abroad, service learning, or placements within Non-Governmental Organisations. The seven new CONNECT degrees are: BA with Children's Studies (GY110); BA with Creative Writing (GY111); BA with Film Studies (GY112); BA with Human Rights (GY113); BA with Irish Studies (GY114); BA with Theatre and Performance (GY115); and BA with Women's Studies (GY116). Other new programmes from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies are a BA in Mathematics and Education (GY109) and two degrees offered entirely through Irish BA Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistriúcháin (GY107), and BA Riarachán Gnó (GY108). The Faculty of Commerce is offering a new three-year BA Commerce Degree with Accounting (GY207), while the College of Engineering has a new Bachelor of Science in Project and Construction Management (GY410). For those interested in the sciences there are four new degrees: Physics with Applied Physics (GY315); Physics with Medical Physics (GY316); Physics with Astrophysics (GY317); and Biopharmaceutical Chemistry (GY318). Finally, the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will offer the first undergraduate podiatry programme available in the country, leading to a Bachelor of Science in Podiatry (GY504)*. "According to Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President, NUI Galway, "The initial CAO deadline is a little over 10 weeks away so the Open Day is important in helping students find out more about the huge range of courses here at NUI Galway. It's also a wonderful opportunity for future students to learn more about student life in the University, especially the improvements in sporting and cultural facilities, including our new Sports Centre and Swimming Pool as well as the Cultural Centre". Lecturers and current students will be available throughout the day to answer questions about student life at NUI Galway. Giving a taste of academic study, there will be introductory lectures throughout the day in Arts, Law, Engineering, IT, Commerce, Science and Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Information stands will provide practical input on topics including student services, admissions, accommodation, volunteering and career development. For further information contact Mary Coyle on 091 492814, email mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie or visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/ ENDS

Monday, 19 November 2007

Beidh Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl ó 9am – 3pm Déardaoin, an 29 Samhain. Táthar ag súil go dtabharfaidh na mílte mac léinn dara leibhéal as ar fud na hÉireann – i dteannta a dtuismitheoirí agus múinteoirí – cuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh don Lá Oscailte. Beidh eolas le fáil faoi 17 gcúrsa céime nua a bheidh san áireamh ar an bhfoirm CAO don chéad uair in 2008. Tá athrú ag teacht ar na céimeanna traidisiúnta sna Dána agus tá seacht gcéim nua ceithre bliana á dtairiscint faoin gClár CONNECT – clár atá á reáchtáil ag Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Tá na cláir CONNECT deartha le cinntiú go n-éiríonn le céimithe poist a fháil trí scileanna ar leith a fhorbairt agus naisc a chruthú leis an saol lasmuigh den champas. I rith an tríú bliain, is féidir a rá gur tumoideachas a bheidh i gceist. D'fhéadfaí na nithe seo a leanas a áireamh sa tréimhse seo: obair tionscadail-bhunaithe, socrúcháin oibre sa phobal, conas portfóilió a ullmhú, cleachtadh cruthaitheach, tréimhse staidéir thar lear, foghlaim seirbhíse nó socrúcháin oibre laistigh d'Eagraíochtaí Neamhrialtasacha. Seo a leanas na seacht gcéim nua atá á dtairiscint trí chlár CONNECT: B.A. le Staidéar Leanaí (GY110); B.A. le Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach (GY111); B.A. le Staidéar Scannán (GY112); B.A. le Staidéar ar Chearta Daonna (GY113); B.A. leis an Léann Éireannach (GY114); B.A. le Staidéar Amharclannaíochta agus Taibhithe (GY115); agus B.A. le Léann na mBan (GY116). I measc na gclár eile a bheidh á dtairiscint ag Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte agus an Léinn Cheiltigh tá B.A. sa Mhatamaitic agus san Oideachas (GY109) agus beidh dhá chúrsa céime á dtairiscint go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge – B.A. (Gaeilge agus Léann an Aistriúcháin) (GY107) agus B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) (GY108). Tá cúrsa nua trí bliana – Céim B.A. sa Tráchtáil le Cuntasaíocht (GY207) – á thairiscint ag Coláiste na Tráchtála, agus tá Baitsiléir Nua Eolaíochta i mBainistíocht Tionscadal agus Foirgníochta (GY410) á thairiscint ag Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta. Más spéis leat cúrsaí eolaíochta tá ceithre chéim nua á dtairiscint: Fisic le Fisic Fheidhmeach (GY315); Fisic le Fisic Mhíochaine (GY316); Fisic le Réaltfhisic (GY317); agus Ceimic Bhithchógaisíochta (GY318). Cúrsa eile nach mór a lua freisin is ea go mbeidh an chéad chlár fochéime cosliachta sa tír á thairiscint ag Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte – Baitsiléir Eolaíochta sa Chosliacht (GY504). Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, "Tá beagán le cois 10 seachtaine fágtha ag mic léinn leis an bhfoirm CAO a chomhlánú agus tugann an Lá Oscailte a bhíonn againne anseo san Ollscoil deis do mhic léinn níos mó a fhoghlaim faoin raon cúrsaí atá ar fáil anseo in OÉ Gaillimh. Deis atá ann freisin níos mó a fhoghlaim faoin gcineál saoil a bhíonn ag mic léinn anseo san Ollscoil, go háirithe faoin bhfeabhas atá tagtha ar áiseanna spóirt agus cultúir, ár nIonad Spóirt agus Linn Snámha nua, mar aon leis an Ionad Cultúrtha". Beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn ar fáil i rith an lae le ceisteanna a fhreagairt faoi na himeachtaí a bhíonn ar siúl ag mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh réamhléachtaí ar siúl i rith an lae ó na coláistí seo a leanas - Dána, Dlí, Innealtóireacht, TF, Tráchtáil, Eolaíocht agus Leigheas, Altranas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte. Beidh seastáin freisin le heolas faoi sheirbhísí do mhic léinn, cúrsaí iontrála, cóiríocht, obair dheonach agus forbairt gairme. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ó Mary Coyle ag 091 492814 nó mary.coyle@nuigalway.ie nó féach ar láithreán gréasáin na hOllscoile ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/openday/. - críoch -

Monday, 19 November 2007

Tabharfaidh an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus toscaireacht ionadaithe acadúla ó choláistí ollscoile agus ionaid taighde éagsúla aghaidh ar an tSín inniu. Caithfidh an toscaireacht 5 lá sa tSín agus is é atá mar aidhm leis an gcuairt seo naisc a chruthú agus a neartú trí chuairt a thabhairt ar 17 n-institiúid sa tSín agus meamraim thuisceana agus comhaontuithe comhpháirtíochta a shíniú idir OÉ Gaillimh agus na hinstitiúidí sin. * Ní hamháin gur príomhghné de straitéis idirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh é naisc oideachais níos láidre a fhorbairt leis an tSín, ach is príomhghné de Straitéis Áise Rialtas na hÉireann é freisin (1999-2009). I measc cuid de na buntáistí a bhaineann leis na naisc seo tá earcaíocht, comhoibriú agus socrúcháin oibre do chéimithe sa réimse taighde agus forbartha. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Anna Cunningham, Uasal, An Stiúrthóir um Ghnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta in OÉ Gaillimh, "Tosaíocht straitéiseach atá ag OÉ Gaillimh mic léinn idirnáisiúnta Mháistreachta agus Ph.D. den scoth a mhealladh chuig OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an t-ádh orainn go bhfuil naisc cruthaithe againn cheana féin le cuid de na hollscoileanna is iomráití sa tSín. Is é atá mar aidhm leis an gcuairt seo na naisc seo a bhunú go foirmiúil agus tuilleadh deiseanna cómhalartacha a chruthú do mhic léinn iarchéime, tuilleadh deiseanna comhthaighde san áireamh." I rith na cuairte tabharfaidh an tOllamh William Schabas ó Ionad na hÉireann um Chearta an Duine páipéar ag an Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Tá sé beartaithe ag OÉ Gaillimh comhaontú foirmiúil a shíniú le CASS. I measc na n-institiúidí eile a shíneoidh comhaontuithe foirmiúla le OÉ Gaillimh beidh Hong Kong University of Science & Technology agus Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao. Beidh nasc foirmiúil ann idir an Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao agus Institiúid Mhuireolaíochta Mháirtín Uí Riain, OÉ Gaillimh. Lena chois sin, is é an tAmbasadóir Declan Kelleher a sheolfaidh an Alumni Chapter i mBéising in Ambasáid na hÉireann. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag an Uachtarán Ó Muircheartaigh agus é ar tí imeacht chun na Síne, "Is deis iontach é an cuairt stairiúil seo ar an tSín do OÉ Gaillimh cur leis an ngaolmhaireacht láidir atá idir ár n-ollscoil féin agus an tSín cheana féin. Le breis agus 70 alumni sa tSín, is í OÉ Gaillimh an ollscoil Éireannach leis an líon is mó céimithe bunaithe sa tSín. Deis a bheidh sa cuairt seo cur leis na naisc reatha agus naisc nua a fhorbairt leis an tSín – ionas gur féidir na naisc seo a neartú agus cur leo. Ciallóidh sé seo go mbeidh comhoibriú níos fearr ann sa mhalairt oideachais, sa taighde agus forbairt, mar aon le tuiscint níos fearr ar ghnéithe cultúrtha." Tabharfaidh an Dr Louis de Paor, Stiúrthóir Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh agus an tOllamh Kevin Barry, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh cuairt ar Nanjing University agus Fudan University agus é mar aidhm acu mic léinn Mháistreachta agus Ph.D. a mhealladh chun seal a chaitheamh i mbun staidéir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh. Tá mac léinn amháin ó Nanjing University i mbun staidéir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh faoi láthair. Tá an mac léinn seo ag fáil urraíochta ó Chomhairle Scoláireachta na Síne, agus tá sí i mbun taighde dhochtúireachta ar shaothar Roddy Doyle. Dúirt an tOllamh Barry, "D'fhonn na malairtí idir na hollscoileanna seo a bhunú tá ranganna Sínise á gcur ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh anois. Tá 30 mac léinn cláraithe faoi láthair agus beirt léachtóirí ó Bhéising atá i mbun na ranganna seo. Sa bhliain acadúil amach romhainn in OÉ Gaillimh, tá sé beartaithe deis a thabhairt do mhic léinn atá i mbun cúrsaí sna Dána agus sa Tráchtáil staidéar a dhéanamh ar an tSínis." Le linn don Uachtarán a bheith ag labhairt ag seoladh Alumni Chapter, mheabhraigh sé do alumni agus d'aíonna araon, go bhféadfaí cur leis na naisc idir OÉ Gaillimh agus Béising mar go mbeidh triúr mac léinn agus alumni amháin ó OÉ Gaillimh ag glacadh páirte sna Cluichí Oilimpeacha a bheidh ar siúl an bhliain seo chugainn i mBéising. I measc na gcineálacha spóirt atá i gceist tá ráibeáil (Paul Hession, 110 & 200m), iomramh (Alan Martin, Cormac Folan) agus siúl 20km (Olive Loughnane). CRÍOCH

Monday, 19 November 2007

A seminar on 'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' will be given from 1-2pm on Tuesday, 20 November at NUI Galway by Fr. Harry Bohan, founder of The Céifin Centre for Values-led Change. The free public event is part of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) Keynote Seminar Series which seeks to address pertinent issues facing the wider national and international community. Founded by Fr. Harry Bohan in 1998, the Céifin Centre is based in Shannon, Co. Clare. The Centre focuses on a search for values in modern day Ireland. Céifin's main aim is to generate the capacity for debate on social change issues by facilitating a number of activities and programmes including conferences, lectures, workshops and research projects. The seminar will address some of the challenges facing schools in Ireland today, at primary and secondary level. According to Fr. Harry, "In our time, the greatest revolution taking place in Ireland is not with state or church but with family life. We have moved in a short period of time from the extended family to the nuclear family, to various definitions of family life. According to CSO figures 20% of families in the Dublin area could now be regarded as traditional families. Adolescents now spend less that 5% of their time with parents and less than 2% with other adults. This means a generation of young Irish people are growing up alone". He continued: "Traditionally, values were taught by parents at home and by teachers in the classroom. Now we have a society where parents often cannot afford to be at home, where the dynamic of home life revolves around TV and video games. The implications for schools and schooling are enormous. The question must now be asked: who is rearing the next generations? Finding answers to this question could be one of the great challenges facing our society". Previous speakers in CKI's seminar series have included former Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Michael D. Higgins, T.D., Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, and Alan Kerins of the Alan Kerins African Projects. The seminar will be held in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For further information, telephone the CKI office on 091 493823. ENDS

Friday, 16 November 2007

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin T.D., has announced Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research investment awards amounting to €87 million across a number of groundbreaking industry-academic projects. Among the projects is the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), which was awarded just over €4.3 million from SFI with an additional €1.7 million to be provided by industrial partners. NFB is led by Professor Abhay Pandit of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway. Biomaterials are synthetic materials which are placed within the body for therapeutic reasons. Their effectiveness can be greatly increased by combining them with therapeutic agents such as genes. NFB will develop new technologies to carry therapeutic genes and other agents to specific target sites. These will include coatings for medical devices, tissue repair scaffolds and also programmable nanospheres which carry a therapeutic agent to a specific location via the bloodstream. The new technology has applications linked to several important diseases, including cardiovascular disease, disc repair, spinal cord and nerve damage. "This is a tremendous opportunity for us to develop critical mass in the area of next generation biomaterials. With the establishment of this strategic research cluster we are now poised to make substantial impact on the world stage for biomaterials research. We see this funding as seed money to establish a world-class centre of excellence in biomaterials research in the coming years," reports Professor Abhay Pandit of NUI Galway. The network brings together leading researchers from national and international institutions. The team is competitive internationally by virtue of their broad expertise, their track record of collaboration, and the benefit of international collaborations with outstanding institutions and individuals. Industrial partnerships with a number of key companies in the medical device field have been established and will be critical to bringing materials developed in this project to market. Speaking at the announcement of the funding allocation at SFI, Professor Frank Gannon, Director General SFI, said, "These research award recipients and the teams that they have assembled are of world-class calibre. I believe that the initiatives to be undertaken by SFI over the coming seven years will provide a cornerstone for Ireland s future economic development, with Centres for Science and Engineering Technology (CSETs) and Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs) playing a key role". Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice President for Research at NUI Galway commented, "The award by SFI of the grant of €4.3m is a tribute both to the quality research record that Professor Abhay Pandit and his colleagues have established at NUI Galway for several years, and to the high-calibre collaborative network that Abhay has been able to forge because of his international scholarly reputation." ENDS

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Solar variability and climate: conjecture, politics and science The 2007 Monsignor Pádraig de Brún Memorial Lecture entitled Solar Variability and Climate Change, will be delivered by Professor Joanna Haigh, Professor of Atmospheric Physics, Imperial College London on Thursday, 22 November, 2007 at 8.30 p.m. in the O'Flaherty Lecture Theatre, NUI Galway. Joanna Haigh is Professor of Atmospheric Physics and Head of the Space and Atmospheric Physics group at Imperial College London. Her talk will outline the chequered history of solar-climate studies, assess what is known about variations in the Sun and review the evidence for a solar influence on climate. It will conclude with a discussion of recent research that is trying to unravel some of the complex physical mechanisms involved. Professor Gerard Jennings of the Environment Change Institute at NUI Galway commenting ahead of Professor Haigh's lecture said, "Natural variations in the sun's energy, as measured from spacecraft over the past 30 years, are too small to account for the observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures. This is consistent with the extensive body of scientific evidence which supports the view that it is extremely likely that human activity has a substantial warming influence on climate." Professor Haigh's scientific interests include: radiative transfer in the atmosphere, climate modelling, radiative forcing of climate change and the influence of solar irradiance variability on climate. She has published widely on these topics in the scientific literature and also contributed to numerous items in the written and broadcast popular media. This public lecture is jointly organised by NUI Galway and the Royal Irish Academy. While admission is free, tickets are limited and are available through the Press and Information Office at 091-493361 or by email at info@nuigalway.ie. Alternatively, tickets can be booked through the Royal Irish Academy at www.ria.ie. ENDS

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Solar variability and climate: conjecture, politics and science Is í an tOllamh Joanna Haigh, Ollamh le Fisic Atmaisféarach ag an Imperial College, Londain, a thabharfaidh Léacht Chuimhneacháin an Mhoinsíneora Pádraig de Brún 2007 – léacht dar teideal Solar Variability and Climate Change – Déardaoin, an 22 Samhain 2007 ag 8.30 p.m. i dTéatar Uí Fhlaitheartaigh, OÉ Gaillimh. Is Ollamh le Fisic Atmaisféarach agus Ceann an Ghrúpa um Fhisic Spáis agus Atmaisféarach san Imperial College, Londain í Joanna. Déanfaidh sí cur síos ar chúlra corrach an staidéir ghrianaeráide, tabharfaidh sí léargas ar a bhfuil ar eolas againn faoi athruithe sa Ghrian agus déanfaidh sí athbhreithniú ar thionchar na gréine ar an aeráid. Cuirfear clabhsúr leis an léacht le plé ar thaighde a rinneadh le déanaí – taighde a bhfuil sé mar aidhm léi léargas a thabhairt ar chuid de na meicníochtaí fisiciúla casta atá i gceist. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Gerard Jennings ón Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil in OÉ Gaillimh agus é ag tagairt do léacht an Ollaimh Haigh, "Ní leor athruithe i bhfuinneamh na gréine – arna thomhas ag spásárthaí le 30 bliain anuas – le míniú a thabhairt ar an méadú sciobtha atá tagtha ar mheánteocht an domhain. Tagann an méid seo leis an bhfianaise eolaíoch a thacaíonn leis an dearcadh gur dócha gur bhfuil nasc idir gníomhaíocht dhaonna agus téamh aeráide." I measc na n-ábhar eolaíoch ar spéis leis an Ollamh Haigh tá: aistriú radantach san atmaisféar, samhaltú aeráide, fórsáil radantach d'athrú aeráide agus an tionchar atá ag athrú ionradantas gréine ar aeráid. Tá go leor foilsithe aici faoi na hábhair seo sa litríocht eolaíoch agus is iomaí píosa scríofa agus craolta a raibh baint aici leo freisin. Tá an léacht phoiblí seo á heagrú ag OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhar le hAcadamh Ríoga na hÉireann. Cé go bhfuil saorchead isteach, níl ach méid áirithe ticéad ar fáil. Tá méid áirithe ticéad le fáil ón Oifig Preasa agus Faisnéise ag 091-493361 nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig info@nuigalway.ie. Is féidir ticéid a chur in áirithe freisin ach teagmháil a dhéanamh le hAcadamh Ríoga na hÉireann ag www.ria.ie. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

NUI Galway will host a one day conference on the Law and Mental Health on Saturday, November 17. The conference, which runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm, will bring together a number of national and international experts to debate issues of relevance to those who work in the field of mental health and those who suffer from mental illness. Recent reports have found that that up to 20% of suicides can be attributed to workplace bullying and there has been a recent surge in case law dealing with stress related injury at work. At the conference, Ursula Connolly of the Law Faculty at NUI Galway, will address the extent to which employers can be held liable when an employee suffers from mental ill-health due to conditions at work. Shivaun Quinlivan, also of the Law Faculty at NUI Galway, will speak about a related workplace issue, that of discrimination and mental health and the extent to which equality legislation protects those with mental ill-health at work. Professor Phil Fennell, of Cardiff Law School will address how human rights instruments have influenced and shaped law and policy in this area. Dr. Mary Keys, lecturer at the Law Faculty at NUI Galway and member of the Mental Health Commission, stressed the importance of such an event, arguing that "Mental health is an issue for every individual. Our mental wellbeing underpins society, both economically and socially. Despite this critical importance, the mechanisms are still not in place by government to provide the multi-disciplinary approach necessary to support mental health in Ireland. We cannot afford to delay on implementing strategies as set out in the Government's 2006 policy document 'A Vision for Change'. Delays and half-measures will have profound effects on all aspects of society." The event has been organised with the support of the Health Service Executive and the Department of Health and Children. Dr. Jimmy Devins, Minister of State with special responsibility for Disability and Mental Health will open the conference, which will be chaired by Martin Rogan of the Health Service Executive with an opening address by Donncha O'Connell, Dean of Law, NUI Galway. Professor Gerard Quinn, a leading international expert in the field of disability law and a key figure in the drafting of the recently adopted UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, will act as rapporteur. Further information and registration details are available at http://www.nuigalway.ie/law/mental_health_conference.html or by contacting Ms. Ursula Connolly, Law Faculty, NUI Galway (ursula.connolly@nuigalway.ie, telephone 091-493250). -ends-

Monday, 12 November 2007

Inniu (12 Samhain), bronnadh Dioplómaí ar 102 mac léinn a chríochnaigh cláir léinn de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar champas de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh i nGaoth Dobhair, Co. Dhún na nGall. Ag an ócáid, dúirt an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh go raibh an-áthas air a bheith ar ais arís i nGaoth Dobhair le cáilíochtaí a bhronnadh ar mhic léinn don tríú bliain as a chéile. "I nGaoth Dobhair, cuireann an tAcadamh agus Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh cúrsaí ar fáil i réimsí na cumarsáide, na ríomhaireachta, na Gaeilge, an aistriúcháin agus an bhéaloidis. Seo réimsí faoi leith atá tábhachtach i bhforbairt shóisialta, chultúrtha agus eacnamaíoch na Gaeltachta. Tríd an bhforbairt atá déanta ar ionad Ghaoth Dobhair agus na cúrsaí atá á soláthar ann tá béim á cur ag an Ollscoil ar dhearcadh dearfach a chruthú don Ghaeilge mar mhóracmhainn forbartha sa Ghaeltacht" a deir an tUachtarán. Ag an bhronnadh dúirt Éamonn Mac Niallais, Riarthóir Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair go bhfuil cúrsaí Dioplóma á gcur ar fáil ag an Acadamh i nGaoth Dobhair agus in ionaid eile san Iarthuaisceart le ceithre bliana anuas agus go bhfuil sé in am anois an chéad chéim chun tosaigh a ghlacadh. "An bhliain seo chugainn cuirfear tús leis an chéad chéim lánaimseartha ollscoile san ionad seo, an B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó. Is cúrsa ceithre bliana atá i gceist agus is é aidhm an chúrsa seo oiliúint a chur ar chéimithe a thabharfaidh na scileanna praiticiúla agus anailíse dóibh atá de dhíth chun dul ag obair i réimse an ghnó agus an riaracháin dhátheangaigh", a deir Éamonn. Le roinnt blianta anuas, tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil in eagraíochtaí a fheidhmíonn trí mheán na Gaeilge, sa Ghaeltacht agus lasmuigh di, agus is cinnte gur forbairt shuntasach é seo don Acadamh san Iarthuaisceart an chéim seo a bheith á cur ar fáil, agus gur deis iontach a bheas ann do mhuintir na Gaeltachta céim Ollscoile agus deiseanna breise fostaíochta a bhaint amach ina gceantar féin. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó nó faoi chúrsaí eile an Acadaimh, is féidir dul i dteagmháil le hIonad an Acadaimh ag 074 9531919 nó seol ríomhphost chuig gaothdobhair@oegaillimh.ie Críoch

Monday, 12 November 2007

A new research report published by Galway City Partnership and the One Parent Family Research Steering Group has found that those parenting alone want to return to work but face significant barriers in their efforts to access employment, training and education. The research, undertaken in Galway City and County by the NUI Galway Child and Family Research Centre, was launched today in Galway by Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Éamon Ó Cuív T.D. Dr Michelle Millar who headed the research team from the Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway said, "The research clearly shows a willingness on the part of these parents to work outside the home. Yet their decision to do so is affected both by their concerns surrounding how going out to work will impact on their children, and being able to find suitable, part time flexible employment. Also the lack of affordable and accessible childcare, and the poverty trap created by the rent supplement mean that for many of those who parent alone, finding work that leaves them financially better off is extremely difficult." The research is the first of its kind in Ireland and took place in the context of major proposed policy changes. The Government Discussion Paper: Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents suggests that policy changes are likely to involve major reform in welfare support for those parenting alone. The proposals would incorporate conditionality in payment, with those parenting alone expected to begin connecting to the labour market as their children approach the upper age limit for payment of the Parental Allowance. Speaking at the launch, Elaine Harvey, Chair of the One Parent Family Research Steering Group said, "The parents view themselves, first and foremost, as primary carers for their children, and because of their circumstances, affordable childcare and a flexible attitude from employers are just as important as getting an actual job. It is clear from the research that those parenting alone want to work – the challenge for all of us is to identify with parents their individual blocks to employment, education and training, and then to develop realistic pathways to overcoming the obstacles identified. We believe that this activation process should be voluntary and note that 46% of those who participated in the survey had looked for work in the past 12 months." Minister Ó Cuív said, "Lone parents face many challenges in today s society of which returning to the workplace is just one. This research will help inform policy makers and indeed employers about the particular challenges facing lone parents and ways in which they can be helped." The research was undertaken to address the lack of reliable information about the reality of life for those parenting alone in Galway City and County. It included interviews and questionnaires with parents, policy makers and service providers and found that poverty and child wellbeing will only be addressed if the family's financial situation improves as a result of going back to work. Declan Brassil, Galway City Partnership Manager said, "One of the primary barriers is the lack of flexible employment which will result in increased income. Parents encounter difficulties in securing flexible, high quality, well paid employment which is part-time and family friendly, and takes account of school hours and school holidays. This is even more difficult for those parents located in rural areas. The report recommends that employers should be consulted in order to understand the demand for flexible, part-time work and that local employers be encouraged to engage with the One Parent Family Research Steering Group." The report found that additional, affordable, community based childcare facilities should be provided, and creative ways in which care can be provided outside the home for older children and young adolescents need to be explored and fostered. Parents want to engage in training and education but it needs to be at a time that suits them and their children, with a preference for part-time courses run locally while children are in school. Parents living in rural areas need training to take place locally. Education and training providers should explore the possibility of including work placement or supervised work experience which would support individuals in their role as parents. Some parents found dealing with organisations and agencies quite difficult as they were not forthcoming with information about entitlements and services, although a number of participants spoke of having a positive experience when dealing with statutory service providers. The report recommends that a booklet and internet site containing information for those parenting alone be published, and distributed by the Department of Social and Family Affairs (DSFA) to all those currently in receipt of One Parent Family Payment (OPFP). The booklet and site should contain information regarding benefits, entitlements, education and training opportunities, supports for re-entering the labour market, and all relevant contact details for agencies who work with those parenting alone. Locally based support groups in Galway City and County should be established where those parenting alone can support one another in a non-judgmental and positive environment. Differences between the experiences of urban and rural lone parents were also found. These centred largely around access and mobility as many jobs, services and educational programmes are based in Galway City and larger towns in County Galway making it more difficult for lone parents living in rural areas. It also found that social support networks are vital, with grandparents and other family members playing an important support role for many lone parents. The survey was sent to the 3,144 recipients of the One Parent Family Payment in Galway City and County and 676 (22%) were returned. Ends

Monday, 12 November 2007

Sports Scholarships 2007/2008 Sports Scholarships amounting to over €100,000 have been presented to the recipients of this year's NUI Galway Sports Scholarships Scheme. Now in its tenth year, the scheme supports the University's student athletes who excel in their respective sporting fields and gives them the opportunity of developing their sporting prowess whilst studying at NUI Galway. At a special ceremony in the University, 82 students were presented with awards by the NUI Galway's Vice-President for Physical Resources Keith Warnock. Fourteen athletes, who are already on sports scholarships and still studying at the University, received €2,000 again this year. A further 13 students received scholarships (worth €2,000) for the first time, while an additional 50 students benefited to the tune of €1,000 each, under the University's Bursary scheme. This year's Scholarship winners include Niamh Fahy from Killanin, Co Galway - current Galway Ladies Gaelic Football Star and Irish Senior Ladies Soccer International; Niamh Kilkenny, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway - Galway Senior Camogie star; David Conway, Ballickmoyler Co. Laois - Gaelic Football player; David Duffy, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath – all Ireland Gaelic Football Fresher winner; David Kenny, Birr, Co. Offaly – up and coming Hurling star; Fiona Carroll, Athenry, Co. Galway - Golf's rising young star; and Liam Molloy, Newcastle, Galway – Rowing International. In addition to these awards, two students, Mark Ronaldson, Shrule, Co. Mayo and Chris Barrett, Ballina, Co. Mayo, received Gaelic Football scholarships sponsored by Cadbury's as part of their sponsorship of the Cadbury All-Ireland U21 Football Championship. A further three scholarships, sponsored by Galway United and Sports Med West were awarded to Michael Creane from Sligo town; Jack O' Doherty, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal; and Vinny Carrigan from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. NUI Galway Sports and Recreation Officer, Tony Regan says the Sports Scholarship Scheme initiative encourages students to participate at the highest levels in sport, "The Sports Scholarship Scheme gives a tremendous boost to the sporting ethos of NUI Galway. Over the years, the scheme has supported some excellent athletes with many recipients representing the University with distinction at national and international level. These have included the likes of Paul Hession, current Irish record holder at 60, 100 & 200 metres, Eadaoin Ní Challarain, double Olympic representation in 2000 and 2004, as well as current Olympian Oarsmen, Cormac Folan and Alan Martin." He added, "We would like to congratulate our awardees who represent a cross section of the most outstanding sporting talent in this country and wish them every success in their future sporting endeavors with the University and indeed further a field". This year's selection of athletes came from across the academic disciplines and represents a wide variety of sports including Athletics, Basketball, Boxing, Camogie, Cycling, Gaelic Games, Golf, Hockey, Kayaking, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Surfing, Swimming and Windsurfing. -ends-

Monday, 12 November 2007

Scoláireachtaí Spóirt 2007/2008 Tá Scoláireachtaí Spóirt ar fiú os cionn €100,000 iad bronnta faoi Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh na bliana seo. Tá an Scéim Scoláireachtaí seo ar bun le 10 mbliana anuas. Tacaíonn an scéim le lúthchleasaithe atá ag freastal ar an Ollscoil dul chun cinn a dhéanamh, mar aon le deis a fháil a gcumas spóirt a fhorbairt le linn a bheith ag staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh. Ag searmanas speisialta a eagraíodh san Ollscoil, bhronn Keith Warnock, Leas-Uachtarán um Acmhainní Fisiciúla OÉ Gaillimh, duaiseanna ar 82 mac léinn. Tugadh €2,000 an duine arís i mbliana do 14 lúthchleasaí atá ar scoláireacht spóirt cheana féin agus atá fós san Ollscoil. Bronnadh scoláireacht (€2,000 an duine) ar 13 mac léinn eile den chéad uair, agus tugadh €1,000 an duine do 50 mac léinn eile, faoi scéim Spáranachtaí na hOllscoile. I measc na mac léinn a bhuaigh Scoláireachtaí i mbliana tá Niamh Fahy ó Chill Aithnín, Co. na Gaillimhe – Réalta le Foireann Peil Ghaelach na Gaillimhe agus Imreoir le Foireann Shinsearach Sacair Ban na hÉireann; Niamh Kilkenny, Béal Átha na Sluaighe, Co. na Gaillimhe – Réalta le Foireann Shinsearach Camógaíochta na Gaillimhe; David Conway, Baile Mhic Mhaoilir, Co. Laoise – Imreoir Peil Ghaelach; David Duffy, An Muileann gCearr, Co. na hIarmhí – buaiteoir le Foireann Mhac Léinn Céad Bhliana na hÉireann; David Kenny, Biorra, Co. Uíbh Fhailí – réalta óg Iománaíochta; Fiona Carroll, Baile Átha an Rí, Co. na Gaillimhe – réalta óg Gailf; agus Liam Molloy, An Caisleán Nua, Gaillimh – Réalta Idirnáisiúnta Iomraimh. Le cois na scoláireachtaí seo, bronnadh scoláireachtaí Peile ar bheirt mhac léinn, Mark Ronaldson, Sruthair, Co. Mhaigh Eo agus Chris Barrett, Béal an Átha, Co. Mhaigh Eo, mar chuid d'urraíocht Cadbury ar Chraobh Peile Cadbury Faoi 21 na hÉireann. Bronnadh trí scoláireacht eile, urraithe ag Galway United agus Sports Med West ar Michael Creane ó bhaile Shligigh; Jack O'Doherty, Leitir Ceanainn, Co. Dhún na nGall; agus Vinny Carrigan ó Chaisleán an Bharraigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Tugann Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt deis do mhic léinn páirt a ghlacadh ina spórt féin ag an leibhéal is airde, dar le Tony Regan, Oifigeach Spóirt agus Áineasa na hOllscoile, "Chuir Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt go mór le cúrsaí spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh. Le blianta fada anuas, is mór an chabhair atá tugtha ag an scéim do lúthchleasaithe maithe atá ag déanamh ionadaíochta ar an Ollscoil ag leibhéal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta agus tá ag éirí go geal leo. I measc na lúthchleasaithe seo tá Paul Hession, sealbhóir curiarrachta reatha na hÉireann ag 60, 100 & 200 méadar, Eadaoin Ní Challaráin, a d'fhreastail ar na cluichí Oilimpeacha in 2000 agus 2004, mar aon leis na hIomróirí Oilimpeacha reatha, Cormac Folan agus Alan Martin." Ina theannta sin, dúirt sé "Is mian linn tréaslú leis na buaiteoirí ar fad a dhéanann ionadaíocht ar an tír seo agus gach rath a ghuí orthu lena n-iarrachtaí spóirt san Ollscoil agus go deimhin níos faide ó bhaile". Tá baint ag lúthchleasaithe na bliana seo le réimse leathan spóirt lena n-áirítear Lúthchleasaíocht, Cispheil, Dornálaíocht, Camógaíocht, Rothaíocht, Peil Ghaelach, Galf, Haca, Cadhcáil, Iomramh, Rugbaí, Sacar, Tonnmharcaíocht, Snámh agus Clársheoltóireacht. - críoch -

Monday, 12 November 2007

At a special ceremony today, 102 students who completed academic programmes with NUI Galway's Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Gaoth Dobhair, Co. Donegal, were conferred with Dioplomas. At the event, NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said that he was delighted to be back in Gaoth Dobhair for the third year running at the conferring ceremony. "Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge and NUI Galway are providing courses in communication, computing, Irish, translation studies and folklore in Gaoth Dobhair. These disciplines are particularly relevant to the social, cultural and economic development of the Gaeltacht. As a result of the development in Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair and the courses being provided, the University is placing a particular emphasis on creating a positive attitude in relation to the Irish language as a major development resource in the Gaeltacht." Éamonn Mac Niallais, Administrator of Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair said that Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is providing Diploma courses in Gaoth Dobhair and in other centres in the Northwest for the past four years and that it was now time to progress further. "Next year the first fulltime university course will commence in Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair – B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó. This is a four year course and the aim is to train graduates and provide them with the practical and analytical skills needed to work in a bilingual business and administration environment." In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the employment opportunities that are available in organisations functioning through the medium of Irish, in the Gaeltacht and outside of the Gaeltacht. The provision of this degree is a significant development for the Acadamh in the Northwest, as well as a great opportunity for the local people of the Gaeltacht to attain a university degree and extra employment opportunities in their own area. Further information about the B.A. sa Riarachán Gnó or other courses provided by the Acadamh can be attained by contacting Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair at 074 9531919 or forwarding an email to gaothdobhair@oegaillimh.ie Ends

Monday, 12 November 2007

Is léir ón eolas atá le fáil i dtuarascáil taighde nua atá foilsithe ag Comhpháirtíocht Chathair na Gaillimhe agus an Grúpa Stiúrtha um Thaighde ar Theaghlaigh Aontuismitheora go bhfuil neart dúshlán le sárú ag tuismitheoirí aonair a dteastaíonn uathu filleadh ar fhostaíocht – dúshláin a bhaineann le teacht ar fhostaíocht, oiliúint agus oideachas. Inniu sheol an tUasal Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., An tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, an taighde seo a rinne Ionad Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh OÉ Gaillimh i gCathair agus i gContae na Gaillimhe. Dúirt an Dr Michelle Millar ón Ionad Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh in OÉ Gaillimh, "Is léir ón taighde seo go bhfuil na tuismitheoirí seo toilteanach oibriú lasmuigh den bhaile. Ach i measc na n-ábhar imní a bhíonn le déileáil acu tá an tionchar a bheidh ag an gcinneadh sin ar na leanaí, agus an deacracht a bhaineann le fostaíocht fheiliúnach, pháirtaimseartha a fháil. Dúshláin eile fós iad áiseanna cúram leanaí inacmhainne agus inrochtana a fháil, mar aon leis an tsáinn bhochtaineachta a chruthaíonn an forlíonadh cíosa – dúshláin a chiallaíonn go mbíonn an-chuid deacrachtaí ag tuismitheoirí aonair obair a fháil – obair a chiallaíonn go mbeidh siad níos fearr as." Is é seo an chéad chineál taighde dá leithéid in Éirinn agus is i gcomhthéacs mórathruithe beartais a tugadh faoi. Moltar i bPlépháipéar an Rialtais: Proposals for Supporting Lone Parents go mbeidh leasú mór i gceist i dtacaíocht leasa do thuismitheoirí aonair de dheasca athruithe beartais. San áireamh sna moltaí seo bheadh coinníollacht san íocaíocht, agus síltear go mbeidh tuismitheoirí aonair páirteach sa mhargadh fostaíochta nuair a bheidh a leanaí ag teannadh leis an uasteorainn aoise d'íocaíocht an Liúntais Tuismitheora. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Elaine Harvey, Cathaoirleach an Ghrúpa Stiúrtha um Thaighde ar Theaghlaigh Aontuismitheora ag an seoladh, "Is é dearcadh na dtuismitheoirí gurb é an príomhról atá acu feidhmiú mar phríomhchúramóirí dá leanaí, agus bunaithe ar an méid sin, baineann an oiread céanna tábhachta le cúram leanaí inacmhainne agus dearcadh solúbtha fostóirí agus a bhaineann le fostaíocht a fháil. Is léir ón taighde go dteastaíonn ó thuismitheoirí aonair a bheith ag obair – is é an dúshlán atá ann oibriú i gcomhar le tuismitheoirí agus bealaí a aimsiú le rochtain ar fhostaíocht, ar oideachas agus ar oiliúint a aithint. Ina dhiaidh sin, ní mór bealaí réalaíocha a aithint chun na bacainní sin a shárú. Creidimid gur cheart gur próiseas deonach a bheadh sa phróiseas gníomhachtúcháin seo agus is ceart aird a dhíriú ar an bpointe gur lorg 46% díobh siúd a rinne an suirbhé fostaíochta le 12 mhí anuas." Dúirt an tAire Ó Cuív, "Is iomaí dúshlán atá le sárú ag tuismitheoirí aonair sa lá atá inniu ann, agus níl i gceist le fostaíocht a fháil ach ceann de na dúshláin seo. Foinse eolais a bheidh sa taighde seo do lucht déanta beartas agus fostóirí go deimhin, maidir leis na dúshláin atá le sárú ag teaghlaigh aontuismitheora agus na bealaí ar féidir cabhrú leo." Tugadh faoin taighde seo ar mhaithe le heolas iontaofa a sholáthar maidir le saol tuismitheoirí aonair i gCathair agus i gContae na Gaillimhe. San áireamh sa taighde seo bhí agallaimh agus ceistneoirí le tuismitheoirí, lucht déanta beartas agus soláthraithe seirbhíse agus aimsíodh nach bhfeabhsóidh cúrsaí bochtaineachta agus folláine leanaí ach amháin má thagann feabhas ar ioncam an teaghlaigh de dheasca filleadh ar fhostaíocht. Dúirt Declan Brassil, Bainisteoir Chomhpháirtíocht Chathair na Gaillimhe, "Ceann de na bacainní bunúsacha is ea easpa fostaíocht sholúbtha a chiallaíonn go mbíonn an teaghlach níos fearr as. Bíonn deacrachtaí ag tuismitheoirí fostaíocht sholúbtha, ar ardchaighdeán agus le tuarastal maith a fháil, mar aon le fostaíocht pháirtaimseartha agus a fheileann do shaol teaghlaigh, agus a fheileann d'uaireanta scoile agus laethanta saoire scoile. Tá sé níos deacra fós ag tuismitheoirí atá lonnaithe i gceantair thuaithe. Is é a mholtar sa tuarascáil gur cheart dul i gcomhairle le fostóirí chun an t-éileamh atá ar phoist sholúbtha, pháirtaimseartha a phlé agus ansin go bhféadfaí fostóirí áitiúla a spreagadh dul i gcomhairle leis an nGrúpa Stiúrtha um Thaighde ar Theaghlaigh Aontuismitheora." Moltar sa tuarascáil gur cheart áiseanna breise, inacmhainne, pobalbhunaithe cúram leanaí a sholáthar, mar aon le bealaí cruthaitheacha inar féidir cúram a sholáthar lasmuigh den bhaile do leanaí níos sine agus ógánaigh a iniúchadh agus a chur i bhfeidhm. Teastaíonn ó thuismitheoirí a bheith páirteach i gcúrsaí oiliúna agus oideachais agus ní mór go mbeadh cúrsaí den chineál seo ar siúl ag am a fheileann dóibh féin agus dá leanaí, agus bheadh cúrsaí páirtaimseartha a bhíonn ar siúl nuair a bhíonn na leanaí ar scoil feiliúnach sa chás seo. D'fheilfeadh sé do thuismitheoirí atá ag cur fúthu i gceantair thuaithe dá mbeadh cúrsaí ar siúl sa cheantar áitiúil. D'áireodh soláthraithe oideachais agus oiliúna an fhéidearthacht a bhainfeadh le socrúchán oibre nó taithí oibre maoirsithe ar mhaithe le tacú le daoine an ról atá acu mar thuismitheoirí a chomhlíonadh. Thug tuismitheoirí áirithe le fios gur bhain deacrachtaí le déileáil le heagraíochtaí agus gníomhaireachtaí de bhrí nach raibh fonn orthu eolas a thabhairt maidir le teidlíochtaí agus seirbhísí, cé nach raibh locht ar bith ag roinnt tuismitheoirí ar an modh ar dhéileáil soláthraithe reachtúla seirbhíse leo. Moltar sa tuarascáil seo gur cheart leabhrán agus láithreán gréasáin a fhoilsiú ar mhaithe le heolas a thabhairt do thuismitheoirí aonair. Ina theannta sin, moltar gur cheart don Roinn Gnóthaí Sóisialacha agus Teaghlaigh na leabhráin seo a thabhairt dóibh siúd atá ag fáil Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora. Ba cheart go mbeadh eolas sa leabhrán seo agus ar an láithreán gréasáin maidir le sochair, teidlíochtaí, deiseanna oideachais agus oiliúna, tacaíocht chun filleadh ar an margadh fostaíochta, agus sonraí teagmhála na ngníomhaireachtaí ar fad atá ag obair le tuismitheoirí aonair. Ba cheart grúpaí tacaíochta áitiúla a bhunú i gCathair agus i gContae na Gaillimhe ionas gur féidir le tuismitheoirí aonair tacú lena chéile go neamhbhreithiúnach agus i dtimpeallacht dheas. Is léir ón taighde seo freisin go bhfuil difríochtaí le sonrú idir eispéiris tuismitheoirí aonair atá lonnaithe sa chathair agus iad siúd atá lonnaithe faoin tuath. I measc na bpríomhdhifríochtaí bhí rochtain agus soghluaisteacht de bhrí gur i gCathair na Gaillimhe agus sna bailte níos mó i gCo. na Gaillimhe atá go leor de na poist, seirbhísí agus cláir oideachais bunaithe – rud a chruthaíonn deacrachtaí do thuismitheoirí aonair atá ag cur fúthu faoin tuath. Is léir freisin go mbaineann an-tábhacht le líonraí tacaíochta sóisialta, agus go gcabhraíonn seantuismitheoirí agus gaolta eile go mór le tuismitheoirí aonair. Seoladh an suirbhé chuig an 3,144 duine atá ag fáil an Íocaíocht Teaghlach Aontuismitheora i gCathair agus i gContae na Gaillimhe agus seoladh 676 (22%) suirbhé ar ais againn. Críoch

Monday, 5 November 2007

NUI Galway will host Irish Aid's Third Level Conference 'Development's Futures', from 24-25 November 2007. Minister of State for Overseas Development, Michael Kitt T.D., will officially open the event, which will be attended by some 200 practitioners and academics working in the field of international development and development education. The keynote address will be delivered by Michael Edwards, Director of the Governance and Civil Society Program at the Ford Foundation, one of the world's leading philanthropic foundations. Other speakers will include award-winning journalist Palagummi Sainath of The Hindu, who has been described as 'the conscience of the Indian nation'. An exhibition of his photographs on the theme of 'Women & Work in Rural India' will go on public display in conjunction with the conference. The conference aims to improve links between different sectors of the development community, with an emphasis on the importance of research to educators, practitioners and scholars alike. Over 80 papers reflecting the latest research and practice in development education and in international development issues will be presented over the two days of the conference. Panel sessions will also take place on topics including HIV/AIDS; Crisis and Conflict; Education Policies in Africa; NGO Partnerships for Poverty Reduction; Gender Perspectives; Environment; Volunteering; and Food Security. Welcoming the announcement of the conference, Minister of State Kitt said, "This conference is part of Irish Aid's commitment to promote development education in universities and other third-level institutions in Ireland. I am confident that it will facilitate contacts and networking between both third-level development education practitioners and academics working in the field of international development". According to conference convenor Dr. Su-ming Khoo, Department of Sociology and Political Science, NUI Galway, "This event will give international researchers, educators, practitioners and activists an opportunity to explore what the future holds for development. There is an onus on third-level institutions to engage with the development issues and support organisations and individuals to advance development cooperation through research and knowledge sharing". The registration fee for the conference has been heavily subsidised (€50 full fee or €25 for students), and those interested in attending should register as soon as possible at www.conference.ie. -ends-

Thursday, 20 December 2007

NUI Galway to co-ordinate Irish activities Today the United Nations (UN) 62nd General Assembly proclaimed 2009 the 'International Year of Astronomy'. The Resolution was submitted by Italy, Galileo Galilei's home country, and was co-sponsored by Ireland. The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is an initiative of the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO. The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) will be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, highlighted by the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo Galilei. The aim of this celebration is to stimulate worldwide interest, especially among young people, in astronomy and science under the central theme "The Universe: Yours to Discover". National Nodes in each country have been formed to prepare activities for 2009. In Ireland this will be headed by Professor Michael Redfern, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway. Professor Redfern will establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres, educators and science communicators in preparing activities for 2009. Professor Redfern said, "We are proud that Ireland is a co-sponsor of the motion that went before the UN, and a collaborator in IYA2009. In Ireland, we will focus on showing the universal appeal of astronomy to the public, and use the year to encourage more students to consider science as a career. As part of the process we will seek to provide a modern gender-balanced view of science and scientists, and will work especially hard to support our colleagues in the developing world who will also be using IYA2009 to promote science education at all levels." Professor Redfern added, "IYA2009 will also highlight global cooperation for peaceful purposes. For millennia, astronomers have worked together across boundaries including those of geography, gender, age, culture and race. These are precisely the principles embodied in the UN Charter. In that sense, astronomy is a classic example of how science can contribute towards furthering international cooperation." So far 99 nations and 14 organisations have signed up to participate in the IYA2009 – an unprecedented network of committed communicators and educators in astronomy. The President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Catherine Cesarsky, says, "The International Year of Astronomy 2009 gives all nations a chance to participate in this ongoing exciting scientific and technological revolution." For more information on the 'International Year of Astronomy 2009' please visit the website at http://www.astronomy2009.org/ For information on Irish activities in IYA2009 visit the website at http://www.astronomy2009.ie/ ENDS

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

The National University of Ireland, Galway reports an excellent year for technology transfer activities in 2007, as measured by license agreements, spin-out companies, new invention disclosures, patent applications, collaborative projects with industry and support to campus company formation. Commenting on the success during 2007, Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Director, Technology Transfer office, said, "The achievements of 2007 reflect the dedication, commitment and professionalism of the entire TTO staff in accelerating value creation and technology commercialization, the commitment of the research community at NUI Galway to excellence in applied research programmes and support of collaborative projects with industry, university support to basic and applied research programmes, along with the ability and mandate of the TTO team to capitalise on the R&D outputs arising from funding support from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, IDA and other funding bodies over the past three to five years". Licensing In the past year the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) executed twenty-four (24) license and option agreements across a range of technology areas including various molecular diagnostic technologies, waste water treatment technologies, metal oxide coating technology, wave to energy technology, error correction code technology, wind blade and composite technology, enzyme technology to convert biomass to bio-energy, advance person recognition technology, technology for integration of medical equipment and data records in hospital systems, amongst others. In addition a number of start-up companies were formed following licensing of technologies and intellectual property from NUI Galway including Eirzyme Ltd, Theta Chemicals Ltd, Syncrophi Ltd, with a number of other spin-out companies at late stage negotiation. License income increased ten (10) fold year-on-year. Awards A further measure of the commercialization activities at NUI Galway was recognized at the Enterprise Ireland Annual Conference on Industrial Products where researchers from the University secured four (4) of the eight (8) awards given out in recognition of technology development and technology commercialization including awards to: Dr Michael Rodgers, Department of Civil Engineering; Dr Jimmy McManus and Professor Des Cunningham (RIP), Department of Chemistry; and Dr Conchúr O'Bradaigh, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering. Each year a special bursary is awarded at this conference to the Principal Investigator who through their research has made a substantial contribution to Irish society and industry and this year Dr Michael Rodgers received this prestigious award for his research on Waste Water Treatment systems. Invention During 2007 some thirty (30) new invention disclosures were lodged by researchers at NUI Galway with the TTO, many with multiple inventions, contributing to thirty (30) patent applications filed. In total ninety-five (95) confidential disclosure agreements (CDAs) and thirty-five (35) materials transfer agreements (MTAs) were also executed with industry. To support technology commercialization the TTO also invested in the Inteum IP Management System and reconfigured its Incubation facility to provide incubation and bio-incubation space for 24 companies in ICT and engineering and 6 life-sciences / biotech companies. Partnership During the past year the Technology Transfer Initiative (TTI) team at the TTO, supported by a grant from Enterprise Ireland, secured in excess of 30 Enterprise Ireland funded Innovation Partnership R&D collaborative projects with industry, spread across small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and Multi National companies (MNCs). In addition a number of other major collaborative projects with industry were supported through the TTO including IDA-supported projects between Smith & Nephew with the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and a collaborative project between GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), NUI Galway and TCD. During 2007 the TTO also secured a number of grants to support its activities including a grant from Enterprise Ireland to hire three (3) additional Commercialization Executives funded by Enterprise Ireland, which complement the existing team of three (3) Commercialization Executives and Administrative team funded directly by NUI Galway. Entrepreneurial Support In 2007 the TTO launched a 'New Entrepreneurial Forum' with programmes being run in two stages. Stage one of the programme is a new eight week Campus Commercialization Programme (CCP) tailored to the needs of the research community on campus. The vision and philosophy of this CCP programme is to provide researchers and emerging entrepreneurs on campus with some of the fundamental knowledge and skill-sets in the pursuit of enterprise development. There is a strong focus on market assessments and the delivery of tailored solutions and technology offerings to the market on time. The team has developed a unique product offering for researchers and look forward to opening up this programme to other campuses across the BMW region. Two CCP's were run in 2007, involving a total of 26 participants across a spectrum of NUI Galway key research sectors, including Web2.0, biomedical, renewable energy, applied optics, marine sciences, and power electronics. Stage two is designed to support the "migration of researchers to entrepreneurs" with kick-off in December 2007. Fourteen Entrepreneurs are being guided though the commercialization process bringing their business concepts to a reality, either in the form of a start-up, progression to HPSU status or licensing out their technology to a 3rd party. This New Entrepreneurial Forum is funded through a combination of grant support from the Western Development Commission (WDC) and Údarás na Gaeltachta along with central support from the TTO. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaboration The TTO also kicked off a new collaborative pilot programme for early stage researchers on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization of Research & Technology Transfer with UCC and TCD. This module is part of a HEA SIF phase 1 funded project, with an objective of developing key transferable generic skills and high level training modules. This project is ongoing for three years and is funded by the HEA. This programme will be utilised by the TTO as a mechanism of developing the entrepreneurial minded graduate at an early stage in the academic lifecycle. The TTO is also part of the Lionra 'Business Mentoring for Winners' BMW project where funds have been given to support our Campus Innovation Centre companies. The funding secured through the TTO in 2007 was to allow some eligible companies access independent expert advice on ways to increase their commercial potential, covering areas such as product development, funding opportunities, licensing, sales process amongst others. Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said, "These achievements in technology commercialization in 2007 ranks NUI Galway as a leading university in terms of technology commercialization per every €1million invested in research". Professor Jim Browne, Registrar and Deputy President at NUI Galway, said, "When NUI Galway established the TTO office in late 2005 our vision was that the office would identify, protect and commercialize the intellectual property outputs and assets of the university and put a strategy in place to deliver on this mandate. During 2006 the TTO put the dedicated team, infrastructure, framework, procedures and policies in place to deliver on this vision. During 2007 the TTO executed this vision and strategy with excellent results and we look forward further growing the licensing activities and technology commercialization in the coming year". ENDS

Monday, 17 December 2007

Micheál Martin TD, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced 8 awards for NUI Galway in the recent funding awards of €44.55 million, creating 67 new research posts in Higher Education Institutes, under the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Stokes Professorship and Lectureship Programme. Of the 8 NUI Galway awardees, three will take up their positions between January and March 2008: Prof. George Reid, who received Professor of Cancer Biology; Lokesh Joshi who received Professor of Glyoscience; and Andrea Erxleben who received lectureship in Medicinal Chemistry. Professor Nicholas Canny, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, said, "The success in the Stokes competition consolidates the research achievements of NUI Galway and adds greatly to our capacity to attract future research funding and to supervise PhD students."