Thursday, 5 May 2016

The screening of Hubert Butler Witness To The Future will take place on Thursday, 12 May at 8pm in the Town Hall Theatre. The event is being organised in cooperation with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, and will be followed by post-screening discussion with Irish producer Lelia Doolan. Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a new documentary on the writer, essayist and human rights champion Hubert Butler. The film premiered at a sell-out Dublin Film Festival screening in February, followed by a packed out home-coming in Kilkenny’s Set Theatre to launch this tour. Hubert Butler (1900-91) is, in the words of John Banville and Roy Foster who both featuring in the film as “one of the great Irish writers”, our greatest exponent of the essay form since Jonathan Swift; “fifty years ahead of his time” according to writer and broadcaster Olivia O'Leary. Professor Ray Murphy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway, said: “Butler was amongst Ireland's great human rights voices of the 20th century. He was unafraid to challenge Church and State in Ireland. He was also an ardent defender of free speech and advocate for a pluralist independent Ireland. Efforts to silence and discredit him almost succeeded. This film is testimony to his enduring legacy.” Film-maker Johnny Gogan's extensive documentary tells the largely untold story of Hubert Butler. Inspired by the events of 1916, the young Hubert turned his back on the Empire and the prospect of a role in the British diplomatic service, and declared himself a republican “in the mould of Wolfe Tone and Henry Flood”. However, being a public intellectual from the Protestant tradition in the new Ireland would prove to be a bruising experience, bringing Butler into conflict with the unholy alliance of Catholic Church and State. In Dalmatia (modern-day Croatia) in the mid 30s, Butler witnessed Jewish people fleeing the German-speaking lands. In response, he travelled to Vienna in 1938 to work with the Quakers who assisted persecuted Jews and so-called “non-Aryan Christians” to escape the city. In 1946, Butler returned to Zagreb where he uncovered evidence of a mass genocide of Orthodox Serbs by the Croatian Nazi puppet (Ustashe) state under the auspices of a “Compulsory Conversion To Catholicism” policy.  Butler found support among liberal intellectuals from the Catholic tradition such as Seán O'Faoláin, Owen “The Pope” O'Mahony and Myles Dillon. What has also come to light in recently de-classified documents is the detail of how the Irish State provided sanctuary to one of the key players in the Croatian genocide, former Croatian Minister of the Interior Andrija Artukovic.  Artukovic had been spirited into the country by Franciscans in 1947, and lived in Dublin under an alias before being given an exit visa to the USA by the Irish authorities in 1948. Butler's insights into the “on the ground” dynamics of religion and nationalism in Europe – a sensibility he gained first in Ireland - ring true today as a lack of internal coherence in the “European Project” and the external pressure of the refugee/migrant crisis bring old tensions and prejudices to the fore.  Butler's description of the war-time Croatian Nazi puppet state as being “the personification, the epitome of the extraordinary alliance of religion and crime” could so easily describe the contemporary Daesh/Islamic State project.  Hubert Butler Witness To The Future is a production of Bandit Films and is being distributed by Studio North West.tv. It was filmed, produced and directed by Johnny Gogan. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

NUI Galway hosted the 2016 Research Excellence Awards last Friday, 29 April, when winners of the 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation and the annual President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced. These awards are made to members of the NUI Galway research community, by the University’s President Dr Jim Browne, in recognition of their outstanding and innovative research.  The 2016 Ryan Award for Innovation went to the Nucleic Acid Diagnostics Research Laboratory (NADRL) for their RAP-ID (Rapid Aqua Pathogen Identification) project. The team consists of Dr Kate Reddington (Enterprise Ireland Postdoctoral Researcher), Dr Thomas Barry (PI NADRL and Lecturer) and Ms Shannon Fullbrook (Irish Research Council PhD candidate) from the Discipline of Microbiology at the School of Natural Sciences. The research team have developed novel bacterial culture independent test kits which allows for the very rapid detection and identification of a number of human pathogens that can contaminate water. They aim to launch a spin-out company from NUI Galway focused on the development of these technologies for use in testing building water distribution systems. These innovative technologies address a global unmet market need in the building infrastructure environment bacterial monitoring sector. Now in its third year, the Ryan Award for Innovation is aimed at recognising and facilitating the development and translation of innovative ideas in the area of Environment, Marine and Energy, into outputs with societal and economic impact. This initiative has been supported by the Tony Ryan Trust and builds upon past generous support from the Ryan Family. The Ryan Award is a very prestigious award and €25,000 is a significant amount of funding to make a difference in progressing an innovation, technology or idea to the next level, while delivering impact.  In addition, the winners of the 2016 President’s Awards for Research Excellence were announced as: Early Stage Researcher Award Winners Dr Ekaterina Yahyaoui Krivenko, Irish Centre for Human Rights, School of Law Dr Eoin Whelan, Business Information Systems, School of Business & Economics Dr Eva Szegezdi, Biochemistry, School of Natural Sciences Dr Manus Biggs, Biomedical Engineering, School of Engineering & Informatics and CÚRAM Established Researcher Award Dr Gavin Collins, Environmental Microbiology, School of Natural Sciences Professor Gary Donohoe, School of Psychology Research Supervisor Dr Adrienne Gorman, Apoptosis Research Centre, College of Science Dr Lillis Ó Laoire, Scoil na Gaeilge, College of Arts, Social Sciences & Celtic Studies Speaking at the event, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “At a national level, the higher education sector is in an era of performance-based funding. Consequently, it is important that we continue to support, recognise, and encourage outstanding research by rewarding high performance to promote the continued development of research and innovation excellence across campus. Against an increasingly competitive external environment, I am proud of the consistently high quality of our research here in NUI Galway. Dr Browne added, “Last year, we launched our new strategic plan, entitled Vision 2020. This ambitious plan aims to bring NUI Galway into the top 200 universities in the world while securing €100 million in competitive funding from the EU under the Horizon 2020 programme. Among the Irish universities, NUI Galway has had the highest success rate and is also among the top 50 best performing universities in Europe for attracting Horizon 2020 funding. Thanks to the commitment of our research colleagues across many areas, from biosciences to the social sciences, we are on track to meet our ambitious target by 2020.” Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President of Research at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway is delighted to celebrate our researchers and the incredible work that they do. The University is committed to producing research that is recognised as being excellent, transformative, and relevant to societal and economic needs. To date NUI Galway has had the highest success rate of all Irish institutions in EU Horizon 2020 funding for research, and among the top 40 in Europe drawing down €30 million. We will continue to support and invest in excellent people to ensure we constantly excel in our achievements, which include: Four Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers in 2015; QS Rankings increase to 250-275 in 2015/2016; and increasing our position in the top 200 of the World University Rankings 2015.” The awards ceremony included an interactive panel session with four NUI Galway EU Horizon 2020 awardees based on their experiences of the Horizon 2020 process and an interactive panel session entitled ‘H2020 Experiences and Future Opportunities.’ ENDS

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Gender ARC and the Centre for Global Women’s Studies at NUI Galway will host a book launch and public lecture on Thursday, 5 May. NUI Galway’s Dr Caitriona Clear will launch her upcoming book Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s. Irish poet and playwright Mary Coll will introduce Dr Clear’s lecture, ‘What we preserve from the past and what we ignore: some new perspectives on women in Ireland in the 1950s and 60s’. The lecture will focus on Dr Clear’s work which involves reflecting and making realisations about the state of Irish women’s history.  Caitriona Clear is a Senior Lecturer in Modern Irish and European History at NUI Galway. Women’s Voices in Ireland: women’s magazines in the 1950s and 60s, is her fourth book, following Social Change and Everyday Life in Ireland 1850-1922, Women of the House: women’s household work in Ireland 1926-1961 and Nuns in Nineteenth-century Ireland. She has also published research on homelessness in post-Famine Ireland, Irish women during the First World War, twentieth-century Irish women writers, and clothes and fashion in Ireland. She is a contributor to the forthcoming Cambridge History of Ireland edited by Thomas Bartlett. Mary Coll is a Limerick poet, playwright and broadcaster. Publications include All Things Considered and numerous contributions to RTÉ Radio One and RTÉ Lyric FM. She has had stage productions of Excess Baggage and Anything But Love, radio plays commissioned by RTÉ Drama On One, lyrics for the Choral Work ‘Spirestone’ and two art song cycles in association with the composer Fiona Linnane. She also has a new play Diamond Rocks: Sunset, commissioned by The Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick and a second collection of poems entitled Silver due for publication this year. Gender ARC (Advanced Research Consortium on Gender, Culture and the Knowledge Society) is a research network linking more than fifty academics at NUI Galway and the University of Limerick who are engaged in gender-focused research across diverse disciplines. The network hosts a variety of seminars and public lectures throughout the year. The event takes place at 5pm in room RG011 in the Hardiman Research Building. All are welcome to this free event light refreshments will be provided. To learn more about this event and future Gender ARC events, please contact Gender ARC Co-Convenor and Director of the Centre for Global Women’s Studies Dr Niamh Reilly at niamh.reilly@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The fifth ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’, organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, is offering free lunchtime screenings of international award-winning films celebrating ageing from 9-13 May. Marking Ireland’s Bealtaine Festival, the ‘Reel Lives Film Fiesta’ screenings will include: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; Still Alice; Quartet; The Lady in the Van; and Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch). All films start at 1pm and are open to the public. The screenings will take place in the auditorium of the University’s Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) Building in Corrib Village. The building, which includes a new 250-seater movie venue, has wheelchair access, a theatre-size screen, and surround-sound. The festival opens with a musical comedy, Quartet, boasting a stellar cast of Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, Michael Gambon and Andrew Sachs. Set in an English home for retired musicians, the annual fundraising concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is the focus of everyone’s attention. Still Alice, starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin in an intense portrayal of an academic mid-life woman living with Alzheimer’s disease, and its game-changing effect on her family. Pranzo di Ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch), an Italian subtitled film follows four fabulous ladies in their 90s, none of them professional actors, who are left in the charge of on-screen director Gianni Di Gregorio for the night in a film oozing the lazy charm of a hot August in Rome. This will follow with screen interviews with the film’s cast in a behind-the-scenes take. Thursday’s screening is The Lady in the Van, with the all-star cast of Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings. This film is based on the true story of English playwright, Alan Bennett’s strained friendship with Mary Shepherd, an eccentric homeless woman who lived in an old camper van for 15 years in his garden. Reel Lives closes on the Friday with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a cast to include Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, and Richard Gere. In this follow-up to the original Marigold, new relationships are forged alongside pathos, and music. In addition to free entry, audience members can enjoy complimentary refreshments sponsored by NUI Galway’s Students’ Union shop. Parking is available on campus to non-NUI Galway personnel within the pay and display areas of Dangan car park, or a free shuttle bus runs regularly between the Orbsen building on the main campus and the terminus where ILAS is located. There are a limited number of car parking spaces for those with a disability directly outside of the ILAS building. For further information contact event organiser Alison Herbert at 091 495461 or 087 2830757. Full details of the film programme are on www.icsg.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

NUI Galway was awarded the ‘Postgraduate Course of the Year in Science Award’ at the national gradireland Graduate Recruitment Awards 2016 which took place in Dublin last week. This year, the prize was awarded for the University’s MSc in Biotechnology. Judges commented on evolving nature of the well-established MSc in Biotechnology programme by stating that despite the course being around since 1981, it is a strong course that keeps evolving with deep-rooted industry links, comprehensive content and a great reputation. The NUI Galway MSc Biotechnology programme is the longest running course of its kind in Ireland and it continues to be the most up-to-date programme in the country. This postgraduate programme is highly regarded nationally and internationally as a programme through which students develop the skills, knowledge and experience required for a successful career in biotechnology. Graduates of the MSc Biotechnology programme are essential for Ireland’s smart economy that has at its core exemplary research, innovation and commercialisation. Potential applicants interested in applying to participate in the MSc in Biotechnology can contact Dr Mary Ní Fhlathartaigh at mary.nifhlathartaigh@nuigalway.ie for more details. -Ends-

Thursday, 28 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building has been awarded one of the prestigious Top Ten Design Award for Sustainability by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE), the only award outside of the United States.  The COTE Top Ten Awards program, now in its 20th year, is the profession’s most rigorous recognition program for sustainable design excellence. The program celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. NUI Galway’s Biomedical Sciences Building opened in 2014 and provides high technology science research space dedicated to cancer research, medical device technology, biomaterials science, glycoscience, regenerative medicine and chemical biology.  On awarding the honour the AIA said: “The design of the Biomedical Sciences Building embraces the moderate climate of Ireland. By locating low-load spaces along the perimeter of the building, the project is able to take advantage of natural ventilation. Due to this approach, 45% of this intensive research building is able to function without mechanical ventilation. This is an extremely simple, yet radical approach and is rarely implemented to even a modest extent in similar laboratories in comparable US climates.” Professor Tim O’Brien, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, said: “The same design team also delivered the University’s Lambe Institute for Translational Research which works in collaboration with the Biomedical Sciences Building to provide a unique blend of research in the field of biomedical science.” Speaking of the award, John Gibney, Director of Physical Resources at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted with this award for the Biomedical Sciences Building. This is well-deserved recognition by the American Institute of Architects for the collaborative and innovative design by Payette Architects, Anthony Reddy Architects and their design team, and the design and build team led by J.J. Rhatigan & Company. It is further demonstration of NUI Galway’s commitment to sustainability in the development and operation of its buildings and estate.” More information on the Top Ten Awards is available at http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB108782. -Ends- Gradam Meiriceánach mór le rá don Inbhuanaitheacht buaite ag an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh Tá ceann de na Gradaim do na Deich nDearadh is fearr don Inbhuanaitheacht bainte amach ag an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis in OÉ Gaillimh. Bhronn an American Institute of Architects (AIA) agus a Choiste Comhshaoil (COTE) an gradam ar an Ollscoil, an t-aon ghradam a bronnadh lasmuigh de na Stáit Aontaithe.  Is í seo an fichiú bliain do na Gradaim COTE - an t-aitheantas is airde is féidir a fháil as sárchaighdeán do dhearadh inbhuanaithe sa ghairm.  Déanann an clár ceiliúradh ar thionscadail a thagann chun cinn mar gheall ar chur chuige comhtháite i leith ailtireachta, córas nádúrtha agus teicneolaíochta. Osclaíodh Foirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis OÉ Gaillimh sa bhliain 2014 agus tá spás ann do thaighde eolaíochta ardteicneolaíochta dírithe ar thaighde ailse, teicneolaíocht feistí leighis, eolaíocht bithábhar, gliceolaíocht, leigheas athghiniúnach agus bitheolaíocht cheimiceach.  Agus an gradam á bhronnadh dúirt an AIA: “Cuimsíonn dearadh an Fhoirgnimh Eolaíochta Bithleighis aeráid mheasartha na hÉireann. Trí spásanna atá tíosach ar fhuinneamh a lonnú ar imeall an fhoirgnimh, is féidir leis an tionscadal úsáid a bhaint as aeráil nádúrtha. I ngeall ar an gcur chuige seo, tá 45% den fhoirgneamh taighde seo in ann feidhmiú gan aerú meicniúil. Cur chuige thar a bheith simplí ach radacach é seo agus ní minic a chuirtear i bhfeidhm é, fiú de bheagán, i saotharlanna dá shamhail in aeráidí inchurtha le Meiriceá.” Dúirt an tOllamh Tim O’Brien, Déan Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is í seo an fhoireann chéanna dearaidh a d’oibrigh ar Institiúid Lambe don Taighde Aistritheach san Ollscoil a oibríonn i gcomhar leis an bhFoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis chun meascán uathúil taighde a chur ar fáil i réimse na heolaíochta bithleighis.” Ag labhairt dó faoin ngradam, dúirt John Gibney, an Stiúrthóir Acmhainní Fisiciúla in OÉ Gaillimh: “Tá an-áthas orainn an gradam seo a fháil don Fhoirgneamh Eolaíochta Bithleighis. Is aitheantas é seo ón American Institute of Architects atá tuillte go maith ag an dearadh comhoibríoch agus nuálach a rinne Ailtirí Payette, Ailtirí Anthony Reddy agus a bhfoirne dearaidh, agus an fhoireann dearaidh agus tógála faoi stiúir J.J. Rhatigan & Company. Is léiriú é arís eile ar chomh meáite is atá OÉ Gaillimh don inbhuanaitheacht i bhforbairt agus i bhfeidhmiú a cuid foirgneamh agus eastát.” Tá tuilleadh eolais faoi na Gradaim do na Deich nDearadh is fearr le fáil ar http://www.aia.org/press/AIAB108782. -Críoch-  

Friday, 29 April 2016

NUI Galway research study discovers the partial or complete suppression of an individual’s immune system following major surgery can lead to post-surgical mortality Scientists at NUI Galway completed a research study which has revealed that post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) is one of the leading causes of post-surgical mortality and makes patients vulnerable to hospital-acquired infections, multiple organ failure and many other complications. The study was published today (29 April) in the international journal Clinical & Translational Immunology by Nature Publishing Group. Lead author of the study, Professor Rhodri Ceredig, Director of the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI Galway, said: “An evolutionarily sophisticated and balanced immune system exists in our body whose equilibrium can be altered by different physical, environmental or psychological stresses. Trauma, including major surgery and accidental injury, leads to post-traumatic immunosuppression (PTI) increasing a patient’s vulnerability to hospital-acquired infections. Florence Nightingale initially raised this question during the Crimean War and great efforts were then made to improve hospital hygiene. Although sanitation has been improved in hospitals, an equivalent phenomenon of post-traumatic deaths from systemic infections persists to this day. ” Professor Ceredig added, “More and more new infections are still threatening major trauma patients. An important question remains, ‘why do wounded patients acquire systemic infections even in a hygienic environment?’ Research over the past two decades suggests that following trauma, a patient’s immune system is imbalanced, thereby increasing their vulnerability to acquired infections. However, the underlying mechanisms of PTI are poorly defined and as yet, there are no universally accepted treatments. Our study, carried out by Dr Md. Nahidul Islam at NUI Galway in collaboration with Professor Benjamin Bradley of the University of Bristol, used total knee replacement surgery as a model of sterile surgical trauma.” At sites of tissue damage, whether it be following major surgery or accidental injury, many bioactive molecules are produced. These molecules include so-called ‘danger’ signals expressed by damaged cells that in turn stimulate production by local, undamaged, cells of very potent, soluble hormone-like molecules. Some of these molecules dampen, whereas others stimulate inflammation. It is thought the overall purpose of these early local events is to create an environment favourable to tissue healing. However, some of the molecules produced locally enter the blood stream and have effects on distant organs such as the liver, brain and organs of the immune system. The overall effect of these is to dampen immune responses thereby rendering the patient more susceptible to oportunistic infections. The origin of such infections can be either external or internal, for example from an imbalance of gut bacteria or failure of the body to control low-grade infection. In some respects, the profile of bioactive molecules circulating in the blood following sterile surgical intervention can resemble that seen in the early stages of serious bacteriological infections. Hospital-acquired infections and their treatments pose a huge economic burden on healthcare services and are a cause of serious morbidity and even mortality. One key finding of this study was that additional research is necessary in order to be able to distinguish immunosuppression following sterile trauma from that seen in the early stages of non-sterile infection, thereby providing guidelines for the initiation of appropriate treatments. This study was supported by Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and North Bristol NHS Trust. To read the full study in Clinical & Translational Immunology visit: http://www.nature.com/cti/journal/v5/n4/full/cti201613a.html ENDS

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Ben Gwalchmai, a PhD student in Digital Arts and Humanities at NUI Galway, has been awarded a prestigious Venice Biennale Fellowship. The Fellowship, coordinated by The British Council, awards a sponsored grant of £1,600 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs. Ben, who is originally from Wales, will spend one month in Venice as part of a group of eight individuals responsible for invigilating the British Pavilion each month and taking part in a dedicated research programme. The 15th Venice Architecture Biennale will run from 28 May-27 November 2016, with a preview taking place on 25-27 May and offers an important opportunity to review and rethink important aspects of architecture. The Biennale is focussed on the resourcefulness and vitality in which architecture responds to the demands of civil society.  Fellows will undertake site-specific research considering how architecture in Venice responds to periods of occupancy. Under a structured research programme, fellows will devise a research proposal in advance of their travel to Venice, and will be assisted by receiving feedback from British Pavilion exhibition contributors and industry experts. Ben’s particular focus in ‘Reporting from the Front’ is in line with his PhD at NUI Galway. He will be looking at the historical changes in public space in Venice alongside charting which and how many private homes – in line with the Home Economics exhibition – have become public spaces. Ben said: “It’s an honour to be a British Council Venice Fellow and I look forward to making long-lasting, international connections.” Dr Justin Tonra, Humanities Director of NUI Galway’s Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme, said: “Ben’s receipt of this prestigious British Council Fellowship is fitting reward for his track record of achievement and wide-ranging scholarly and artistic interests, and his research project in Venice closely relates to his PhD topic of utilising open public data to understand and reshape public spaces. The award is a great honour for Ben, and continues the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme’s record of close collaboration with prominent cultural bodies and institutions.” For further information on the Venice Biennale Fellowship visit http://design.britishcouncil.org/. For more information on the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD Programme at NUI Galway visit http://dahphd.ie/. -Ends-

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

 NUI Galway student selected as prize winner from 1,100 global submissions and awarded Illumina Next-Generation Sequencing technology to advance research in breast cancer A PhD student from NUI Galway has been selected as a prize winner from 1,100 submissions worldwide to win the ‘Go Mini Scientific Challenge Program’. Úna McVeigh was awarded cutting edge technology to the value of $4,500 to further support her research in the genetics of breast cancer. The announcement was made at a reception at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in New Orleans in Louisiana. The Scientific Challenge Program was launched to highlight the range of applications that can be performed using Illumina’s MiniSeq System. The MiniSeq, unveiled earlier this year is Illumina’s smallest and simplest next-generation sequencing (NGS) system ideally suited for research and industrial applications in many segments including cancer, infectious disease, inherited disease, and reproductive health. Úna McVeigh, a PhD student at NUI Galway and originally from Tourlestrane in Sligo, will receive three sequencing runs on a MiniSeq System facilitated by Illumina. She will study the genetics of breast cancer in the population of the West of Ireland, specifically in women with a strong family history of the disease, to understand the role of genes other than BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 in cancer susceptibility. Ms McVeigh’s translational research study, which leverages samples from a large biobank at NUI Galway’s department of surgery, aims to identify the frequency of genetic variants, their effects on breast cancer risk, and the clinical utility of testing for them. She hopes to be able to validate new clinically-relevant variants that are potentially applicable in broader populations. Commenting on her research, Úna McVeigh said: “Next-generation sequencing is an invaluable tool for identifying new cancer susceptibility genes. Despite the discovery of BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, the majority of inherited predisposition to breast cancer remains unexplained. We hope our research can begin to identify new genetic drivers of breast cancer, so that one day better patient screening can improve health outcomes for populations with a genetic predisposition to the disease.” Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Research Director of Breast Cancer Research said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for a young researcher starting out on her PhD studies to undertake, being invited to attend one of the most important Cancer Research conferences in the world. Úna is working in the exciting area of breast cancer genomics and with support from Breast Cancer Research she is investigating a panel of genes of interest that will add to the growing knowledge around inherited breast cancer risk.” The research was funded by Breast Cancer Research, a national charity that raises funds in support of world-class breast cancer research at NUI Galway. Commenting on the MiniSeq award, Helen Ryan, Board Chairperson of Breast Cancer Research said: “We are delighted for Úna on winning this much sought after award for her research on the genetics of breast cancer. Innovative research like Una’s is advancing Breast Cancer Research’s vision of having a real and measurable impact on outcomes for breast cancer patients.” Sam Raha, Vice President of Global Marketing for Illumina said: “The diversity and creativity of the scientific challenge applications that we received is a testament to the versatility of the MiniSeq. We’re excited that MiniSeq will be used to advance scientific understanding in entomology, virology, and oncology, through the work of these researchers and look forward to seeing our other customers use the system on a myriad of applications critical to improving human health.” For further information about the winners announced at the first Illumina MiniSeq Scientific Challenge visit: http://www.illumina.com/company/news-center/feature-articles/illumina-announces-winners-of-miniseq-scientific-challenge.html  ENDS

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

NUI Galway to host workshops for teenagers based on the perception of art and science and exposing the idea that both are not mutually exclusive The outreach team from the Department of Chemistry in NUI Galway, funded by EXPLORE Innovation Initiative will host free workshops entitled ‘Explore Science in Art’ on the University campus over three separate days in April and May. The workshops will gauge the perception of art and science among secondary school students aged 14-18 years and will blur the boundaries between art and science by showing the scientific method and principles involved in art and the creativity required in science. The practical workshops will consist of three parts: Chemically synthesise pigments for paintings as they were made hundreds of years ago and use them to create artwork. Making and using fabric dyes. Create your very own masterpiece. On Friday, 6 May the School of Chemistry will host two free talks entitled ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ linking two disciplines that are generally considered unrelated, exposing the idea that science and art are not mutually exclusive. A conservation scientist will talk about how science helps us better understand art while a scientist will discuss how understanding art and being creative helps science! The first talk ‘From Art to Science and back again...’ by Dr Peter Crowley from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway will take place at 5pm on Friday, 6 May. The second talk entitled, ‘Lapis & Gold: looking at manuscripts through the eyes of a Conservator’, by Ms Kristine Rose Beers from the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, will take place at 5.30pm. Both talks will take place in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. On Monday, 9 May the ‘Talks @ Explore Science in Art’ will continue with the man who made Yoda himself - on how science helps us understand art better. Dr Spike Bucklow from Hamilton-Kerr Institute at the University of Cambridge will discuss ‘Can science help you understand art better?’ The talk will take place from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts and Science Building at NUI Galway. Saturday, 30 April workshops will take place in the Chemistry Teaching Labs in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/explore-science-in-art-tickets-24301970849 The talks on Friday, 6 May will take place from 5pm to 6.30pm in the Anderson Lecture Theatre in the Arts Science Building at NUI Galway. For registration and further information visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/talks-explore-science-in-art-tickets-23913873038 For registration and further information on Friday, May 9 talks, visit: https://goo.gl/GVTxdI ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway launch ‘Citizen Authored Briefs’ that draw on research conducted by older people, children and youth and people with disabilities to highlight community issues A new research collaboration empowering local residents to highlight community issues for children, older people and people with disabilities has been carried out by the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) at NUI Galway. In an innovative partnership with the Project Lifecourse group at ILAS, children and youth, older people, and people with disabilities conducted research in six neighbourhoods across Dublin, Galway and Limerick. Offering a unique insight and voice into the experiences of these groups, the research captures the impact of community change from the viewpoint of local people and vulnerable groups within each neighbourhood context in Ireland. Speaking about this collaboration, Alexandra Revez, one of the NUI Galway researchers, said: “This initiative has allowed the coming together of these residents, from very different backgrounds and different types of neighbourhoods, to really unearth the lived experiences of growing up, ageing and living with a disability in today’s urban society.”      This exciting research collaboration is marked by the launch of the ‘Citizen Authored Brief Series’. These briefs document research on important issues such as: safety and the built environment; social and economic disadvantage; community identity and intergenerational relationships; migration and the value of intercultural spaces, and community activism. Asked about their motivation to participate in this initiative one of the Citizen Researchers remarked that this collaboration was: “A chance to open people’s eyes to what I see and an opportunity to have my voice heard.” The Citizen Researcher Initiative is part of NUI Galway’s 3-Cities Project, which aims to engage in a collaborative process to re-imagine services and communities to maximise participation for children and youth, older people and people with disabilities in their localities and cities. The project, focusing on Claddagh and Doughiska (as part of the greater Ardaun, Roscam and Doughiska community area) in Galway, East Wall and the Liberties in Dublin, and South Circular Road and Garryowen in Limerick, is interested in the urban environment and the impact it has on the life-course trajectories of individuals. This research also explores the impact of different community participation practices on the lives of older people, children and youth and people with disabilities. The Citizen Researcher Initiative represents international best practice in the activation and empowerment of members of the public as researchers. By engaging in this process the project has strived to provide local members of the community which represent older people, children and youth and people with disabilities with a way to contribute to and direct the 3-Cities Project research and its outputs. The 3-Cities Project marks the first major programme of work undertaken by Project Lifecourse, which is the flagship research initiative at the Institute for Lifecourse and Society (ILAS) in NUI Galway. This initiative is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies and represents Ireland’s most visible contribution to the growing international field of life course studies. For more information on 3-Cities Project please visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/ilas/project-lifecourse/thethreecitiesproject/ ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Breast Cancer Now-funded research aims to determine why one third of breast cancer patients treated with anti-estrogen therapies relapse within 15 years Monday, 25 April, 2016: Scientists at NUI Galway have completed a research study funded by Breast Cancer Now that has begun to unravel why women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer develop a resistance to endocrine treatment, and have found a potential new approach to overcome the problem. Such findings may pave the way for new therapies to treat breast cancers resistant to endocrine therapy. The study was published today (April 25) in the international journal Oncogene by Nature Publishing Group. A cancer is called estrogen-receptor-positive if it has receptors for estrogen. This suggests that the cancer cells, like normal breast cells, may receive signals from estrogen that could promote their growth. Every woman has estrogen and progesterone hormones in her body, which can serve as fuel for some types of breast cancer. They help the cells grow and spread. Hormone therapy, also called endocrine therapy, adds, blocks, or removes those chemicals to treat the disease. Approximately 70% of breast cancers are positive for estrogen receptor and are treated with hormonal therapy. However, one third of breast cancer patients treated with hormonal therapy relapse within 15 years, which is why it is so important that this research continues, to help determine how the cancer finds ways to survive in these patients. The research was performed by a team of scientists and clinicians led by Dr Sanjeev Gupta at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research at NUI Galway and lead author of the study, Dr Ananya Gupta, Lecturer of Physiology at the School of Medicine in NUI Galway. XBP1 is a protein that is involved in a cell’s response to stressful conditions, which allows tumours to grow and survive when they are deprived of nutrients. Dr Sanjeev Gupta and his team found that XBP1 increases the production of the protein, NCOA3 that enables the breast cancer cells to avoid anti-estrogen treatment. This indicated that combining standard hormonal therapies with a XBP1 inhibitor (this blocks the XBP1 function), could improve treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients by preventing relapse due to therapy resistance. Dr Sanjeev Gupta, who has been working on XBP1 since 2007 says that: “This research could lead to better approaches to predict an individual patients responsiveness to endocrine therapies.” Analysing human patient specimens, Dr Gupta and his team found that testing for high levels of XBP1 and the protein NCOA3, could predict whose breast cancer is likely to be resistant to anti-estrogen drugs and which patients could benefit most from combined treatment with hormonal therapies and a XBP1 inhibitor. The findings suggest that resistance to anti-estrogen treatment could be overcome by targeting the cancer cells with a XBP1 inhibitor, using the cell’s reliance on XBP1 as their Achilles heel. Dr Ananya Gupta from NUI Galway and lead author of the research said: “The next step is to identify a suitable therapeutic target in the XBP1-NCOA3 pathway. XBP1 is a transcription factor, and transcription factors have been very difficult to target with small molecules. We look forward to developing new ways to target this molecule in breast cancer.” Dr Richard Berks, Senior Research Communications Officer at Breast Cancer Now, said: “This study reveals how the XBP1 protein could be helping some breast cancers survive anti-hormone treatments. We look forward to further research to find out whether blocking this protein could reduce the risk of a patient’s breast cancer spreading or returning, ultimately helping to stop women dying from the disease. It’s crucial that we continue to find ways to make breast cancer therapies even more effective, and match individual patients with the treatments most likely to work for them.” The study was led by NUI Galway and co-authors included Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway and Galway University Hospital (GUH) and Director of Breast Cancer Research; and Grace Callagy,  Professor of Pathology at NUI Galway and GUH. The research was funded by Breast Cancer Now, the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign. To read the full study in Oncogene visit: http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/onc2016121a.html  ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

NUI Galway in partnership with Mindfulness Ireland and Plum Village, Bordeaux is delighted to announce a free public event ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ NUI Galway is delighted to host a very special event entitled ‘An Evening of Mindfulness’ in association with Mindfulness Ireland, exploring the practice of Mindfulness. The free event is open to the public and will take place on Thursday, 28 April from 6pm to 8pm in the Aula Maxima Lower at NUI Galway. The Mindfulness session will be presented by Teacher Sister Jina, and her colleagues Sr Tri Nghiem and Sr Tao Nghiem from Plum Village in Bordeaux. Sister Jina is a Senior Dharma Teacher within the Plum Village Mindfulness tradition and lives her daily life practicing mindfulness and leading mindfulness retreats around the world. In the hectic lives we lead it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day eventualities. Between going over what happened yesterday to worrying about and planning for tomorrow we can sometimes forget about enjoying today. The practice of mindfulness is about being present and awake to each moment of our daily lives. It will give people the opportunity to look at ways in which we can improve the quality of our lives and that of those around us by listening deeply, building community and paying attention to how we live. Plum Village, near Bordeaux in southwest France, is the largest international practice centre in the Plum Village tradition, and the first monastic community founded by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching is that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment - the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. This unique event is part of NUI Galway’s ongoing initiative towards integrating mindfulness into the University’s culture and the importance of mindfulness in higher educational institutions and the wider community. The event is open to all university staff and students, the general public, researchers, student counsellors and advisors, healthcare professionals, mindfulness practitioners, and anyone with an interest in mindfulness. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway and coordinator of the University’s Mindful Way initiative said: “NUI Galway is on a journey to adopt a mindfulness culture to benefit both staff and students that is being shared with the wider Galway community. We are honoured to host Sr Jina and her monastic colleagues from Plum Village and hope that everyone who attends will enjoy this truly unique evening with such a globally revered group.” The Plum Village Monastics are in Galway as part of Mindfulness Ireland's Annual Retreat Programme, which takes place every year over the May Bank Holiday weekend. For more information visit www.mindfulnessireland.org/ and www.plumvillage.org To register attendance please contact Martina Finn on galwaysangha@gmail.com or 087 2201972. For more information regarding NUI Galway’s Mindful Way visit: www.nuigalway.ie/mindfulway ENDS

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A colloquium on commercial sex will be hosted by the Commercial Sex Researchers Network of Ireland (CSNRI) in conjunction with the NUI Galway-UL Gender Arc on Tuesday, 3 May in Room 110, St. Anthony’s Building, NUI Galway. Entitled ‘Research on the margins? Commercial sex, the researcher and the researched’, this is an interdisciplinary event which encapsulates local and international expert opinion on the issue of commercial sex is organised by Seán Burke, a PhD candidate at NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology. Keynote speaker Dr Lorraine Nencel will critically explore how researchers make sense of knowledge about the sex trade, how they work with sex workers, and some of the implications of that. She will draw on her 20 year experience of research with sex workers in Peru, Netherlands, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Dhaka Bangladesh, and make the case that researching the sex trade is not like researching any other topic, or not ‘a job like any other’.  Dr Nencel’s address will be followed by two interactive workshops hosted by NUI Galway’s Dr Eilís Ward and Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney. Dr Nencel is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at the VU University, Amsterdam. Trained as an anthropologist, she has been researching the subject of sex work for more than twenty years, beginning with her research in Lima Peru. Momentarily, she is finishing research on migrant sex workers in the Netherlands, has a project concerning ‘economic empowerment’ and sex workers in Kenya and Ethiopia, and has recently began a project on migrant young women and sexual and reproductive rights in Dhaka Bangladesh, which also works with sex workers.  Dr Eilís Ward is lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway and has been researching and publishing on the politics of the sex trade for over ten years. She is a member of the management committee of the EU funded Cost Action network, ProsPol, and co-editor of a forthcoming book on the state, feminism and prostitution politics.  Furthermore, Dr Ward has contributed to the national debate on prostitution by giving submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee Justice Equality and Defence, which investigated legislating for prostitution in Ireland. Dr Leigh-Ann Sweeney is a Health Services Postdoctoral Researcher at NUI Galway’s Health Promotion Research Centre. Her research to date has focused on qualitative, service-user led research, with a specific interest in narrative inquiry. Dr Sweeney’s PhD research topic, ‘The psychosocial experiences of women involved in prostitution: An exploratory study’, provides empirical evidence on the health needs and experiences of women in the sex industry. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve a place, contact Seán Burke at seandeburca1986@gmail.com.  -Ends-

Monday, 25 April 2016

A new book by a Professor of Psychology at NUI Galway argues that many psychologists fail to take a scientific approach to their work, and that much of the field’s research suffers from serious methodological flaws. The book, ‘Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience’, by Brian Hughes, was published worldwide this month by Palgrave, and was launched at NUI Galway this week. Psychology is one of the most popular subjects in universities across the world and is widely regarded to be a modern empirical science. Despite this, Hughes argues that psychology attracts significant attention from people who hold deeply negative views about science. As a result, psychology is often studied by students and researchers who lack true scientific rigour. According to Hughes, “Psychology has become a field where science meets pseudoscience.” “This is important because psychology touches all of our lives,” Hughes said. “When we talk about mental health, education, social conflict, or crime, our ability to think clearly about these topics depends on how well we study them. Psychologists often try their best to conduct rigorous scientific research. But many psychologists have a casual, and sometimes naïve, approach, and often overlook the limitations of their most conventional research approaches.” “Psychologists are excellent at identifying controversial studies and debunking them, such as the way empirical science quite rightly dismissed the alleged link between MMR vaccination and autism. But psychologists are often less effective at critiquing the quality of mainstream research, such as research about gender differences in human behaviour, evaluations of behaviour change interventions, or studies of how psychotherapy works. In short, psychologists are often very poor at critiquing their own work.” Leading British psychologist Christopher French, Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, agrees. “Brian Hughes has written an important and engaging book exploring the relationships between science, pseudoscience, and psychology,” according to French. “He argues persuasively that psychology itself can properly be considered to be a true science but one that is marred within by pockets of pseudoscience. This book should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the subject.” David Hevey, Associate Professor at the School of Psychology in Trinity College Dublin described the book as “a timely and comprehensive reminder of the critical role of science in both academic and professional applications of psychology.” Anna Phillips, Reader in Behavioural Medicine at the University of Birmingham praised the book’s message for psychology students. “This book will help students to question more critically the research they read during the course of their degree, rather than simply accepting published work as quality science,” said Phillips. Hughes’s own research focuses on the links between psychological stress and physical health. He has held visiting academic appointments at the Universities of Missouri, Leiden, and Birmingham, and at King's College London. He is the current President of the International Stress and Anxiety Research Society, and a former President of the Psychological Society of Ireland. ‘Rethinking Psychology: Good Science, Bad Science, Pseudoscience’ is published worldwide by Palgrave and available from all good booksellers. ENDS

Monday, 25 April 2016

 NUI Galway School of Education combine technology and history for new classroom iBooks The story of the 1916 Rising in Dublin is told in two new multi-touch books Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 produced as part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. They are packed with videos, interactivity and multimedia to engage readers with an authentic learning experience, which brings this period of Irish history to life.The iBooks were launched today at Scoil Chroí Íosa in Galway city. The publications were produced by Seán Ó Grádaigh, Lecturer in Education at NUI Galway, in collaboration with partners, Century Ireland, Boston College, National Library of Ireland, COGG and the School of Education at NUI Galway. “These resources were built as iBooks using iBooks Author which allows teachers to create stunning multi-touch textbooks” remarked Seán Ó Grádaigh. “The rich digital media content and interactivity along with the built-in assessment and accessibility features facilitate all types of learners in a way that the printed page never could.” At the launch, Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President remarked: “This year marks a special moment of national reflection for all citizens.  This project ensures that schools have a wonderful new interactive tool to help teachers and students to learn more about 1916 in a dynamic and fun way.  I’m delighted that NUI Galway has been involved in this effort and I’d like to congratulate Seán Ó Grádaigh and all the team involved in putting together such an engaging publication.” Mary Fleming, Head of the School of Education, NUI Galway said “The teaching of educational technology and in particular content creation for education is a key focus on our teacher education programmes. We hope that these new resources will engage and be enjoyed by teachers and learners in both primary and second-level schools” Speaking at the launch, John Concannon, Director of Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, said: “Bringing history to life for young people was always a core ambition of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme.  This multimedia book is a great example of how that can be done.  We are delighted to support it.”  Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 were launched on Friday April 22 in Scoil Chroí Íosa, Newcastle Road, Galway. The books are now available as free downloads from the iBook Store.  https://itun.es/ie/erY1bb.n -ends  Téacsleabhair dhigiteacha ilmheánacha faoi Éirí Amach 1916 á gcur amach ag Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh Déanann an dá leabhar idirghníomhacha seo Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 cur síos ar an méid a tharla i mBaile Átha Cliath le linn Éirí Amach 1916. Tá físeáin, tascanna idirghníomhacha agus gnéithe ilmheánacha fite fuaite trí na leabhair chun aird an fhoglaimeora a ghabháil. Go deimhin, is mar gheall ar idirghníomhaíocht seo a éiríonn leis na leabhair léargas bríomhar ar a tharla sa tréimhse seo i stair na hÉireann a chur ar fáil.  Is é Seán Ó Grádaigh, léachtóir de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh a rinne na leabhair i gcomhar le Century Ireland, Boston College, Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann, COGG agus Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh.  “Is iBooks iad na háiseanna seo ar úsáideach iBooks Author chun iad a chur i dtoll a chéile,” a dúirt Seán Ó Grádaigh. “Freastalaíonn na leabhair ar riachtanais na gcineálacha éagsúla foghlaimeoirí ar bhealach nach bhféadfadh leabhar clóite a dhéanamh riamh a bhuí leis an ábhar digiteach, an idirghníomhaíocht agus an measúnú atá lárnach sna leabhair.” Dúirt Uachtarán na hOllscoile, Dr Jim Browne, ag an seoladh: “Is bliain speisialta í seo do shaoránaigh uile na hÉireann chun machnamh a dhéanamh ar stair na tíre. Cinntíonn an togra seo go bhfuil uirlis iontach idirghníomhach ag scoileanna le go mbeidh múinteoirí agus daltaí in ann foghlaim a dhéanamh faoi Éirí Amach 1916 ar bhealach atá spraíúil agus fuinniúil. Is cúis áthais dom go raibh baint ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh leis an togra seo agus ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le Seán Ó Grádaigh agus leis an bhfoireann uile faoin bhfoilseachán tarraingteach seo a chur le chéile. “Cuirtear an-bhéim ar mhúineadh na teicneolaíochta don oideachas ar na cláir oiliúna múinteoirí atá againn agus dírítear ar ábhar a chruthú ach go háirithe,” a mhínigh Mary Fleming, Ceann Scoil an Oideachais, OÉ Gaillimh, “tá súil againn go mbainfidh idir mhúinteoirí agus daltaí ag leibhéal na bunscoile agus ag leibhéal na meánscoile araon tairbhe as na háiseanna.” Dúirt John Concannon, Stiúrthóir ar Ireland 2016, “Ag cur beocht agus beatha sa stair don aos Óg, sin croí aidhm le clár comórtha céad bliain 2016. Sampla iontach is ea an leabhar ilmheáin seo ar conas an sprioc sin a bhaint amach. Tá an-áthas orainn tacú leis.” Seolfar Scéal 1916 & The Story of 1916 ar an Aoine 22 Aibreán, i Scoil Chroí Íosa, Bóthar an Chaisleáin Nua, Gaillimh. Is féidir na leabhair a íoslódáil soar in aisce ón iBook Store anois. https://itun.es/ie/ CRÍOCH

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil Sheol iar-Stiúrthóir Ginearálta RTÉ agus iar-Cheannasaí TG4, Cathal Goan, an leabhar nuafhoilsithe Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil aréir in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Chaith Nollaig Mac Congáil daichead bliain ina Léachtóir agus ina Ollamh i Roinn na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh go dtí 2014. Bhí sé ina Mheabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid ar an ollscoil chéanna chomh maith. Chuir sé go mór le léann na teangeolaíochta feidhmí agus na canúineolaíochta chomh maith le léann na meán Gaeilge. Tá aithne ag pobal léitheoireachta na Gaeilge air mar chraobh chosanta agus mar eagarthóir cáiréiseach ar go leor de sheoda liteartha Chúige Uladh. Dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach Gaeilge agus duine d’eagarthóirí an leabhair: "Is tráthúil go mbronnfaí an fhéilscríbhinn seo ar Nollaig anois agus é éirithe as, féilscríbhinn atá ina comhartha ómóis agus spéise ar scoth an oide, ar chomhghleacaí tacúil agus ar thaighdeoir críochnúil." Iar-chomhghleacaí agus iarmhac léinn le Nollaig iad na heagarthóirí, John Walsh agus an Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh ó Ollscoil Aberystwyth. Dúirt an Dr Ó Muircheartaigh: "Léiriú grinn ar an ardmheas atá ar Nollaig, sa bhaile agus thar lear, atá sa leabhar toirtiúil seo, ardmheas atá tuillte go maith aige." Dúirt an Dr Aidan Doyle, Léachtóir Sinsearach Gaeilge i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh: "Is bailiúchán breá aistí é seo a thugann an-léargas dúinn ar na réimsí léinn ba mhó a chothaigh Nollaig Mac Congáil féin agus é i mbun taighde agus múinteoireachta. Bainfidh idir lucht acadúil agus an pobal mór an-taitneamh agus an-tairbhe as a bhfuil idir dhá chlúdach an leabhair." Beidh AG SIÚL AN BHEALAIGH MHÓIR: AISTÍ IN ÓMÓS DON OLLAMH NOLLAIG MAC CONGÁIL ar fáil ó ÁIS, nó ar an suíomh www.leabhaircomhar.com. Tá an leabhar ar fáil sna siopaí ar chostas €20. ISBN 978-0-9927313-8-0. -Críoch- Newly Published Book Launched By Cathal Goan at NUI Galway Ag Siúl An Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí In Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil The former RTÉ Director-General and former Ceannasaí of TG4, Cathal Goan, launched a newly-published book Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil, at NUI Galway this week. Nollaig Mac Congáil spent 40 years as a Lecturer and Professor in the Department of Irish at NUI Galway until his retirement in 2014. He also served as Registrar and Deputy President of the University. During his career, he contributed significantly to the fields of applied linguistics, dialectology and Irish language media. From Derry originally, Professor Mac Congáil is known in particular for his work in analysing and editing classic literary works written in Ulster Irish during the 20th Century.  Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway and one of the book’s editors said: “It is appropriate that this Festschrift be presented now to Nollaig following his retirement as a mark of respect to an excellent teacher, a supportive colleague and a meticulous researcher.”   Dr Walsh is a former colleague of Professor Mac Congáil and his co-editor Dr Peadar Ó Muircheartaigh from Aberystwyth University in Wales is a former pupil. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh said: “This book illustrates clearly the high esteem in which Nollaig is held both at home and abroad, a respect which is well deserved.”  The book contains 18 essays by respected Irish language academics based in Ireland and elsewhere, and includes contributions by former colleagues and students.  Ag Siúl an Bhealaigh Mhóir: Aistí in Ómós Don Ollamh Nollaig Mac Congáil is available to buy at www.leabhaircomhar.com at a price of €20. ISBN 978-0-9927313-8-0. ENDS

Friday, 22 April 2016

Taispeánfar dhá scannán ar leith le Seán Breathnach agus le hAodh Ó Coileáin, teagascóirí ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, ag féilte scannán ar fud an domhain an mhí seo. Bronnadh an gradam don dráma ab fhearr ag Féile Scannán Luimnigh le déanaí ar an scannán Maidhm, a scríobh agus a stiúir Seán Breathnach. Feicfear an scannán ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Fajr sa Tehran an tseachtain seo agus ag féile gearrscannán i Shanghai an mhí seo chugainn. Taispeánadh an scannán cheana féin ag féile gearrscannán i Málta, ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán an Daingin, ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Chorcaí agus ag Fleadh Scannán na Gaillimhe. Bhí beirt teagascóirí eile ón Acadamh ar an bhfoireann léiriúcháin, Ray Fallon a bhí i mbun eagarthóireachta, agus Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh a dhear an fhuaim.  Céimí de chuid na gcúrsaí cumarsáide san Acadamh, Laura Ní Cheallaigh, a léirigh an scannán. Tá sí ina hEagarthóir Coimisiúnaithe le TG4. Tá aird na léirmheastóirí chomh maith ar an scannán Fís na Fuiseoige, a scríobh agus a stiúir Aodh Ó Coileáin. Taispeánadh an scannán don chéad uair ag Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán Bhaile Átha Cliath i mí Feabhra, agus níos luaithe an tseachtain seo ag ócáid in Ionad Ealaíon na hÉireann, Nua-Eabhrac. Beidh sé le feiceáil arís ag Féile Scannán Lá na Cruinne in San Francisco Dé hAoine beag seo (22 Aibreán), agus an mhaidin dar gcionn (23 Aibreán) mar chuid de Chúirt, Féile Idirnáisiúnta Litríochta na Gaillimhe. Baineann an scannán Maidhm, a mhaoinigh Bord Scannán na hÉireann, le hiarrachtaí leaid óig, a bhfuil uathachas ag dul do, athmhuintearas a dhéanamh lena mháthair tar éis titim amach. “Taispeántas den scoth ag an leaid óg atá i bpríomhról an scannáin seo, léiriú ar an uathachas agus ar an tionchar a bhíonn aige, ní hamháin ar an duine féin, ach ar an teaghlach ar fad,” a dúirt léirmheastóir ag Fleadh Scannán na Gaillimhe. Ainmníodh an t-aisteoir Gaillimheach, Tara Breathnach, a dhéanann páirt na máthar, le haghaidh gradam aisteoir na bliana, Gradaim Chumarsáide an Oireachtais, 2016. Sa scannán Fís na Fuiseoige pléitear an dáimh le dúthaigh a mhúnlaigh an tsamhlaíocht liteartha Ghaelach agus an féinaitheantas Éireannach ón gcianaimsir anuas. “Léiríonn portráid álainn dúthaigh agus teanga Aodh Uí Choileáin an tábhacht a bhain leis an nGaeilge ins an athbheochan, an réabhlóid chultúrtha sin a tháinig roimh Éirí Amach na Cásca.  Úsáideadh scata traidisiún a bhí ceangailte leis an nGaeilge, a bhí caillte i ngalldú na tíre chun féinaitheantas nua a shamhlú,” a dúirt Seán Finnan, Film Ireland. Ba iad Colm Hogan agus an Dr Marina L. Levitina, Counterpoint Films, a léirigh an scannán, a mhaoinigh Údarás Craolacháin na hÉireann agus TG4. Ar na cúrsaí cumarsáide a chuireann an tAcadamh ar fáil tá: GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; an t-ábhar Léann na Cumarsáide ar GY101 BA Dhá Ábhar Onóracha; GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (lánaimseartha); agus GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (páirtaimseartha). -Críoch- Films by NUI Galway tutors travel the world Two films by Seán Breathnach and Aodh Ó Coileáin, who teach film and journalism at NUI Galway’s Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, will be screened at film festivals around the world this month. Maidhm was written and directed by Seán Breathnach and recently awarded ’Best Drama’ at Limerick Film Festival. It will be screened this week at the Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran and at the Long Week of Short Films Festival in Shanghai in May. Maidhm has already been seen at the Irish Short Film Festival in Malta, Dingle International Film Festival, Cork International Film Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh. Two other Acadamh staff members were also involved in the production, with editing by Ray Fallon and sound design by Fionn Ó Sealbhaigh. The film was produced by a graduate of the Acadamh’s media courses, Laura Ní Cheallaigh, who is currently working as Commissioning Editor in TG4.  Fís na Fuiseoige, written and directed by Aodh Ó Coileáin, premiered to critical acclaim at this year’s Dublin International Film Festival. The film will be screened at the Earth Day Film Festival in San Francisco on Friday (22nd April), and at the Cúirt International Festival of Literature in Galway on Saturday (23rd April). It was screened earlier this week at the Irish Arts Centre in New York. Maidhm is the story of an autistic child’s search for his mother following a tantrum which sets them apart. “The young actor who played the autistic child portrayed the impact of autism, not alone on the person but on the entire family, very effectively,” said a critic at the Galway Film Fleadh. Galway actress, Tara Breathnach, has been nominated for an Oireachtas Best Performance award for her portrayal of the mother. The film was funded by the Irish Film Board and filmed in Galway. The focus of Fís na Fuiseoige is the love for the home-place as reflected in poetry and literature in Irish. In Ireland, landscape is not just geography, but a mnemonic for literature and poetry. Landscape and stories are inseparable. “Aodh Ó Coileáin’s beautifully intimate portrait of language and place is a reminder again of the importance of the language in the Gaelic Revival, the cultural rebellion that was the catalyst for the later rebellion. In serving as a pool of traditions that were lost under anglicization, the language was used as a means of re-imagining, of conceiving of a new identity,” said Seán Finnan of Film Ireland. The film was produced by Colm Hogan and Dr Marina L. Levitina of Counterpoint Films, and funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and TG4. Media courses offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge include: GY122 BA Cumarsáid agus Gaeilge; the subject Léann na Cumarsáide on GY101 BA Arts (Joint-Honours); GYA93 MA sa Chumarsáid (full-time), and GYA50 MA sa Chumarsáid (part-time). -Ends-    

Friday, 22 April 2016

Shannon College of Hotel Management hosted the Travel and Tourism Research Association’s (TTRA) Annual European Conference this week. This conference creates a platform for practitioners and academics from all over the world to share their research and ideas on the travel and tourism sector.   Last summer Shannon College amalgamated with NUI Galway becoming the only college within the Irish university sector to offer level 8 degrees in the field of hotel management. Since this amalgamation, Shannon College has developed a strategy to become a centre of excellence for research in tourism and hospitality. Dr Seán T. Ruane, Tourism Lecturer at Shannon College and current president of the European chapter of TTRA, said: “The conference provides a unique opportunity to access up-to-the-minute research from international tourism experts. This event forms a launch pad from which tourism planners and practitioners in the region and further afield can fine tune their future marketing strategies.” Shannon College has a long history of offering practical and real life experience to students and this conference posed another opportunity for learning. The conference was organised and run by the Year 4 Event Management Class in the college. Founded in 1970, the TTRA is a non-profit association whose purpose is to enhance the quality, value, effectiveness and use of research in travel marketing, planning and development. The association strives to be a leader for the global community of practitioners and educators engaged in research, information management and marketing in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Members in TTRA represent a variety of segments from the greater international travel and tourism community, including educators, practitioners, research providers/consultants and users of research. TTRA has a number of chapters across North America, Asia and Europe.  Delegates and speakers travelled to Shannon from many parts of the world including Melbourne, Toronto, Qatar and many parts of Europe to attend this conference. Speakers at the conference included; Dr Suzanne Cook, a former President of the US Travel Association; Rolf D. Freitag, developer of IPKs World Travel Monitor;  Professor Frederic Dimanche, Director of the Ted Rogers School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ryerson University, Toronto Canada; and Professor Sue Beeton, a leading expert in film induced tourism.  -End- 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NUI Galway societies were presented with four awards at the recent Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) National Society Awards. Over 400 students and staff from third-level institutions across Ireland came together to celebrate the achievements of student societies and acknowledge the contribution they make to their institution and the wider community.   NUI Galway won ‘Best Society in an Academic, Cultural and Social Field’ for the Medical Society. Alison Duffy, Vice-Auditor of the NUI Galway Medical Society said: “2015-16 has been one of the most successful years for NUI Galway Medical Society. Through our diverse events and projects, we aim to support our students academically and socially. We advocate, fundraise and strive to be a force for positive change in the University and wider community. We are thrilled to have won this prestigious award which was made possible by the great team on our committee.” NUI Galway’s Draíocht Society won the ‘Best Society in a Civic and Charity Field’ for their work sending volunteers to each of the partner charities in Nepal and Tanzania during the summer months, and for their successful fundraising throughout the year. According to Auditor Siabhra Medley: “Draíocht enables students to make an incredible difference for people in the developing world and allows students to experience cultures that are radically different to their own. This year we worked with our partners in Nepal when the earthquake destroyed the orphanage and school our society had built and ensured supplies and vaccinations got to the village where our founder member was stationed.” The ‘Best Fresher Award’ went to first year Bachelor of Arts student Ciarán MacChoncarraige from Oranmore, Co. Galway. Throughout the year Ciarán has been actively involved with French and Draíocht Societies, while also assisting other societies and the Students' Union with numerous events and campaigns. The very popular PotterFest organised by Potter Soc won ‘Best Intervarsity’ which saw a weekend of fun in NUI Galway including the hotly contested battle for the Triwizard Cup in which contestants fought their way through a giant maze of tasks and trivia to see which college would be crowned champions of the tournament. BICS is a national organisation dedicated to providing a national forum for the societies in Ireland’s Universities, Colleges and Institutes of Education. BICS now represents 21 colleges, 901 societies with 180,000 students across the island of Ireland. The organisation helps students from across the country to network, meet new people and run events on and off campus. A new award, ‘The Best Mental Health Promoting Event’, was introduced this year in association with the Please Talk campaign to acknowledge the role of societies in creating opportunities to challenge the stigma around mental health, to promote wellness, healthy lifestyles and to help make third level colleges open, supportive and inclusive environments for their student populations. Riona Hughes, BICS Chairperson and NUI Galway Society Officer, said: “The BICS Awards is a wonderful celebration of all that is marvelous about the students who are so creative and dedicated and who transform the college experience for their peers. Research has shown that involvement in societies helps students complete their studies, teaches them valuable life skills, enhances their employability and supports them on their learning journey to become future leaders. For our 21st Awards there are many reasons to celebrate and none more so that the support, respect and genuine affection all the students have shown to each other throughout the day. The staff members present from our member colleges have every reason to be proud of every single society representative here tonight, the future of our country is in good hands.” For more information about BICS Awards visit http://bics.ie/. -Ends-

Thursday, 21 April 2016

NUI Galway is recruiting additional participants for a study on the efficacy of Pilates in falls prevention in healthy older adults over 65 years old. The outcomes assessed will include questionnaires and tests of physical activity, balance, foot pressure, mobility, gait, cognition and falls. One hour classes will take place in Áras Moyola twice weekly for six weeks. There will be a total of 12 sessions for each group. The participants are advised to wear comfortable clothes for exercises and to bring their own exercise mat.     Conducting the study is Larissa Donatoni da Silva, an NUI Galway PhD Health Science, physiotherapist and Pilates instructor. Larissa said: “Pilates is a technique to improve flexibility, core and coordination. The exercises will start from basic to intermediate level. We want to measure your level of function with questionnaires and tests so that we can compare it with people who are not practising Pilates.” For more detail or to participate in the study contact Larissa Donatoni da Silva at 089 4592533 or laridonatoni@gmail.com. -Ends- 

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The biology behind the concept of identical twins will be the focus of an NUI Galway talk on Monday, 25 April from 1-2pm. The talk will be delivered by Professor Kevin Bowyer of the University of Notre Dame who will also survey what is known about the ability of biometrics to distinguish between identical twins.   Professor Bowyer is Schubmehl-Prein Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Notre Dame and a Golden Core Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society. He is also an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer associated with the IEEE Biometrics Council. His research interests range broadly over computer vision and pattern recognition, including biometrics and data mining and he is a leading authority on iris biometrics. The ability to distinguish between identical twins is often thought of as a “stress test” for biometric recognition, and the legal system occasionally needs to distinguish between identical twins. This talk will briefly discuss the biology behind the concept of identical twins, and will then survey what is known about the ability of biometrics to distinguish between identical twins. Professor Bowyer will focus primarily on face, fingerprint and iris biometrics, but will touch on a number of other biometric modalities as well. The talk will take place in room G017 in the Engineering Building, NUI Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A free public lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of John McGahern Tuesday, 19 April. 2016: To mark the 10th anniversary of the passing of John McGahern, The James Hardiman Library in association with the MA in Writing and the Moore Institute at NUI Galway are delighted to present a public lecture by the renowned John McGahern scholar, Denis Sampson. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 27 April at 7pm in the Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway. Sampson produced the first full-length study of McGahern’s works, Outstaring Nature’s Eye, in 1993, and his enduring critical attention to the writer culminated in his book Young John McGahern: Becoming a Novelist, published by Oxford University Press in 2012. Sampson has lectured and published widely on modern Irish writing, and he has also published a memoir, A Migrant Heart (2014). His new book from Oxford, The Found Voice: Writers' Beginnings, will be out next month. The 30th of March this year was the 10th anniversary of the death of the celebrated Irish writer, John McGahern. McGahern’s work, from the 1960s up to his passing in 2006, has enthralled readers with his artistry and has engaged a succession of generations with his range of themes emanating from modern Irish history, culture and society. His reputation is as strong abroad as at home, and he is widely regarded as a master of the novel and short-story forms. The rich John McGahern Archive at the Hardiman Library, NUI Galway preserves the documentary evidence of 'the writer at work'. In his lecture, Denis Sampson mines the Archive to trace the drafting and evolution of McGahern's 1990 novel, Amongst Women, and he reveals the ‘reinvention’ of McGahern as a writer through his writing of this major novel. In McGahern's papers, the characteristic personal traces of the writer can be found in voluminous manuscript copybooks and loose pages. The ideas that inform each work become clearer through these papers, and his artistic process is made clear in the exhaustive level of revision and redrafting he brought to his emergent novels and stories. Looking forward to Sampson’s lecture, Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing and Director of the MA in Writing, NUI Galway observed: "The nature of John McGahern’s Archive here at NUI Galway ideally suits it to different kinds of exploratory readers. Scholars of McGahern, or of contemporary Irish fiction and writing, naturally find it a highly valuable resource, but the papers also hold great promise for any student or devotee of writing intent on emulating the best models for creative practice and artistic dedication." John Cox, University Librarian, NUI Galway comments: "We treasure the John McGahern archive as an enabler of new research and are greatly looking forward to Denis Sampson's lecture as a very appropriate way of marking the tenth anniversary of John's passing." In his lecture, Sampson will discuss unpublished drafts of Amongst Women from within the McGahern Archive and will reveal the links between the novel and some of the earlier McGahern short stories in his collections Getting Through and High Ground. The lecture will be accompanied by an exhibition of select material from the McGahern Archive and is free of charge and open to all. ENDS

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The next in the series of public interviews organised by the Centre for Irish Studies as part of its programme of commemoration of the 1916 Rising will feature Robert Ballagh in conversation with Vincent Woods. The interview will take place on Wednesday, 27 April in the Ó hEocha Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway from 6.30-8pm. Robert Ballagh is one of Ireland’s leading contemporary artists. From an early interest in rock music, Ballagh began experimenting with graphic and pop art, and has created some of Ireland’s most iconic artworks, including portraits of Noel Browne and John B. Keane. His artistic response to the Troubles in the North of Ireland was part of an insistence that art and artists should engage with history and politics while designs for postage stamps and banknotes, and the set he created for Riverdance, indicate the range and flexibility of an art practice that is both popular and democratic. He is a founding member of the Reclaim the Vision of 1916 citizens’ initiative which was established to draw attention to the contemporary relevance of the Irish revolution. The interview is free to attend and open to the public. For further information contact NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies at 091 492051 or irishstudies@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Members of the public invited to make key contributions to healthcare research Tuesday, 19 April, 2016: NUI Galway will hold a conference focusing on Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in research on Wednesday, 27 April in the Westwood House Hotel from 10am-3.45pm. PPI involves an active partnership between members of the public, patients, researchers and doctors to ensure that the voice and perspective of the public/patient influence all stages of the research process. One of the central themes of the conference is that members of the public can make a difference and contribute to healthcare research. The conference is particularly open to the public, along with patient organistations and researchers. Involving the public and patients in planning and conducting research ensures that the real life experiences of patients are considered when decisions are being made about what research should be done, and about how to design studies that are sensitive to the needs of patients. Researchers may not have had personal experience of the condition they are researching, so hearing from patients about the experience of suffering from a particular illness or of living with a particular condition provides a powerful insight into what matters most to patients. The conference showcases how people with intellectual disability, young adults with diabetes, people with aphasia (a language disability that can occur after a stroke) and a dementia family carer have all contributed richly to research in those areas. Ciara Keighron, an NUI Galway student who will co-present alongside the University’s Professor Sean Dinneen at the conference, said: “I am part of a panel of young adults with Type 1 diabetes who are working with researchers at NUI Galway to help develop a new model of care and better approaches to self-management for people like me. I am excited to think that I can contribute to making life better for other young adults with T1 diabetes. The conference is organised by the HRB Primary Care Clinical Trials Network Ireland at NUI Galway, a collaborative group of researchers conducting clinical trials through general practice and primary care. Director of the Network, Professor Andrew Murphy said: “Patients and the public always offer unique, invaluable insights that help shape our research – we need to listen.” For more information visit www.primarycaretrials.ie or contact Edel Murphy, NUI Galway on 091 495308 or email info@primarycaretrials.ie.  -ENDS-

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NUI Galway will host a one day public seminar entitled ‘What Humans Can Learn From Bees’, presented by Robert Pickard, Emeritus Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cardiff on Saturday, 23 April. Organised as a collaborative event between the Western Beekeepers Association and the Department of Zoology in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, the seminar will discuss what human beings can learn from studying bees and their biology. Those attending the conference will experience moments of humour, insight, surprise and concern regarding the fundamental importance of bees. Useful information about allergy, disease, nutrition and ageing will be provided throughout the day, to promote health and wellbeing in both bees and their keepers. In the first part of the seminar Professor Pickard will consider the 14-billion-year history of honeybees and humans from the origin of the current universe to the present day. It will explain how the relationships between microorganisms, plants and animals have unfolded to provide us with the bees and the environment that we have today. The second part of the seminar will illustrate the characteristics of queen bees along with descriptions of their production and management. Some of the less known activities of queens will be described, as well as sexual polymorphism in bees and humans, to illustrate its role in social supraorganisms (a hive of bees behaving and co-operating as one). The final part of the seminar will discuss the brains of honeybees and humans including learning, memory, decision-making and communication. Those attending the conference will learn how honeybees and humans are the only two species that can communicate complex navigational instructions. Commenting on the seminar, Professor Grace McCormack from Zoology in the School of Natural Sciences at NUI Galway, said: “The future of our bees lies with the beekeepers. Bees are of fundamental importance to human existence and need our help. Seminars like this are important for beekeepers, academics and the wider public. We encourage anyone with a general interest in the biology and conservation of bees to attend.” The seminar will take place in Room AM150 in the Arts Millenium Building at NUI Galway from 10am on Saturday, 23 April. Professor McCormack will also present a free public talk entitled ‘Towards developing healthier honeybees without using chemicals’ on Friday, 22 April at 7pm in Room AM150. All are welcome. Full-day attendance fee on Saturday is €30 and for more information please contact pro@irishkeeping.ie or grace.mccormack@nuigalway.ie. ENDS

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NUI Galway’s Centre for Disability Law and Policy project, The Voices of Individuals: Collectively Exploring Self-determination (VOICES) will hold its first workshop on the 27th and 28th of April in the Institute for Lifecourse and Society, NUI Galway.   The first day of the workshop is open to the public and will be a conference style event exploring the experiences of people with disabilities in exercising, or being denied their right to make decisions about their lives, known as legal capacity. The conference will include both international and domestic perspectives in the area of legal capacity and will also look at different ways to tell stories. Speakers include people with disabilites, academics, and activists with experience of using stories to drive social change from around the world. The VOICES project takes an innovative approach to law reform by using the stories of those with lived experience of disability and pairing them with respondents to develop grounded recommendations for reform. The second day of the workshop will be a private day where storytellers can share their experiences and can start working together with respondents. The keynote speaker will be Amita Dhanda, Professor of Law and Head of the Centre for Disability Studies, NALSAR, University of Law, Hyderabad in India. Dr Dhanda has actively engaged in negotiating the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and has been closely involved in the law reform work in her own country to formulate disability rights laws especially legal capacity and support regimes which are in conformity with the UNCRPD. Participants attending the conference will include: World-renowned independent disability rights defender, Professor Gabor Gombos; Theresia Degener, Vice Chair of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Committee; Maths Jesperson of PO-Skåne, a professional service with personal ombudsmen for people with severe psychosocial disabilities in Sweden; and Jolijn Santegods, a grass roots human rights activist and leading figure in human rights for people with psychosocial disabilities internationally.                                Dr Eilionóir Flynn, Principal Investigator on the VOICES Project and Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, said: “This workshop will bring together storytellers with disabilities and respondents from academia, activism, front-line workers and policy-makers to jointly develop proposals for reform of laws, policies and practice on legal capacity. The participants come from 12 countries and will explore many different and exciting ways to share their experiences of exercising and being denied legal capacity – through oral and written storytelling, art, theatre and performance.” The VOICES project is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant, awarded to Dr Eilionóir Flynn, the youngest person to ever receive such an award. The conference is a free event and registration remains open until Monday, 22 April. Further information is available at www.ercvoices.com or email Clíona on ercvoices@nuigalway.ie or 091 494272. Participant accessibility requests and enquiries are welcomed. ENDS

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

NUI Galway will host a public lecture and a one-day seminar series on multilingualism and language diversity in contemporary Ireland on 22 and 23 April in the Aula Maxima.  Both free events are open to the public and are part of NUI Galway’s official 1916 centenary programme. On Friday, 22 April, at 7pm, Professor Antonella Sorace, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, will deliver a public lecture entitled ‘Why multilingualism matters: the view from linguistic and cognitive research’. Professor Sorace is a world-leading expert on multilingualism and is committed to disseminating her research findings beyond academia. She is the founding director of the information and consultancy centre ‘Bilingualism Matters’. On Saturday, 23 April, leading researchers from Ireland and Europe will deliver a series of talks as part of a one-day seminar. Topics include multilingualism in education, in the home, in modern-day Europe and in speech and language therapy. All talks will be in English but will refer to a variety of languages including Irish, English, Chinese and Polish. Insurgents in the GPO in April 1916 were joined by a Swede and a Finn, neither of whom could speak English. Then as now, linguistic diversity was part of Irish life, even in unusual circumstances. The public lecture and one-day seminar will investigate aspects of multilingualism in Ireland 2016. Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Lecturer in the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at NUI Galway and Chairperson of the organising committee, said: “This is a unique opportunity for parents, teachers and other interested parties to hear about the latest research in the area of multilingualism and to discuss the challenges posed and the opportunities presented by linguistic diversity in Ireland 2016.” Further information and the full programme is available at www.multilingualism2016.wordpress.com -Ends- An t-Ilteangachas á Cheiliúradh in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Beidh léacht phoiblí agus seimineár lae faoin ilteangachas in Éirinn na linne seo ar siúl san Aula Maxima’, OÉ Gaillimh, ar 22-23 Aibreán. Tá an dá imeacht mar chuid de chlár comórtha 1916 na hOllscoile. Beidh fáilte roimh an bpobal agus ní bheidh aon táille le híoc le freastal ar cheachtar den dá ócáid. Ar an Aoine, 22 Aibreán ag 7pm, tabharfaidh an tOllamh Antonella Sorace, Ollscoil Dhún Éidinn, léacht phoiblí dar teideal ‘Why multilingualism matters: the view from linguistic and cognitive research’. Is saineolaí aitheanta ar an dátheangachas agus ar an ilteangachas í an tOllamh Sorace agus bhí sí ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí ‘Bilingual Matters’, ionad eolais agus comhairleoireachta do thuismitheoirí atá ag tógáil clainne le dhá theanga. Is é an Dr Zbyszek Zalinski, iriseoir agus láithreoir le RTÉ, a dhéanfaidh cathaoirleacht ar an léacht phoiblí. Ar an Satharn, 23 Aibreán, beidh saineolaithe ó Éirinn agus ó Mhór-roinn na hEorpa ag tabhairt cainteanna faoi ghnéithe éagsúla den ilteangachas, ina measc, sealbhú teangacha sa bhaile, páistí ilteangacha agus cúrsaí oideachais, an teiripe chainte agus urlabhraíochta. Cé go mbeidh na cainteanna ar fad trí mheán an Bhéarla, díreoidh na cainteoirí ar theangacha éagsúla an Pholainnis, an tSínis agus an Ghaeilge, san áireamh. Bhí Sualannach agus Fionnlanach nach raibh aon Bhéarla ar a dtoil acu in éindí le lucht an Éirí Amach in Ard-Oifig an Phoist ar 24 Aibreán 1916. Mar atá anois ann, bhain éagsúlacht theangeolaíoch le saol na hÉireann an uair úd chomh maith, fiú amháin i gcásanna fíoreisceachtúla. Deir an Dr Rióna Ní Fhrighil, Scoil na dTeangacha, Litríochtaí agus Cultúr agus duine den lucht eagair: “Beidh faill ag tuismitheoirí, ag múinteoirí agus ag an bpobal i gcoitinne tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin ilteangachas féin agus faoi na deiseanna agus na dúshláin atá romhainn in Éirinn ilteangach na linne seo.” Tá an clár iomlán chomh maith le heolas faoi na cainteoirí aonair ar fáil ag www.multilingualism2016.wordpress.com. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adults with type 1 diabetes’ NUI Galway will play host to a major three-day international symposium focusing on improving health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes from 22-24 June. Type 1 diabetes requires intensive self-management, including monitoring blood glucose, administering insulin, carbohydrate counting, and regulating exercise, to maintain good diabetes control. This daily self-management routine is challenging for most, but is especially difficult for young adults whose lives are often characterised by transition, independence and unpredictability. The Irish Young Adult Type 1 Diabetes Study team, based in NUI Galway, have been working since 2011 to better understand the needs and perspectives of young adults with type 1 diabetes and this three-day event is the culmination of that work. On the first day, Dr Molly Byrne, Health Behaviour Change Research Group, NUI Galway, will bring together expert researchers and clinicians to agree a standardised set of outcomes for use in future research with young adults with type 1 diabetes. The highpoint of this three-day event will be the a major international expert conference ‘Strength In Numbers: Teaming up to improve the health of young adult with type 1 diabetes’ on Thursday, 23 June. Healthcare professionals, young adults with type 1 diabetes, researchers and policy makers are invited and encouraged to attend this free conference, which is funded by the Health Research Board through a Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme. Headed by Professor Seán Dinneen, Consultant Physician at Galway University Hospitals and Head of NUI Galway’s School of Medicine, the conference will see national and international experts presenting to a multi-disciplinary audience on service provision and technology for supporting self-management in young adults with type 1 diabetes. The conference will host an array of international speakers from the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, the University of Sheffield, Kings College London, Cardiff University, the University of Aberdeen and Diabetes UK, as well as a host of national healthcare providers and experts from the HSE and Irish universities. The final day will involve two parallel sessions: an ‘Expert Panel’ and a ‘Hackathon’. The Expert Panel will be focused, and people will be specifically chosen to attend based on their skills and experience. This panel meeting will involve feedback sessions and workshops to reach a consensus on the final protocol for an intervention to improve health outcomes for young adults with type 1 diabetes in Ireland. The Hackathon will bring together software developers, health-focused start-up businesses, people with type 1 diabetes and healthcare professionals to focus on possible technology solutions which could be applied in a future young adult intervention. Professor Seán Dinneen who is leading the study, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming a diverse range of experts, including expert patients, to the NUI Galway campus in June to help us think through how we might improve the delivery of care to young adults living with type 1 diabetes.” The ‘Strength In Numbers’ conference on Thursday, 23 June, is open to anyone with an interest in young adult type 1 diabetes management. This innovative, multi-disciplinary conference is not an information event for people with diabetes but will be of interest to health services providers, researchers, young adults with type 1 diabetes and policy-makers. Join the Strength In Numbers conversation using the #TIDSINs2016. For full programme details or to register for free visit http://goo.gl/3I1zMG. For further information contact Dr Lisa Hynes in NUI Galway’s School of Psychology on 091 494458. -Ends-

Friday, 15 April 2016

Kyle Moore, an NUI Galway final year Bachelor of Arts student was recently awarded the prestigious American International Group, Inc. (AIG) Legatum Prize. The prize challenges the world’s brightest young minds to generate new ideas to some of the toughest policy questions. Kyle, from Raish, Co. Mayo, was presented with the £3,000 prize and the 2016 trophy with his innovative proposal for a reciprocal 'caring credits' system within the EU. His idea, which is published in full, along with the other finalists’ entries by the Legatum Institute, proposes that participants would earn credits through caring for the elderly, which they could ‘cash in’ later in life in any EU member state, either to fund their own care or that of family members. He cited an existing Japanese scheme as a good example for Europe to follow. Now in its fourth year, this prestigious award challenged entrants with devising solutions to the huge demographic challenges of ageing societies to ensure that older people can lead more prosperous lives. The aim of the AIG Legatum Prize is to give younger people across the world a voice, and to bring together the best and brightest young thinkers to address issues of relevance to public policy that are inadequately addressed and understood in existing research. Dr Edward Herring, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies, said: “I am delighted to congratulate Kyle Moore on his outstanding achievement. His award-winning proposal demonstrates the very best qualities of an Arts and Social Sciences' education, in that it is creative, entrepreneurial, innovative, and socially responsible. Kyle's achievement brings tremendous lustre to this University and we are very proud of him.” A distinguished panel of judges, chaired by Jeremy Cliffe, Bagehot columnist at The Economist, questioned the five shortlisted finalists in a Dragons’ Den-style format in front of a packed room of business leaders, academics, think-tankers and students. Adam Winslow, Chief Executive Officer of AIG Life Limited, said: “Kyle is a worthy winner, but there were many great ideas presented to the judges. We need to engage the brightest minds of all generations to find a solution to the demographic challenge that brings continued prosperity. It was genuinely inspirational to witness the range of different solutions proposed by these young thinkers to the very real problem of ensuring that an ageing society is a prosperous one.” -Ends-