September 2015

Canadian Astronaut Announced as Guest Judge for Novel NUI Galway Science Competition

Canadian Astronaut Announced as Guest Judge for Novel NUI Galway Science Competition-image

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The science video competition, ReelLIFE SCIENCE, is open to all primary and secondary schools in Ireland Commander Chris Hadfield, Canadian Astronaut, has been announced as guest judge for NUI Galway’s ReelLIFE SCIENCE 2015 competition. The University is challenging all primary and secondary school students across Ireland to produce engaging and informative short videos communicating a scientific topic for the this year’s competition. Supported by the Science Foundation Ireland Discover programme and the CÚRAM Centre for Research in Medical Devices, ReelLIFE SCIENCE will award €3,000 directly to the winning schools for science promotion. Joining Commander Hadfield on the judging panel is: Trinity College Dublin Professor of Molecular Evolution, Professor Aoife McLysaght; and BT Young Scientist and Technologists of the Year 2015, Ian O'Sullivan and Eimear Murphy from Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk, Co. Cork. Speaking ahead of the competition, Commander Hadfield said: “I am very much looking forward to seeing the science videos that Irish students will be making! Discovery and creativity, turned loose by imagination. A great project that I am proud to be a part of.” Secondary school topics include ‘Incredible Life’ and ‘Heroines of Science’, while primary school students can choose from ‘Science in Space’, ‘The Soil is Alive!’ and ‘Design your Future’, among others. Closing date for submissions is Friday, 16 October. The winning schools will be announced on Monday, 9 November during Science Week 2015, when they will be invited to attend a public screening and awards ceremony during the Galway Science and Technology Festival on 22 November. ReelLIFE SCIENCE is organised by Dr Enda O’Connell and a team of science communication enthusiasts from NUI Galway, in collaboration with the Cell EXPLORERS outreach programme from the University’s School of Natural Sciences. The competition has been running since 2013 and previous year’s videos, made with cameras, tablets and smartphones, have tens of thousands of views in over 100 countries. In 2014, the ReelLIFE SCIENCE challenge was taken up by thousands of students in 24 counties around Ireland, producing hundreds of three-minute science videos for the competition, in both English and Irish. Last year’s judge Dr. Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin said: “I was astounded by the calibre of the videos from both the primary and secondary schools. It is wonderful to see the thought, preparation, fun, and learning that went into all of the videos and it is very encouraging to see students enjoying and communicating science.” The 2014 primary school category winners were Sooey National School, Co. Sligo, with Leaving Certificate student Julien Torrades from Summerhill College, Sligo taking first place at secondary school level. For further information about the 2015 competition visit http://reellifescience.com/2015/08/31/its-launch-day-for-reellife-science-2015/ and previous year’s videos can be found at www.reellifescience.com. -Ends-

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Economic and Environmental Sustainability: A Burning platform or Ireland’s Opportunity?

Economic and Environmental Sustainability: A Burning platform or Ireland’s Opportunity?-image

Thursday, 3 September 2015

European bioeconomy employs an estimated 21.5 million people, with a market worth approximately €2 trillion - NUI Galway’s TCBB will identify 8 key opportunities for Ireland The BioÉire consortium involving NUI Galway’s Technlogy Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) will host its first seminar in the Teagasc College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin today (3 September) to present some of the context shaping its current research activities and to provide input for its market development project. Outcomes of this workshop will ultimately feed into the process of developing a coherent, national bioeconomy strategy for Ireland. Bart Bonsall, Technology Leader at the Technology Centre for Biorefining & Bioenergy (TCBB) at NUI Galway, notes the further potential that exists to utilise resources from the Irish agricultural sector beyond the food industry to explore new biochemical and biomaterial opportunities. Speaking of the need to emulate advances seen in other EU member states, Mr Bonsall highlights that: “The EU is transitioning its petro-chemical complex away from fossil-fuel based to biobased raw materials. Ireland has an opportunity to use its agricultural might to supply these enormous markets, over time matching or surpassing the value of its food outputs.” “When you see now a global household name like Coca-Cola using patented technology to convert natural sugars from plants into renewable plastic bottles, then you have to ask yourself what should Ireland be looking at to generate new economic opportunities for biobased materials and products? Should Ireland produce renewable plastics and renewable chemicals from sugar beet or other agricultural, forestry or marine outputs?” Mr Bonsall continued. Escalating challenges related to economic sustainability, climate change, biodiversity loss, resource scarcity, food security and growing populations highlight the need to transition to more sustainable, low-carbon ways of living. The bioeconomy concept offers one way to address these challenges, harnessing the optimal use of renewable biological resources and reducing dependence on fossil-fuel based resources, whilst still achieving economic growth. At the European level, the bioeconomy is estimated to employ some 21.5 million people, with a market worth approximately €2 trillion. These lucrative markets and sustainable, bioeconomic opportunities are only just beginning to be exploited, including in the Irish context. “This strategy is needed to help us to review and ultimately change, how we produce, process and recover biological feedstocks” according to Dr Maeve Henchion, BioÉire project coordinator at Teagasc. The development of a bioeconomy in Ireland producing biofuels, biofertilisers, biochemicals and bioplastics is particularly plausible given its abundant natural resources, thriving agriculture and marine sectors, growing forestry development, well-respected food industry and renowned research and development capabilities. Speaking in advance of the workshop, Dr Maria Hayes, Research Officer at Teagasc, reflects on the opportunities that are readily available in the marine sector in Ireland, a topic that she will explore in a keynote presentation. Commenting on the abundant marine resources around the Irish coastline, Dr Hayes states that: “The seas around Ireland contain a number of underutilised species, including seaweeds and Boarfish that at present are not being exploited to their full potential. These species are potentially a huge reservoir for novel protein ingredients and functional foods compounds that may be health beneficial and can provide an alternative to dairy, meat and plant proteins. Furthermore, with the clever use of biotechnological processes, marine discards can be considered ideal candidates for generation of natural bioactive materials such as chitin and chitosan that have huge commercial appeal.” These, and other opportunities, will form the heart of the discussion at the BioÉire workshop that aims to act as a platform for determining which opportunities merit further investigation in an Irish context. Eight key commercial opportunities will be recommended by the project to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The workshop will be attended by representatives across policy, academic, state and semi-state organisations. BioÉire is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Ireland’s national Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy (TCBB) is one of a number of competence centres established and led by industry, and initially funded by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. TCBB is co-hosted by 4 Irish universities, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. The BioÉire consortium comprises TCBB, Teagasc, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and University College Dublin (UCD). For further information on the seminar please contact Pádraic Ó hUiginn, Communications Programme Manager, TCBB, NUI Galway on 087 905 3806 or e-mail pohuiginn@tcbb.ie -Ends-

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Huston School of Film and Digital Media to Launch Community Filmmaking Project

Huston School of Film and Digital Media to Launch Community Filmmaking Project-image

Monday, 7 September 2015

NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media will launch ‘The Home Project’ on Friday, 11 September at 7pm. ‘The Home Project’ will begin with a special screening of three short films produced by participants from COPE Galway, Youth Advocacy Programme Ireland and the Oranmore Liveable Communities Group. ‘The Home Project’ is an ongoing collaboration between the Huston School and local community groups to produce short documentaries on the theme of ‘home’. “The importance of a secure and stable home to people’s physical and mental wellbeing has never been more evident as we witness daily news stories about the problems of homelessness in Ireland as well the sacrifices endured by those around the world who are forced to flee their homes due to war or persecution,” said Dr Conn Holohan of the University’s Huston School of Film and Digital Media, who developed and coordinates the project. “The aim of this project is to provide groups within the Galway community with the training and facilities necessary to produce short films about their experiences of home and its significance in their lives. By giving people the tools to communicate what home means to them, the hope is that we might generate meaningful debate about the significance of home collectively in our society,” Dr Holohan continued. Over the months of July and August, participants from COPE Galway, Youth Advocacy Programme Ireland and the Oranmore Liveable Communities Group all worked with experienced industry professionals to produce three ten-minute documentaries on the theme of home. The stories which these films unearth include those of a family which spent years living in an active courthouse in Co. Galway, as well as the building of a swan sanctuary by the community of Oranmore to enable two of the towns most well-known inhabitants finally find a family home. The evening will also see the launch of ‘The Home Project’ website, where visitors can see the finished films as well as contribute their own memories of or reflections on a place called home. The project is funded by the Irish Research Council New Foundations Scheme. - Ends -

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NUI Galway Public Seminar on Ocean Acidification

NUI Galway Public Seminar on Ocean Acidification -image

Monday, 7 September 2015

Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations on the increase leading to an increase in global warming As carbon dioxide levels continue to rise in the World’s oceans, NUI Galway will host a public seminar examining ocean acidification on Wednesday, 16 September. Ocean acidification arises as a result of the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth’s oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been on the increase for the past two hundred years due to human industrial (fossil fuel use for transportation and electricity production) and agricultural (greenhouse gas emissions and land use change leading to deforestation) activities. This has led to an increase in the average temperature of the Earth, or global warming. The oceans play a role in regulating the global climate by absorbing much of the heat and carbon dioxide. These increasing carbon dioxide levels have caused the oceans to become more acidic, resulting in significant changes in marine organisms. Delivering the lecture is Dr Richard Feely of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Seattle. As one of the World-leading authorities on ocean acidification, Dr Feely will discuss the present and future implications of increased carbon dioxide levels on the health of our ocean ecosystems and related ocean-based economies. Conference organiser, Dr Brian Ward of NUI Galway’s School of Physics, said: “Ocean acidification is now recognised as one of the biggest potential impacts arising from increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and this public lecture is an excellent opportunity to hear about ocean acidification from a world-leading expert.” The conference will take place at 7.30pm in the Aula Maxima and is free to the public. Advance registration is advised as the number of places is limited. To register visit http://t9.ie/1gu. For further information please email Dr Brian Ward at bward@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Future of Management Education and Research Debated at 18th IAM Conference

Future of Management Education and Research Debated at 18th IAM Conference -image

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Over 240 delegates from 18 countries worldwide came to Galway recently for the 18th Annual Irish Academy of Management (IAM) Conference 2015. Hosted by NUI Galway’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, the conference saw over 150 research presentations across a diverse range of business topics exploring the conference theme of ‘Towards Socially Responsible Management?’ The conference was preceded by a Doctoral Colloquium which provided doctoral students from Ireland and internationally the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and knowledge. Four national and international keynote speakers provided participants with key insights to assist PhD students with overcoming theoretical and methodological issues in completing their PhD theses. Two of the doctoral colloquium keynotes focused on how PhD students can build successful international academic careers. The conference keynote address was delivered by Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Professor of Strategy and Organisation at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. Professor Pettigrew’s address examined the impact leaders have on organisational performance and highlighted some key issues including the increase in leadership churn and reduced CEO tenure as a challenge for organisations. One of the IAM conference highlights was the plenary roundtable discussion examining the future of management education and research impact with panellists from Australia, the UK and Ireland. During the roundtable discussion, Professor Pettigrew highlighted the need for more engaged and impactful Professors as a key challenge for the future of the academic business community. Professor Sarah Moore, Chair of the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vice-President for Teaching and Learning in the University of Limerick, said: “As educators, we need to design environments that are less centred on delivery and more concerned with learning cultures and processes that are active, engaged, empowered to foster motivation, creativity and compel attention and focus in a world that is increasingly digital.” Professor Tony Dundon, Professor of Human Resource Management at NUI Galway called for management and business educators to expand the paradigm of business education to include broader social issues including questioning the distribution of wealth and the moral economy. Professor Roy Green, Dean, University of Technology Sydney Business School, discussed the changing nature of work and how ICT requires differing business, management and leadership skills into the future. Dr Alma McCarthy, IAM Conference Chair, NUI Galway, said: “The conference was a huge success. Delegates were very pleased with the quality of research papers, plenary sessions at the conference, and the warm Galway and West of Ireland hospitality they experienced. The fact that we had 18 countries attending the conference shows the excellent achievement of the IAM in extending its significance and impact beyond the Irish academic community.” Further information on the Irish Academy of Management is available at http://www.iamireland.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway MSc in Medical Physics Awarded CAMPEP Accreditation

NUI Galway MSc in Medical Physics Awarded CAMPEP Accreditation-image

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

NUI Galway’s MSc in Medical Physics is the first European MSc programme to be awarded accreditation by CAMPEP and the second worldwide NUI Galway’s MSc in Medical Physics is the first European MSc programme to be awarded accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programmes (CAMPEP) and the second programme worldwide. To progress in a career in medical physics, having graduated from a CAMPEP accredited MSc programme is now becoming essential, and the MSc in Medical Physics has been accredited by CAMPEP for an initial period of three years. The MSc in Medical Physics enrolled its first students in 2002 and has since then graduated over 130 students. Of the graduates, in excess of 70% are currently employed in health care as medical physicists. The requirement for medical physicists to have appropriate training is increasingly recognised worldwide. Both the European Commission and professional bodies worldwide have issued guidelines on this training. One such body is CAMPEP, which is supported by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American College of Radiology, American Society for Radiation Oncology, Canadian Organisation of Medical Physics and the Radiological Society of North America. Being awarded a degree from a CAMPEP accredited MSc is a condition of entry into CAMPEP Residency training programmes in the USA and Canada and is also an indication of the quality of the programme. The MSc in Medical Physics at NUI Galway is the first European MSc programme to be accredited by CAMPEP and the second programme worldwide outside of North America. Professor Wil van der Putten, Adjunct Professor of Medical Physics, NUI Galway and Head of Medical Physics at Galway University Hospital commented, “The MSc in NUI Galway is the second such degree programme awarded worldwide and the first in Europe. Graduates from the Galway programme can be found in all public hospitals in Ireland, are employed in the National Health Service (NHS) and can be found as far as the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.” Professor Andrew Shearer, Head of School of Physics, NUI Galway said, “US accreditation of our flagship MSc in Medical Physics programme shows the quality of our courses and enhances our international reputation. Medical Physics is a good example of the impact Physics can have on our everyday lives and is a wonderful career path for Physics undergraduates." Dr. Mark Foley, Academic Director of the MSc in Medical Physics, NUI Galway added, “This MSc programme is an excellent example of a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional effort. The success of the programme has been driven predominately by the tremendous efforts of the hospital physicists supplemented by University staff.” The MSc in Medical Physics programme is designed to meet the demand for qualified medical physicists. It is primarily geared toward training for physicists in the application of radiation physics in medicine but maintains a reasonable exposure to key aspects of clinical engineering so that students receive a comprehensive knowledge of the application of physical sciences and engineering to medicine. Information on CAMPEP can be found at www.campep.org and course information at http://www.nuigalway.ie/courses/taught-postgraduate-courses/medical-physics.html For more information contact Dr. Mark Foley, MSc in Medical Physics, School of Physics, College of Science, NUI Galway at 091 495383 or mark.foley@nuigalway.ie - Ends –

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NUI Galway Galway Lights up in Orange on World Suicide Prevention Day

NUI Galway Galway Lights up in Orange on World Suicide Prevention Day-image

Friday, 11 September 2015

Report Suggests Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht in 2014, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male NUI Galway’s iconic Quadrangle lit up in orange as part of World Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, 10 September, and as part of the national campaign ‘Cycle Against Suicide’ in collaboration with the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015 and Solus. Iconic landmarks and buildings throughout the island of Ireland lit up orange to spread the message, "It's OK not to feel OK; and it's absolutely OK to ask for help”. In Galway the University’s Quadrangle, Fisheries Tower and Galway City Council were lit up in orange last Thursday night, fitted with colour-changing LED lights and special heat resistant colour filters. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) Vital Statistics yearly summary for 2014 suggests that there were 26 suicides recorded in Galway last year. That includes 18 in the county and eight in the city. All 18 of the suicides in the county in 2014 were men and five of the eight suicides in the city were men. Almost 90% of the suicides recorded in Galway last year were male and three of the Galway suicides were women. Galway had the highest number of suicides in Connacht, where some 64 suicides were recorded of which 54 were male. Professor Martin J. Leahy, UNESCO Year of Light and School of Physics, NUI Galway commented, “It is estimated that there is one suicide every fortnight in Galway alone. This winter we had a young man who had jumped from the centre of Quincentennial Bridge in my lab recovering. He was fit enough to swim to shore in the worst of conditions, yet he felt he had nothing to live for. It is very sad. Suicide is a particularly difficult problem amongst students and we need to show our willingness to support and understand their difficulties. We felt compelled to support this initiative with our message of light and hope.” Thousands of people across the 32 counties turned on a Solus orange lightbulb in their homes at 9pm on Thursday in unity, to share this positive and universal message. In support of lighting up buildings in orange, people were encouraged to ‘Go Orange’ in any way they could and shared selfies and pictures on social media using the hashtags #LetsGoOrange and #BreakTheCycle @CASuicide to spread the message. For further information contact Gwen O’Sullivan, Press & Information Executive, NUI Galway on 091 495695 or gwen.osullivan@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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Free, Fun and Student-Organised Tech Carnival Event Brings Top Tech Firms to NUI Galway

Free, Fun and Student-Organised Tech Carnival Event Brings Top Tech Firms to NUI Galway-image

Monday, 14 September 2015

Computer Science students at NUI Galway will hold the third annual ‘Synapse //a Tech Carnival’ bringing major technological companies and employers to Galway City. The one-day free event will take place on Wednesday, 23 September in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. ‘Synapse //a Tech Carnival’ is organised for students and people interested in technology to meet with key Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) stakeholders in a fun and informative way of exchanging ideas. All types of ICT companies will be on show at the event, including SAP, Avaya, Google and Amazon. Local community groups are also welcome, with groups such as 091 Labs and NUI Galway’s Computer Society to be in attendance. The event allows students and the public to meet with ICT organisations through interactive games, discussions and tutorials. With an estimated 3,000 people expected to attend, the event is about having fun with new and emerging technologies, as well as the opportunity to discover new areas within the sector. “We have some amazing employers such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon participating in the event as they see the energy that has built up around the idea. Galway companies such as HP, Avaya, Cisco and SAP are offering great support as they see this as an opportunity to showcase their Galway operations through stands and speakers,” says David O’Dea, event organiser and second year NUI Galway student. Bank of Ireland is also offering their support to this event and to new start-ups in Galway with a new start-up Workbench in its Mainguard Street branch, Galway. Workbench offers a free co-working space for up to 12 start-up businesses with free Wi-Fi and meeting rooms.  Speakers and panel discussions will offer key insights into the current trends that are being experienced for tech graduates in Ireland. Keynote speakers this year will include: David French and Magnus Deininger, Google and Stephen Howell, Microsoft. David Renton, event founder and NUI Galway Computer Science student, said: “Students of Computer Science and Information Technology have seen the success of tech events internationally and we want to showcase the West of Ireland as just as exciting for tech people to come together in a dynamic and fun environment. NUI Galway has such a unique balance of energy, youth and talent which lends itself to hosting an event such as this, while Galway itself is one of the best cities in Ireland for ICT companies to attract new talent, as it is one of the most desirable places to live and work for all ages. This will be an unmissable opportunity for those at any stage of their career, from a potential computing student to an experienced pro wanting to network.” The networking arena demos and main stage presentations will provide attendees with all the latest information on all of the companies involved while the Workshop Heaven area will provide a more in-depth and interactive view of the technologies involved. Exhibitors and presenters include: Microsoft, Accenture, Riot Games, Cloud Consulting, Silicon Republic, ThoughtBox, EY, Avaya, First Derivatives, KBC Bank, Havok, Tribal City Interactive, 091Labs, Hewlett-Packard, RealSim, ITAG, Pocket Anatomy, Element Wave, amongst others. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a wonderful student-led event. I commend the students involved in Synapse//a Tech Carnival for their initiative in linking students and industry in such a dynamic and innovative way. I look forward to participating in the event and to seeing at first-hand the synergy developing between NUI Galway technology students and industry leaders.” For more information on ‘Synapse//a Tech Carnival’ visit www.synapsegalway.com. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Reports First Complete Structural Study of a PEGylated Protein

NUI Galway Reports First Complete Structural Study of a PEGylated Protein-image

Monday, 14 September 2015

Significant data obtained at NUI Galway reports first crystal structure of a protein modified with a single PEG chain   Research findings obtained by the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway have been published in the prestigious journal Nature Chemistry. The Crowley laboratory has reported the first complete structural study of a PEGylated protein. Protein PEGylation is a technique routinely used to improve the pharmacological properties of injectable therapeutic proteins. PEG stands for polyethylene glycol, a synthetic polymer that is attached to proteins. The PEG chain artificially increases the size of the protein and improves its retention in the bloodstream. By remaining longer in the blood stream the protein therapeutic is more effective than normal. Since PEGylation was developed in the 1970s, PEGylated proteins have significantly improved the treatment of several chronic diseases, including hepatitis C, leukemia, arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. PEGylated interferon is one of the most powerful therapeutics used to treat chronic hepatitis. Despite their importance the structure of PEGylated proteins has remained elusive. Now the first crystal structure of a protein modified with a single PEG chain has been determined through research at NUI Galway. This important research was developed at NUI Galway by Italian PhD student Giada Cattani working with Dr. Peter Crowley, the lead author of the paper. The work also involved collaboration with Dr. Lutz Vogeley from the School of Biochemistry and Immunology at Trinity College Dublin and the crucial X-ray data was collected at the Diamond synchrotron in Oxford, UK. Commenting on the research findings Dr. Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry, NUI Galway commented, “The crystal structure reveals an extraordinary double helical arrangement of the protein! It is significant that this data was obtained at NUI Galway, the only Irish University to offer a degree programme in Biopharmaceutical Chemistry. This attractive programme provides training in an area that is essential for the development of new medicines and contributes to the Irish economy.” A common approach to understand proteins is to crystallize them and determine their structure by using X-ray crystallography. This is necessary to understand what the protein looks like and how it functions. Thousands of research papers have been published about PEGylated proteins. Until the recent findings at NUI Galway there had been no success in  crystallizing a PEGylated protein. The knowledge obtained by the Crowley lab has implications for understanding how PEGylated proteins work. The NUI Galway team is also looking at ways to engineer protein assemblies based on this result. Read Nature Chemistry here: http://www.nature.com/nchem/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nchem.2342.html For more information contact Dr. Peter Crowley, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway on 091 492480 or peter.crowley@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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NUI Galway Event to Celebrate Civic Engagement in Later Life

NUI Galway Event to Celebrate Civic Engagement in Later Life-image

Monday, 14 September 2015

Irish Centre for Social Gerontology will host event aimed at providing further opportunities for people to become more involved in their local communities The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology is hosting an event to celebrate civic engagement and participation in later life at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway on Wednesday, 16 September from 2pm-4.30pm. The event will acknowledge and show appreciation for the enormous contribution made to society by people in the second half of life. Attendance is open to all and guests will have the opportunity to attend a series of short talks and visit exhibition stands where they can find out more about getting involved in their communities through local voluntary organisations. This event also marks the national launch of Touchstone, an initiative of the Active Ageing Partnership, a joint project between three of Ireland’s largest organisations in the age sector. Active Retirement Ireland, Age and Opportunity and Third Age have come together as the Active Ageing Partnership to promote and encourage greater participation by older people in the life of their local communities. In Galway, Touchstone recruited fifty people aged 55 and over to a short course aimed at supporting them to become more involved in their local communities. The event is partly aimed at providing further opportunities for people to become more engaged in community life. From 2pm-3pm there will be a series of short talks on the theme of civic engagement in later life. This will include presentations from participants of the Galway Touchstone programme who will talk about projects they have developed as a result of being involved in the short course. Between 3pm and 4.30pm, guests will have the chance to visit 20 exhibition stands, where they can find out more about opportunities to get involved with organisations including: Age and Opportunity, Active Retirement Ireland, Third Age, Age Friendly Programme-Older Persons Council, Age Action West, Galway City Partnership, Galway Roscommon Education Training Board, Touchstone Stall, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, Galway Citizens Information Centre, Community Knowledge Initiative, COPE Galway, Volunteer Galway, Dementia Friendly Galway, Centre for Independent Living, St. Vincent De Paul Croi na Gallimhe, The Carers Association Loughrea, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Samaritans Galway, and Alone. Places for the event are limited. To take part, please RSVP to icsg@nuigalway.ie to receive further information, the location of the event’s venue and parking arrangements. For more information contact Professor Thomas Scharf, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway on 091 495459 or thomas.scharf@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

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