NUI Galway Students Scoop Top Prize at Enterprise Ireland ‘Think Outside the Box’ Awards 2012

NUI Galway Students Scoop Top Prize at Enterprise Ireland ‘Think Outside the Box’ Awards 2012-image

Friday, 8 June 2012

A team of students from NUI Galway has today (Friday 8 June 2012) been named ‘College Entrepreneur of the Year 2012’. The students won the prestigious top prize of €10,000 at this year’s Enterprise Ireland Think Outside the Box Awards, with their project This year celebrates the 30th year of the prestigious awards, which are co-sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys, Mammoth Advertising, Intel and Grant Thornton.  The winning team are First Year Engineering students at NUI Galway and  beat off stiff competition with their project  This stands for Drag Reduction Systems. The team has invented a drag reduction device which can reduce the drag between a truck and its container load so significantly that it will reduce fuel consumption of the truck by 8%. The team is represented by students Justin Conboy, Dearbhaile Forde and Garrett Archbold. Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, NUI Galway said: “The innovative drag reduction system is an example of the outstanding design capability of NUI Galway engineering students. Engineering in NUI Galway provides an excellent environment in which our students are given space to be creative and inventive. Ireland's path to recovery will benefit from people like Justin and his team and I admire his confidence to follow through with his creative passion, to patent his design and win this prestigious all Ireland competition. I am very proud of our engineering students." The Think Outside the Box Awards are aimed at encouraging students into business as a career option and this year attracted submissions from over 360 third level students from colleges across Ireland.  With its biggest ever prize fund matching the Award’s 30 years in existence, €30,000 in cash prizes and €30,000 in consultancy fees are available for winners to help them make a serious start at making their idea a commercial reality.   In addition to winning the top prize, the winning team will also receive €5,000 in branding consultancy from Mammoth Advertising and mentoring from Enterprise Ireland/Invest NI to develop the commercial viability of their overall concept.  The ‘Most Technologically Innovative Idea Award’ of €5,000, co-sponsored by Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Enterprise Ireland, went to the AWAMA project from Queen’s University Belfast. Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys are also providing intellectual property consultancy and protection for all the finalists. The Emerging and Dynamic Company of the Year Award of €5,000, co-sponsored by Grant Thornton and Enterprise Ireland, went to Zooplar from UCC. Grant Thornton will also provide business plan development advice to the finalists. Zooplar also won an all expenses paid trip to Poland from Intel, to participate in the Intel Challenge Europe Technology Entrepreneurship Competition. Congratulating the award winners on their success, Tom Hayes, Head of Micro Enterprises and Small Business at Enterprise Ireland said: “This competition is focussed on giving students hands on experience in entrepreneurship and establishing a business to help them discover their flair and talent. Once again, we have been hugely impressed by the quality of the submissions from across the colleges. These young people show all the hallmarks of the innovative and resilient entrepreneurs and management teams that are so critical to setting up successful new businesses and creating much needed jobs. They are our successful entrepreneurs of the future. It is tremendously encouraging to see their energy and their enthusiasm, and I congratulate all of them on their achievements.”  Bill Scott, Invest NI’s Executive Director of Regional Business, said: “Young people in Northern Ireland are great at generating new business ideas and entrepreneurial talent. Competitions like this provide a platform for them to demonstrate their highly innovative concepts and the commercial skills required to take them forward. Invest NI is pleased to play a part in promoting and encouraging entrepreneurship and is focused on supporting young people to engage in entrepreneurial activity, as we need them to grow our future economy.” For more information on the Think Outside the Box Awards visit the website on: ENDS

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NUI Galway to Lead a European Research Project to Restore Blood Vessels

NUI Galway to Lead a European Research Project to Restore Blood Vessels-image

Friday, 8 June 2012

A consortium led by the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway has secured €3.7 million to fund research into a medical condition called ischemia. The condition occurs when blood supply to a tissue is limited, an example being ischemic heart disease, the most common cause of death in the western world, from which 16 million European adults currently suffer. The funding award has been made through the EU-FP7 grant programme under the Marie Curie Initial Training Network, the official project title is ‘Development of Biomaterial-based Delivery Systems for Ischemic Conditions - An Integrated Pan-European Approach’. “Our focus is on therapeutic angiogenesis, which aims to form new vessels to supply the ischemic tissue and restore function”, explains Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB. “One possibility in this field is to supply the local microenvironment around the damaged tissue with the appropriate biological signalling factors, through the use of functionalised biomaterials.” Ischemia is not limited to heart disease and the research will have a wider scope across other medical conditions. Ischemia has a number of causes such as blockages, as in the case of cholesterol blockages in atherosclerosis or the clotting that may cause ischemic stroke, inflammation as in ischemic colitis, or conditions such as sickle cell anaemia. Acute limb ischemia occurs when blood supply is lost to a limb, with delayed treatment leading to morbidity, amputation and even death, with around 50,000 cases in the US annually. The research consortium, led by Professor Pandit of the NFB, includes academic groups from the Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH), Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche in Italy, Universidad de Valladolid in Spain, University of Brighton in the UK, University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, Vivasure Medical in Ireland and Selyno Biomedical in Israel. The funding provides for the recruitment of early stage and experienced researchers aiming to improve their career prospects in both public and private sectors, thereby making research careers more attractive to young people. This will be achieved through a trans-national networking mechanism, aimed at structuring the existing high quality initial research training capacity throughout European member states and associated countries. Speaking about the award, Professor Abhay Pandit, said: “The Marie Curie Initial Training Network award will fund the training and development of researchers in biomaterials and regenerative medicine research over a four-year period beginning in October 2012. This programme will foster increased scientific dialogue between lead academics, industry and clinicians; transfer key scientific and experimental knowledge between the institutions involved enabling the consortium to widen the scope of their work; encourage researchers to stay in Europe, and attract researchers from around the world to conduct research in the EU. About 40% of this funding will remain in Ireland. We are extremely privileged to be considered for this highly competitive award.”   ENDS

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Scan This! Galway Pirate Treasure Hunt

Scan This! Galway Pirate Treasure Hunt-image

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway’s Digital Enterprise Research Institute is helping Galway Simon Community to raise funds in a fun, and innovative way. The two organisations have teamed up to organise a pirate treasure hunt with a difference for the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway, 30 June – 8 July. The Galway Pirate Treasure Trail of QR codes is a family-friendly treasure hunt where would-be pirates will use the latest mobile phone technology to navigate their way to the treasure. Families and groups of friends can follow a series of QR codes through the most interesting corners of Galway’s medieval city. Every pirate treasure clue will be revealed by scanning the QR code at each waypoint. The trail will guide teams on a leisurely and fun treasure trail of Galway City and the tented Volvo Race Villages. There will be prizes for the teams with most points based on the clues uncovered. Most smart phones now have a Quick Read (QR) code scanner. Tickets are available on at €10 for the Family Treasure Hunt or €20 for the History and Gourmet Treasure Hunts. This Pirate Treasure trail was developed in cooperation between the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway and Galway Simon as an innovative way to show people around the most interesting streets and corners of this buzzing city. Dr Brian Wall, Operations Manager at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) says “DERI is very pleased to contribute technological expertise to such a worthy cause. DERI researchers are already unlocking large chests of ‘knowledge treasure’ that are available on the web so it is fitting that we are involved with Galway Simon on this project.” He added: “We are always looking for new and interesting ways for our team of technical experts to help the broader community and we think this will be a really enjoyable way to demonstrate just a little bit of what our research teams at NUI Galway can do.” Established in 2003 by NUI Galway, with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland, DERI has now grown to become the world’s largest semantic web research institute, and it engages with companies, from start-ups through to multinationals, to develop new web solutions. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI adds: “Galway now has an internationally leading research and industry cluster in the ICT sector, and this treasure hunt highlights some of the cool things that can be done with computer science. Fun events like this are great for getting children interested in IT and hopefully will encourage them to become the innovators of the future.”  NUI Galway is education partner of Volvo Ocean Race Galway, and will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and community engagement to the event. Galway Simon is actively seeking retailers in Galway to partner in the Treasure Hunt. Contact Paul in Galway Simon at 091 381828 for partnering details. -ends

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NUI Galway Nominated for National Best Conference Events Venue Award

NUI Galway Nominated for National Best Conference Events Venue Award -image

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway is one of eight venues shortlisted for the 2012 Best Conference Events Venue in Ireland,and the first and only University to feature. Organised by Event Strategies Limited, this award recognises excellence within the event industry, rewarding conference centres that have been outstanding. Applicants are judged across a wide range of criteria including excellence in facilities, innovation, food standards and service, calibre of event management team and customer care.  The Event Industry Awards Ceremony will be held in Dublin’s Burlington Hotel on Thursday, 21 June. NUI Galway will host over 50 conferences this year, welcoming over 10,000 delegates to campus. Since its establishment in 1845, NUI Galway is an iconic presence in the West of Ireland. Multi million capital development programmes has preserved the University’s most distinctive and appealing historic features while propelling the campus into the upper echelons of the international conference market.  Over 150 world-class conference rooms with  capacities ranging from  10 to 1,200 delegates,  15 café /restaurants seating over 1,500, campus accommodation for 760 delegates, state-of-the art IT facilities and a professional event team ensure successful conferences time and time again.   Ann Duggan, Conference Manager at NUI Galway, said, “I am delighted that NUI Galway has been shortlisted for this prestigious award. The recent development of the Bailey Allen Hall, the University’s main conference venue, with the capacity for 1,000 delegates theatre style and 500 banquet style provides a year round venue for conferences and has already hosted some prestigious national and international events which have brought significant economic benefit to the region. This nomination is a fitting recognition of the quality of all of our conference facilities.” -ends-

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Data Analysis Focus of NUI Galway Economics Conference

Data Analysis Focus of NUI Galway Economics Conference-image

Monday, 11 June 2012

NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics is hosting an international conference on Applied Microeconometrics and Public Policy on Tuesday, 3 July. The conference programme will feature papers and presentations focusing on public policy topics in Environmental Economics, Rural Development and Agricultural Economics, Health Economics, and Mental Health, the Economics of Ageing, Inequality and Poverty, Migration and Demography, Welfare, Taxation and Pensions, Labor Economics and the Economics of Education. A selection of the highest quality papers submitted to the 2012 conference will be put forward for a special thematic edition of The Economic and Social Review. A selection of the highest quality papers submitted to the 2012 conference will be put forward for a special thematic edition of The Economic and Social Review to follow after the conference. The one-day conference will be followed by a three-day intensive international summer school in Discrete Choice Modeling, running from 4-6 July. The keynote speaker for the summer school is Professor William Greene of New York University. Professor Greene's work is at the forefront of knowledge in the field of quantitative techniques and applied microeconometrics. The broad range of techniques covered will include virtually all higher-end econometric methodologies in discrete choice modelling ranging from the fundamental model of binary choice to the Poisson regression models for count data. A number of applications from different areas of the professional literature to illustrate these techniques will be discussed. The course will teach econometrics from an applied perspective and demonstrate the techniques in the internationally used econometric software package LIMDEP, which Professor Greene authored.  It is widely acknowledged that NUI Galway provides the premier training programme in advanced econometrics in Ireland. The primary objective of these joint events is to bring together experts from around the world to provide intensive instruction on recent techniques in discrete choice modelling in specialist fields. Discrete choice models have become an essential tool for the analysis of individual choice behaviour and can be applied to choice problems in a wide variety of diverse fields. The conference will also facilitate the exchange of research results and practical experiences in the context of application. Emphasis will be on the relevancy of policy modelling for contemporary public policy questions. Speaking about the upcoming conference, Dr Mary Silles, conference organiser and Lecturer in Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Econometrics is a powerful tool that can be utilised to study serious questions in public policy. This conference provides academic leadership in the application of sophisticated analytical techniques to quantitative research problems in all branches of economics relevant to public policy. It is a great opportunity for research students, academics and professionals to expand their econometrics skills and keep up-to-date with major recent developments in applied econometric modelling.” For details of the Applied Microeconometrics and Public Policy visit Further information on the intensive three day course is available at -ENDS-

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Top 10 US Medical Device Leaders in Galway to Meet Irish Medical Devices Companies

Top 10 US Medical Device Leaders in Galway to Meet Irish Medical Devices Companies-image

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

NUI Galway and Enterprise Ireland Host Business Symposium on Winning Business in the US Medical Device Market   Industry leaders from household name American medical devices giants such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic and Stryker are in NUI Galway later this week to address a major symposium for Irish companies. The event on Friday, 15 June, organised by Enterprise Ireland and NUI Galway, will provide first-hand advice on ‘Winning Business in the US Medical Device Market’ from US industry experts, while over 80 individual buyer meetings have also organised between the US representatives and the Irish companies in attendance.  Boston Scientific, Medtronic, Terumo, Stryker, Arsenal Medical, Sapheon and MedCelerate are among the US companies presenting at the event. Irish companies, Aerogen and Vistamed, will also give their insights into how they successfully sell into the US market. In Ireland, the medical technology sector employs over 25,000 people in over 250 companies, with exports of over €7.2 billion per annum which continues to grow year-on-year. With fifty percent of the Irish medical technology company base now composed by indigenous firms, the importance of the US - the largest medical technology market in the world – is critical to their success. Speaking in advance of the event, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “In terms of innovation, research and development, Ireland has a proven pedigree in the med tech sector. However, there are many business aspects to cracking the US market - from procurement, to personnel, to legal issues, regulation and business culture - that must be appreciated. At this unique event, we hope to provide these invaluable business insights that will ultimately open doors in the US and enhance the success of Irish companies.” Gerry Murphy, Enterprise Ireland’s Americas Director, added: “The US Med Device sector is undoubtedly the most important med device sector worldwide, valued at $127 Billion per annum and expected to reach over $151 Billion by 2015. This is a really practical way for Irish medical device companies to learn from US experts and proven Irish companies about how best to be successful in the world’s main market. Apart from the strategy and technical mentoring on offer, this event provides an opportunity for these Irish firms to meet executives and buyers in individual meetings.  We expect business partnerships to begin at this event that will ultimately lead to increased exports.” ENDS  

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NUI Galway to Reward Brightest Leaving Certificate Students

NUI Galway to Reward Brightest Leaving Certificate Students-image

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A new scholarship scheme for Leaving Certificate students has been launched by NUI Galway. All students who achieve at least 560 points in their Leaving Certificate, and go onto study at the University this autumn, will benefit from an automatic €2,000 scholarship. The only exception being Medical students, for whom the qualification criteria differ slightly. The ‘Excellence Scholarships’ are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. There is no need to apply for the scholarships, as the new undergraduate students who have met the Leaving Cert points criteria for the Excellence Scholarships will be automatically contacted once they enrol at NUI Galway. The Excellence Scholarships recognise the academic achievements of our brightest new entrants, who have performed exceptionally well in the Leaving Certificate,” explains Martina Ní Chúlain, Admissions Officer at NUI Galway. “These prestigious awards will provide some financial assistance to high calibre students, thus facilitating their transition into higher education and their continued academic success.” For Medical students there will be 10 special scholarships for those scoring the top 10 points, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland). Meanwhile, a certain number of scholarships will be ring-fenced by individual College, to ensure allocation across the different disciplines at NUI Galway. The initiative is one of a series of scholarship schemes put in place by NUI Galway to help encourage academic success. Students at NUI Galway can also benefit from Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams. For full details of all available scholarships visit -ENDS-   OÉ Gaillimh le luach saothair a thabhairt do na Daltaí Ardteiste is Éirimiúla   Sheol OÉ Gaillimh scéim nua scoláireachta inniu do dhaltaí Ardteistiméireachta. Beidh gach dalta a bhaineann 560 pointe amach san Ardteistiméireacht agus a thagann chuig an Ollscoil le staidéar a dhéanamh an fómhar seo, i dteideal scoláireacht €2,000 a fháil. Is iad mic léinn Leighis an t-aon eisceacht, beidh critéir cháilíochta rud beag éagsúil dóibh sin. Tá na ‘Scoláireachtaí Feabhais’ ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i bhfeabhas acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. Ní gá aon iarratas a dhéanamh ar na scoláireachtaí, déanfar teagmháil go huathoibríoch leis na mic léinn nua fochéime a bhfuil na pointí riachtanacha bainte amach acu san Ardteistiméireacht le cáiliú do na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais chomh luath agus a chláraíonn siad in OÉ Gaillimh. “Aithníonn na Scoláireachtaí Feabhais éachtaí acadúla na mac léinn is éirimiúla atá ag tosú linn, agus a bhfuil éacht déanta acu san Ardteistiméireacht,” a deir Martina Ní Chualáin, Oifigeach Iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh. “Tabharfaidh na dámhachtainí gradamacha seo cúnamh airgeadais éigin do mhic léinn ar ardchaighdeán, rud a chabhróidh leo agus iad ag aistriú isteach san earnáil ardoideachais agus iad ag leanúint ar aghaidh lena rath acadúil.” Beidh 10 scoláireacht speisialta ar fáil do na mic léinn Leighis a n-éiríonn leo na pointí is airde a bhaint amach, bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála (H-PAT Ireland). Ag an am céanna, déanfaidh an Coláiste líon áirithe scoláireachtaí a chur ar leataobh le cinntiú go mbeidh deis ag mic léinn atá i mbun disciplíní éagsúla orthu. Is ceann de shraith scéimeanna scoláireachta é an tionscnamh seo atá á chur ar fáil ag OÉ Gaillimh chun rath acadúil a spreagadh. Tá deiseanna ar fáil do mhic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh ar Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime, ar Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta agus ar scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí ar leith dóibh siúd a n-éiríonn go maith leo ina gcuid scrúduithe Ollscoile. Chun teacht ar shonraí iomlána na scoláireachtaí ar fad atá ar fáil féach -CRÍOCH-

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NUI Galway Engineering Building Shortlisted for Architectural Award

NUI Galway Engineering Building Shortlisted for Architectural Award-image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

-Open for Online Public Vote - NUI Galway has been shortlisted for a major architectural award from the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland, in both the ‘Best Educational Building’ and ‘Public Choice’ categories, for their recently completed Engineering Building. Providing facilities for research and development, educating future generations and reinforcing the relationship between Galway City and the University, this ‘Public Vote’ award, provides an opportunity for all to support their City and University. To vote for NUI Galway’s Engineering Building in the ‘Public Choice’ category visit Under the ‘Public Choice Award’ section tick the Engineering Building, NUI Galway section and click ‘vote’. This shortlisting adds to the accolades of the innovative building where recently it was awarded the Sustainability Award at the 30th Irish Concrete Society Awards, recognising excellence in both design and construction in concrete. Opened in 2011 by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the Engineering Building at NUI Galway is a world-class teaching and research facility. The building has been designed to be a teaching tool in itself, with exposed construction techniques and an array of ecological building methods. The 14,250 sqm, four story building supports an emerging generation of engineers, engaged in a new wave of technologies, embracing innovation and entrepreneurship and accommodates some 1,100 students and 110 staff. -ENDS-

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NUI Galway Celebrates First Cohort of its Youth Academy

NUI Galway Celebrates First Cohort of its Youth Academy-image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Over 60 primary school children from across Galway City and County successfully completed NUI Galway’s Youth Academy at a special ceremony recently. The Youth Academy programme ran over a six-week period on Saturday mornings with a number of courses on offer including: Italian Language and Culture; Philosophical Discovery; Psychology- Who We Are, How We Think and What We Do; and Engineering- Structural, Environmental and Climate Studies. The Youth Academy aims to work with high-ability primary school children in the local community to support their learning and academic development. The programme aims to inspire entry into third-level education by introducing children and their families to university life and by creating positive perceptions of the University and its’ academic programmes. This pilot project was successful in receiving funding from the Bright Ideas Initiative which was launched by Professor Chris Curtin, Vice President for Innovation and Performance at NUI Galway, who said: “We live in the knowledge economy and while education is important activity in its own right, it is vital that the economy is fuelled by able and knowledgeable citizens. The Youth Academy provides a fantastic start to children who at such an early stage are committed and eager to learn.” The Youth Academy is the result of a collaboration between NUI Galway’s Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, Dr Caroline Heary, School of Psychology, Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative and Dr Colm O’Reilly, Irish Centre for Talented Youth, Dublin City University. Galway City Mayor Hildegard Naughton, who attended the ceremony, stressed the importance of all institutions in the education sector partnering on activities and responding to the education needs of the wider community. She congratulated NUI Galway on their vision for establishing the Youth Academy and bringing a sense of academic challenge to the young primary school children. Captain Brian Sheridan, a parent of one of the Youth Academy students, said: “It was a great few weeks, enjoyed thoroughly by my son Tom and, as a family, we all benefitted from just listening to him extol the virtues of each lecture. The future is indeed bright with children pioneering the uncut path.” For further information on the Youth Academy email the coordinator, Geraldine Marley at -ends-

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‘Festival Time in Galway’ - Young Artists’ Competition and Exhibition

‘Festival Time in Galway’ - Young Artists’ Competition and Exhibition -image

Thursday, 14 June 2012

July is festival time in Galway and to celebrate the NUI Galway Societies Office is inviting all primary school children to take part in a young artist art competition and exhibition. Children are allowed to use any media on an A4 page to explore the theme of the exhibition, ‘Festival Time in Galway’. The competition and exhibition is open to all primary school children in Galway and participants are asked to include their name, school, home address and contact number on the back of their entry. The name, age and school will be displayed on the winning posters. Deadline for competition is Friday, 22 June. As part of the exhibition, judges will select a number of pictures as winners of the Young Artists Competition. The first prize winner will receive €100 plus four tickets to one of the following children’s theatre shows: Truth Fairy, Wish Factor, What’s the Story Nellie or Do you Speak Mermish?. There will be two runners-up of €50 plus 2 tickets to one of the aforementioned theatre shows. The top 40 will be made into posters and displayed throughout Galway City during the July festivals. NUI Galway Children’s Theatre programme, scheduled for the month of July, includes four new children’s shows and five days of drama workshops. During the Volvo Ocean Race, as part of the Colours Fringe Festival running from 12-30 July, two of these shows and a drama workshop will take place from 2-6 July, from 11.30am-4pm. One of the shows, What’s the Story Nelly, incorporates interactive story telling with the entertaining Mrs Nelly Murphy and friends. In keeping with the oceanic theme Do you Speak Mermish? incorporates a multi-sensory room bringing children to the deepest ocean to meet a retired mermaid. The other two children’s shows, The Wish Factor and The Truth Fairy, brings the audience into two very different versions of story land where the children will be asked to make some important decisions. For full details on the competition and all the shows visit or email -Ends-

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