NUI Galway names Carron Field Station in honour of the late Professor Máirín de

Friday, 7 July 2006

NUI Galway's newly refurbished Carron Field Station has today been named in honour of NUI Galway's first Professor of Botany, the late Professor Máirín de Valéra. In a special ceremony on Friday, Minister Síle de Valera unveiled a commemorative plaque, which names the field station after her aunt.

Located close to the village of Carron in the heart of the Burren, Co. Clare, the field station was established in 1975 as a teaching and research facility for the University.

Professor Emer Colleran, Director of the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway said, "The naming of the refurbished Carron Field Station in honour of Professor de Valéra is appropriate, given the University and ECI-stated mission to expand outreach activities, and to increase access by the external community to University learning and research programmes. The intention is that the field station is made more widely available to first, second and third-level educational Institutions, and in particular to local community groups with an interest in environmental issues."

Apart from its use as a field teaching centre for university undergraduate students, the station has facilitated a wide range of environmental research projects. One of the on-going research projects focuses on the development of sustainable land management practices for the unique range of habitats found in the Burren region. Liaising with local landowners and acknowledging their expertise is an essential element of this research, particularly in relation to developing Turlough management systems.

NUI Galway wishes to recognise the contribution of the University's former Professor of Botany, the late Máirín de Valéra, to teaching and field research by naming the research field station in her honour. Máirín de Valéra, daughter of Eamonn de Valéra, joined the Department of Natural History at University College Galway in 1939. She was solely responsible for teaching Plant Science at University College Galway for many years, and was appointed as the first Professor of Botany in 1962.

Approximately €500,000 was recently spent to fully refurbish and modernise this unique facility, with the majority of the funding being provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI).

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