Friday, 16 September 2005

Beidh na cláir acadúla teanga-lárnach agus eolasbhunaithe D'oscail Éamon Ó Cuív, T.D., an tAire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, campas €5m de chuid OÉ, Gaillimh i nGaoth Dobhair, Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, go hoifigiúil inniu (16 Meán Fómhair), i láthair Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh. Ina theannta sin, bronnadh Dioplóma ar 75 mac léinn a chríochnaigh cláir léinn ar champas Ghaoth Dobhair agus den chéad uair in Éirinn, bhronn OÉ, Gaillimh Céimeanna Oinigh taobh amuigh de champas na Gaillimhe. Fuair Tomás Mac Giolla Bhríghde, Mícheál Mac Giolla Easbuic agus Máire Mhic Niallais, céim oinigh MA. Triúr iad seo as Dún na nGall a bhfuil obair eisceachtúil déanta acu dá bpobail. Fuair Tomás Mac Giolla Bhríghde, as Gaoth Dobhair, céim oinigh as a bhfuil déanta aige le fostaíocht a chruthú agus ealaín, cultúr agus an Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn sa Ghaeltacht. Fuair Mícheál Mac Giolla Easbuic, as Cill Chartha, céim oinigh as a bhfuil déanta aige ar son na forbartha pobail agus an spóirt trí mheán na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht, ar fud Dhún na nGall agus ar fud na tíre. Fuair Máire Mhic Niallais, as Machaire Rabhartaigh, céim oinigh as an tsuim a léirigh sí sa Ghaeilge le fada agus as an obair éachtach atá déanta aici ar son na Gaeilge agus ar son phobal na Gaeltachta. Bhunaigh OÉ, Gaillimh ionad oideachais i nGaoth Dobhair trí bliana ó shin ar iarratas ó Choiste na Crannóige agus Comharchumann Forbartha Ghaoth Dobhair. Thug Údarás na Gaeltachta spás don Ollscoil i bPáirc Ghnó Ghaoth Dobhair. Rinne OÉ, Gaillimh athchóiriú ar an bhfoirgneamh 2,500 méadar cearnach atá ar léas acu ó Údarás na Gaeltachta. Tá an-tacaíocht faighte ag an ionad ón Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, rud a fhágann gur ionad oideachais agus teicneolaíochta nua-aimseartha é. Meastar go gcruthóidh na gníomhaíochtaí ar an gcampas nua seo €2 mhilliún gach bliain don phobal áitiúil. Cuirtear réimse clár lánaimseartha agus páirtaimseartha tríú leibhéal ar fáil trí mheán na Gaeilge ar champas Ghaoth Dobhair, ar a n-áirítear Dioplóma i Scileanna Teilifíse, Ríomhaireacht Fheidhmeach, Clár Cúram Leanaí agus Sealbhú Teanga agus cláir sa Ghaeilge. Tá cláir eile á bpleanáil i Ríomhaireacht agus Riarachán Gnó, Staidéar an Aistriúcháin agus Teicneolaíocht an Ghnó. Le bliain anuas, chríochnaigh 150 mac léinn cláir oideachais san ionad. Tá rún ag OÉ, Gaillimh cláir chéime a sholáthar i nGaoth Dobhair go gairid. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán OÉ, Gaillimh agus Reachtaire an Acadaimh: Lá speisialta é seo do Dhún na nGall agus oscailt oifigiúil champas Ollscoile Ghaoth Dobhair á cheiliúradh againn. Tá an-áthas orainn céimeanna oinigh a bheith á mbronnadh ar an triúr iontach seo as an obair eisceachtúil atá déanta acu ar son na Gaeltachta. Tugann bronnadh na gcáilíochtaí acadúla seo inniu aitheantas don tábhacht a bhaineann le cláir tríú leibhéal a chur ar fáil i gceantar na ndaoine féin. Tá dílseacht na hOllscoile don Ghaeilge le feiceáil inár straitéis trí a bheith ag tabhairt an seomra ranga agus an tsaotharlainn taighde chuig an nGaeltacht agus tacú leis na pobail neamhspleáchas eacnamaíoch trí chruthú fostaíochta atá eolasbhunaithe agus teanga-lárnach. Cuirfidh campas Ghaoth Dobhair ar chumas na bpobal áitiúil scileanna a fhoghlaim ar mhaithe le geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a fhorbairt. Díreoidh cláir ollscoile an Ionaid seo ar fhostaíocht inmharthana a chruthú, rud a thabharfaidh deis do chéimithe fanacht ina n-áit dúchais agus cur le hinfrastruchtúr teangeolaíoch agus teicneolaíoch an cheantair. Dúirt an tAire Gnóthaí Tuaithe, Pobail, agus Gaeltachta, Éamonn Ó Cuív, T.D., an méid seo a leanas: "Tá an rialtas seo tiomanta go huile agus go hiomlán do stádas na Gaeilge mar chéad teanga oifigiúil, a chur chun cinn ar fud na tíre. Is iomaí sin beart curtha i gcrích ag an Roinn agus ag an Rialtas lena mbainim, i dtaca leis an tiomantas sin. Orthu siúd tá, achtú Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla, bunú oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga, agus stádas oifigiúil a bhaint amach don Ghaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil agus mar theanga oibre san AE. Níl a fhios na dúshláin agus na deiseanna a eascraíonn as na beartais seo. Ar cheann de na dúshláin sin tá, céimithe a chur ar fáil i raon leathan disciplíní – céimithe a bheidh inniúil ar a gcuid oibre a dhéanamh trí mheán na Gaeilge. "Is gné thábhachtach de chuid obair na Roinne Gnóthaí Tuaithe, Pobail agus Gaeltachta, na Roinne Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, agus Údarás na Gaeltachta forbairt na hollscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an tríú leibhéal. Tá a fhios ag an saol Fódlach gur as institiúidí tríú leibhéal a eascraíonn fás na fostaíochta agus forbairt an phobail. Is ar an ábhar sin a thacaigh an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, agus Údarás na Gaeltachta, le forbairt na n-ionad tríú leibhéal Gaeltachta ar an gCeathrú Rua agus i gCarna. Is ar an ábhar céanna atáthar ag tacú anois le hionad seo Ghaoth Dobhair, faoi choimirce Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. "Is maith liom comhghairdeachas a dhéanamh le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, as an ról forghníomhach a d'imir sí, as an tiomantas atá léirithe aici, agus as an obair cheannródaíoch atá déanta aici i réimse na hollscolaíochta Gaeilge, go háirithe sa Ghaeltacht. Obair í seo atá bunaithe ar an tuiscint sin gur chóir an t-oideachas a thabhairt i láthair na ndaoine seachas na daoine a thabhairt i láthair an oideachais. Is fada leis an Roinn go dté sí ag saothrú arís leis an Roinn Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, agus le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, agus le hinstitiúidí tríú leibhéal eile, le cúnamh a thabhairt le tuilleadh forbartha a dhéanamh ar an earnáil seo, earnáil a bhfuil sé d'acmhainn aici cur go mór le baint amach aidhmeanna náisiúnta na tíre agus le forbairt fhadtréimhseach na Gaeltachta." Críoch

Wednesday, 7 September 2005

Reframing Islam: Politics into Law, 10-11th September, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway Some of the most influential writers and thinkers on Islam will travel to Galway this week to address and recapture the debate on the social, political and religious dimensions of Islam. They will be attending a conference on "Reframing Islam: Politics into Law," which will be hosted by the Irish Centre for Human Rights in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway on Saturday and Sunday, the 10-11th September. Sunday is the fourth anniversary of 9/11. Speakers will include a leading Iranian activist, imprisoned in Tehran for criticising the regime and an acclaimed Islamic scholar recently refused entry to the US by Homeland Security. The conference aims to challenge and move beyond the stereotypes that currently grip the discourse on Islam—terrorism, enforced democracy building, Islamophobia, and militant regimes. Topics to be addressed include: challenges to the Muslim world post September 11th, the question of democracy in Islam, rights of non-Muslims in Islam, human rights and Islam, women within Islam, and specific regional challenges and attempts to create a civic Islam. The conference will explore what Islamic political thought is, and how it originated, developed and changed over the past 1400 years, and particularly since 2001. Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway and conference director said: It is a great privilege for the Irish Centre for Human Right to welcome the pre-eminent writers and thinkers in the Muslim world to NUI Galway, to debate critical issues facing Islam and current Western liberal perceptions of Islam. There is an urgency to begin to reframe the debates and the narratives that have enveloped the discourse on Islam, especially post September 11th—the twinning of Islam and violence, the arguments that there cannot be faith in democracy, the notion that there is a 'clash of civilizations.' This conference hopes to provide a space that goes beyond the idea of right thinking and wrong thinking and to lend some empirical and theoretical weight to the current debate on Islam. Dr Cavanaugh went on to say that change and reform within Islam, grassroots in origin, is underway and, as one commentator has noted is, "Islam's best kept secret." Change can be charted in countries such as Malaysia, Morocco and Turkey where civil society (informing political establishments) have endeavoured to address questions of democracy, gender equality and reinforcing and nourishing a vibrant civil society. Yet these changes and challenges are off the radar. This conference will attempt to refocus and reframe the debate on Islam, looking beyond the current 'face of Islam' to what is actually happening within Islam—which is both multifaceted and complex and often contradictory, i.e., moderate to extreme, reform to regressive, she said. Amongst those addressing the conference will be: Professor Tariq Ramadan, recently appointed (August 2005) by Tony Blair to a UK government taskforce attempting to root out Islamic extremism in Britain, is the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder, in 1928, of the Muslim brotherhood. Dr. Ramadan lectures at academic institutions and civic organizations around the world. He has authored and co-authored over 20 books and over 700 articles. Through his writings and lectures, he has contributed substantially to the debate on the issues of Muslims in the West and Islamic revival in the Muslim world. He is active both at the academic and grassroots levels, lecturing extensively throughout the world on ethics of citizenship, social justice, and dialogue between civilizations. Dr Tariq Ramadan taught Islamic Studies and Philosophy as a professor at Freiburg University in Switzerland for many years. Regarded as one of the most important voices in Islam, Dr Ramadan was not allowed enter the United States in 2004, to take up his post as Professor of Religion Conflict and Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame. Dr Mohsen Kadivar is a cleric and activist in Iran. Kadivar was arrested for the first in 1978 and 20 years later, the unconstitutional Court of Iran found him guilty of campaigning against the Islamic Republic, because of the statements he had made in an interview where he argued that acts of terrorism are condemned in the eyes of the Shiite faith. He was sentenced to spend 18 months in Evin Prison, Tehran, and was released on July 17, 2000. He is still campaigning for the reform of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, at the University of Delaware. Author of many books, including American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Amana, 2002), Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations (Praeger, 2004), Dr Khan frequently comments on BBC, CNN, FOX and VOA TV, NPR and other radio and TV networks. His political commentaries appear regularly in newspapers in over 20 countries. Dr. Jillian Schwedler is Assistant Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland and has conducted extensive field research in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. She has travelled to Lebanon, Turkey, Qatar, Syria, Israel/Palestine, and more than two-dozen countries outside the Middle East. She is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), publishers of the quarterly journal Middle East Report. In 2002, she was elected Secretary of the Palestinian American Research Centre (PARC). Dr. Schwedler s current research interests include protests and policing, political Islam, social movements, democracy and democratisation, identity, political culture, and transnational public spheres. Additional speakers, their profiles and the conference agenda can be found on: www.reframingislam.org Ends

Monday, 5 September 2005

Professor William A. Schabas, NUI Galway, has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour. William Schabas holds the chair in human rights law in the Faculty of Law. He is also the director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. The appointment was made by the Governor-General of Canada. Members of the Order of Canada are selected by a panel chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada. Appointment as an Officer in the Order of Canada recognises 'a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large'. The Governor-General of Canada is authorised to appoint a maximum of sixty-four persons each year as Officers in the Order of Canada. Professor Schabas, who is a Canadian citizen, will be inducted into the Order of Canada by the new Governor-General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, at a ceremony to be held in Ottawa later in the year. Congratulating Professor Schabas on the prestigious honour bestowed on him, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: We are delighted and proud that Professor Schabas has been awarded Canada's highest civilian honour. A legal scholar of international renown, Professor Schabas is an outstanding author, teacher and human rights advocate. As Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Professor Schabas leads academic staff and students in the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. William Schabas is distinguished for his expertise in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law and international humanitarian law. His many books and articles, published in both English and French, have been translated into many languages, and are regularly cited by the world's leading courts and tribunals. Professor Schabas has often served in international human rights monitoring functions for such international non-governmental organisations as Amnesty International and the International Federation of Human Rights. He has participated in missions to such countries as Rwanda, Sudan, Burundi, Cambodia and the Russian Federation. William Schabas was one of three international members of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which presented its final report in 2004. Ends

Monday, 24 October 2005

"Students are at the core of everything NUI Galway does, from the provision of top-class facilities to promoting research, from recognising the importance of teaching to fostering social inclusion and encouraging diversity", stated Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway at the first of a series of conferring ceremonies today (Monday), that will see more than 4,000 students graduate by the end of the week. NUI Galway campus has experienced major infrastructural development with the investment of €200 million in new buildings. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh announced further developments, which include the imminent openings of the €16 million J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy and a €23 million Nursing and Therapies Building. Plans are at an advantaged stage for a proposed €55 million Engineering School and a major €21 million Sports Centre will commence in Spring 2006. During this week's conferring ceremonies, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh will also present the inaugural President's Awards for Teaching Excellence, in recognition of the many dedicated and inspirational teachers among Academic Staff, whose outstanding efforts ensure that students of NUI Galway receive the highest quality learning experience. Referring to NUI Galway's significant success in attracting research funding, which has amounted to €100 million since 1999, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said this had enabled research centres to be established on campus which will "provide post-graduate opportunities for many of this week's graduates, opportunities which previously would only have been available abroad." He went on to urge the Government "to continue to invest in this research and education infrastructure, so that generations of graduates will have a future of economic prosperity and opportunity." Dr Ó Muircheartaigh stressed NUI Galway's commitment to social inclusion, saying that the University is "continuing to develop and expand educational programmes to enhance access for the widest population from the regional level to the international level." Through Adult Education and life-long learning opportunities, and through Access and Foundation courses for both school leavers and mature learners, especially for less advantaged students, NUI Galway continues to support the education needs of the wider population. The growing participation of students from abroad which brings increased cultural diversity to the campus, is an important dimension of student life and Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said that the recently established International Scholarship Programme, would enable talented students from the developing world to undertake post-graduate studies at NUI Galway. Ends

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

At a reception today, the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities (C.H.I.U), the representative body of the seven Irish Universities, announced the change of its name to the Irish Universities Association (IUA). Also unveiled was the organisation's new website www.iua.ie. The new name better represents the objectives of the organisation and its work on behalf of the seven universities. The IUA provides a forum for the Presidents and senior officers of the universities to identify the strategic challenges facing the university system and to agree on the policies and plans for tackling them and developing the sector. As well as representing the universities, the IUA has undertaken substantive work on behalf of the universities in areas such as the following – Establishing expertiseireland.com with the financial assistance of InterTradeIreland which now has online profiles of over 3,700 experts from the nine universities north and south, and a growing number from the Institutes of Technology. Operating the National Office for the Marie Curie Scheme –the most successful programme for Irish Research under the EU6th Framework Programme with funding of €42m already secured Setting up the Irish Researchers' Mobility Office & Portal with financial support from the European Commission and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Speaking at the launch, Prof. Ferdinand von Prondzynski, President of DCU said: "The change of name is timely, and will allow us to focus our efforts more effectively. We know that Ireland's growth and competitiveness depends on the universities being effective and coherent in acting together. We know that universities are critical in securing a succesful economy, a vibrant cultural life and a stable society. The universities must improve the international ranking of the system, but also exercise leadership within Ireland during these challenging times." Professor von Prondzynski used this opportunity to call on action by the government to deal with the critical issue of university funding as recommended by the OECD Report published over a year ago. He stated: "The present financial position of the sector is totally unsustainable. It's a problem that can be solved, but it needs to be solved right now, not next year, not some time in the future". He said that the IUA will continue to work in partnership with the government, its departments and agencies, the European Commission and other stakeholders. He said: "The objective is to make Ireland a leading knowledge society. It cannot be done without us. We are here to help." Ends

Monday, 17 October 2005

NUI Galway will confer Honorary MA degrees next week on PJ Curtis, Pádraic Breathnach and Ollie Jennings for their outstanding contribution to the Arts in Ireland. The ceremonies will take place Monday 24th October and Tuesday 25th October 2005. PJ Curtis, broadcaster, author, record producer and lecturer, will be recognised for his significant contribution to many aspects of Irish cultural life throughout a career that has spanned 30 years. A native of Kilnaboy, County Clare, Mr Curtis has won numerous awards for his radio documentaries which include the 1980 ground-breaking 'The House of R&B', the first programme on Irish radio to regularly feature authentic Blues, Cajun, African and World Music. Having produced 53 albums, he has worked with Ireland's finest artists and as a music historian, has lectured at home and throughout the US. Mr Curtis will be conferred with an honorary MA degree on Monday, 24th October at 11.00am. Padraic Breathnach, will be honoured for his immense contribution to cultural life in Galway and Ireland. A fluent Irish speaker, Pádraic grew up in Carna, Connemara. As a student in NUI Galway, he was deeply involved with An Cumann Drámaíochta and Dramsoc, where he teamed up with Ollie Jennings in a series of groundbreaking cultural initiatives in and out of college. He worked with An Taibhdhearc and Druid Theatres and became the first manager of Galway Arts Centre, before co-founding Macnas with Ollie Jennings. As both performer and Artistic Drector, Padraic Breathnach became the most visable face of Macnas, which as well as presenting the annual Galway parade, toured the US and with U2, over 40 cities in Europe. Macnas represented Ireland on the world cultural stage in Seville 1992 and was invited to usher in the new Millennium in New York in December 1999. As an actor, Pádraic has worked in several films and television programmes and now presents his own arts programme 'Soiscéal Phádraic' on TG4. Pádraic Breathnach will receive his honorary MA degree on Tuesday, 25th October at 11.00am. Ollie Jennings will also be honoured for his outstanding contribution to the Arts in Galway and Ireland. He worked alongside his friend Padraic Breathnach from his student days at NUI Galway, developing the Arts Festival into one of the most innovative and outstanding arts and cultural events in Europe. The two are synonomous with Galway's cultural renaissance in the last three decades. This artistic relationship was strengthened further when they co-founded the Macnas group. Ollie continued to develop and guide both organisations until 1990 when he joined the Sawdoctors as manager. Jennings will be conferred with an honorary MA degree on Tuesday, 25th October at 2.00pm. Ends

Monday, 17 October 2005

NUI Galway's Medical School is to join forces with the University of Ulster to provide increased opportunities for medical graduates in the north-western area. Proposed developments at the University of Ulster, focussed on its Magee campus in Derry will provide further impetus for the extension of healthcare education in the region. The Medical School at NUI Galway has also established links over many years with Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry and this has resulted in the formation of the western region education network incorporating all hospitals in the West and Northwest. With the expected permission of the State and the Higher Education Authority, NUI Galway intends to introduce graduate entry from 2006, doubling the number of places in its Medical school. It is the intention of the University that this development will provide places for 50 graduate students and 100 undergraduates annually. Graduate students will have an honours degree and will follow a four-year programme, in place of the six-year programme undergraduate students must complete and the University will continue to admit overseas students. "Clinical placement is crucial to medical education and while substantive links exist with affiliated hospitals in the Western region, there is potential for significant additional capacity at a clinical level for students in the these hospitals including Letterkenny, Sligo, Roscommon, Portiuncula and Castlebar," says Dr Phillip A Carney, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, NUI Galway. The Faculty encompasses a School of Nursing and a School of Therapies, and it is anticipated that by 2007, it will accommodate over 1,400 students. St. Angela's College, Sligo has recently become a constituent college of NUI Galway and the University is also uniquely placed in that it is the only university within the EU-designated Border, Midlands and West (BMW) area. Dr Carney said: "NUI Galway and the University of Ulster believe that the provision of suitable doctors for the BMW region as well as the western half of Northern Ireland may best be achieved by expanding medical education opportunities in the locality. It has long been recognised that graduates in any discipline from a particular university are more likely to seek employment in the area where they are educated. A further benefit of a conjoint approach by the two universities to undergraduate medical education will be the development of cross-border research programmes, which will lead to more effective patient care in the region enhancing opportunities for continuing professional development for all professional groups in the Health Services in both institutions". The University of Ulster's commitment to enhancing the provision and quality of professional healthcare education in the North West was emphasised by Professor Bernie Hannigan, Pro-Vice Chancellor. "We are delighted to work closely with NUI Galway,' said Professor Hannigan. 'Improved medical education will bring many benefits to the standards of care available in the region and will be a new and important focus for economic development. Effective partnerships, both among universities and the health sector across the North West are essential for success." Ends

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

The National University of Ireland has awarded the Irish Historical Research Prize 2005 to Christopher Maginn for 'Civilizing' Gaelic Leinster: The Extension of Tudor Rule in the O'Byrne and O'Toole Lordships published by Four Courts Press in 2004. The Irish Historical Research Prize of €3,000 is awarded for the best work of original scholarship by an NUI graduate or student published in the past three years. Dr Christopher Maginn is a graduate of NUI Galway and Assistant Professor of History at Fordham University, New York. Special Commendation was given to Dr Nollaig O Muraíle for his mammoth five volume edition of Leabhar Mór na nGenealach: The Great Book of Irish Genealogies compiled (1645-66) by Dubhaltach Mac Fhirbhisigh, published by Eamonn de Búrca/Edmund Burke, Publisher 2004, which he considered "an enormous contribution to the study of Irish genealogy". Dr Ó Muraíle, is a member of the staff of the NUI Galway Scoil na Gaeilge. The last winner of the Irish Historical Research Prize was Nicholas P. Canny for,Making Ireland British 1580-1650 published in 2001 by Oxford University Press. The full list of NUI Galway graduates who were awarded NUI awards are as follows: Irish Historical Research Prize Dr Christopher R. Maginn NUI Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities Dr Jane S. Grogan Travelling Studentship in Archaeology Mr John G. Malcolm Travelling Studentship in Medicine Dr Esther O'Sullivan Travelling Studentship in Mathematics Ms Brenda Ryan Travelling Studentship in Astrophysics Mr Damien Quinn Dr. Mary.L. Thornton Scholarship in Education Ms Elaine Keane Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship in French - 2nd Prize Ms Chloé Diskin Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship in German – 2nd Prize Ms Mairéad Una Ní Chatháin Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship in German - CommendationMs Chloé Diskin Dr HH Stewart Literary Scholarship in Italian – 3rd Prize Ms Cristina Ciamberlano Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Biochemistry – 3rd Prize Mr Chee Peng Hor Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Gynaecology and Obstetrics Ms Gabrielle Colleran Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Gynaecology and Obstetrics – 2nd Prize Mr Nigel Glynn Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Medical Microbiology Ms Rachel Fallon Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Medical Microbiology – 3rd Prize Ms Ciara Freeman Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Medicine, Ms Emma Harrington Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Paediatrics Mr Donal Sexton Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Pathology – 2nd Prize Mr Kevin Cronin Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Pharmacology Ms Maeve Ann O'Reilly Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Physiology – 2nd Prize Mr Patrick Gleeson Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Psychiatry – 3rd Prize Ms Éadaoin Ní Challaráin Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Psychiatry - Commendation Mr Donal Sexton Dr HH Stewart Medical Scholarship in Surgery – 2nd Prize Ms Michelle O'Shaughnessy NUI/Denis Phelan Scholarship in Electronic Engineering Mr Dermot Campbell NUI/Denis Phelan Scholarship in Science: in the "Numerative Sciences" Mr Connell Murphy NUI/French Government Medal and NUI Prize for Proficiency in French Ms Valeria Ballarotti

Monday, 3 October 2005

Best-selling author and journalist, Robert Fisk will deliver a public talk entitled "Into the wilderness: how to escape history in Iraq" in the Kirwan Lecture Theatre, Arts/Science Building, NUI Galway at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 18 October 2005. The event is a joint benefit for the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway and Amnesty International (Ireland). Fisk, based in Beirut as Middle East Correspondent of 'The Independent,' has lived in the Middle East for almost three decades and holds more British and international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. His last book, "Pity the Nation," a history of the war in Lebanon, was published to great critical acclaim. His recent publication "The Great War for Civilisation: the Conquest of the Middle East," provides a narrative of how the bloodshed and cruelty unfolding in Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Palestine and other battlefields, the carnage of September 11th, 2001 and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime take on a new and frightening meaning. Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway said: "The role of the media in providing a fact finding mechanism and framework through which we can better understand geo-political events is crucial. Increasingly, however, significant questions have been raised regarding the independence of the media and whether many 'news' sources are, in fact, reporting on facts or increasingly tied to the political landscape. Robert Fisk has stood apart from this worrying trend and consistently provides a powerful and passionate commentary, which challenges, disturbs and pinpricks the conscience. We are delighted he has agreed to join us here in Galway to share his views of the tragedy that is today's Iraq." Seán Love, Executive Director of Amnesty International Irish Section said: "Robert Fisk is a true investigative journalist, utterly independent, fearless in where he is willing to go and what he is willing to write. His journalism and his books have exposed serious human rights issues in many parts of the world, and his ongoing willingness to expose injustice - no matter who it places in the dock - is a shining example to journalism, and to the very precious right and responsibility of freedom of expression." During his visit to NUI Galway on the 18th October, the Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR) will also host a book signing for Robert Fisk. This event will take place from 5.00pm to 6.30pm, at the Centre (located just across from the Cathedral in a two storey yellow stone building, near the University rowing club). Tickets for the public lecture will go on sale today (Monday) in Áras Fáilte, NUI Galway's Visitor and Information Centre and also in the Amnesty International Shop on Middle Street, Galway. Please note that there is a limited number of tickets available and these will be sold on a first come first served basis with ticket prices at €8 for students, unwaged and Amnesty members and €15 for all others. Ends

Friday, 25 November 2005

ICHEC, Ireland s first national high-performance computing facility, joins prestigious Top500 list at rank 205 Ireland s first dedicated supercomputing facility, the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC), has shot straight to the upper half of the Top500, a definitive listing of the world s fastest supercomputers. ICHEC s ranking at 205 is a major achievement for the Centre, which was officially opened just three months ago, to provide the vast computational facilities increasingly in demand by Irish researchers. "The Top500 list has been published semi-annually since 1993, and Irish computers have only appeared in the list twice, always near the bottom," said Dr. Andy Shearer, It Department of NUI Galway and Director of ICHEC. "ICHEC s ranking at 205 is a tremendous achievement, and shows the importance of the Government s investment into this kind of ICT infrastructure." Now in its 26th edition, the Top500 is recognised by the global IT industry as the world s most definitive listing of supercomputing facilities. The list is in a constant state of flux, as high-end computing facilities all over the world continue to expand their capacity. The facilities listed at 500 in the current list, for example, would have ranked at 73 just a year ago. "With this pace of development, it s essential that Ireland put sustained investment into high-performance computing resources, if we want to keep Irish scientists on a competitive footing with their international peers," said Dr. Shearer. "ICHEC s aim is to develop a proper infrastructure for Irish computational science, and this will only be possible if we invest in more powerful machines. I would like to see us reaching the top 50." Non-commercial Irish researchers are already using ICHEC facilities to undertake dozens of computationally intensive projects in areas including climate modelling, comparative genomics, molecular research, astrophysics modelling and simulation and medical implants research. ICHEC plays an essential role in fulfilling the Government s objective of substantially increasing Ireland s R&D activity by 2010, including a doubling of R&D undertaken in the higher education and public sectors. ICHEC is supported by a grant from Science Foundation Ireland and by contributions from two high-capacity computing projects funded by the Higher Education Authority s Programme for Research in Third-Level Institutions -- TCD s Institute for Information Technology and Advanced Computation (IITAC) and CosmoGrid. "CosmoGrid is delighted with this ranking, which vindicates the decision to pool our own Higher Education Authority funds with those of ICHEC to obtain a substantially more powerful system than either of us could have obtained on our own," said Professor Luke Drury, Head of the School of Cosmic Physics at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Ends

Tuesday, 22 November 2005

Thousands of second-level students and their parents from all over the country are expected to attend NUI Galway's annual Open Day which will take place this year on Thursday 1st December, from 9.00am to 3.00pm. For students – whether they are Second-Level, Access or Mature – this day presents the ideal opportunity to obtain the kind of in-depth information about the courses and outcomes that they are looking for. Academic staff from the University's 52 departments will be available at the exhibition stands to answer queries and provide detailed subject and course information. "The range of courses on offer is immense, and Leaving Cert students often find it difficult to choose the options best suited to them," says Michael Howley, NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer. "Open Day provides the perfect opportunity for students to meet academic staff and postgraduate students, who will discuss course content, answer queries and provide advice at the stands in Áras na Mac Léinn/Student Centre and in the Arts/Science building." He explains why NUI Galway is the first choice option for many students when completing their CAO forms: "Prospective students will be made aware of our world-class teaching and research – the University takes pride in being student-centred. And what's more they will find out that student life in Galway is second to none!" "Galway is a relatively small city," he continues, "but big on atmosphere. The University campus is centrally located and accommodation is both plentiful and reasonably priced. Students who choose NUI Galway fall in love with the West and always treasure their student days here." On their arrival at NUI Galway on 1st December, students are requested to come to the assembly point in the Quadrangle Building. They will then go to the Martin Ryan Institute where they will register for the Open Day and enter a prize draw. Top prizes include Apple iPods. There will be introductory lectures and exhibition areas to enjoy. Guided tours of the campus will be provided throughout the day. Included are visits to the following: Clinical Science Institute (Medical School) Arts Millennium Building Áras na Gaeilge Student Accommodation Sports Facilities as well the University's newest buildings: the J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy and Áras Moyola, which accommodates the Centre for Nursing Studies, Therapies and the Department of Political Science and Sociology Laboratory demonstrations will be held in the Departments of Physics and Chemistry. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the Information Technology Labs, and the University's Applied Languages Centre. NUI Galway continues to provide the best academic options and facilities for its students, thus maintaining its position at the forefront of education in Ireland. Due for construction is a €53m. Engineering School, while plans are well advanced for the construction of a new Student Centre which will include a swimming pool. Ends

Monday, 21 November 2005

The Faculty of Law at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness to the position of Adjunct Professor of Law. Mrs. Justice McGuinness is a judge of the Irish Supreme Court and President of the Law Reform Commission. A former senator representing the University of Dublin, Trinity College panel in Seanad Éireann, Mrs McGuinness has also acted as the Chairperson of the Forum for Peace & Reconciliation. Welcoming the appointment, Marie McGonagle, Head of the Law Department and Director of the LL.M in Public Law said: "Given her dynamic track record as both a judge and legislator, it is especially appropriate that Mrs. Justice McGuinness will be associated with our new LL.M programme in Public Law. The students on that programme – which is the first of its kind in Ireland – will have the benefit of her extensive knowledge and experience". The Dean of Law, Donncha O'Connell, said the Faculty was honoured that a person of Mrs. Justice McGuinness's calibre was willing to accept the University's offer of an Adjunct Chair for a three-year period. He added that he looked forward to a fruitful period of engagement between the academic staff and student community in NUI Galway and an eminent member of the Irish judiciary. "This will cement the already healthy relationship between the Faculty and judiciary developed in recent years through the Faculty's involvement in editing and producing the Judicial Studies Institute Journal" he said.

Monday, 21 November 2005

The Irish Universities Association today announced the successful funding of research in Irish Universities and Industry to the tune of €10million in the current EU Marie Curie funding round. This brings the total amount of funding, secured by Ireland from the European Commission's highly competitive Marie Curie Programme, to €42 million. The funding will expand Ireland's R&D capability by attracting a total of 220 top class researchers from around the world. The current round represents 16 funded projects across eight Irish organisations: Cellix Ltd., Sigmoid Ltd., Duolog Ltd., Celtic Catalysts Ltd., University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Galway. The projects span a large variety of disciplines, from life sciences to nanotechnology and also include the humanities. The significance of this success for Irish Research cannot be understated, as the contract values represent almost one quarter of the total available fund for all Europe under this scheme. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) provides a national support service for industry and academia in preparing and submitting proposals to this programme. Harnessing academic know-how in accessing European funds is helping Irish Industry in building R&D capability. Dr. Conor O'Carroll, head of the Research Office at the IUA said: " This is an example of where universities and companies working together can demonstrate the high quality of R&D in Ireland by being more successful than any other European country in securing funding from this highly sought after funding." The stated Government policy is to increase research in Irish industry. In this context, the Irish Universities Association undertook to actively promote the Marie Curie Programme to companies. As a direct result, 20% of the total €42million has been won by Industry here. This proves that despite Government concerns about the decreasing involvement of Irish Industry in FP6, the Marie Curie Programme is bucking this trend. The Marie Curie Programme covers the salary costs of researchers hired for the project and contributes to research, management costs and overheads. Contract values vary between €150,000 for a single researcher up to €1.5million for a research team. The importance of this funding for research is illustrated by an awardee, Dr. Michael Madden of the Laboratory for Biomedical Data Mining in NUI Galway, "It will contribute to NUI Galway's capacity to perform research, and help to improve the competitiveness within the knowledge economy of the Objective 1 Region in which Galway is located. It will also enhance our interactions with other European research institutes, and help promote research as a profession. We owe a debt of gratitude to the IUA in their assistance on how to structure a proposal and their advice most certainly contributed to its success". Significant opportunities still remain for research organisations in the Marie Curie Programme with more than €450million available in early 2006. The Irish Universities Association will strongly support potential applicants in industry, universities and institutes of technology to maximise further success. Ends

Tuesday, 15 November 2005

The presenter of RTE's Mooney Goes Wild nature programme, Eanna Ní Lamhna, is to deliver a public lecture on sustainable development at the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway on Monday 21st November at 8.00pm. The well-known environmentalist is the current president of An Taisce and will deliver her talk on 'A Future for Our Past' at the O'Tuathail Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. The event is free and members of the public are welcome to attend. An experienced radio and television broadcaster and a fluent Irish speaker, Eanna is in Galway for this year's Science and Technology Festival which runs from the 21st to the 25th November. Her talk will focus on how we can reconcile the growing prosperity in Ireland and the development this brings, with conserving our environmental heritage and countryside. She has been invited by the Director of the Environmental Change Institute, Professor Emer Colleran, to deliver what is the third in a series of topical lectures. "Eanna is a very charismatic speaker and is well-known for her commitment to sustainable development. The Environmental Change Institute is delighted to host her talk", says Prof. Colleran. The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at the National University of Ireland, Galway was founded in September 2000 to develop a fundamental understanding of the processes involved in and the key indicators of, environmental change. It brings together the knowledge, skills and experience of researchers from a wide variety of relevant disciplines. The result is a focused, interdisciplinary and cross-faculty centre at NUI, Galway, dedicated to environmental science and environmental change research.

Monday, 7 November 2005

Photographs from the Congested District Board Collection and the Connemara Album An unusual photographic exhibition depicting life in the west of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, will provide Galway audiences with a rare glimpse of a by-gone era. The exhibition, entitled Regeneration: the West of Ireland, 1890-1914, will take place in the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway from Tuesday 8 November to Friday 16 December 2005 and is a joint event with the National Photographic Archive. The exhibition draws upon the National Photographic Archive's Congested Districts Board Collection and Connemara Album, which dates from 1904-1916. Both sets of photographs were created to record the difficulties facing economic development in Mayo, Galway and Donegal between 1906 and 1914 and in Connemara in 1892. They provide a fascinating view of the west of Ireland one hundred and more, years ago. These images are supplemented by photographs from the Balfour Album of 1892, which is part of the James Hardiman Library's Special Collections. The Congested Districts Board was established in 1891 with the primary aim of alleviating poverty in the most disadvantaged places along the western seaboard. Its work continued until 1923 when the Land Commission took over some of its functions. The collection of photographs comprises 105 images, 40 of which can be attributed to the well-known Belfast photographer, Robert J. Welch, documenting congested districts along the west coast. The Balfour Album depicts scenes from Galway and Connemara from the early 1890s. Created by Robert J. Welch, it was a gift to the former Chief Secretary of Ireland, Arthur J. Balfour in recognition of his support for the building of the Galway-Clifden Railway. Exhibition: Regeneration: the West of Ireland, 1890-1914 Location: Foyer and ground floor of the James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway Duration: Tuesday 8 November - Friday 16 December 2005 Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 8.30am-10pm Saturday 8.30am-5.30pm Sunday 10.00am - 5.30pm Ends

Monday, 19 December 2005

Details have been announced of NUI Galway's seventh annual Gala Banquet, which will take place at the Radisson SAS Hotel on Saturday 4th March 2006. The 2006 Gala Banquet will build on the University's mission in international education which has brought three postgraduate students from developing countries to NUI Galway as the inaugural recipients of its International Scholarship Programme. The NUI programme is a philanthropic initiative spearheaded by Galway University Foundation, which has been working with a range of donors to secure substantial scholarship funds for postgraduate students from developing countries to study in NUI Galway. Income from the Gala Banquet itself will also contribute to this initiative. The students; a lawyer from South Africa, and a doctor and an engineer from Sri Lanka, will be special guests at the Gala which will focus on NUI Galway's role as an international force for change in improving educational opportunities for students from developing countries. One of the highlights of the evening, which has established itself as a premier national event and one of the key social occasions in the West of Ireland, is the presentation of seven annual Alumni Awards. These awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University's more than 50,000 graduates worldwide. The Alumni Awards are; Medtronic Vascular Award for Health Care and Medical Science; Seavite Award for Natural Science; Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce; AIB Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts; TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics; Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge and the NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government. Tickets for the banquet cost €150 each and €1,500 for a table of 10. For further information, please telephone 091 495266 or Email: gala@nuigalway.ie

Friday, 16 December 2005

Noel Dorr, former Irish Ambassador to London was appointed today as Chair of NUI Galway's Údarás na hOllscoile (Governing Authority). As one of the most outstanding civil servants in the history of this state, Noel Dorr has had a long and distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He has held the following positions: Permanent Representative to UN, New York 1980; Irish Representative on UN Security Council 1981-1982 (and President of the Security Council in April 1981and August 1982); Ambassador of Ireland London 1983-1987, and Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin, 1987 until his retirement in 1995. Noel Dorr was conferred with an honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in NUI Galway in 2001. Speaking of the appointment, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "Noel Dorr is one of Ireland's most distinguished public servants. The esteem in which he was held throughout his career is reflected in the roles accorded to him - both at home and abroad – in negotiating the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1985; in the drafting of EU Treaties; and as Government representative on the Carlson committee on the reform of the United Nations. We are delighted and privileged that he will chair the University's Governing Authority at a time of immense change and development at NUI Galway". Noel Dorr's term of office extends to 2008.

Monday, 12 December 2005

€60 million project gets green light for development The largest capital project to be undertaken to date at National University of Ireland Galway will commence immediately as a result of the Government's €1 billion investment programme for third-level institutions, announced yesterday (Sunday). It is expected that NUI Galway's new €60 million School of Engineering will be allocated at least the full €25 million earmarked for the project in the Kelly Report prepared for the Government on necessary infrastructural funding of the third-level sector. Additional significant funding has been contributed by private donors, while the balance will be covered from the University's own resources. NUI Galway's new School of Engineering, with an area of c. 14,000 square metres, will bring the University's five Departments of Civil, Electronic, Industrial, Engineering Hydrology and Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering, under the one roof in a state-of-the-art building, to be located on the north campus, adjacent to the new €16 million JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, launched just last week. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "This project is critically important for the economic and social development of the entire Western Region, and we welcome the recognition by the Government, in this decision, of the central role of the University in underpinning future development. This is a major milestone for NUI Galway and one of the key capital projects of our Strategic Plan (2005-2008). At a sectoral level, we also welcome the Government's recently announced investment programme for the third-level sector, which demonstrates an understanding and commitment to supporting the sector and its role in the creation and development of Ireland's knowledge-based economy." Almost 1,500 students are currently studying Engineering at NUI Galway, with demand for places in all disciplines remaining consistently high. Professor Pádraic O'Donoghue, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: "Engineers have been among the key drivers of the success of Ireland's economy. It is important that those who are at the cutting edge of technological developments and who design and implement major infrastructural projects, are trained to the highest standards with the best possible facilities. NUI Galway has a long and distinguished tradition of quality and excellence across all its Engineering disciplines and the new School of Engineering will underpin the professional education we provide." NUI Galway has engaged renowned architects RMJM to design the new School of Engineering. RMJM designed the award-winning Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh, the Chemistry Research Building at the University of Oxford and the Olympic Green Convention Centre for Beijing 2008. For the NUI Galway project, they will partner Taylor Architects from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The School of Engineering will provide undergraduate and postgraduate student accommodation including engineering laboratories, project rooms, research facilities, workshops, computer suites, lecture theatres and classrooms, faculty office accommodation and departmental staff accommodation. Ends

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Ground-breaking Investment Package for Fourth Level Ireland welcomed The Irish Universities Association warmly welcomes today's ground-breaking Budget statement by the Minister for Finance on investment in "Fourth-level Ireland IUA President Ferdinand von Prondzynski said "Minister Cowen in his ringing endorsement of the pivotal contribution of higher education to the country's economic success and its fundamental strategic importance to future economic and social development had set a unique setting for a highly significant investment package for higher education" He added "the Budget statement heralds a vitally important development phase for higher education and research and is a strong signal of the Government's commitment to creating a highly competitive Irish university system of top international ranking" The University Heads are encouraged that the Minister recognises that the benchmarks for performance and investment at third and fourth levels are international. They see the strategic innovation fund as a bridge to further investment in the national research plan and the national development plan. The announcement of a strategic innovation fund, the commitment to a multi-annual rolling capital programme, the forthcoming national research plan and the priority to be given to higher education and research as a key strategy in the next national development plan, together provide a considerable boost for a comprehensive transformation of the university sector. The University Heads are particularly encouraged that the Government views these developments as a coherent package of strategic initiatives with a synergistic potential that must be exploited in order to maximise the contribution of universities to economic and social progress. They wish to assure the Government that they are fully committed to meeting the reform challenges identified by the Minister for Finance, to collaborating to develop critical mass in excellence, to maximising effectiveness across the higher education system and to working in partnership with Government to achieve national objectives. The IUA looks forward to a statement to be made by the Minister for Education and Science giving further details on the Government's initiatives End

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

€16million Graduate School to pioneer Ireland's first Finance and Gerontology Centres Officially launched by international business leader, Niall FitzGerald The National University of Ireland, Galway will unveil its new JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy today. The €16 million Graduate School, which will be officially launched by the Chairman of Reuters, Niall FitzGerald KBE, is the first of its type in Ireland focussing on the linkages between public policy, innovation and business success - both nationally and in the BMW region. In all, the Cairnes Graduate School will house four centres of research excellence: Ireland's first Finance Centre, following a new senior appointment from the US Federal Reserve Board, will specialise in international financial economics. The centre will focus on developing new financial instruments and techniques for the development of the global financial services industry and will also produce information on exchange rates and house prices in industrial markets. A new €3.5 million centre for Social Gerontology, which will examine economics of an aging population, will also be housed at the school. €1.5 million for this initiative has been committed by Atlantic Philanthropies. The Centre for Innovation & Structural Change (CISC), which examines the science, technology and innovation processes central to the development of the knowledge-based economy, has attracted over €4 million in competitive funding. One of its tasks is to establish a National Innovation Index, which will measure Ireland's progress in the development of a knowledge based economy on a quarterly basis. Finally, the Centre for Development of Rural Economic Space (CEDRES) has been established with European Union funding of €2 million and conducts internationally recognised research on rural and regional development. In welcoming the new School, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "The JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy underpins the University's position as a research centre of excellence - amongst the best in Europe. In addition to greatly enhancing our expanding and changing campus, we look forward to the positive impact the Cairnes Graduate School will bring to our business graduates of the future, and to creating Ireland's next wave of entrepreneurs and business leaders. Our vision for this School is to drive change and innovation in Ireland's knowledge-based economy, particularly within the BMW region, with its highly skilled and creative young people, and globally competitive technology clusters." Mr Niall FitzGerald KBE added, "I am a very strong believer in the role business education must play in bringing Ireland to the next phase of its economic development. It is increasingly understood that Ireland's future success will depend to a great degree on the calibre of its managers and leaders. The Cairnes Graduate School will build on a very fine tradition at NUI Galway of high quality teaching and research, now going further to link the roles of public policy, business innovation and the development of management capabilities. I look forward to witnessing the positive impact that this School will have, not just on the region but also on the entire country's future development." The JE Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy is named after John Elliot Cairnes (1823-1875), the most distinguished economist Ireland has produced. During the 1860s, Cairnes was Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Economy at NUI Galway (then Queen's College Galway). The 4,500 square metre facility was designed by leading Irish architects RKD. Funding has been secured from a combination of public and private sources, including substantial contributions from Atlantic Philanthropies and Galway based entrepreneur Joe Higgins. Ends

Friday, 2 December 2005

Issued on behalf of IBEC and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) Strong partnerships between industry and academia needed Leaders from business and universities met today to plan for a huge increase in the number of research scientists and engineers coming on stream in Ireland over the next seven years arising from the Government's Science Technology and Innovation strategic plan. In order to cater for this influx of PhD research graduates, industry and universities must work together to create an unprecedented number of sustainable research jobs. The Government aims to double the number of science and engineering PhDs working in Ireland and to raise PhD numbers from 450 to 900 per annum. This increase is vital if companies are to seriously consider Ireland as a base for major R&D projects. Without the necessary expertise, companies will look elsewhere and our economic success will falter. At the joint conference held today, IBEC and the Irish Universities Association (IUA) addressed the key issues of creating the required number and calibre of PhD graduates and strengthening industry academic partnership to ensure appropriate jobs for PhDs in Ireland. Speaking at the conference, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, President of IUA said "the availability of skilled researchers is a key component of the knowledge economy. The onus is equally on government, industry and academia to ensure that Ireland can employ these skilled personnel on graduation. We must not have a situation where PhDs fail to find a suitable job, or where students choose not to embark on a PhD due to the lack of a robust career opportunities." Industry investment in R&D crossed the €1bn threshold in 2003, the last year for which figures are available. This trend seems set to continue, with major R&D investment announcements from a number of high profiled companies: IBM (€22m), HP (€21.4m), Bell Labs (employ 120 researchers), Pfizer (€20m), Bristol Myers Squibb (€9.6m). Commenting on private R&D investment, Turlough O'Sullivan, Director General IBEC, said "Recent investment bodes well for the future. Increased private sector investment in R&D will play a significant part in securing sustainable careers for PhDs." Commenting on the €8million secured by companies from the EU's Marie Curie Programme with IUA support, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski said "Universities have been very active collaborators with industry in accessing research investment and we are keen to see this success continue." The two key priorities at the conference were: 1. To ensure researchers have the necessary skills and calibre to be attractive to industry. 2. To develop strong partnerships between academia and industry so that PhDs can transfer from employment in academia to industry and visa versa. Speaking at the conference, Brendan Cremen, Xilinx Ireland said, "Skilled people are the differentiating factor between competing economies. Business decisions on the location of global R&D activities are determined by the calibre of researchers and the quality of their output." ends

Monday, 26 January 2004

An Tánaiste, Mary Harney T.D., officially opened the Imbusch Observatory in NUI Galway today (26 January). The fully-fitted observatory provides exciting opportunities for students of the B.Sc in Physics and Astronomy programme, to carry out project work using the latest observational equipment. While in NUI Galway, the Tánaiste will also discuss the proposed new Engineering facility at the University. Speaking at the opening the Tánaiste restated the strategic importance of continued investment in science, engineering and technology. "The importance of a vibrant Irish third level education sector cannot be overemphasised in our quest to make Ireland a secure, knowledge based economy. Knowledge, know-how and an educated skills base are imperative for successful industrial and technological development". "I am confident, from what I have seen here today, that this new observatory, and the innovative Physics and Astronomy degree course will assist in attracting the best and brightest students to Galway", the Tánaiste added. Professor Michael Redfern of NUI Galway's Department of Experimental Physics says that the observatory will add an important dimension to the study of astronomy. "For instance, students will now be able to make observations of the transits of a planet orbiting a distant star, a so-called 'exo-planet," he said. In order to stimulate interest in astronomy, Professor Redfern added that secondary school students would also be encouraged to visit the observatory to experience the excitement of astronomy first-hand. In addition to a telescope, the observatory is equipped with a fiber-fed spectrometer, a photo-counting photometer and a 3m radio telescope, which will be used in a project to map the distribution of matter in our galaxy and to 'weigh' our galaxy. Students of physics and astronomy acquire a high level of mathematical, computational and problem-solving skills which are in demand across a wide range of careers. In recognition of this, the introduction of a perpetual prize for the best project in Physics and Astronomy, sponsored by Agilent Technologies Ltd. Dublin, will also be announced at today's event. The observatory is dedicated to Professor George F. Imbusch, recently retired Professor of Experimental Physics in NUI Galway, a great astronomy enthusiast, who has been instrumental in facilitating the development of the subject at undergraduate and at research level in the University. Ends/

Tuesday, 20 January 2004

Human Rights expert, Professor William Schabas, NUI Galway, debates the universal abolition of the death penalty The Irish Cultural Centre in Paris will host a series of debates and events from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 January 2004, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth in Paris of Sean MacBride, human rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and one of the earliest Presidents of Amnesty International. A two-day conference on the abolition of capital punishment (MacBride s own father was executed for his participation in the Easter Rebellion), will take place on Thursday 22 January and Friday 23 January. The conference, entitled "Towards the Abolition of the Death Penalty," will be addressed by Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway and author of The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law. "It is appalling that the United States and China continue to practice capital punishment, without even respecting recognised international norms", said Professor William Schabas. "In the United States, for example, juveniles continue to be executed and threatened with capital punishment. In both countries, trials do not respect the high standards that must be honoured when human life is at stake." A substantial majority of the world s countries have now abolished the death penalty. According to the latest UN figures, approximately 123 countries have abolished capital punishment, while about 70 still retain it (although most of these use it only very occasionally). The statistics indicate a dramatic shift in recent decades, and the trend to abolition appears likely to continue. The death penalty has been ruled out for prosecution by the International Criminal Court, for example. Even Iraq has suspended use of the death penalty, the result of pressure from the United Kingdom, which could be held responsible for human rights violations in that country before the European Court of Human Rights. Dr Iognáid G. O Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway will launch the three-day conference. Other speakers include Tom O'Malley, Dean of NUI Galway's Law Faculty and Dr. Maurice Manning, President of the Irish Human Rights Commission. The conference is co-organised by The Irish Centre for Human Rights, the Irish Cultural Centre and the Human Rights Centre of the Université de Paris II. The conference will conclude with a morning session on Saturday on MacBride's legacy and his contribution to human rights. Ends

Friday, 16 January 2004

A total of 43 first year students attending NUI Galway will receive Entrance Scholarships, each worth €1,300, at a celebratory function at the University at 5.00 p.m. this evening (16 January) in the Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The recipients are students from 34 schools, representing eleven different counties. They achieved top marks in their Leaving Certificate examination in 2003 and are now studying full-time at NUI Galway. Scholarships are guaranteed to all new entrants who reach 560 points (or 575 in Engineering and 590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Nine of the scholars achieved the maximum score of 600 points. NUI Galway has awarded Entrance Scholarships over the past number of years. However this year, both the number of scholarships and the scholarship fund have been considerably increased. NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said, "The Entrance Scholarship Scheme gives special recognition to outstanding performance by entering students in line with the University's commitment to academic excellence in its Strategic Plan. The winning students hail from a wide geographical spread and are pursuing their studies in numerous courses, spanning every Faculty at NUI Galway. Particular credit is also due to the teachers and parents for their contribution to the scholars' achievements". In addition to a cheque for €1,300, each winning student will be presented with a specially designed scroll by the President to mark their achievement. Ends

Monday, 12 January 2004

NUI Galway has been awarded €15m in funding over the next five years from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to fund a new centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET). Additional funding of €4 million will be contributed to the research programme by REMEDI partners. These include a number of Irish and multinational companies in the healthcare sector, in particular Medtronic (Galway) and ChondroGene (Toronto). This major round of funding will be used to develop a new world-class Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI), which will specialise in basic and applied research in regenerative medicine to develop new therapies for human diseases that are currently incurable. In welcoming this announcement, the President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said "This award underlines the commitment of NUI Galway to achieving the highest international standing in research. REMEDI is the second CSET that NUI Galway has been awarded recently. The university was awarded €12million by SFI in May 2003 to support the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), a CSET which will spearhead research into the second generation of Web Technology. Indeed, NUI Galway is the only Irish university to be awarded two CSETs and to have been successful in all rounds of HEA PRTLI funding over the past four years." Regenerative medicine is an emerging field where cells and genes are used to replace tissues and organs that have been affected by disease. The central research platforms on which REMEDI will initially concentrate are gene therapy and adult stem cell research. The team also includes clinicians in University College Hospital Galway (UCHG), who will lead the translation of research advances into clinical practice. Professor Tim O'Brien, a leading figure in gene therapy research who was recruited from the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the US to the Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway in 2001 will direct the new institute. Commenting on the funding for REMEDI he said, "This funding is testament to the strength of our research capabilities at NUI Galway. REMEDI and its academic and industrial partners will play a key role in an area of research with immense potential for the development of new therapies for human diseases that are currently incurable. It also presents a unique opportunity for Ireland to be at the forefront of the development of regenerative medicine technology that is highly relevant to the future of the healthcare industry, a significant element of Ireland's economic development." Dr Frank Barry a leading figure in adult stem cell research at Osiris Therapeutics, in Baltimore, Maryland, will join the REMEDI team. There will be approximately 30 research staff working with Professor O'Brien and Dr Barry. REMEDI will be located in the newly built National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, the only centre in the country that contains a state-of-the-art facility for gene therapy research. Professor Terry Smith, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway said, "In addition to being of major strategic importance to Ireland, this is a major boost for our research initiatives at NUI Galway and we look forward to working with Professor O'Brien and Dr Barry in bringing this exciting initiative to fruition. Regenerative medicine is one of the new and emerging medicines and this funding is vital in bringing our research from the laboratory into clinical practice. This opportunity enables us to capitalise on the close links we have developed with the healthcare sector and with clinicians at University College Hospital, Galway, all of whom will be critical to the success of this institute." All SFI funding is awarded following a rigorous review process led by international experts. In the case of the CSET Awards, the experts assessed the application's level of research quality, collaboration, intellectual breadth, flexibility in responding to new research opportunities and integration of research and education. Each CSET underwent a review that included the experts' assessment of written proposals and oral research presentations to a strategic review panel of government and industry leaders in Ireland and a stringent review by the experts at each location. ends

Monday, 16 February 2004

David Bellamy, one of the world's best-known marine biologists and broadcasters, will visit NUI Galway in March to kick off a series of events marking the 10th anniversary of the University's Martin Ryan Institute. Bellamy will deliver an illustrated public lecture entitled "The Life Giving Sea: from Kelp to Coral - a trip around earth s own inner space and a look into a sustainable future," on Friday, 5 March, in the Kirwan Theatre, at 7.00pm. Admission to the lecture is free but by ticket only. Tickets will be available from Áras Fáilte, the University's Information Office from Friday, 20 February. (Tel. 091-750418). David Bellamy will also be the guest speaker the following evening (Saturday), at NUI Galway's annual Gala Banquet, in the Radisson SAS Hotel, Galway. The Martin Ryan Institute serves as a regional, national and international centre of excellence for the study of marine and freshwater resources. Through its research programmes it - Promotes exploration and development of marine physical resources Increases understanding of aquatic biodiversity Analyses effects of environmental change on aquatic ecosystems Facilitates sustainable development of aquatic biological resources and aquaculture Professor Michael Guiry, Director of the Institute, says that NUI Galway's strategic location at the centre of Ireland's western marine area, allows researchers ready access to a broad area of the continental shelf and the deep ocean. "On any given day in the Institute, there are close to 150 staff and students engaged in teaching and research in marine science," he says. According to Professor Guiry, the Martin Ryan Institute has firmly established itself as a premier marine research facility in the relatively short period since it foundation ten years ago. "This positioning has resulted in the Institute receiving funding of €21.5 million under the Higher Education Authority's initiatives to support research in third-level institutions and over €10 million from national and EU sources." Looking to the future, Professor Guiry says that the main areas of development at the Martin Ryan Institute include marine modelling, marine law, ecological and environmental investigation, marine biotechnology and marine information technology. As a result of an agreement with the Geological Survey of Ireland, (GSI), to share the results of the National Seabed Survey, Professor Guiry says that the Institute will shortly be helping to produce "the most stunning maps of our deep-water territories." Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said, "The Martin Ryan Institute has been a beacon of cutting-edge marine research for a decade and is now poised to enter a new phase of research activity using the latest technologies to investigate, monitor and conserve Ireland's rich marine heritage." Further events planned to celebrate 10-years of the Martin Ryan Institute include a public lecture series to be launched shortly; the co-hosting of two international marine conferences; and a marine biotechnology workshop at which a number of eminent US scientists will advise NUI Galway on its strategy in this critical economic area. It is also planned to launch the MRI Laboratories in Carna, Connemara in the autumn, to mark the occasion of Ireland's first production of cod. The Martin Ryan Institute is named after the father of Dr. Tony Ryan, Chairman of Guinness Peat Aviation and Founder of Ryanair, who made a major donation towards the founding of the Institute in the mid-1990s. Ends

Monday, 9 February 2004

The annual NUI Galway Alumni Awards will be presented at the University's annual Gala Banquet, which will take place in the Radisson SAS Hotel, on Saturday, 6 March, 2004. Over 600 alumni, friends and corporate partners of the University will gather to celebrate this hallmark event. Funds raised at the banquet will support NUI Galway's Access and Scholarship Programme in Marine Science – helping students overcome barriers to education. Launched in 2000 under the aegis of the NUI Galway Alumni Association, these annual awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual excellence among the more than 50,000 graduates worldwide. Alumni Officer Betsy Kilkenny said, " The Awards represent the broad scope of disciplines in which our graduates excel, from engineering, business, medicine and the arts, to law, science and the Irish language." Now in its fourth year, the Alumni Awards Programme has expanded to include two new awards - Duais don Ghaeilge, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard and the Award for Natural Science, sponsored by Seavite Bodycare Ltd. This brings the number of Awards to seven. This year the Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics is sponsored by TBD Building Contractors. Alumni Awards will be presented to the following graduates: TBD Award for Engineering, IT and Mathematics Mr Tom Costello, Managing Director, John Sisk & Son Ltd. Bank of Ireland Award for Business and Commerce Dr Ronan Lambe, Director ICON Clinical Research This award acknowledges a graduate who has demonstrated excellence and leadership in the world of business and commerce. Medtronic Award for Health Care and Medical Science Professor Fred Given, National Breast Cancer Research Institute This award acknowledges a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of health care and medical science. Hewlett-Packard Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts Mr Michael D Higgins TD, Former Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Labour Party President. This award acknowledges a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution in the area of Literature, Communications and the Arts. NUI Galway Award for Law, Public Service and Government Dr Eamonn Hall, Chief Legal Counsel, Eircom plc Duais Hewlett-Packard don Ghaeilge Pádraig Feirtéar, Principal, Mheánscoil na mBráithre, Dingle, Co. Kerry Tugann an duais seo admháil ar chéimí a chuir le luach na Gaeilge mar acmhainn nádúrtha, forbartha agus eacnamaíochta. Seavite Award for Natural Science Professor Emer Colleran, Professor Microbiology, Director Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway. This award acknowledges a graduate who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of Natural Science - a science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws of nature and the physical world. Ends

Thursday, 5 February 2004

Mr. Noel Dempsey, TD, Minister for Education and Science, will be in NUI Galway tomorrow (Friday) to open a suite of research laboratories and also to open an international conference on Learning. At 12.00 noon, the Minister will open the newly established Genome Stability Laboratories which currently include the Laboratories of Professor Noel Lowndes and Drs Morrison and Nasheuer and form part of the recently established Genome Stability Cluster. This Cluster was established at NUI Galway two years ago to carry out cancer research and is the first of its kind in Ireland. The Genome Cluster is headed by Professor Noel Lowndes of the University s Department of Biochemistry and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, which is also on the NUI Galway campus. Professor Lowndes has established an international reputation in cellular responses to DNA damage. His research team is studying how normal cells respond when the genetic material is damaged and how defects in these responses result in cancer. Later in the day, at 2.00 p.m., the Minister will open the second annual Irish Universities Quality Board Conference, entitled "Learning in the Europe of Knowledge", which will take place in the Ó hEocha Theatre. The two-day conference is an official event of Ireland's Presidency of the European Union. Education experts from the U.S., Australia, Britain and Spain will address issues such as learning technologies; improving learning through teaching development; and meeting the challenge of engaging students with diverse experiences and expectations. Ends

Monday, 2 February 2004

Máire Éilís Ni Fhlatharta, who plays the character of Caitríona, the feisty trouble-maker in Ros na Rún will officially open Múscailt 04, NUI Galway s Spring Arts Festival which runs from 13- 20 February, 2004. For one whole week the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, readings, film and live performances. Almost all events are free and everybody is welcome. 'Múscailt' means to awaken/inspire/celebrate. The theatrical highlight will be Belfast Blues by Geri Hughes, the one-person show which provides a humourous, touching portrayal of a young girl growing up in a troubled Belfast. Comic genius Tommy Tiernan will perform a stand-up gig especially for students and staff in the O Flaherty theatre, his first show ever on campus. "This is the fourth annual arts festival on campus and we are delighted that 'Múscailt' gets better every year," says Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway's Arts Officer. "There is a wealth of talent in the student societies and that combined with performances from well-known, established artists has resulted in a very exciting programme of events. We hope the people of Galway will join with us in this tremendous celebration of the arts." One of the many innovative and exciting events on the programme is a poetry slam on the theme Múscailt/Awakening. This will take place in the college bar with Pete Mullineaux doing MC and there will be great prizes for best poems and best performances. Alice in Wonderland is this year s musical in the Black Box Theatre, showcasing the combined talents of the dramatic, choral, orchestral and dance societies with some staff members taking cameo roles. Film Festival is an eclectic mix of shorts and feature films and boasts a Film Forum on Screenwriting with special guests Rod Stoneman, Lelia Doolin and Irish film-makers Gerry Stembridge, Ronan Gallagher and Liz Gill. Special guest writers will be Nevfel Cumart, Turkish-German poet who will read from his latest collection and Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill who will present a specially commissioned poem. The creative talents of the student societies have combined to produce a wide range of events: literary, drama, dance, art, photographic, the musical and film festival among others. Exhibitions from Photosoc are also well worth a visit. Dramsoc is showcasing a series of original one-act plays in collaboration with the M.A. in Writing and M.A. in Drama and Theatre programmes alongside Teatro Punto s Don t Sleep and The Lovely Ladies clown show STOP. Rockbands Label, Blue Sun and Charis share the billing with the NUI Galway Barbershop Quartet, Sean-nós singer Josie Shéain Jeaic MacDonncha, and ConTempo String Quartet. The highlight of many exhibitions will be the new acquisitions in the NUI Galway Art Collection, which includes Seán McSweeney, Derek Hill, Terry Frost, Brian Bourke, Louis LeBroquy alongside recently restored works of historical value by Robert Gregory and James Holland Snr. Múscailt 04 presents the perfect opportunity to take part in the cultural life of NUI Galway. The festival is supported by Galway University Foundation and the Arts Office. For more information check: www.nuigalway.ie/arts_office/ Tel. Arts Office: 091 512062 Ends

Tuesday, 30 March 2004

A pioneering intergenerational programme, established by NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office is celebrating its fifth birthday this year. The programme called "Living Scenes", which is the only one of its kind in the country, has been piloted with the Presentation Secondary School, Galway and Active Retirement Groups city-wide. A celebration of what the group has achieved will take place this week in An Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway (Wednesday March 31; 7pm). The 'Living Scenes' project is co-ordinated by the Adult and Continuing Education Department at NUI Galway and involves a core group of fifty retired adults working with the transition-year students (16 year olds), for a two and a half-hour weekly slot on four identified modules, namely Music, Art, Drama and Writing. Learning is facilitated by Tutors who adhere to University-defined operational guidelines. Presentation Secondary School has appointed an internal Co-ordinator for this project. The aim of the project is to promote the sharing of culture, heritage, tradition and experience between older and younger members of society in an educational setting. Participants are encouraged to discover common links between both generations, to foster mutual respect for each other and to promote active and experiential learning. "Living Scenes has endeavoured to respond to evident "gaps" emerging in the fabric of our communities", says Mary Surlis, Project Officer, NUI Galway. "This is evident in the disintegration of the family unit and in particular that of the extended family, where increasingly, grandparents and grandchildren are alienated from each other by a constantly changing cultural and social environment". Presentation Secondary School Principal Michael McCann, says that "the non-judgmental attitude of the older adults, has an empowering effect on the transition year students, facilitating them to feel secure and confident in themselves in a learning environment." He went on to say that, "in keeping with the ethos of transition year, this project sees experiential learning taking place in an active and informal environment, which greatly enhances the holistic development of the students." Ann De Búrca, "Living Scenes" school-based co-ordinator says, "As a teacher co-ordinating the project in the school for the last three years, I have seen the project enhance the self-development and maturity of each group of students in turn. Perhaps the most significant and evident contribution of the project has been the enabling and empowering effect of the older adults' participation on the transition year students". According to Ms. De Búrca, the adults in their dedication, enthusiasm and zest for life and living, has greatly enriched the five transition-year classes who have been privileged to be part of the project. "It has been a liberating and positive learning experience for all of us involved with "Living Scenes"", she says. Academic research has been carried out on "Living Scenes" to evaluate the project in a developmental curricular capacity and to identify its contribution in an educational context in a transition year secondary school programme. The findings of this research have implications for policy makers, as well as school and community groups interested in initiating change in a curricular context. Ends