Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Dr Keith Williams, a leading expert in the treatment of paediatric feeding problems in the US, will host a talk for parents on Wednesday, 27 March from 6-8pm in the School of Psychology, NUI Galway. Dr Williams is visiting NUI Galway as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program as a guest of The Applied Behaviour Research Clinic at NUI Galway. In his talk entitled ‘Eating Problems in children with Autism: What they are and what to do!’ Dr Williams will focus on the eating problems common in children with autism, what they are, why they occur, and practical strategies that can be used to address some of these problems.  Dr Williams has been the Director of the Penn State Children’s Hospital Feeding Program for 21 years where he works directly with families to support them with feeding problems. He is a Professor of Paediatrics at the Penn State College of Medicine and a licenced Psychologist. Dr Williams is widely published in the area of childhood feeding disorders and child nutrition. He is the author of numerous books including Broccoli Boot Camp and Treating Eating Problems of Children with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. As well as working with children with special needs and complex medical issues, also has expertise in developing school-based interventions. Dr Helena Lydon, Co-Director of the Applied Behaviour Research Clinic at NUI Galway said: “We are delighted to have the internationally recognised expert Dr Williams give a public talk on eating problems for children with autism. His talk will be of interest to parents of children who are picky eaters and will also be of interest to clinicians who support families of children with autism.”  The talk is free of charge but pre-registration is required. Further details on the talk can be found at https://bit.ly/2Fn3Orc. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

On Thursday, 28 March, NUI Galway will host a day-long online discussion called ‘Imagine NUI Galway’ to inform its strategy over the next five years. Students, staff, alumni and members of the public are invited to log on and join in the discussion and share their views on how the University can best serve the city and region. A series of sessions will look at how the University’s research, teaching and public engagement can evolve to address the challenges facing society.  President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “NUI Galway is your University and we’re keen that you also have a stake and a voice in its future. We would particularly welcome comments from people who don’t currently have contact with the University, as we are keen to open our horizons to new ideas and perspectives.” NUI Galway’s new strategy will be led by five key values that emerged through consultation with staff and students. It will seek to ensure that the University is distinctive, respectful, accessible, expert and sustainable. The discussions on Thursday, 28 March will focus on each of these values and invite participants to share their input and ideas on how the University should develop in these areas over the next five years. The public is asked to visit the Imagine NUI Galway website at http://imagine.nuigalway.ie on Thursday, 28 March and join in the discussion from 11am onwards. ENDS Iarrann OÉ Gaillimh ar an bpobal dul i bhfeidhm ar thodhchaí na hOllscoile  Ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, cuirfidh OÉ Gaillimh fóram plé dar teideal ‘Samhlaigh OÉ Gaillimh’ ar siúl ar líne ar feadh an lae chun cuidiú leo straitéis na hOllscoile a chumadh don tréimhse cúig bliana atá romhainn. Tugtar cuireadh do mhic léinn, comhaltaí foirne, céimithe agus an pobal i gcoitinne logáil isteach agus páirt a ghlacadh sa chomhrá agus a gcuid tuairimí a roinnt maidir leis na bealaí is fearr leis an Ollscoil freastal ar an gcathair agus an réigiún. Beidh sraith seisiún dírithe ar thaighde, teagasc agus rannpháirtíocht phoiblí na hOllscoile agus pléifear an fhorbairt atá ag teastáil chun dul i ngleic leis na dúshláin atá roimh an tsochaí.  Dar le hUachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an tOllamh Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh: “Is linne ar fad í OÉ Gaillimh agus teastaíonn uainn go mbeidh deis ag gach duine dul i bhfeidhm ar thodhchaí na hOllscoile. Cuirimid fáilte speisialta roimh thuairimí ó dhaoine nach bhfuil teagmháil acu leis an Ollscoil faoi láthair, mar teastaíonn uainn a bheith oscailte roimh smaointe agus dearcthaí nua.” Beidh straitéis nua OÉ Gaillimh bunaithe ar chúig mórluach a tháinig chun cinn i bpróiseas comhairliúcháin leis an bhfoireann agus na mic léinn. Teastaíonn uathu a chinntiú go mbeidh an Ollscoil sainiúil, oscailte, saineolach agus inbhuanaithe, agus go mbeidh meas ar phobal na hOllscoile ar chách. Beidh na díospóireachtaí ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, dírithe ar na luachanna seo. Iarrtar ar rannpháirtithe a gcuid ionchuir agus smaointe a roinnt maidir leis na bealaí is fearr leis an Ollscoil na téamaí seo a chur chun cinn sna cúig bliana atá romhainn. Iarrtar ar an bpobal dul chuig suíomh gréasáin Samhlaigh OÉ Gaillimh http://samhlaigh.oegaillimh.ie ar an Déardaoin, an 28 Márta, agus páirt a ghlacadh sa chomhrá ann ó 11am ar aghaidh. CRÍOCH

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

20 years of celebrating graduates across the globe  NUI Galway has announced the winners of the 2019 Alumni Awards to be presented at the 20th annual Alumni Awards Gala Banquet on Saturday, 13 April, 2019. The NUI Galway Alumni Awards recognise individual excellence and achievements among the University’s more than 100,000 graduates worldwide. Now in its twentieth year, the Awards programme boasts an impressive roll call of more than 100 outstanding NUI Galway alumni who have gone on to make an impact in their chosen field, and in so doing honour their alma mater.  Among the distinguished honorees are President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, broadcasters, Seán O’Rourke and Gráinne Seoige, business leaders, Tara McCarthy (Bord Bia), Adrian Jones (Goldman Sachs) and Aedhmar Hynes (Text 100), figures from public life such as Pat Rabbitte, Eamon Gilmore (Tánaiste) and Máire Whelan (Attorney General), and sports figures such as rugby international, Ciarán FitzGerald and Olive Loughnane (Olympic medallist). This year’s awardees highlight the global impact of NUI Galway and its alumni as the University celebrates 20 years of these annual awards.  The winners of the seven alumni awards to be presented at Gala 2019: Alumni Award for Arts, Literature and Celtic Studies – Sponsored by Deloitte Journalist & RTÉ London correspondent, Fiona Mitchell – BA 1993 Alumni Award for Business and Commerce - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Aviation entrepreneur, Dómhnal Slattery - BComm 1988 Alumni Award for Law, Public Policy and Government - Sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn Senior counsel and jurist, Grainne McMorrow - BA 1980, LLB 1983  Alumni Award for Engineering, Science and Technology - Sponsored by Merc Partners Cancer scientist, Dr John Lyons - BSc 1979 Alumni Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences - Sponsored by Medtronic Surgeon and clinical educator, Dr Ronan Waldron - MB BCh BAO 1976, MMedSc 1984 Gradam Alumni don Gaeilge - Urraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh Journalist and broadcaster, Póilín Ní Chiaráin - BA 1965 Alumni Award for Contribution to Sport - Sponsored by Bank of Ireland Sports medicine pioneer, Dr Mick Molloy - MB BCh BAO 1968 Speaking on the announcement of the Award recipients, President of NUI Galway, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “It is the mission of universities to make the world a better place through our teaching, research and impact. Our Alumni Awards programme recognises alumni who make a positive difference in the world and who are leaders in their chosen fields. Through their endeavours our mission is made manifest. I’m particularly pleased this year that we can honour a diverse group of alumni who have made a positive impact in the world – and for the world - both nationally and internationally. I congratulate each awardee and I look forward to welcoming them back to their alma mater for the Gala Banquet in April.” For ticket and booking information contact Alumni Relations on 091 494310 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie. Online bookings at www.guf.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Tá suirbhé seolta ag OÉ Gaillimh chun tuairimí an phobail a bhailiú faoin bPlean Teanga atá beartaithe do Chathair na Gaillimhe 2019-2026. Tá an taighde á dhéanamh ar son Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe agus Ghaillimh le Gaeilge mar chuid d’ullmhú Phlean Gaeilge don chathair.  Beidh an suirbhé ar líne ar oscailt go dtí Dé hAoine, an 12 Aibreán 2019 agus tá sé d’aidhm aige measúnú a dhéanamh ar mhianta agus ar riachtanais an phobail maidir le forbairt na Gaeilge i nGaillimh.  Faoi Acht na Gaeltachta 2012, ainmníodh Gaillimh mar Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus mar thoradh air sin is gá plean a chur le chéile chun cur le húsáid na Gaeilge sa chathair.  Anuraidh cheap Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe agus Gaillimh le Gaeilge an Dr John Walsh ó Roinn na Gaeilge agus an Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín ó Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh chun an plean a fhorbairt. Bunaíodh Grúpa Stiúrtha nua, Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh chun tacaíocht, treoir agus maoirseacht a dhéanamh ar dhul chun cinn agus ar chur i bhfeidhm an phlean teanga. Is grúpa ionadaíoch iad baill an Choiste de na hearnálacha poiblí, príobháideacha, pobail agus deonacha i gcathair na Gaillimhe. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh ó Roinn na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh agus an Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín ó Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge: “Tá áthas orainn an suirbhé seo ar líne a sheoladh mar chuid dár dtaighde ar thuairimí mhuintir na Gaillimhe i leith na Gaeilge. Chomh maith leis seo, tá agallaimh agus grúpaí fócais á reáchtáil againn le réimse leathan daoine, ina measc cainteoirí Gaeilge agus daoine ar mian leo a bheith níos gníomhaí ó thaobh na Gaeilge.” Dúirt Brendan McGrath, Príomhfheidhmeannach Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe: “Tá tiomantas láidir déanta ag Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe le blianta beaga anuas maidir le Gaillimh a fhorbairt mar chathair dhátheangach. Tá an-ríméad orainn a bheith ag obair le OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhar le Gaillimh le Gaeilge agus le heagraíochtaí comhpháirtíochta Choiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga na Gaillimhe sa chéim seo de dhul chun cinn an Phlean Gaeilge. Tá áthas ar an gComhairle Cathrach go háirithe a bheith in ann leas a bhaint as an saineolas Gaeilge atá ar fáil dúinn go háitiúil san Ollscoil.”  Dúirt Bernadette Mullarkey, Cathaoirleach Ghaillimh le Gaeilge: “Tá Gaillimh le Gaeilge ag súil go mór le tuairimí mhuintir na Gaillimhe a fháil maidir le Plean Teanga na Cathrach (2019-2026).  Beidh an t-eolas seo lárnach chun plean inmharthana agus éifeachtach a fhorbairt dár gCathair.  Dá bhrí sin, tá sé ríthábhachtach go mbainfidh siad leas as an deis seo chun a gcuid tuairimí a nochtadh ionas go mbainfidh an plean amach a chuspóirí maidir le húsáid na Gaeilge sa saol laethúil a chur chun cinn, a thacú agus a mhéadú mar aon le stádas na Gaillimhe mar Chathair Dhátheangach a threisiú agus a neartú.” Tá an tionscadal seo cómhaoinithe ag Foras na Gaeilge tríd an Roinn Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta agus ag Comhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe. Tá sé i gceist go seolfar Plean Teanga na cathrach san fhómhar. Tá an suirbhé ar fáil ag: http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/.  -Críoch- Public’s Views on Irish Language Plan Sought for Galway City  NUI Galway has launched a survey to gather the views of the public on the proposed Irish Language Plan for Galway City 2019-2026. The research is being conducted on behalf of Galway City Council and Gaillimh le Gaeilge as part of the preparation of an Irish language plan for the City. The online survey will run until Friday, 12 April 2019 and aims to assess the desires and needs of the community in relation to the development of the Irish language in Galway. Under the Gaeltacht Act of 2012, Galway has been nominated a Gaeltacht Service Town and is required to develop its own plan to increase the use of Irish within the city.  Last year, Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish and Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway were appointed by Galway City Council and Gaillimh le Gaeilge to develop an Irish Language Plan for the city. A new steering Group, Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh was established to support, guide and oversee the progress and the delivery of the language plan. Members of the Coiste represent a broad cross-section of the public, private, community and voluntary sectors in Galway city.  Dr John Walsh of the Department of Irish at NUI Galway and Dr Dorothy Ní Uigín of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, said: “We are delighted to launch this online survey as part of our research into the views of those living in Galway towards the Irish language. We are also conducting interviews and focus groups with a broad range of people including Irish speakers and those who are interested in becoming more active in their use of the language.” Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath, said: “Galway City Council has made a strong commitment in recent years to the development of Galway as a bilingual city. We are extremely pleased to be working with NUI Galway and Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in association with Gaillimh le Gaeilge and the partner organisations of Coiste Stiúrtha Pleanála Teanga Gaillimh in this phase of the Irish Language Plan’s progression. City Council is particularly pleased to be able to draw on the Irish language expertise available to us locally in the University.”   Cathaoirleach of Gaillimh le Gaeilge, Bernadette Mullarkey, said: “Gaillimh le Gaeilge is looking forward to hearing the views of the people of Galway in relation to the Irish Language Plan for the city (2019-2026). This information will be key to developing a sustainable and an effective plan for the Irish language in our city. Therefore, it is very important that they avail of this opportunity to voice their opinions so that the plan will achieve its objectives to further promote, support and increase the communicative use of the Irish language in everyday life as well as strengthening Galway’s status as a bilingual city.” This project is co-funded by Foras na Gaeilge through the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Galway City Council. It is intended that the city’s Irish Language Plan will be launched in the autumn. The survey is available at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/gaeilgebheo/.  -Ends-  

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

: NUI Galway has introduced a number of new initiatives to celebrate and support the visibility and inclusion of the LGBT+ community in higher education. GigSoc, the LGBT+ student society, held the first Pride March through NUI Galway campus as part of a slew of activities for Rainbow Week. This coincided with the launch of the LGBT+ Ally Programme by the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network. Rainbow Week is an annual event organised by GigSoc and this year’s celebration of the LGBT+ community on campus included several new events, such the Pride March and the launch of GigSoc’s first book which features contributions from NUI Galway students. GigSoc has also recently launched the ‘T fund’, with support from the Office of the Vice-President for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. This project recognises the extra financial burden faced by transgender and non-binary students by providing funding to students of NUI Galway for financial costs related to social transition. Maeve Arnup, Co-auditor of GigSoc and student in the College of Arts, said: “Rainbow week is the biggest week of the year for GiGSoc. This year we had two huge successes. The first being the launch of our first small publication ‘The Queer Book’ which is a collection of LGBTQIA+ writings, artwork and photography made by the community and for the community, with all proceeds from the sale of the book going to support Teach Solais, Galway’s LGBT+ Resource Centre. The second success was hosting the first Pride March to ever take place on a university campus in Ireland.” Oissíne Moore, Co-auditor of GigSoc and student in the College of Arts added: “It’s amazing to see staff getting involved in the Pride March as it makes people feel that little bit safer knowing that staff are willing to march with us and support us.” Rainbow Week also provided the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network with an opportunity to launch the LGBT+ Ally Programme. The LGBT+ Ally Programme at NUI Galway is a member-based initiative working towards increasing the knowledge, awareness, and support of LGBT+ colleagues and students. Staff who sign up to be allies are provided with resources and visible symbols of their support for the LGBT+ community. Dr Chris Noone, lecturer at the School of Psychology and Chair of the NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network, said: “The LGBT+ Ally Programme makes visible the support that exists at NUI Galway for students and staff who are members of the LGBT+ community. It shows that this is a welcoming place for people of all sexual and gender identities and that there is a community to connect with on our campus.” More information about the LGBT+ Ally Programme at NUI Galway can be found at: https://www.nuigalway.ie/equalityanddiversity/lgbt/ally/. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Access Office are calling on past students and graduates to participate in Alumni Working Group NUI Galway’s Access Office will celebrate 20 years of the Access Programmes in May and are calling on all past students, graduates, staff and tutors to who would like to take part in the celebrations to participate in an Alumni Working Group. The primary focus for the celebrations will be to acknowledge the impact of the programme on individuals, families and community, including the University community. Celebratory events will include the publication and official launch ceremony of a souvenir journal, celebrating twenty years of memories from ‘Access’ students, a university forum and an alumni event for past students, tutors and staff. NUI Galway’s Access Programmes commenced in 1999 with the delivery of the first pilot ‘Access Course for School Leavers’. Since then, thousands of students have been supported and enabled to successfully progress into higher education on completing the University’s Access Course. NUI Galway is committed to promoting wider and more equitable access to higher education, especially within its regional vicinity. The programmes provide educational opportunities and professional services to students from under-represented, disadvantaged and minority groups, mature students and students with disabilities. The Access Programmes create conditions which support engagement, performance and progression for non-traditional students throughout their university experience and into employment. Imelda Byrne, Head of Access Programmes at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted to have reached this milestone; all of us on the Access Programmes team have had the privilege over two decades to meet wonderful individuals and their families who, in spite of very challenging and constraining previous life circumstances and experiences have higher education, successfully   participated, graduated and progressed to employment. Access now wishes to honour you and your achievements; we are encouraging all of our alumni to join the Access Alumni group and look forward to working with you all as we celebrate our anniversary and work towards the next twenty years.” The Access Alumni will be involved in the production of the celebratory souvenir journal, an oral archive and the development of a new mentoring system to support access undergraduate students at NUI Galway and with Access Mentoring projects in a community setting. The next Access Alumni meeting will take place on Tuesday, 2 April at 7pm. Those interested in becoming an Access Alumni member can get more information at www.nuigalway.ie/access/accessalumni, email Access20@nuigalway.ie or visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NUIGaccess. -Ends-

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

NUI Galway Drama and Theatre Studies students frankly address themes of sexuality, consent and mental health for contemporary audiences Third Year Drama and Theatre Studies students will perform the world premiere of a newly devised adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s classic ground-breaking 19th century coming-of-age play Spring Awakening from 21-24 March at NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance.    Initially banned from the stage and censored throughout the 20th century in Europe and North America, Spring Awakening’s frank and haunting treatment of adolescent sexuality, depression, suicide and academic pressure has been an artistic and social lightning rod since its early 20th century German premiere.    Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play transposes the action of the play to a contemporary Irish context and follows three young people, Dougie (Daniel Granahan), Alex (Conor Gormley) and Clara (Aine Cooney), and their immediate circle of friends and family during an eventful spring. The pressures of academic study and sexual discovery overwhelm the three friends’ ability to navigate the challenging circumstances that they each find themselves in, leading to individual and collective tragedy. Has Ireland come as far as we think it has? How should we understand the ongoing mental health crisis among young people? And if someone commits an unforgivable act, how should their story end? Devised entirely by Third Year Drama and Theatre Studies students, and directed by Dr Charlotte McIvor from NUI Galway, with movement direction by Jérèmie Cyr-Cooke, Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play tests the boundaries between the real world, our imagination, and somewhere beyond while asking what it means to face up to the issues which define young people's discovery of self over generations.   Dr Charlotte McIvor, Drama and Theatre Studies lecturer and SMART Consent researcher, says that she was moved to do this play because: “Unfortunately, Spring Awakening has never stopped feeling contemporary, particularly with the epidemic rates of mental health struggles that I’ve observed as an educator within this generation of young people over the last decade. However, as a member of the SMART Consent research team at NUI Galway, recently funded by the Lifes2good Foundation to undertake a four-year programme which targets young people from 16-23 years of age in order to promote a positive approach to the important issue of sexual consent, I am optimistic about the role of the arts as a powerful tool in encouraging dialogue around sexuality in particular.”  Dr McIvor adds: “Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play explores the experience and aftermath of a sexual assault from the perspective of not only the young people involved, but their community. However, our adaptation of this play also portrays positive sexual explorations by members of the young ensemble, particularly through a storyline of two young women who fall in love for the first time.  Our play hopes to portray young people’s experiences of negotiating consent for the first time in all its complexity, and from not only dark but also hopeful perspectives.” The student ensemble collaboratively reimagined the theatrical text together between January and February 2019 by studying and responding to translations and adaptations of the play from throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. These ensemble members take on acting, design and technical roles in the production. The ensemble group says: “Being involved in Transitions has been the biggest undertaking of our degree, but also the most rewarding. There is only so much you can learn as a drama student by studying those who came before you; there comes a point where you have to put yourself out there and make your own theatre. Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play truly belongs to the ensemble. The play is littered with pieces of ourselves, our experiences, and our shared beliefs. We have fallen in love with this play and we are all beyond proud of the standard we have achieved across the board in terms of writing, acting, and production. To be given the opportunity to work in a professional capacity, with the expert guidance of Charlotte McIvor and Jérèmie Cyr-Cooke, has been such a valuable experience. Being able to say ‘we made this’ is something we will forever treasure, no matter where our future careers may take us.” Ensemble members include Coralie Blanchard, Cadhla Boyle, Aoife Maynard Collins, Aine Cooney, Alice Cunningham, Megan-Jane Devlin, Ross Gibbons, Claudia Glavey, Conor Gormley, Delia Keane, Emily-Jane MacKillop, Ailish McDonagh, Danielle McElroy, Daniel Murray, Shannon O'Flynn, Lucy Pollock, Molly Underwood. Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play will be performed at 8pm on the 21, 22, and 23 of March with a 2pm matinee on 24 March. General admission tickets are €5 (with additional handling fee). There will be a post-show discussion with members of the ensemble on Thursday, 21 March following the 8pm performance.    Bookings at: www.eventbrite.ie (search for Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play) or https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/transitions-a-spring-awakening-play-tickets-58050986062. Keep up with preparations and rehearsals of Transitions: A Spring Awakening Play: https://www.instagram.com/transitions_odc/. Behind the scenes video footage of the play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgkhdMfjlP0 -Ends-

Friday, 15 March 2019

NUI Galway and Music for Galway team up once again to commemorate one of the most remarkable alumnae of NUI Galway, Emily Anderson, with a concert featuring the Emily Anderson Prize winner violinist Benjamin Baker with pianist Daniel Lebhardt as well as young, promising Irish pianist Joe O’Grady. The concert will take place at the Kevin Barry Room, NCH, Dublin on Tuesday, March 19 at 7.30 pm, and again at the Emily Anderson Concert Hall, NUI Galway on Thursday, March 21 at 8pm. Emily Anderson: Anderson is a most remarkable individual. As the daughter of the then president of the university of Galway Alexander Anderson, she grew up in the Quadrangle, the iconic original building of NUI Galway. She studied German and became the first professor of German at the university. Recent, soon to be published research by Jackie Úi Chionna, unveils an extraordinary woman in many fields. What drew Music for Galway’s attention was the fact that she edited and translated the full correspondence of Mozart, and ten years later of Beethoven, thus opening the minds and thoughts of these giants of the classical music world to the English speaking world. Her works, published in the mid-20th century have remained to this day the go-to works for musicians, musicologists, documentary film-makers, writers, film-makers and lovers of music. For nearly two decades NUI Galway and Music for Galway have been celebrating the memory of Emily with a concert featuring the music of the composers she spent so much time researching. This year audiences can look forward to hearing three sonatas for violin and piano, two by Mozart and one by Beethoven.  The Performers: Born in 1990 in New Zealand, Benjamin Baker studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. He won the Emily Anderson Prize at the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2013 and went on to win 1st Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists auditions in New York and 3rd Prize at the Michael Hill Competition in New Zealand, establishing a strong international presence. Born in Hungary, Daniel Lebhardt won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists auditions in Paris and New York in 2014 aged 22. A year later he was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust in London and in 2016 won the Most Promising Pianist prize at the Sydney International Competition. We continue presenting young promising artists this year with  (13) who opens the concert with Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata. Joe, from Dublin, has been winning awards and praise for his impressive technique and natural musicality since a very young age. Tickets are €20/€18  Students (full time): €6 and can be booked through the website www.musicforgalway, by calling the Music for Galway office 091 705962 or at O’Maille’s House of Style on Shop Street. For the performance at the NCH tickets can be booked by calling 01 471 00 00 or on-line: www.nch.ie Music for Galway is a proud recipient of the Arts Council’s Strategic Funding. -Ends-

Friday, 15 March 2019

Research highlights gender and health implications of Extended Working Life policies in western countries  Members of the COST Action research network chaired by Dr Áine Ní Léime from the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway, presented five policy briefs that represent the culmination of four years’ collaborative research into the gender and health implications of policies designed to extend working life, at the European Parliment on Wednesday, 6 March. The COST Action research network has 140 members from 34 countries across Europe and beyond from a range of disciplines including social policy, sociology, business, gender, economics and health research. The policy briefs cover: Age Management (2); Health, Employment and Care; Inclusion and Gender; and Pensions and Pension Planning. Dr Áine Ní Léime, Chair of COST Action and Principal Investigator of the research at NUI Galway, said: “With increased life expectancy comes the challenge of an ageing population and the associated increases in pension and healthcare costs. Governments are taking action in this area, for example raising the state pension age. In Ireland it will rise to 67 in 2021 and 68 by 2028. Changes in working life policy can have gender or health specific implications. Working longer in labour intensive jobs such as cleaning or construction can have negative health implications at an earlier age than for workers in other occupations. Older workers in precarious employment may find it challenging to find alternative employment as they grow older. “Women can be more heavily impacted than men by changes to working life policy. Women today often have lower pensions than men for a number of reasons: lower salaries, part-time work or taking time for caring responsibilities for family or children.” Introductory remarks at the event were given by Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead Mc Guinness, MEP, Mr Lambert va Nistlerooij, MEP, Chair of the Subgroup on Active Ageing, European Parliament and Ronald De Bruin, Director of COST. The network presented key messages from six policy briefs led by Dr Jonas Radl, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain and Dr Nata Duvvury from the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway. This was followed by a policy roundtable involving European policy-makers and stakeholders affected by Extended Working Life from a gender and age perspective. Each roundtable participant spoke briefly about the gender and/or health implications of Extended Working Life policy from the perspective of their organisation. Policy messages from approximately 18 countries from the COST Action network highlighted the key policy priorities related to Extended Working Life in each country. Vice President of the European Parliament, Mairead Mc Guinness, MEP, said: “I am very pleased to have invited COST and NUI Galway to the European Parliament to share their research into gender and health implications of extended working life - an important and timely topic. The contribution of women is sometimes overlooked, particularly in rural areas and on farms, where their work is not always recognized or counted. A special thank you to Dr Áine Ní Léime, who is the principal investigator into the implications of extended working life and I wish her continued success in her research.” The research network was funded by COST Action IS1409 ‘Gender and health impacts of policies extending working life in western countries’, supported by COST. See: http://genderewl.com/.  COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a funding agency for research and innovation networks. Our Actions help connect research initiatives across Europe and enable scientists to grow their ideas by sharing them with their peers. This boosts their research, career and innovation. See: www.cost.eu. -Ends-

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The University has already surpassed the 2020 energy improvement target of 33% NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh recently welcomed the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) CEO Jim Gannon to campus to sign the SEAI Public Sector Energy Partnership agreement. The programme commits the University to lead by example to meet and exceed the public sector energy efficiency improvement target of 33% energy reduction by 2020. NUI Galway is one of the first Irish universities to surpass the 33% target by recently achieving energy savings of over 34%. This result has been achieved with assistance from SEAI through funding for LED lighting projects, solar photovoltaic, energy efficient mechanical plant and electric vehicle charging points around campus. SEAI has also assisted with knowledge sharing and Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) schemes in association with  theHSE and other community groups. The University is continuing its efforts with an internal target of 40% by 2020. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said: “Since 2006 the University has been very proactive in reducing energy consumption across the campus. I would like to acknowledge the University’s staff and students who have assisted with our Buildings and Estates department in exceeding the 33% target through ongoing energy awareness campaigns and energy upgrade projects on campus, thus helping NUI Galway lead by example to achieve greater energy reductions by 2020 on campus.” Jim Gannon, Chief Executive of SEAI, commented: “I’d like to congratulate NUI Galway, who have shown real leadership surpassing their 2020 energy saving targets and by setting even more ambitious plans for the future. Collectively, our public sector energy bill remains at over €600 million. But through energy efficiency and upgrade projects over the past few years, like those demonstrated by NUI Galway, the public sector has made recurring annual energy savings of €191million. We need to build on these successes as we look to not only reduce our consumption, but also move away from more carbon intensive energy sources.” Dr Frances Fahy,  Senior Lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway, will be one of the speakers at SEAI’s event 'Engaging People' in PortLaoise on Thursday, 14 March. The event will explore energy saving practices in the workplace and the target is the public sector and industry leaders. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Minister Bruton Announces US-Ireland tripartite center-to-center research between CÚRAM, Queens University Belfast and North Carolina State University Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, today announced that CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway, will partner in a tripartite collaboration worth €1.7 million to conduct research into smart cardiovascular repair technologies, through the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership Programme. The project will be led by Dr Manus Biggs, Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, and CÚRAM researcher.   Speaking at a Science Foundation Ireland event in MIT, Boston, in the US, Minister Bruton welcomed the announcement of the US-Ireland Partnership, saying: “Ireland continues to be an excellent location for collaborative research. I am delighted to welcome this US-Ireland partnership which further strengthens the strong and historic relationship between both countries. It is a testament to Ireland’s scientific prowess, that we are working closely with top institutions across the world, generating valuable discoveries and innovations that can benefit societies and economies across the globe.”   The US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership, launched in July 2006, is a unique initiative that aims to increase the level of collaborative Research and Development amongst researchers and industry professionals across three jurisdictions: USA, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.   This tripartite center-to-center (C2C) research collaboration will be conducted in conjunction with the National Science Foundation-funded centre for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST), led by North Carolina State University and the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) at Queens University Belfast. Its’ goal is to use combined expertise in advanced sensor systems, microanalytical systems, biomaterials, energy harvesting, and systems biology to transform current medical interventions and standards of care to research and develop externally-powered implants for continuous cardiovascular health monitoring.   Dr Manus Biggs will lead the research programme in Ireland in conjunction with collaborators Dr Martin O’Halloran and Professor Stewart Walsh at CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based at NUI Galway. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, CÚRAM’s primary objective is to radically improve health outcomes for patients by developing innovative implantable ‘smart’ medical devices to treat major unmet medical needs.   Commenting on the award, Dr Manus Biggs from CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said:“This US-Ireland R&D Partnership award will facilitate exciting multi-disciplinary research between three centres of excellence in science and engineering. We look forward to working with our partners in the US and Northern Ireland on this critical healthcare need.”   Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death globally, resulting in close to 20 million deaths in 2018. However, despite evidence-based medical and pharmacologic advances the management of cardiovascular disease remains challenging, whether in the ambulatory setting where periodic disease monitoring has failed, or in the inpatient setting where readmission rates and morbidity remains high. It is estimated that 90% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable, yet there is an urgent need to develop strategies to reduce hospitalisations and readmission rates.   Rebecca Keiser, head of NSF's Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE), said: “As our global community grows even more interwoven, we are presented with exciting opportunities and new challenges. We know the benefits of global cooperation, and we are proud to have supported some of the breakthroughs those collaborations have inspired. This partnership between the NSF ASSIST ERC, the DfE CCRCB Center, and CURAM SFI Research Centre will work on principles and technologies that are essential to develop revolutionary implantable sensors and monitoring devices to address cardiovascular disease and is an excellent example of the sort of breakthroughs that can come from our trilateral partnership with Science Foundation Ireland and the Department for the Economy.”   Addressing the award, Dr Darragh McArt from QUB, said: “The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast is delighted to be involved is such a significant programme and connected to key partners in Ireland and in the US. Our abilities to harness cutting-edge technologies to monitor and alleviate diseases is paramount to our ambition to offer new paradigms for precision medicine.” Professor Mark Lawler, Chair in Translational Cancer Genomics, QUB, added: “QUB has invested heavily in infrastructure and people to address the big data challenges in health. This programme will employ an innovative patient-centered data driven approach that will improve cardiovascular health and will also have relevance for other diseases.”   The invention of various cardiac sensors based on i.e. electrocardiograph (ECG) and blood pressure monitoring, offers new opportunities in cardiovascular diseases prevention through long-term monitoring of vital physiological signals. Work is currently aimed at improving these devices with a view to making the electronic–biological interface as seamless as possible, providing continuous monitoring of patients following surgery, revealing signs of surgical recovery or disease progression. This allows doctors to record physiological performance and deliver treatment, should the patient require urgent life-saving medical attention. Critically, bio-monitoring approaches that identify the synergy among electrophysiological, biochemical, and mechanical markers have been proposed by Dr Biggs as disruptive technologies for next generation solutions to cardiovascular disease.   Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The US-Ireland R&D Partnership Programme is a unique, cross-jurisdiction initiative, which fosters excellent scientific discovery. I congratulate Dr Biggs and his collaborators on this award, which highlights the benefit of scientific collaboration between researchers on the island of Ireland and across the Atlantic.”

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Launch of First Descent, a series of pioneering expeditions to scientifically explore and conserve the world’s most at risk ocean, the Indian Ocean Professor Louise Allcock, Head of Zoology in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway has embarked on a ground breaking multidisciplinary scientific research Mission to the Seychelles to investigate the unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean. Professor Allcock is second-in-command with Nekton’s Principle Scientist, Lucy Woodall along with 18 crew members and 33 scientists on board the six-week Mission, which ends on the 17 April. The British-led Nekton ‘First Descent’ Mission began on (Thursday, 7 March). This unique mission will explore the depths of the Indian Ocean, one of the planet’s last great unexplored frontiers where the scientists intend to fully explore the deep seas around the Seychelles. The Mission expects to discover new species, as well as document evidence of climate change and of human-driven pollution. (See footage from the first ever live descent from the deep ocean today 12, March 2019 at: https://nektonmission.org/). Nekton, is an independent, non-profit research institute that works with the University of Oxford to increase scientific understanding of the oceans. It has chartered the Ocean Zephyr, a Danish-flagged supply ship, to explore the waters around the Seychelles, a collection of islands about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of the African coast, over a seven-week period. This is the first of a half-dozen regions the Nekton Mission plans to explore before the end of 2022, when scientists will present their research at a summit on the state of the Indian Ocean. Scientists on board the Seychelles Mission will survey underwater life by diving below depths of 30 meters (98 feet) that the tropical sun barely reaches. Using two crewed submarines and a remotely operated submersible they’ll be able to document organisms and habitats up to 500 meters (1,640 feet) deep, while sensors will offer a glimpse of depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet). At least 50 ‘first descents’ are planned on this expedition where Nekton will be working on behalf of the Seychelles Government and partners. First Descent will contribute to establishing a base line of marine life and the state of the ocean in the Seychelles, which will provide important data for policy decisions on ocean conservation, climate change and fishing. This data will be used to support the Seychelles in the successful implementation of its Marine Spatial Plan in support of a sustainable blue economy. Seychelles has committed to protect 30% of their ocean territory (equivalent of twice the size of the entire UK) by 2020 and is a bellwether for marine conservation in the Indian Ocean. Nekton’s Principle Scientist Lucy Woodall says: “I am delighted to share this opportunity with the Seychelles government and citizens to document unexplored waters to create a baseline for future generations and be a beacon for future marine conservation and management globally.” Professor Louise Allcock, Head of Zoology, Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “It’s very exciting to be deploying so many different pieces of equipment and doing such a thorough survey of the ocean.” Nekton and Associated Press will syndicate daily live newsfeeds, images and live underwater dive footage from the Mission. See @nektonmission, #FirstDescent, https://nektonmission.org/ and https://apnews.com/SeychellesOceanMission and @AP. Sky News and Sky Atlantic will film live documentaries onboard from 14-20 March and daily live coverage from the Mission. See Sky’s ‘Deep Ocean Live: The Mission’ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7Bb0HdEVLU&feature=youtu.be and @skynews.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Members of the public are invited to participate in a Citizen Science survey, and record their sightings of red squirrels, grey squirrels and pine martens Zoology researchers from the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway have teamed up with Ulster Wildlife and Vincent Wildlife Trust in seeking to determine the latest distribution of red and grey squirrels and the pine marten in Ireland. The group are inviting members of the public to participate in a Citizen Science survey, and record their sightings of the three mammal species during 2019. The results will allow the team to compare the current status of the animals with previous surveys conducted in 1997, 2007 and 2012. Since their introduction in 1911, the grey squirrel has spread throughout a large area of the island of Ireland. The red squirrel, although still quite widespread, has disappeared from many forests as a result of competition and disease spread by the greys. In the most recent survey in 2012, however, there were indications that the grey squirrel had retreated in certain areas, and this has been attributed to the recovery of another native species, the pine marten. The pine marten has made a considerable recovery in Ireland, since it became protected under the Irish Wildlife Act of 1976 and the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985. In the midlands of Ireland and Fermanagh, where pine martin densities are highest, grey squirrels have disappeared. It seems the grey squirrels are not able to cope with this predator, either because they are naïve to the dangers, or are becoming stressed when the pine marten is present. The native red squirrel on the other hand has lived alongside the pine marten for centuries, and although occasionally eaten, they can co-exist quite happily. In fact, with the loss of their competitor the grey squirrel, red squirrel numbers have increased and they have returned to woods where they had previously disappeared.   Dr Colin Lawton from Zoology in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway explains how the public can help: “We are hoping people all over the island of Ireland will take part in this conservation project. We have seen changes in the ranges of the red and grey squirrel and the pine marten in the previous surveys and it is vital that we keep recording their progress. This is a fascinating story where the recovery of one native species, the pine marten, has slowed the progress of an invasive species, the grey squirrel. The red squirrel, another native species, has shown signs of recovery as a result.” Conor McKinney, from Ulster Wildlife, added: “The public are absolutely critical for data collection on this scale and indeed for conservation efforts for red squirrels, pine marten and other species right across the island of Ireland. This is a superb opportunity for people to contribute to exciting new research by uploading their squirrel and pine marten photos and letting us know where they saw the animal, how often they see it and what it was doing.” This survey is being conducted with the support of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  Members of the public can record their sightings using the 2019 All-Ireland Squirrel and Pine Marten Survey pages hosted by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in the Republic of Ireland and CEDaR in Northern Ireland.  More information can be found on the survey Facebook and Twitter pages (both @squirrelsurvey) and the online survey can be found at www.biodiversityireland.ie.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Students from the College of Engineering and Informatics and Ryan Institute at NUI Galway will host Ireland’s second annual student-led, Galway Energy Summit 2019, with this year’s event focusing on the themes ‘Changing for our Climate and Can Technology Save Us?’ The summit is the only one of its kind in Ireland and shows that young people are driving this initiative and leading the way for change in Ireland. Companies such as ESB, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi Electric and Gas Networks Ireland will participate in the event, which takes place on Tuesday, 12 March in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. Dr Rory Monaghan from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “Galway Energy Summit continues to put our students on the map of the Irish energy community. They really are leaders when it comes to engaging academic, industry and the public in this hugely important challenge our society faces. We see student movements springing up all over the world inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg and her School Strike for Climate. To have any hope of not only coping with climate change, but continuing to grow and thrive into the future, we need highly motivated and passionate young people like those behind the Galway Energy Summit.” Panel Discussions and Events ‘Can Technology Save Us?’ – John Byrne, Head of ESB smart meter roll out. ESB plan to roll out a smart meter in every home this year. Ian Kilgallon, Gas Networks Ireland and Russel Vickers, Jaguar Land Rover will discuss the role of electric vehicles and connected autonomous vehicles in our future. Each industry will play a huge role in our future day-to-day lives. The discussion will be moderated by Kate Kerrane, former Energy Society Auditor at NUI Galway. ‘Changing for our Climate’ - Environmental scientist and Newstalk’s ‘Down to Earth’ co-presenter, Dr Cara Augustenburg will discuss the environmental aspects; Dr Mary Greene, NUI Galway will focus on social and community aspects; Tom Short will speak on behalf of the Irish Farmers Association; and researcher, Dr Paul Deane, MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, UCC will speak about the technical aspects and facts of climate change. The discussion be moderated by George Lee, Agricultural and Environment Correspondent for RTÉ News. A keynote speech by Niall O’Hara, ChangeX, hosted by Climate Cocktail Club. ChangeX partners with the world’s top social entrepreneurs to bring countless ways to improve communities. A truly inspiring organisation, their projects include ‘Plastic Free 4 School’ which helps schools avoid single use plastics, reduce waste and maximise recycling, and the ‘GreenPlan’ a new system that uses behavioural change to tackle climate change providing a clear framework outlining practical actions across several themes.   An Innovation, Energy and Careers Fair will provide delegates with the opportunity to speak to industry and organisations. The fair will bring together several energy experts, companies, start-ups, students and academics. Companies include ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, and a number of organisations such as An Taisce Climate Ambassadors and Trocaire. Conor Deane, Director and Founder of Galway Energy Summit from NUI Galway, said: “Last year’s event was a huge success as we welcomed over 400 delegates to Galway ranging from students, industry, academics and the general public. The goal this year is to build on that success. This year’s theme ‘Changing for our Climate’ has never been as relevant, especially with the challenges Ireland faces for the future. The day provides a unique opportunity to gain knowledge in the area while networking with companies such as ESB and Mitsubishi. We welcome everyone to the West on the 12 March.” Caoimhe Culhane, a student at the Ryan Institute and Director of Galway Energy Summit: There was no doubt that the topic of climate change would feature heavily in this year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report last October. I hope that this event will encourage people to make changes as we move towards a just energy transition. As an engineering student I realise it is important that a holistic approach is taken to combat climate change which is why I am looking forward to meeting people from many different disciplines and walks of life at Galway Energy Summit.” Galway Energy Summit’s main sponsors are ESB, Gas Networks Ireland, Mitsubishi Electric, MaREI and the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway. For full event details and free registration, visit: www.galwayenergysummit.ie. Refreshments will be provided and music from NUI Galway’s Medical Orchestra. Follow on Twitter @GES_2019.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Dr Heidi K. Gardner, Distinguished Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Center on the Legal Profession, will deliver a masterclass entitled ‘Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos’. Organised by NUI Galway’s MBA Alumni Association, the masterclass will take place on Tuesday, 12 March, at 6pm in the Human Biology Building, NUI Galway.   During the masterclass Dr Gardner will discuss how collaboration is not just a buzzword, but a business necessity. As the commercial, technological, competitive, and regulatory environments become increasingly complex, knowledge workers must collaborate across disciplinary and organisational boundaries to tackle those sophisticated issues. By teaming up to integrate expertise, workers can address problems more effectively and efficiently.  Otherwise, collaboration can be costly, risky, time-consuming, and painful.    During this event, findings from the research and how it applies specifically to attendees will be discussed. The masterclass aims provoke dialogue, raise and answer questions, and generally make the session as interactive as possible.   Martin Hughes MBA Director at NUI Galway said: “The defining feature of future knowledge work will be smart collaboration and we are delighted to welcome the highly acclaimed Heidi Gardner to address Galway Business and Law community.  We see this as a unique opportunity for Galway enterprise to explore the complexity and challenges of understanding and facilitating smart collaboration.”   Dr Gardner is author of the recently-released book Smart Collaboration: How Professionals and Their Firms Succeed by Breaking Down Silos. Dr Gardner also serves as a Harvard Lecturer on Law, and Faculty Chair of the school’s Accelerated Leadership Program and Sector Leadership Masterclass executive courses. Previously she was a Professor at Harvard Business School.   Gardner’s research received the Academy of Management’s prize for paper with Outstanding Practical Implications for Management. She has authored or co-authored more than fifty book chapters, case studies, and articles in scholarly and practitioner journals, including several in Harvard Business Review. Her first book, Leadership for Lawyers: Essential Strategies for Law Firm Success was published in 2015. She was recently named by Thinkers 50 as a Next Generation Business Guru.   To register for the event visit https://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/de38U95GL4337l.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Professor Mark Ebell, a leading general practitioner and researcher in the US, recently delivered a seminar on cancer screening, organised by the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland, a collaboration between NUI Galway, RCSI and the Irish College of General Practitioners. Entitled ‘The potential benefits and harms of cancer screening – perspectives from the US Preventive Services Task Force’, Professor Ebell spoke about the potential benefits and harms of screening, an overview of how the US decides what cancers should be screened for, compared the national cancer screening recommendations of Ireland and the US and finally reviewed in some detail the key issue of over diagnosis as a harm. Professor Andrew W Murphy, Director of the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland and Established Professor of General Practice at NUI Galway, said: “Professor Ebell’s seminar was a great introduction to leading edge research internationally into ensuring that our cancer screening programs cause more good than harm. He provided practical advice onto how to achieve this. He highlighted that Irish cancer screening recommendations are currently congruent with best international practice – but need to be constantly reviewed.” During the seminar Professor Ebell noted that while there are many kinds of cancer, for only a few is there evidence that the potential benefits of screening outweigh the potential harms. While potential benefits are substantial for a small number of those screened (a death averted), all patients experience some degree of inconvenience, and many are subjected to the harms of biopsies and other follow-up tests. A new kind of harm, increasingly recognised and present with most kinds of cancer screening, is over diagnosis. As our technology has evolved, we are able to detect smaller and smaller lesions that may appear cancerous, actually do not behave like a cancer. About 1 in 5 persons who have a breast or lung cancer detected by screening would have lived a full life with the cancer never causing any symptoms (“overdiagnosis”). Professor Mark Ebell is currently a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, and Editor-in-Chief of Essential Evidence and Deputy Editor of the journal American Family Physician. He is author of over 350 peer-reviewed articles and is author or editor of seven books, with a focus on evidence-based practice, systematic reviews, medical informatics, and clinical decision-making. Professor Ebell served on the US Preventive Services Task Force from 2012 to 2015, and in 2019 will be a Fulbright Scholar at RCSI in Dublin, Ireland. The seminar can be viewed at https://primarycaretrials.ie/resources/prof-markebell/.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

University will hold ‘My Amazing Brain’ exhibition and International ‘Brain Bee’ competition As part of the international Brain Awareness Week, staff and students of NUI Galway’s Neuroscience Centre will hold a public information exhibit ‘My Amazing Brain’ on Tuesday, 12 March in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. Over 300 transition year students from local schools will visit the exhibit to learn more about how the brain and nervous system work. The exhibit will consist of interactive displays where our visitors will learn about the brain in a hands-on way.  For example, there will be stations exploring hand-eye coordination through mirror writing, colour perception, optical illusions, brain waves using EEG and brain cell histology using microscopy. There will also be lots of general information and a quiz for the students to complete about the brain and brain disorders, via a series of large information posters prepared by the staff and postgraduate students of the NUI Galway Neuroscience Centre. The posters cover a variety of illnesses including: epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, pain, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. Additionally, the Galway Neuroscience Centre will hold the first ‘Brain Bee’ competition in Ireland. The International Brain Bee (IBB) is a neuroscience competition for secondary school students. Its purpose is to motivate young men and women to learn about the human brain, and to inspire them to enter careers in the basic and clinical brain sciences. The world needs future clinicians and researchers to treat and find cures for more than 1,000 neurological and psychological disorders. Transition year students from local schools will compete to become the Brain Bee Champion. Speaking about the events, Dr Una Fitzgerald, Director of the Galway Neuroscience Centre at NUI Galway, said: “The Galway Neuroscience Centre has been a partner in the global ‘Brain Awareness Week’ event for over ten years. Organised by Galway Neuroscience Centre members during March each year, the importance of this outreach activity cannot be over-emphasised. With NUI Galway’s ‘My Amazing Brain’ interactive exhibition and the ‘Brain Bee’ general brain knowledge quiz, we aim to peak the public’s interest in all things relating to the brain and we hope to inspire the next generation brain researchers.”

Monday, 4 March 2019

Today (Monday, 4 March) marks the launch of the first ever Annual Report of the Supreme Court and the visit of the court to NUI Galway, for court sittings and seminars with students. These events are a part of a drive by the court to bring about an increased visibility of the country’s highest court, along with transparency regarding its work, and an understanding of its role. The televising of aspects of the court in the past year is also part of the efforts to create a familiarity with and access to its work. In Galway the court will not only hear cases, but will also have professional development seminars with the legal professions and a host of interactions and seminars with the students of the School Law in NUI Galway. The Chief Justice Mr Justice Frank Clarke today said: “In publishing this inaugural report, it is hoped that the work of the Supreme Court, both inside the courtroom and outside, and both in Ireland and abroad, can be highlighted. I hope that the general public can gain a greater understanding of what it is that the Supreme Court actually does and its role in upholding the Constitution and the law.” He said that 2018 was a demanding and dynamic year with the Supreme Court determining 157 applications for leave to appeal, disposing of 128 appeals and delivering 91 reserved judgments.  Of the appeals disposed of, 67 were appeals brought under the reformed jurisdiction of the Court which has operated since the establishment of the Court of Appeal. The Court has now effectively disposed of its backlog of legacy cases.  In 2018, in order to assist the Court of Appeal, the Court also disposed of 42 cases which were returned to the Supreme Court having previously been sent to the Court of Appeal for determination. Dr Charles O’Mahony, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “We are greatly honoured to welcome the Supreme Court to these historic court sittings at NUI Galway. This is the first time that the Supreme Court will sit outside of a courthouse since the Four Courts reopened in 1932, the first time the court sits in Galway, and only its third time to sit outside of Dublin. I would like to thank the Chief Justice and Judges of the Supreme Court for giving their time so generously by participating in seminars with our students.”  Dr O’Mahony continued: “The Supreme Court are to be commended for their initiatives to engage with the broader community and with our law students. This engagement demystifies the role of the Court, promotes the rule of law and the concept of open justice. The Supreme Court sittings on campus is a timely and fitting way to celebrate 170 years of teaching law and of legal scholarship here at NUI Galway.” The Chief Justice said: “It is important to stress that the work of the Supreme Court has evolved significantly in recent years. The establishment of the Court of Appeal in 2014 has changed the structure of the caseload of the Court. Each member of the Court is also engaged in extra-judicial work, outside of hearing appeals and delivering judgments. The Supreme Court of Ireland is a member of no less than ten European and International networks and participation in each of these networks requires extensive judicial resources.” This international work has increased as a result of Ireland becoming the major Common Law country in the EU, as the UK leaves. Also for the first time the court is publishing in the report, summaries and notes of the major judgements it gave throughout the year. This will create a ready reference and access to the jurisprudence of the court each year. The report also notes that it is now possible to file appeals and follow up work and submissions online to the Supreme Court for the first time. This e-court project has just gone live online, and promises ease of access and efficiencies for practitioners. The report can be viewed at www.courts.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 4 March 2019

NUI Galway’s Department of History in association with Galway City Council will host the inaugural Galway History Festival from 5-16 March. There will be a number of free talks, workshops and public events throughout the festival on campus and across the city with guests including Catherine Corless, Andy Irvine and many more. Dr Kevin O’Sullivan, one of the festival co-organisers, from the Department of History at NUI Galway, said: “We are very excited about the festival – particularly its diverse mix of speakers, panellists, chefs, and musicians. Our aim when putting together the programme was to reflect the rich history of this city and its surrounding region, as well as celebrating the fact that Galway has always been an internationally-connected place. We look forward to some thought-provoking discussions and debates, and hope there will be something on the programme for people of all ages and interests – from the panel discussions to the community and school’s events.” Mr Brendan McGrath, Chief Executive of Galway City Council, said: “Galway City Council is very pleased to be involved in the development of this significant new addition to our city’s cultural calendar. As part of our Creative Galway 2018 -2022 programme which receives funding from Creative Ireland, we are delighted to support the opportunity the Galway History Festival affords for a dynamic and accessible point of entry into Galway’s past for locals and visitors alike.” The festival opening will be held in the Aula Maxima at NUI Galway on Thursday, 7 March, when Dr John Cunningham from the Department of History at NUI Galway will discuss the life of Tom Glynn (1881-1934) the son of a herdsman from Gurteen, Co. Galway, who became a notable radical journalist and anti-war campaigner in Australia. The talk will feature a performance by renowned Irish musician, Andy Irvine whose composition Gladiators was inspired by the work of Glynn and his friend Tom Barker. Galway has a long-standing reputation for its food. On Friday, 8 March at Galway City Museum, a panel that will include chef JP McMahon, Aniar and Cava, food historian Dr Regina Sexton, UCC, social historian Dr Ciara Breathnach, UL, and chef and food historian Áine Maguire, will trace the history of food in Galway and the West of Ireland from the eighteenth century to the present. The event will be held in Galway City Museum and Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley from NUI Galway will moderate the discussion. On Saturday, 9 March, a series of discussions will be held in the Black Gate Cultural Centre. The panels begin at 10am, when Catherine Corless, who came to the public’s attention for her research into the death records at the Tuam Mother and Baby Home will deliver a talk with Irish Examiner journalist, Conall Ó Fathárta who has carried out research on Ireland’s institutional past, from Bessboro Mother and Baby Home to illegal adoptions. They will discuss their research with Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley who is working on the ‘Tuam Home Oral History Project’ at NUI Galway, which is recording and archiving the testimonies of people who spent time in the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam. The Atlas of the Irish Revolution was the Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year in 2017 and is the basis for the recent three-part series on RTÉ 1, ‘The Irish Revolution’. On Saturday, 9 March a panel, which includes two of the book’s editors, Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil and Dr John Borgonovo, UCC, will address the history of the Revolution in Galway, with contributions from Dr Tony Varley and Dara Folan from NUI Galway. The event will be moderated by Dr Mary Harris, NUI Galway. Galway in the 1970’s was a period of great innovation in the arts and cultural spheres, alongside upsurges in social activism and political radicalism. On Saturday, 9 March three veterans of this period, Ollie Jennings, co-founder of Galway Arts Festival, Evelyn Stevens, Galway Family Planning Association, and Seosamh Ó Cuaig, Gluaiseacht Chearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta will discuss their efforts during that decade, and will reflect on changes since then. On Saturday, 9 March, a panel which will include contributions from Dr Catríona Crowe, Archivist and Historian, and Dr Eoin Daly and Professor Niall Ó Dochartaigh from NUI Galway will debate what role history plays in twenty-first century society and politics. The panel will be moderated by Dr Kevin O’Sullivan, NUI Galway. A series of ‘Shop’ events will take place on Saturday, 9 March with renowned Galway businesses Powell’s, The Four Corners, Ó Máille’s, McCambridge’s and Anthony Ryan’s, telling the stories of how their businesses came to be and the successes that have led them to remaining in business today. Colm Powell traces the evolution of the business acquired by his father almost a century ago, while also introducing the historic building in which it is located. Anne and Ger Ó Máille will tell the story of their family business which has been selling homespun yarns and made-to-measure clothing since 1938; Natalie McCambridge will talk about the development of the ‘high class grocery, provision, wine and spirit establishment’ established by her grandfather, George McCambridge in the 1920s and Anthony Ryan will outline the history of the drapery store established in 1909 by his grandparents, Anthony and Katherine. Galway City is home to some of the most celebrated pubs in Ireland; with The Crane Bar being one of Galway’s longest established traditional music venues. Current owners, Mick Crehan and Maeve Joyce will talk about the history of their pub, and its role in Galway’s musical culture. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell gifted the building today known as The King’s Head as payment for the execution of King Charles I. Join Tom Kenny from Kenny’s Bookshop and Gallery as he shares pictures and stories of Galway pubs. In theatre, The story of The Little Fish: A Musical Journey will tell the story of the promising indie band that were ‘The Little Fish’ and their journey through Galway’s golden-age musical scene. Members of the band will be there on the day to play some of their songs while reminiscing about their experiences as an up and coming rock band. St. Nicholas’s Collegiate Church is Galway’s most historic place of worship. Professor Steven Ellis from NUI Galway, and for many years a Churchwarden there, will give a short talk and answer questions on the history of St Nicholas’s and his association with its Anglican community since his arrival to Galway in the 1970s. A variety of community events will also be held during the festival; Dr Pádraig Lenihan, NUI Galway will give a talk on ‘Aughrim and the Boyne compared’; Dr Kevin O’Sullivan and Dr Barry Houlihan from NUI Galway will give a workshop for leaving certificate students on ‘Quiz the Historians: Advice on putting together a Special Project’; Professor Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, NUI Galway will deliver a lecture on ‘The Real Saint Patrick’ and Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley and Dr Tomás Finn, NUI Galway will give a workshop to primary school pupils on ‘How to interview your Granny (Grandad, next-door neighbour, auntie, uncle)’. For more information about Galway History Festival email galwayhistoryfestival@gmail.com, visit: https://galwayhistoryfestival.wordpress.com/ or follow on Twitter @historyatgalway -Ends-

Monday, 4 March 2019

CÚRAM is part of a new EU research project TBMED (Test bed for high-risk medical devices), which aims to support European Medtech companies in global competition by reducing the time-to-market of high-risk medical devices. An Open Innovation test bed for the development of devices of risk classification IIb and higher will provide expert support from an early development stage to the optimised transformation of prototypes into valuable and innovative products. The project has received €8.5 million in funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme and will run for a period of over four years. CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway is one of 13 European partners in the TBMED project, which sets out to tackle two of the most pressing issues in the EU healthcare system - the large variation in patient diagnosis and continually increasing costs which result in an urgent need to create and incorporate value in healthcare. However, new EU regulations regarding medical devices classified as high-risk impose great challenges especially on smaller European production companies which are the core target group of TBMED. In order to help Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to deliver better care at more reasonable costs and enable them to face global competition by large suppliers, the consortium aims to develop an Open Innovation test bed focusing on the most challenging devices of high-risk classification IIb upwards. Commenting on the new project, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM in NUI Galway, said: “The TBMED research project will produce a real and lasting impact on patient access to emerging medical device solutions. Partnering in this project provides a valuable opportunity for CÚRAM to assist in strengthening the growth and development of SMEs in Ireland through the Open Innovation test bed’s unique approach.” Professor Thomas Ritter a Principal Investigator at CÚRAM and Partner in the TBMED, added: “This project is an exciting opportunity of delivering medical devices to patients suffering from serious diseases faster and more safely.” In a quality-by-design approach, the test bed will help companies to accelerate the development of medical devices, reduce their time to market and offer additional business management services. Counselling and advisory sessions with experts on clinical investigations and an advisory health technology assessment team, EUnetHTA*, who will make sure that important evidence on the safety and efficacy of the new devices and adequate comparators is generated during preclinical development. TBMED will use three case studies to build the test bed: GlycoBone®, keratoprosthesis and new magnetic nanoparticle devices to improve cancer treatments based on hyperthermia. The deliberate choice of three very different cases will facilitate the development of an Open Innovation test bed suitable for a broad range of applications in the field and turning TBMED into a one-stop-shop providing Medtech companies with open access at fair conditions. Iraida Loinaz from Fundación CIDETEC Nanomedicine, who coordinates the TBMED project, said: “We want to make our approach sustainable through the strategic involvement of existing European clusters and the use of collaboration opportunities. Our aim is to strengthen the growth and development of SMEs in many different regions and increase their chances of success by bringing them in contact with potential investors interested in new products.” The TBMED consortium comprises of 13 European partners from Spain, France, Ireland and Germany and is coordinated by the Spanish Research Institute CIDETEC. On 21-22 February 2019, the TBMED partners came together for the official project kick-off in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. The meeting was preceded by an open session on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 with participation from representatives of the local Basque government and the Basque Health Cluster. In addition to TBMED, the Horizon 2020 projects MDOT (coordinated by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany) and SAFE-N-MEDTECH (coordinated by Biopraxis, Spain), which pursue similar approaches in the development of test beds, will be presented. -Ends-

Monday, 4 March 2019

NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance will stage Nobel Prize winning Italian playwright Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of the Anarchist in a translation by Simon Nye. The show runs from 7-9 March at 8pm with a special Sunday matinee on 10 March at 2pm. Considered a classic of twentieth century theatre that is both provocative and humourous, Fo’s political farce is made immediately relevant in this new production that updates the action and changes the setting to Ireland. Under the direction of a mysterious maniac the play sees a group of madcap policemen hilariously stage and restage a cover-up of the scandalous death of an anarchist during their police interogation into the bombing of a bank. Produced and performed by second year undergraduates of the BA Drama, Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, this production is an energetic clownish phsyical theatre piece that showcases the talents of a new emerging generation of exciting theatre-makers. The play is directed by Dr Ian R. Walsh, a Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. His books include Experimental Irish Theatre and The Theatre of Enda Walsh. His professional directing credits include Purple Path to the Poppy Field, The Magic Flute, Orfeo ed Eurydice, The Wandering Scholar and Riders to the Sea. In 2016 Walsh directed the first full production at the O’Donoghue Centre when he staged Sophie Treadwell’s expressionistic Machinal to much acclaim. Speaking ahead of the production, Dr Walsh said: “Although the play was inspired by police corruption in Italy in the 1970s it speaks directly to the recently exposed corruption scandals of An Garda Síochana brought to light by the Charleton Tribunal. Thus we thought to transpose the piece to a cartoon verison of Ireland with the style of the production being one that sees the zany commedia dell’arte of Italy meet the absurdity of Father Ted. What is fabulous about Fo’s piece is how it manages to be challenging politically whilst still being very entertaining. The script also pushes the students in terms of physical characterisation, precision of movement and the creation of a presentational form of expression that runs counter to the dominant realist modes of acting with which they are familiar.” Tickets are €5 and available on the door and online at eventbrite.com at https://bit.ly/2IE0Zp5. -Ends-

Friday, 1 March 2019

At a signing ceremony in NUI Galway in the presence of the Chinese Vice-Minister for Education, the Ambassador of China in Ireland and the Mayor of Galway, NUI Galway has signed an agreement to establish a Confucius Institute and to formalise collaborative ties with Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine (NJUCM). The new Confucius Institute of Chinese and Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway (威大学中医与再生医学孔子学院) will integrate east and west, ancient and modern, Chinese and regenerative medicine in medical education and research. The research programme will aim to identify regenerative properties of Chinese medicines including the effects on stem cell biology.  The agreement follows recently established cooperation between NUI Galway’s regenerative medicine institute, REMEDI, and NJUCM and it paves the way for joint collaborations to integrate Chinese and Regenerative Medicine in the search for new treatments for conditions of unmet clinical need such as diabetes mellitus and neurodegenerative diseases.  Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine (NJUCM) is one of the earliest established (in 1954) and renowned Chinese Medicine Universities in China, and has contributed substantially to global research and education in Chinese Medicine. In welcoming the announcement, Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “Global education, scientific research and clinical trials of Chinese Medicine are all needed to enable a worldwide translation of Chinese Medicine products.  NUI Galway and NJUCM through the foundation of this Confucius institute will enable collaborative research to be undertaken.  This research will occur in parallel with education and application of Chinese Medicine to practice in Ireland.” Professor O’Brien added: “Chinese Medicine has therapeutic effects for many conditions with unmet medical need by Western medicine. The NUI Galway Centre will teach Chinese Medicine but will also have a research goal to identify active products in Chinese Medicine.” President Ó hÓgartaigh speaking at the signing of the agreement said: “Since diplomatic relations began between China and Ireland 40 years ago, NUI Galway has had a close and strategic academic relationship with China. Today we work with Chinese partners across a range of areas and we host 165 Chinese students on campus. The establishment of a Confucius Institute is a major development for our University. We welcome the unique nature of this institute, which has at its core a partnership with Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine which has enabled us to establish a Confucius Institute of Chinese and Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway. Chinese Medicine is a treasure of Chinese culture and the Galway Confucius Institute uniquely combines the medical and scientific traditions of East and West. We share the hope that together our scholars and clinicians working in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and in Regenerative Medicine and stem cell therapy will develop innovative treatments to improve healthcare for humankind.” NJUCM has previously established a Confucius Institute of Chinese Medicine in partnership with colleges in Melbourne which has largely focused on promoting global education in Chinese Medicine. The NUI Galway Confucius Institute will have a major emphasis on discovering regenerative properties of Chinese Medicine products. NUI Galway established the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) in 2004, with funding from Science Foundation Ireland. With significant Irish and European investment in basic and translational research, REMEDI is currently involved in 7 EU clinical trials investigating the clinical application of stem cells in conditions of unmet medical need, using mesenchymal stromal cells manufactured from an EU-standard GMP manufacturing facility at NUI Galway and partner institutions in the EU. The Confucius Institute of Chinese and Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway (高威大学中医与再生医学孔子学院) will be supported by global resources including Hanban, the Confucius Institute Headquarters, to integrate Chinese and Regenerative Medicine to benefit the health status of mankind globally. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Researchers from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have just published a review paper which draws a link between the immune system and the development of debilitating necrotic skin wounds after envenomation (a bite or sting) by a broad range of venomous animals. Once confirmed by future experiments, it will have deep implications on how life-threatening necrotic wounds following envenomations by snakes, wasps, bees, ants, spiders, scorpions and jellyfish, will be treated by clinicians. This could impact some 500,000 patients every single year, all around the world. The review has just been published (26 February) in the journal Clinical Toxicology. Envenomations by snakes, wasps, bees, ants, spiders, scorpions or jellyfish are common throughout the world. In most cases, the venom impacts the victim’s nervous system, causing burning pain, stiffness and difficulty breathing. Occasionally, victims also develop necrotic wounds where bitten or stung, which are often inconsistent with the known activity of some types of venom. Those seemingly inexplicable wounds are notoriously difficult to treat, and sometimes result in deep scars, debilitating chronic pain and amputations. In addition to direct lytic activity of the venom, necrotic manifestations can also be either enhanced by, or caused solely by the victim’s own immune system in response to the presence of venom toxins through activated pathways of regulated cell death.   John Dunbar, lead author of the study and doctoral student at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway, said: “Venom-induced necrosis is a well-known fact and most prevalent in Snakebite victims. Surprisingly, very little has been done to understand the mechanisms that drives necrosis, despite promising results from two particular studies published around two decades ago. Necrosis is something we usually associate with an attack on our cells by external forces.  However, in recent years, advances in biochemistry and immunology have helped identify and characterise a number of cell death pathways that are regulated internally by the cells own proteins. We’ve re-analysed those venom-related studies in light of these recent advances.” Dr Michel Dugon from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, says: “Envenomations remain a leading cause of deaths and injuries around the world. Venomous animals kill over 150,000 and maim over half a million people every single year around the globe. Identifying and targeting specific inflammatory pathways to regulated cell death (try to determine the exact physiological events that cascade in a person’s immune system after a venomous sting or bite), may significantly reduce the severity of symptoms experienced by the victims. It is something that we will aim to address in the very near future.” This study suggests that in addition to the current therapies that specifically target the venom, further research should examine immune-suppression therapies as a way to treat victims. To read the full report in the Clinical Toxicology journal, visit: https://doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2019.1578367

Thursday, 28 February 2019

NUI Galway will host a number of public events in celebration of International Women’s Day which will take place on Friday, 8 March. International Women’s Day is dedicated to championing women’s achievements and driving gender balance around the world. On Monday 4 March, the LGBT+ Staff Network will host a public event entitled ‘Queer Women in Higher Education’ which will take place in the Arts/Science Concourse from 12:30-13:30pm. The aim of this event is to discuss the visibility of queer women at NUI Galway and other Higher Education Institutes by hearing first-hand stories from women on how gender and sexuality have impacted on their careers. To register for this event, go to https://bit.ly/2NxMPVw.    The School of Law at NUI Galway will host a public event entitled ‘Women on Supreme Courts’ at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre of the Human Biology Building on Tuesday, 5 March. This event will mark the first visit from the Supreme Court to NUI Galway and will include a discussion on the contribution of women to judiciary in the Supreme Courts. Speakers on the day will include Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, former Supreme Court Judge; Mrs Justice Matilda Twomey, Chief Justice of Seychelles and NUI Galway Graduate; Mr Justice John McMenamin and Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne. A post-event reception will take place after the event in the ground floor lobby of the Human Biology Building. On Wednesday, 6 March, InnovateHER will present a public event entitled ‘NUI Galway Women in Innovation: Changing Perceptions and Inspiring Growth in Medtech’ from 12:30-2pm in The View, Áras na Mac Léinn. The aim of the event is to encouraging all who work within innovation, both male and female alike, to attend to network and learn from each other on the day. Lunch will also be provided. To register for this event, go to https://bit.ly/2VjFJqi.   NUI Galway is also teaming up with charity Dress for Success Dublin to promote gender equality. On Thursday, 7 March, roundtable discussion and media event on Equality in the Work Place will take place from 12-2pm in the Aula Maxima Ground Floor. Speakers will include Sonya Lennon, Founder and Director of Dress for Success Dublin, Dr Michelle Millar, Head of School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway, and Mr Mark Butler, Executive Vice President of European Operations at Merit Medical. The moderator for the panel on the day will be Dave O’Connell from the Connacht Tribune. To register for this event, go to https://bit.ly/2GR4nLU.   Sonya Lennon will also address up to 200 students on ‘First Steps to Success - Owning your Worth and Planning the Game Strategy’ on Thursday. Students will learn how to develop their personal brand, understand their worth and optimise their career from the very beginning. The student focused event will be held in NUI Galway’s Human Biology Building and is open for both students and staff. On Friday, 8 March, the launch of the UWN Sheehy Skeffington Distinguished Lecture Series will take place.  The inaugural lecture “Standing up to injustice: my Sheehy Skeffington legacy”  by Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington will celebrate people who have shown the courage to call out injustice and who stood their ground against adversity. To register for the inaugural lecture visit https://bit.ly/2SChPo0. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

NUI Galway’s discipline of Social Work at the School of Political Science and Sociology is offering a new Postgraduate Certificate in Continuing Professional Development for Social Work for qualified social workers at various stages of their social work career. One of the courses in this programme of studies, The Non Violent Resistance in Practice course is also open to practitioners from other disciplines as well as social work, such as social care, mental health nursing, family support, psychology and counselling. The course will take place for five Fridays starting from 15 March to 12 April, from 10am-4pm at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway. The Non Violence Resistance in Practice course responds to the needs of practitioners in children and family services for an effective, evidence based and strengths-focused responses to the problems of abusive behaviour and violence in families. Dr Declan Coogan, lecturer in Social Work at NUI Galway, said: “The Non Violence Resistance in Practice course aims to deepen links between the campus and wider community in the West of Ireland, bringing together knowledge, experience and research to make a difference in families lives when abuse and violence takes place, especially in those families where children (under 18 years old) abuse their parents.” Practitioners interested in the Non Violent Resistance in Practice course must be employed as a qualified practitioner in social work or allied health and social care disciplines such as, for example, family support/ social care/ psychotherapy/ youth work/ psychology/ nursing (mental health). The closing date for registration is February 28. Completed application forms must be returned by then to joanne.oconnor@nuigalway.ie A variety of modules, including the Non Violence Resistance in Practice course, will be offered on a stand-alone basis and credits from these modules can contribute to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate (30 ECTS) or Diploma (60 ECTS). This means that social work candidates interested in earning academic accreditation must register for the certificate and pay the fee of €1,500. Alternatively, candidates can pay a fee of €500 as they take each module.  Practitioners from social work and from other disciplines may choose to pay an attendance only fee of €250. Participation in the course does not then earn academic accreditation and does not require candidates to complete assessment exercises (but attendance certificates can be made available on request at the end of the course). To apply for this course, other than the Non Violent Resistance in Practice course, applicants must have a CORU accredited professional social work qualification (level 8 or level 9) or equivalent. All details available about these courses can be found at www.nuigalway.ie/colleges-and-schools/arts-social-sciences-and-celtic-studies/political-science-and-sociology/postgraduate-programmes/pgcertdip-cpd-social-work/ Alternatively search for social work CDP at NUI Galway using any search engine on the internet. For further information about these courses contact Dr Declan Coogan, NUI Galway, at declan.coogan@nuigalway.ie.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Chris Patten, Lord Patten of Barnes, will officially open the archive of Maurice Hayes at NUI Galway before giving a public lecture entitled, ‘A European identity: some reflections on the career of Maurice Hayes on the opening of his archive at NUI Galway’ on Tuesday, 12 March. Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and formerly Secretary of State for the Environment, Governor of Hong Kong and European Commissioner for External Relations, was Chair in 1998-1999 of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, of which Maurice Hayes was a member. Following the deposit of his papers in NUI Galway in 2017, the James Hardiman Library will officially open the Maurice Hayes archive to scholars and the public. Maurice Hayes (1927-2017) was an eminent public servant who played a vital role in the search for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. His many roles included: Chairman of the Community Relations Commission from 1969 until 1972; Assistant Secretary to the Northern Ireland Power-Sharing Executive, 1973-74; member of the Secretariat of the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention, 1975; Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, 1987-1991; Independent Senator in Se­anad Éireann, 1997-2007; Chairman of the Ireland Funds; and member of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, 1998-1999 (the Patten Commission). Maurice Hayes had a particular ability to work with and engage people and parties of all persuasions. In addition to his achievements in Northern Ireland, Dr Hayes took a keen interest in Europe throughout his career. He served as Chairman of the Irish Government’s National Forum on Europe, which operated from 2001 to 2009, and received the European of the Year award in 2004. He published widely, including a three-volume autobiography, had a strong commitment to the Irish language and was also a vital figure in Down’s GAA successes in the 1960s. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh speaking about the event said: “NUI Galway is honoured to hold the papers of the great Irishman and great European, Maurice Hayes. A scholar, a public servant, a peace-maker, Maurice was respected by all communities across the island of Ireland and his papers offer researchers and students a unique perspective on Ireland at a time of great social and political change. I look forward to welcoming his family to our campus for this occasion which will be marked by a perspective on Maurice’s extensive legacy in a memorial lecture by his friend, Lord Patten of Barnes.” The Maurice Hayes Archive consists of 64 boxes and covers his whole career, including speeches, correspondence, records and papers from his membership of various working parties, commissions, conventions and other organisations. There is also material relating to local government, the GAA, his time at the Department of Health and Social Services and source material for his autobiographies. The catalogue of the archive is at http://tinyurl.com/y2w2op39. The University holds a number of closely-related collections relating to Northern Ireland, including those of civil rights activist and human rights lawyer Kevin Boyle, intermediary Brendan Duddy and Provisional Sinn Féin leader Rúairí Ó Brádaigh. There are powerful direct connections between the Hayes papers and these other collections, most notably the private diary he kept of his role in public peace talks in 1975 at the same time as Brendan Duddy was keeping his diary of the secret talks with the IRA that proceeded in parallel. His papers will greatly enhance NUI Galway’s position as a centre for research and teaching on peacemaking, conflict resolution and the Northern Ireland Troubles. Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Professor of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway commented: “Maurice Hayes played an enormously important role in public life in Ireland, North and South, over several decades. His contributions ranged widely but perhaps the most important were to Community Relations, allied to his genius for maintaining strong relationships with political and social forces across the political spectrum at a time of intense violent conflict in Northern Ireland. His archive will allow a new generation of researchers to explore the extent and significance of his influence and provide a new window into political and social developments in Ireland, North and South.” John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, said: “It was a real privilege to get to know Maurice Hayes and to develop an understanding of his unique contribution to so many aspects of life in Northern Ireland and far beyond. The opening of his papers for research, teaching and general consultation at the James Hardiman Library means that his lasting legacy will be fully appreciated by all who make use of this important archive.” Registration to attend the Maurice Hayes Memorial Lecture on 12 March at 5.30pm is essential; please book at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/a-european-identity-some-reflections-on-the-career-of-maurice-hayes-on-the-opening-of-his-archive-tickets-56187526404.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics were awarded ‘Best College of Arts and Social Science’ and ‘Best College of Business’ respectively at the Education Awards 2019 which took place in Dublin recently. The Education Awards were established in 2017 to recognise, encourage and celebrate excellence in the third level education sector in Ireland.   An independent panel of recognised and expert judges awarded The College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics in their respective categories, commenting on the quality of programmes offered by the Colleges and their broader impact in the community through industry partnerships, collaborations and research.   Professor Cathal O’Donoghue, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: “In the last 18 months, the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies has launched a number of new successful undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, as well as delivering innovative and impactful research with wider societal benefits. It is wonderful for the efforts of all colleagues in making this happen to be recognised at the 2019 Education Awards.”   Professor John McHale, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy, and Law, NUI Galway, said: “I'm delighted with the announcement that the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics won the Best College of Business award at the 2019 Education Awards. This incredible achievement is truly representative of the efforts of all colleagues and reaffirms our commitment within the University to creating transformational opportunities for our students.”   NUI Galway was also shortlisted in a number of other categories including ‘Best Education Outreach Award’ for NUI Galway Youth Academy, ‘Best Online Learning Experience’ for the Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development, ‘Career Impact Strategy Award’ for the Career Development Centre, ‘Best Marketing/Communications Team’ for the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and ‘Best Business and Third Level Institution Collaboration’ for Deloitte and NUI Galway.   For more information on the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/colleges-and-schools/arts-social-sciences-and-celtic-studies/. For more information on the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/business-public-policy-law/cairnes/.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Chris Patten, Lord Patten of Barnes, will officially open the archive of Maurice Hayes at NUI Galway before giving a public lecture entitled, ‘A European identity: some reflections on the career of Maurice Hayes on the opening of his archive at NUI Galway’ on Tuesday, 12 March. Lord Patten of Barnes, Chancellor of the University of Oxford and formerly Secretary of State for the Environment, Governor of Hong Kong and European Commissioner for External Relations, was Chair in 1998-1999 of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, of which Maurice Hayes was a member. Following the deposit of his papers in NUI Galway in 2017, the James Hardiman Library will officially open the Maurice Hayes archive to scholars and the public. Maurice Hayes (1927-2017) was an eminent public servant who played a vital role in the search for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. His many roles included: Chairman of the Community Relations Commission from 1969 until 1972; Assistant Secretary to the Northern Ireland Power-Sharing Executive, 1973-74; member of the Secretariat of the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention, 1975; Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, 1987-1991; Independent Senator in Se­anad Éireann, 1997-2007; Chairman of the Ireland Funds; and member of the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland, 1998-1999 (the Patten Commission). Maurice Hayes had a particular ability to work with and engage people and parties of all persuasions. In addition to his achievements in Northern Ireland, Dr Hayes took a keen interest in Europe throughout his career. He served as Chairman of the Irish Government’s National Forum on Europe, which operated from 2001 to 2009, and received the European of the Year award in 2004. He published widely, including a three-volume autobiography, had a strong commitment to the Irish language and was also a vital figure in Down’s GAA successes in the 1960s. NUI Galway President, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh speaking about the event said: “NUI Galway is honoured to hold the papers of the great Irishman and great European, Maurice Hayes. A scholar, a public servant, a peace-maker, Maurice was respected by all communities across the island of Ireland and his papers offer researchers and students a unique perspective on Ireland at a time of great social and political change. I look forward to welcoming his family to our campus for this occasion which will be marked by a perspective on Maurice’s extensive legacy in a memorial lecture by his friend, Lord Patten of Barnes.” The Maurice Hayes Archive consists of 64 boxes and covers his whole career, including speeches, correspondence, records and papers from his membership of various working parties, commissions, conventions and other organisations. There is also material relating to local government, the GAA, his time at the Department of Health and Social Services and source material for his autobiographies. The catalogue of the archive is at http://tinyurl.com/y2w2op39. The University holds a number of closely-related collections relating to Northern Ireland, including those of civil rights activist and human rights lawyer Kevin Boyle, intermediary Brendan Duddy and Provisional Sinn Féin leader Rúairí Ó Brádaigh. There are powerful direct connections between the Hayes papers and these other collections, most notably the private diary he kept of his role in public peace talks in 1975 at the same time as Brendan Duddy was keeping his diary of the secret talks with the IRA that proceeded in parallel. His papers will greatly enhance NUI Galway’s position as a centre for research and teaching on peacemaking, conflict resolution and the Northern Ireland Troubles. Niall Ó Dochartaigh, Professor of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway commented: “Maurice Hayes played an enormously important role in public life in Ireland, North and South, over several decades. His contributions ranged widely but perhaps the most important were to Community Relations, allied to his genius for maintaining strong relationships with political and social forces across the political spectrum at a time of intense violent conflict in Northern Ireland. His archive will allow a new generation of researchers to explore the extent and significance of his influence and provide a new window into political and social developments in Ireland, North and South.” John Cox, University Librarian at NUI Galway, said: “It was a real privilege to get to know Maurice Hayes and to develop an understanding of his unique contribution to so many aspects of life in Northern Ireland and far beyond. The opening of his papers for research, teaching and general consultation at the James Hardiman Library means that his lasting legacy will be fully appreciated by all who make use of this important archive.” Registration to attend the Maurice Hayes Memorial Lecture on 12 March at 5.30pm is essential; please book at http://tinyurl.com/y2j43jxz.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Honours announced ahead of Daffodil Day, March 22 Congratulations to Galway scientist Dr Aideen Ryan who has been recognised for her work in cancer research at the 2019 Irish Cancer Society Research Awards. The awards recognised some of the vital work being undertaken by researchers and support staff throughout the country, funded by the public donations to the Irish Cancer Society. Aideen won the top prize of Research Paper of the Year at the ceremony. She is currently a lecturer in Tumour Immunology in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, having received funding from the Irish Cancer Society for research into bowel cancer in 2013. A native of Kiltomer, Aideen has worked on finding new ways to treat bowel cancer through immunotherapy – treatments that boost the body's natural defences to fight cancer. “Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in Ireland, so I feel privileged that my Irish Cancer Society funding has given me the chance to explore new ways to treat this disease and save lives,” she said. “Through my Irish Cancer Society fellowship I wanted to give more hope to people going through the most advanced forms of bowel cancer by exploring better treatments.  Since then I’ve used this experience to progress my research and continue the fight to stop this disease.” Aideen received the prize as an author of the scientific paper: ‘Stromal cell PD-L1 inhibits CD8+ T-cell antitumor immune responses and promotes colon cancer’, published in the journal Cancer Immunology Research. The paper was written by a team of authors, led by PhD researcher Grace O’Malley of NUI Galway. Other Galway-based colleagues who contributed include Oliver Treacy, Kevin Lynch, Serika Naicker, Paul Lohan, Thomas Ritter, and Laurence Egan; and from Queens University Belfast: Philip Dunne. Aideen was one of six people working in cancer research who described their work to a packed audience of family, friends and Irish Cancer Society supporters at the special awards ceremony held in Dublin’s House of Lords on Friday February 15. At the ceremony the Irish Cancer Society also announced that, thanks to the public’s generosity, it is on track to invest €30 million in cancer research in the decade up to 2020. Averil Power, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society, said: “This decade has broken all records for cancer research in Ireland. Thanks to the generosity of the public, the Irish Cancer Society has invested more money in life-saving research than ever before, finding better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. “In 2019 we intend to invest €2.3 million in cancer research, supporting the work of over 100 researchers around the country. This makes us the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland, but we can still do even more. “Every year we have to turn away researchers who come to us with potentially life-saving projects, simply because we don’t have enough funds to support them. Unfortunately, this means we may have had to turn down a potential breakthrough or cure. If we’re going to stop cancer this has to change. That’s why Daffodil Day 2019 needs to be the biggest one yet.” Daffodil Day 2019, proudly supported by Boots Ireland, will take place on Friday, 22 March. Members of the public are urged to get involved by volunteering as fundraisers and donating what they can on the day. For more see cancer.ie/daffodilday.

Monday, 25 February 2019

A new study undertaken by researchers at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway (UCFRC) assessed the attitudes and values of 700 12 to 16 year old youths in Ireland with regard to empathy, social values and civic behaviour. The study, funded by the Irish Research Council, also explored the degree to which such values and behaviours are promoted across Irish policy and curriculum. The research is among the first in Ireland to focus on the experiences of younger adolescents in relation to empathy and social values. Principal Investigator, Dr Bernadine Brady from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “As young people in Ireland are now exposed to a much wider array of influences than previous generations, it is important to gain an insight into their values and attitudes in relation to empathy, social responsibility and civic behaviour and to understand the factors that influence these values. Our research shows that parents, peers, schools, and local communities continue to have a strong influence on youth social values.” Overall, the study found that young people showed high levels of empathy and social responsibility values but low levels of civic behaviour (for example, offering to help someone at school, helping out in your community). Young people reported that while it is easy to feel empathy for others in society, it is more difficult to actively help or engage in prosocial responding. Some of the factors that inhibited young people from responding were not knowing what to do or fear of showing weakness. Girls scored higher than boys on measures of empathy, social responsibility, and civic behaviour. Taking part in civic education at school, experiencing an open classroom climate, and having parents and a peer groups that endorse pro-social values were found to positively influence young people’s values. Participation in youth work and extracurricular activities (including arts, music, and drama) was also linked to higher levels of empathy, social responsibility and civic behaviour. The study highlights a number of opportunities for Irish policy and curriculum support for empathy and social values. Despite the increasing support for Social and Emotional Learning, it found that academic achievement remains the key priority in the formal education sector. Social and Emotional Learning in schools, the study found, tends to devolve to a small number of interested teachers and they can be reluctant to use the active methodologies associated with such learning. The study recommended that more opportunities be provided to young people to engage in civic behaviour, such as social action projects or volunteering both inside and outside of schools. UNESCO Chair Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway, commented: “The current policy framework places the greatest emphasis on developing socio-emotional skills through the formal education system. Considerably more attention could be put on the role of informal and non-formal settings, such as home, youth work and community, in the development and promotion of empathy and related skills and values.” The research was launched in Dublin last Saturday, 23 February as part of a ten-year celebration of the award of the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement to NUI Galway’s Professor Pat Dolan. UCFRC Patron, actor Cillian Murphy and Professor Pat Dolan co-hosted an evening of ‘in conversation’ pieces featuring a number of contributions from celebrated Irish artists including author Sally Rooney, poets Rita Ann Higgins and Louis de Paor, moderated by writer and broadcaster John Kelly. The theme of the event, Artists for Empathy, reflected the focus of the UNESCO Chair in extending the broader ethical education of youth in national and international settings in collaboration with UNESCO.            At the launch of the research, UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre Patron and Actor Cillian Murphy, said: “Empathy and related values and behaviours are so important across a range of areas in society and policy. I warmly welcome this research which places the spotlight on empathy among young people and helps us to understand how these values are shaped and promoted.” Welcoming the launch of the reports, Peter Brown, Director of the Irish Research Council, said: “Research for policy and social progress represents a critical contribution of the research community. Cultivating new knowledge and evidence in this area is a very important part of the Irish Research Council’s mission and one we aim to further develop over the coming years through our funding programmes. By supporting and disseminating excellent research, and integrating it into policy and practice, we collectively foster better outcomes for all, not least for our children, young people and families.” To read the full reports from the study, visit: http://www.childandfamilyresearch.ie/cfrc/publications/policyreports/