Irish Universities Celebrate First Intake of Malaysian Students to New Medical Programme

Irish Universities Celebrate First Intake of Malaysian Students to New Medical Programme-image

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

NUI Galway and UCC recently celebrated the first intake of Malaysian students on a twinned medical degree programme. The medical programme is offered by both universities in partnership with the Allianze University College of Medical Sciences (AUCMS), Kapala Batas, in northern Malaysia.   2011 sees the first intake of 100 students, 50 studying at NUI Galway and 50 at UCC. The students will study medicine for the first two and a half years of their degree in Ireland and then go on to complete the remainder of their five-year degree in Malaysia. The partners will deliver a five-year medical programme, under the approval of medical councils in each country. On successful completion, those students who commenced their studies in Galway will be awarded the NUI Galway degree of MB, BAO, BCh*.   NUI Galway and UCC each have a strong tradition of Malaysian students coming to completing their full medical degree over five years. The new partnership however is the outcome of discussions which began in 2005 when the Ministry of Health in Malaysia approached the Irish universities, seeking to develop sustainable Malaysia-based medical education capacity into the future. The Cooperation Agreement which underpins the partnership, was signed in Penang in January 2009. This initiative shifts the clinical training of the students to their home country. However they will still obtain an Irish medical qualification to be approved and accredited by the professional accrediting authorities of Ireland and Malaysia.   The recent Foundation Day event in UCC was officially launched by the Minister of State for Training and Skills, Ciaran Cannon, and attended by the Irish and Malaysian partners, dignitaries from both counties and by the NUI Galway and UCC students.   Speaking at the launch in UCC, Professor Gerard Loftus, Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “The programme is a very exciting augmentation of the strong tradition we have in the education of Malaysian medical students over the years.  The Malaysian Government recognises that our Malaysian students achieve high clinical standards. I am particularly pleased also that the many very able and committed people who have worked on this project from the outset back in 2005 are here today, when all their efforts come to fruition.”   Current NUI Galway student, Mohamad Sharifudin Dzulkefli said: “Studying in two institutes of higher learning in Ireland and Malaysia really gives us a lot of advantages in terms of knowledge as well as experience. NUI Galway has a lot to offer for the AUCMS students. Gaining basic medical knowledge in Ireland and applying it during the clinical years back in Malaysia gives us the upper hand in the medical field.”   -ENDS-

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Ceolchoirm Spleodrach in Áras na Gaeilge

Ceolchoirm Spleodrach in Áras na Gaeilge-image

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Beidh Ceolchoirm am lóin ar siúl ar an Luan, 5 Nollaig, ón 1-2i.n. i dTéatar Uí Chearbhalláin in Áras na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh. Is mic léinn ón gcúrsa Dioplóma sna Dána: Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta a chuirfidh an ceolchoirm speisialta seo i láthair.  Tá an cúrsa á reáchtáil sa Spidéal ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcomhar le Stiúideo Cuan. Meascán spéisiúil a bheas ann a chlúdóidh réimse leathan ceoil, idir seoidíní traidisiúnta, ceol nua-chumtha, amhránaíocht agus, dár ndóigh, ríleanna, poirt agus pólcaí spleodracha, spraoiúla.   Is ó chian agus ó chóngar a tháinig na ceoltóirí agus na hamhránaithe seo le chéile mar aon ghrúpa amháin agus dá réir snítear tionchair agus stíleanna éagsúla lena chéile ina gcuid ceoil. Tá roinnt mhaith ceolchoirmeacha déanta acu mar ghrúpa. Ó thosaigh siad le chéile i mí Meán Fómhair i mbliana rinne siad ceolchoirm lóin in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an gCeathrú Rua agus i seanscoil Shailearna. Ní le ceol amháin a bhíonn siad ag plé ar an gcúrsa seo, áfach, mar go mbíonn siad ag tabhairt faoi ghnéithe teicniúla an cheoil chomh maith. Chuige sin rinne siad clár raidió a thaifead sa stiúideo.  Is é Seán Ó Flatharta, Oifigeach Teanga agus Cultúir, OÉ Gaillimh, atá ag eagrú na hocáide seo i gcomhar le Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Riarthóir Aonad na dTaibhealaíon.  Ní bheidh aon táille ar an doras. Tuilleadh eolais le fáil ó: Marianne Ní Chinnéide, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh ag 087 9080194 nó marianne.nichinneide@oegaillimh.ie, nó Seán Ó Flatharta, Oifigeach Teanga agus Cultúir, ag 091 493518 nó s.oflatharta2@nuigalway.ie. -Críoch-

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Irish Clinical Researchers Open New Study for Rare but Devastating Cancer

Irish Clinical Researchers Open New Study for Rare but Devastating Cancer-image

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A new clinical study has opened in Ireland for a rare but devastating type of bone marrow cancer. Irish patients with advanced myelofibrosis will have access to a new study of combined oral medications for their disease.  Frank Giles, Professor of Cancer Therapeutics at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, is leading the study with Eibhlin Conneally, Consultant Haematologist at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. The Irish study is being run in conjunction with centers in France, Italy, and the UK and patients may be enrolled at either Galway University Hospitals or St James’s Hospital.  The study involves a combination of Ruxolitinib, manufactured by Novartis, along with another pill that also targets the abnormal pathways that drive myelofibrosis. This news comes within weeks of Ruxolitinib becoming the first and only product approved for this disease by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Myelofibrosis is a life-threatening cancer of the bone marrow that results in bone marrow failure because the normal spaces in which blood cells are formed become progressively filled with fibrous tissue. In an attempt to maintain normal blood cell counts, the body then begins to make these cells in abnormal sites including the liver and spleen. In turn, these can then become enlarged and painful. Patients not alone are at risk from marrow failure, but in some patients, myelofibrosis changes into a particularly aggressive form of acute leukemia.  According to Professor Frank Giles, who is also Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility Galway, a joint venture between Galway University Hospitals and NUI Galway: “We are delighted to finally have our first effective therapy for patients suffering from advanced myelofibrosis. This is a significant positive advance in treatment for these patients. We are very pleased to be able to offer this study to patients here in Ireland, especially as Ruxolitinib has just been approved in the US. We hope that approval in Europe will happen soon but in the interim we have an opportunity to build on this, our first broadly effective therapy for a very debilitating illness, and hopefully offer even better therapy with a combination of medications in the near future.” Ruxolitinib is specifically directed at an abnormally active enzyme or kinase that has been recently defined as a key driver of myelofibrosis. “This kinase, called Jak-2, has emerged as a key target for therapy in myelofibrosis”, said Dr Conneally. “It is a central driver of the disease and inhibiting its function with Ruxolitinib directly improves many patients’ symptoms and reduces their spleen swelling. It is the latest big success in our move away from non-specific cell-killing drugs towards safer, more targeted drugs that are really directed at the fundamental drivers of cancer.” Professor Giles, who has been involved with the development of both of the drugs  being combined in the study, said: “Success in anti-cancer therapies are increasingly driven by a continuous process which involves pre-clinical scientists unlocking the puzzles of what actually makes a cancer cell behave differently from its normal counterpart. Once you have mapped the cancer process, you can define a cancer cell’s key vulnerabilities which leads you to relatively selective targets. Next steps are the creation and testing of drugs or other approaches directed at these targets that will  alter cancer cell behaviour in terms of either killing it or forcing it to behave more like a normal cell. Once these approaches are available to our patients, we return to pre-clinical science to refine and improve anti-cancer therapy, for example, by combining agents with different targets as we are doing on this study.” He concluded: This ‘bench-to-bedside-to-bench’ process has allowed not only the development of Ruxolitinib but allowed us to develop logical ‘next-wave’ potential therapies for patients with myelofibrosis. Collaborations over the last decade between scientists around the world have led to Ruxolitinib being available. Collaborations within Ireland and with our European colleagues have allowed us to offer this study in such a timely manner to Irish patients – a very encouraging template for future success.” -ends-

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Science & Technology Festival Exhibition Attracts 24,000 Visitors

Science & Technology Festival Exhibition Attracts 24,000 Visitors-image

Monday, 28 November 2011

The 2011 Galway Science and Technology Festival Exhibition, part of Discover Science’s National Science Week, was held on the NUI Galway campus last Sunday and attracted 24,000 visitors. The event was officially opened by the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and guest speakers included Dr James Browne, President of NUI Galway, Mayor of Galway City Cllr Hildegarde Naughton and Mr Tom Hyland, Festival Chairman. The European Commissioner commented, “It is a great pleasure for me to welcome everyone to the 2011 Galway Science & Technology Festival Exhibition. The foundation and nurtuing of this festival took vision and dedication and its existence is thanks to the vision of Noel Treacey whose brain-child it is. His work and that of strong supporters like Dr Jim Browne and Tom Hyland as well as many of the companies, educational institutes and researchers, have made this a festival of which to be very proud. For the past two weeks over thousands of young people have taken part in the Festival and engaged with scientists and researchers, asking questions and really getting in touch with science and technology. These young people are the scientists and innovators of tomorrow, and events like this festival are very important in stimulating their curiousity. As a former teacher, I know very well the importance of capturing a child’s imagination at an early age. This is especially important in the case of science and technology, since they pervade almost every aspect of modern life. In today’s economic climate it is more important than ever to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills that they need to succeed. And we need science and technology to get our economy back on track.” The event ran extremely well with up to 100 volunteers, which included students from the Dominican College Secondary School, NUI Galway and members of the public, who provided information and directions to families attending the 80 interactive exhibition stands and the various shows and workshops throughout the University campus. Families and children enjoyed an array of colourful stands including Medtronic who demonstrated how blood pumps around the body, Boston Scientific’s amazing stand with a large stent for children to examine, SAP provided a First Lego League, Hewlett Packard with the help of sixth class students from Briarhill School explained Cloud Computing while other amazing stands were hosted by CISCO, Covidien Avaya and Lake Region. The Galway Enterprise Board stand included local company Starlight and a new App “Ireland: Are we there Yet” by local developer Ann Brehony.  The stands allowed children and adults alike to participate in experiments, watch demonstrations and discuss ideas with researchers. Lots more interatactive exhibitions took place from NUI Galway, GMIT, Marine Institute and many more. A lego competition sponsored by Smyth’s Toys Superstore was in huge demand and accommodated over 300 eager technic lego builders while the 5ft tall Buzz Light Year made of Lego was on loan from Smyth’s for the day was a huge hit with hundreds of children. Sue McGrath’s Chemistry Show was seen by 1,000 people, the Mad Scientist entertained and excited young children about science while Robert Hill explained the Outerworld in his own amazing and engaging way. The RCX Mindstorm lego workshop was in huge demand and Magic Mathworks demonstrated a great way of engaging with maths.  Kitchen Chemistry ran shows throughout the day and educated visitors on how to conduct experiments in the kitchen using regular household products while Bubble Magic had the audience screaming with excitement creating huge bubbles and filling them with smoke. One of the major successes of the Exhibition was a total of 18 Primary and Secondary Schools encompassing 350 students exhibiting their own brilliant science and technology projects while many other students took part by participating with the international companies and helped them demonstrate their products. The opportunity for these young people to attend and work at the Exhibition and engage with the public is of enormous experience for them. Festival Chairman, Tom Hyland commented, “Special thanks must go to the Volunteers who helped in running the event so smoothly and allowing families enjoy their day out. The prebooking system of shows worked wonderfully and really helped people plan their day and those without tickets were also accommodated. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our main sponsor Medtronic and all other sponsors and the multi-national companies who have agreed to take part in our Mentoring Program where 11 different companies participating in this initiative will visit schools over the next few months and talk to the students about their subject choices, give practical career advice and share their work experience. I would also like to thank NUI Galway for providing the campus facilities to host this truly wonderful event.” Mr Hyland also presented special awards on behalf of the Festival Committee to Brother Niall of the Patrician Brothers with the 2011 Galway Science & Technology Person of the Year Award for his commitment to the Festival over the 14 years and an award to 12-year old sixth class whizz kid Harry Moran from Westport on becoming the world’s youngest app developer of Pizzabot based on a pizza shooting red sauce at slices of salami which he developed in one month. Visit www.galwayscience.ie to view some of the photos and videos captured during the Festival Exhibition.ends

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New Website Watches Galway’s Weather

New Website Watches Galway’s Weather-image

Monday, 28 November 2011

Come rain or shine, a new website showing the current weather conditions in Galway is now available to the general public. The site uses real-time data collected by a weather station at NUI Galway to show temperature, humidity, pressure, wind, rain and sunshine.   Behind the project is the Informatics Research Unit for Sustainable Energy (IRUSE) at NUI Galway, under the leadership of Dr Marcus Keane. IRUSE focuses on achieving the goal of energy efficient buildings. In order to support ongoing and future research activity, IRUSE installed an automated weather station at NUI Galway.   Information from the weather station now appears in real-time on a website http://weather.nuigalway.ie/ thanks to students of the HDip / MSc in Software Design and Development. Colin Divily from Corofin, Co Galway and Naomi Ono, originally from Japan, implemented the website through a collaboration with the Discipline of Information Technology. They were supported by Johann Ott, Magdalena Hajdukiewicz and other members of the IRUSE group.   Dr Marcus Keane explains: “The website displays the live weather data, as well as 12-hour and monthly trends and provides essential data for the research carried out at the University. With the weather being such a constant topic of conversation for everyone in this country, we thought it only right to share this data with the general public.”   The weather station was installed in June 2010 on the roof of the Concourse building on campus. The data loads to the new website every minute from all of the sensors, except for rainfall which is reported hourly.   As well as for IRUSE’s research, the weather station is also used as part of teaching for the Energy Systems Engineering degree programme at NUI Galway.   -ends-

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BioInnovate Ireland Recruiting for Fellowship Programme

BioInnovate Ireland Recruiting for Fellowship Programme-image

Thursday, 24 November 2011

BioInnovate Ireland is now seeking Expressions of Interest for its medical device innovation Fellowship programme. This programme is modelled on the prestigious and internationally-recognised Biodesign programme offered at Stanford University, California.  The recruitment of eight Fellows to work in two elite multidisciplinary teams is now underway. These two teams will focus on a specific clinical area, identifying unmet needs, inventing solutions to meet those needs and implementing the solutions, and mapping a route to commercialisation to enable these solutions to enhance patient care. The Fellowship teams will complete an intensive five week training period, commencing in August 2012, before spending two months of clinical immersion working with top surgeons and medical staff in numerous hospitals around Ireland. The Fellowship teams will then focus on inventing and implementing solutions to address specific problems for the remainder of this 10 month programme. According to BioInnovate Ireland Programme Director, Dr Mark Bruzzi from NUI Galway: “The BioInnovate Ireland Programme offers a unique opportunity for individuals to come together to work in teams to develop novel solutions that impact patient care, and gain access to a network of industry, academic and clinical leaders to guide their solutions from concept to commercialisation.” The Fellowship Programme is full-time, stipend supported and the next programme will commence on 1 August, 2012. In addition to the Fellowship Programme, there are two BioInnovate classes open to postgraduate students of the BioInnovate Academic Partners which include NUI Galway, University of Limerick, Dublin City University, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and University College Cork.  The BioInnovate class will be mentored by, and work with the Fellows on the newly identified clinical needs.  Marie Travers, a current Galway BioInnovate Fellow, said: “The experience so far is exciting. I feel very privileged to have been able to access experts, patients and clinicians as part of the research. I see great potential for identifying innovations for patient care.” The BioInnovate Fellowship teams are multi-disciplinary and eligible applicants should have a background in medicine, engineering, technology or business. Applicants with a postgraduate degree or relevant professional experience are particularly welcome.  Medical and surgical registrars or specialist registrars with an interest in innovation and improving patient care through technological advancements are also encouraged to apply for the Fellowship. Candidates will be assessed for their leadership potential, interest in technology innovation, demonstrated potential for creativity and invention, and ability to work in a team. For an Expression of Interest form or further details contact Clodagh Barry, BioInnovate Programme Manager at NUI Galway, on 091 494212 or clodagh.barry@nuigalway.ie                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -ENDS-

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Study Calls Sodium Intake Guidelines into Question

Study Calls Sodium Intake Guidelines into Question-image

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

For years, doctors have warned that too much salt is bad for your heart. Now a new study co-led by an NUI Galway clinical researcher suggests that both high and low levels of salt intake may put people with heart disease or diabetes at increased risk of cardiovascular complications.   The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that moderate salt intake is associated with the lowest risk of cardiovascular events, whereas higher intake of sodium was associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular events while low intake was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalisation for congestive heart failure.   The research was co-led by Professor Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine, NUI Galway and Dr Salim Yusuf, Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University in Canada and Hamilton Health Sciences. Professor O’Donnell is also Associate Director of the HRB Clinical Research Facility at NUI Galway and University Hospital Galway.   “This research addresses an important population health issue – the association between sodium (salt) intake and cardiovascular disease,” said NUI Galway’s Professor O’Donnell. “This area has become topical again, with the recent publication of another paper in JAMA reporting an association between low-sodium intake and cardiac death. In general, previous observational studies have either reported a positive association, no association or an inverse association between sodium intake and heart disease and stroke. This has resulted in a lot of controversy. Our study is the first to report a J-shaped association between sodium intake and cardiovascular disease, which may explain why previous studies have found different results.”   Compared with moderate sodium excretion (between 4 to 5.99 grams per day), the researchers found that sodium excretion of greater than 6-7 grams per day was associated with an increased risk of all cardiovascular events, and sodium excretion of less than 3 grams per day was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death and hospitalisation for congestive heart failure.   The findings call into question current guidelines for salt intake, which recommend less than 2.3 grams (or 2,300 mg) per day. The guidelines are mostly based on previous clinical trials that found blood pressure is lowered modestly when sodium intake is reduced to these levels (which was also found in the present study), but there are no large studies looking at whether such low levels of sodium intake reduce the incidence of heart attacks and stroke. Clarifying the optimal daily intake of sodium is particularly important in patients with established heart disease, as they may be especially vulnerable to the cardiovascular effects of very high- and low-salt intake and are most likely to receive recommendations on restricting sodium in their diets, the authors concluded.   “Our research confirms the association between high sodium intake and increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which emphasizes the importance of salt reduction in those consuming high-sodium diets (over 6-7g per day) and the importance of efforts to reduce sodium content of many high-salt manufactured foods. However, our study, together with other recent studies, raises uncertainty about whether those with moderate/average sodium intake should reduce their intake further. The only way to resolve this uncertainty is with a large randomized controlled trial that determines whether reducing moderate sodium intake to lower levels results in lower rates of heart disease and stroke. While we accept there are challenges to conducting such trials, they are required urgently given their public health implications’ said Professor O’Donnell.   For the observational study, the researchers examined 28,880 people at increased risk of heart disease from the ONTARGET and TRANSCEND trials, which were conducted from 2001-2008. The researchers estimated 24-hour urinary sodium and potassium excretion from a morning fasting urine sample. During follow-up, over 4,500 cardiovascular events occurred making this the most powerful study examining the relationship between sodium excretion (which is a surrogate measure of sodium consumption), as well as potassium excretion and cardiovascular events. Extensive and careful statistical analytic methods were used to determine the association of urinary sodium and potassium with cardiovascular events – heart attack, stroke, hospitalisation for congestive heart failure and death.   In addition to the sodium findings, the researchers found higher urinary potassium excretion was associated with lower stroke risk. They concluded this is a potential intervention that merits further evaluation for stroke prevention.   -ends-

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16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence

16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence-image

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway will host a series of public lectures a part of the international 16 Days campaign against Gender Violence. NUI Galway joins over 3,700 organisations, in over 164 different countries, to pay recognition to the ongoing problem of violence against women. This year, the 16 Days campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December. The campaign provides an opportunity to reflect on violence against women as one of the most pervasive human rights abuses worldwide, and to consider the particular challenges faced in ensuring women's rights in Ireland and abroad. This year's programme links the national to the international with presentations on domestic violence and the recession, the experiences of Refugee and Asylum seeking women in Ireland, the establishment of the Galway Sexual Assault Treatment Unit and the experiences of Iranian women's rights activists. On Tuesday, 29 November, Sheelan Yousefidezah, Women's Right's Activists at Trinity Community Initiative Fund and Secretary of Amnesty Iran group at Amnesty International Ireland, will host a lecture entitled ‘Keeping Iran's Heart Beating - documenting the experiences of Iranian Women's Rights Activists’. The lecture will take place at 12pm in MY129, Áras Moyola. Niamh Bonner, Galway Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, will deliver a lecture on ‘Sexual Assault Treatment Services in Ireland’ on Thursday, 1 December, in MY123 - Seminar Room 1, Áras Moyola at 1pm. This seminar is supported by the NUI Galway Feminist Society. State Violence Against Refugee and Asylum Seeking Women and Community Responses in a local Irish context will be the focus for the third lecture. Delivered by participants from the Galway Refugee Support Group, the lecture will take place on Thursday, 8 December, in CA101 - Lecture Hall 2, Cairnes Building, from 1-2pm. This seminar is also supported by the NUI Galway Feminist Society. The final lecture in this series, ‘Just Another Day - Responding to domestic violence in the Recession’ will take place on Friday, 9 December. Sharon O'Halloran, Director of SAFE Ireland, will deliver the lecture in CA101 - Lecture Hall 2, Cairnes Building, at 1pm. Following this lecture, The European Women's Studies Class will show their photographic exhibition on 'Gender and Poverty in Galway'. All the lectures are open to the public. For more information contact Dr Stacey Scriver in NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology, at 091 494116 or stacey.scriver@nuigalway.ie. Further information is also available at http://www.facebook.com/pages/16-Days-of-Activism-to-End-Violence-Against-Women-at-NUIG/280584008649176?v=info   -Ends-

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Unseen Documents Unveiled during Launch of Duddy Archive at NUI Galway

Unseen Documents Unveiled during Launch of Duddy Archive at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Documents highlighting the secrecy and tension involved in communication and negotiation between the British government and the IRA throughout ‘the Troubles’ were today (Tuesday, 22 November) unveiled in NUI Galway at the launch of the Brendan Duddy Archive on campus.   The selected documents include Brendan Duddy’s hand written records of negotiations during the hunger strike and a letter from the IRA to the British Prime Minister Harold Wilson.   Speaking at the launch and on behalf of the Duddy family, Larry Duddy, said: “The family are delighted that the private papers have been donated to NUI Galway. They hope that analysis of these papers will assist current and future generations to understand however complex and how ever long a conflict has gone on with the dedication and commitment shown by Brendan Duddy a resolution can always be found.”   The symposium Negotiating Peace, organised in association with the launch of the private papers of Brendan Duddy, brought together prominent figures from the worlds of academia and diplomacy to explore key questions surrounding the negotiated settlement of violent conflicts, drawing in particular on the experience of negotiation in the Irish peace process.   Symposium speakers inlcuded Seán Ó hUiginn, former senior Irish diplomat who was deeply involved in the Irish government contribution to the peace process; former senior British government official Michael Oatley, a key British official involved in back-channel communication with the Republican leadership over many years; and Professor Paul Arthur, Honorary Associate at the International Conflict Research Centre (INCORE), former Professor of Politics and Director of the Graduate Programme in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ulster.   Speaking at NUI Galway, Michael Oatley emphasised the need to understand and differentiate between the motivation for differing instances of political violence, and the importance of seeking to establish dialogue. He applauded Brendan Duddy's work as an extraordinary example of what could be achieved by a brave and determined private individual.   The archive holds documents from the three main periods during which Brendan Duddy secretly acted as an intermediary between the British government and the IRA. The first was in the early and mid 1970s when Duddy acted as intermediary during a series of contacts over the release of hostages and the ending of hunger strikes. This contact culminated in the long IRA ceasefire of 1975 during which British government and Provisional Republican representatives held a series of formal meetings in Duddy’s house in Derry. The archive includes his diaries of negotiation in 1975 and 1976 as well as many handwritten and typed messages exchanged between the two sides.   In 1980 and 1981 Duddy acted again as intermediary during the Republican hunger strikes. In July 1981 he began to record these contacts, conducted mainly by telephone, in a red hardbound notebook, the ‘Red book’. The handwritten formal messages that were dictated to Duddy over the phone are interspersed with sparse personal comments and notations indicating how these contacts sometimes stretched through the night and indicating the intensity of the tensions at this negotiating intersection.   Between 1990 and 1993 Duddy was again active at this intersection after a new Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Sir Peter Brooke, made the decision to try to incorporate the Provisionals in a political settlement, an effort continued by his successor Sir Patrick Mayhew. Duddy was called upon again to take up the role of intermediary and his archive includes the messages passed between the two sides as well as his own contemporary ‘narrative’ of the intense contacts of 1993.   Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Lecturer in Politics at NUI Galway explained: “These papers add significantly to our understanding of this crucial interface between the British state and the IRA. The papers show Brendan Duddy’s persistence and determination in pursuing the goal of a peace settlement and an end to the violence over a period of decades.”   Deposited at NUI Galway in 2009, the archive contains over 700 descriptive items of paper and sound archives which have been catalogued by the Library's Special Collections staff and will be available to scholars and bona fide researchers from January 2012.  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.   President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “We all remember the horror of so much of the news emanating from Northern Ireland throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s.  All through that difficult period Brendan Duddy maintained a steadfast conviction that the conflict could only be ended through a negotiated settlement. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for that steadfast commitment to peace.  I would especially like to thank him, on behalf of NUI Galway, for making his Archive available to scholarship, so that others might be inspired and encouraged in the unrelenting work of peace-building, in similar situations internationally."   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) and both institutions will collaborate to make a selection of primary documents from the collection freely available online through CAIN (the University of Ulster¹s Conflict Archive on the Internet) and NUI Galway’s library website.   John Cox, Librarian at NUI Galway: "Clearly this is a collection with huge research potential and I can see us welcoming scholars from far and wide to Galway to work on the archive."   The donation will be held in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway, home to a range of theatre, literary, historical and political archives. Collections include the archives of the Druid and Lyric Players theatres and of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe; the literary papers of John McGahern and Thomas Kilroy; the Huston Archive and original documents relating to the foundation of the Gaelic Athletic Association and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'.   ENDS

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Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway

Winter Conferrings at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 21 November 2011

Over 1,600 students will graduate from across the five colleges at NUI Galway at the University's winter conferring ceremonies, which take place from 23 to 25 November. Liam Ferrie will also be conferred with an honorary Master of Commerce degree.   A native of Scotland, Liam is now living in Menlo, Co. Galway. In 1987 he founded the Irish Emigrant, a weekly online newsletter covering Irish news, and has been working as Editor and writer of the publication since then. He is also Founder of Irish Emigrant Publications, Ireland's longest-established Internet publishing company, producing online publications such as Professional Ireland, BookView Ireland, Arts Ireland and Sports Ireland.   Speaking in advance of the ceremonies, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history. Today we are proud to honour Liam Ferrie for his contribution to the Irish diaspora. As founder and publisher of the Irish Emigrant he has fostered a sense of community among the global Irish diaspora, by delivering news from Ireland through his weekly online publication, the Irish Emigrant newsletter.”    In addition, degrees, higher diplomas, Masters and PhDs will be awarded to students graduating over the three days from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.   -ENDS-

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