US Supreme Court Judge to address NUI Galway Law Society

US Supreme Court Judge to address NUI Galway Law Society-image

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

NUI Galway is pleased to announce a visit by US Supreme Court Judge Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the University on Wednesday 31st January 2007. Justice Ginsburg will meet with NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh before addressing the University's Law Society in a special session, An Evening with Justice Ginsburg, at the O'Flaherty Theatre at 8.00pm. Justice Ginsburg's visit continues the strong relationship the Law Society at NUI Galway has developed with the judiciary of the most powerful court in the United States. Welcoming her to the University, Donncha O'Connell, Dean of Law says: "It is a tremendous credit to our students that they succeeded in securing a visit from a US judge of such eminence as Justice Ginsburg. The Faculty of Law is honoured by her visit to NUI Galway and we look forward with great interest and enthusiasm to learning from her unique insights as a distinguished member of, arguably, the most important court in the world." The event will be hosted by Today FM broadcaster and practicing barrister Ted Harding, who will interview Justice Ginsburg. The audience will then be invited to take part in a Question and Answer session with the Supreme Court judge. The Brooklyn-born judge became only the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court when nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Her refusal during confirmation hearings to answer questions regarding her personal views on issues such as abortion, gay rights or hypothetical situations as a Supreme Court Justice became known as the Ginsburg Precedent. Among her most notable judgements is her dissenting opinion in the infamous Bush v Gore case which effectively decided the 2000 US Presidential election. She also challenged the Bush administration in the Guantanamo detainee case, Hamdi v Rumsfeld, by voting against the majority when the court allowed the President to declare an American citizen an enemy combatant. An Evening with Justice Ginsburg is open to the public and those wishing to secure tickets should contact the NUI Galway Societies Box Office on 091 492852. -ends- For further information contact: Jacqueline Hogge, NUI Galway Press Office Email: jacqueline.hogge@nuigalway.ie Tel: 00353 91 493361

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NUI Galway Students to Build Homes in Ghana

NUI Galway Students to Build Homes in Ghana-image

Monday, 22 January 2007

22 January 2007: Twenty-one NUI Galway student volunteers have been selected to travel to Ghana in May to help local people build their own homes. The students will spend two weeks in the western African country working and living on the construction site with the homeowners' families. On Thursday, at NUI Galway, Mayor of Galway Niall Ó Brolcháin will announce the names of the chosen volunteers and formally launch the fund-raising efforts to finance the trip. The trip is being organised by the NUI Galway Chaplaincy, part of the University's Student Services, in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Ghana, which has already built over 4,000 homes in Ghana. According to Habitat for Humanity Ghana, despite a high per capita output, the majority of Ghanaians live in overcrowded rooms with the attendant health problems. Response to the project from the University community has been huge with well over 250 people attending a preliminary information evening and over 110 people applying for places on the team. According to one of the team leaders, Sr. Avril O'Regan from NUI Galway's chaplaincy; "The group of volunteers is comprised of enthusiastic students who, having been afforded the opportunities of a university education in Ireland, wish to give something back to those less well off. This is a unique opportunity to become active partners with people of another culture and help build homes and hope." Sister Avril continued, "Enthusiasm and volunteers are assets we have in abundance for this exciting and challenging project but we require material and financial support. Sending a team abroad entails significant cost which the team must fund entirely. Money raised goes to cover personal costs e.g. travel, insurance, food and water, as well as project costs including a substantial contribution towards the construction of the houses. In total the team seeks to raise in excess of €60,000." The NUI Galway group comprises 24 people, including three team leaders. The 21 students chosen for the team are drawn from a variety of Faculties and counties. The team leaders are Sr. Avril O'Regan (Dean of Residence/Chaplain NUI Galway), Mr Peter Mannion (Students' Union Education Officer NUI Galway) and Fr. Gabriel Kinahan (Franciscan, The Abbey). Parties interested in supporting this work may make a donation by sending it to Habitat for Humanity, c/o Sr. Avril O'Regan, Dean of Residence, NUI Galway. All monies received will go directly to this project. Further information can be obtained from Sr. Avril O'Regan on 091 492168 (avril.oregan@nuigalway.ie), from Peter Mannion on 091 493707 (peter.mannion@nuigalway.ie) or by visiting www.habitatireland.ie. - ends – Notes to Editors: How Habitat for Humanity (HFH) works: HFH builds and renovates simple, decent homes with the help of homeowner families, through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials. HFH works to make homes available to all people regardless of race, faith, gender or age. HFH build houses throughout the world, including Ireland, where the first four homes were built in Ballymun in 2005. In Ghana they build more than 400 houses a year and recently celebrated the dedication of their 4000th house. HFH homes are sold to low-income families at no profit and are financed through affordable long-term loans. Mortgage length varies between 7 – 30 years. All mortgage payments, combined with donations, are used to build more homes around the world through a revolving fund. In addition, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labour building their own homes and the homes of others. Among other benefits, this reduces the cost of the homes, increases the pride of home ownership and builds communities.

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East meets West theme at Múscailt Fleadh Imboilg '07

East meets West theme at Múscailt Fleadh Imboilg '07-image

Monday, 22 January 2007

NUI Galway's seventh Springtime Arts Festival Múscailt (meaning 'to awaken/inspire/celebrate) will officially open on Monday, 5 February at 1.00pm in the Aula Maxima. This year the festival has joined forces with the Celtic Fleadh Imboilg for a new and exciting programme that will see the campus come alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, storytelling, film and live performances. Múscailt Fleadh Imboilg '07 will open the week-long programme with No Crows, a band with a global repertoire, including Traditional and Eastern Music. This year's festival, running until Friday, 9 February, celebrates the Celtic Fertility Festival meeting Chinese New Year. Everyone is welcome to attend a programme of mainly free events featuring a wealth of talent from global and local artists. The Fleadh Imboilg is the ancient Celtic celebration for the start of spring. Established by the NUI Galway History Society last year, this traditional festival of renewal and hope is focused on organising fun events while also raising money for charity. This year's programme includes a trip to Gairdín Bhríde in Connemara, which reflects ancient Irish Celtic spirituality, and Spraoi Bhríde, a fund-raising drive in Galway city. NUI Galway Arts Officer, Fionnuala Gallagher, says: "Múscailt Fleadh Imboilg 2007 is a culture fest, where East meets West and Old meets New, celebrating diverse art forms, often together. Traditional arts such as storytelling, circus and juggling meet experimental performance and visual arts. It aims to bring people together in an act of celebration. The brief is to change the spaces that we study and work in for one week, to do a Spring clean, excite all our senses and most of all, enjoy." Highlights of this year's festival include: No Crows, featuring former Waterboys' rock fiddler Steve Wickham, Anna Heuston on the cello/mandolin, Felip Carbonell, on flamenco/manouche guitar and Eddie Lee on double bass. The band will be joined by special guests including Salit, a Malaysian Martial art/dance act; Cry of the Celt, a rollicking Irish dance troupe and a performance by ensemble-in-residence, ConTempo, who have arranged a piece specially for the occasion. A production of South Pacific by the Galway University Musical Society. The society's annual production runs from 6 – 10 February 2007 in the Black Box Theatre. Further information and tickets are available at www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie or by contacting the info/ticket desk at 091-492852; email:socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. A commission of art pieces on 'Transparency and Body' will exhibit in various buildings across the campus. Site specific works by 14 students from the Burren College of Art, Múscailt Bóirne, will adorn glass corridors throughout the University and Martina Hynan's new work Liminal Being will be on display in Áras Moyola. Original theatre featuring in this year's programme includes the One Act Play Series competing for the Jerome Hynes Best Production Award. Other theatrical highlights include the premier of 'Living with Johnny Depp', by Toot and Coo, and Taxi Rank by Janēva Dance Company, which arrives fresh from a successful run at Project '06. Múscailt Fleadh Imboilg '07 presents the perfect opportunity to take part in the cultural life of NUI Galway. The festival is supported by Galway University Foundation, AIB and NUI Galway Arts Office. -ends- For more information check: www.nuigalway.ie/arts_office/ Tel. Arts Office: 091 512062

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'A Little Goes a Long Way' when Alan Kerins Gives Seminar at NUI Galway

'A Little Goes a Long Way' when Alan Kerins Gives Seminar at NUI Galway-image

Monday, 22 January 2007

22 January 2007: Alan Kerins, organiser of the Alan Kerins African Projects, will speak at NUI Galway on 25 January at 1.00pm about his ongoing charity work, and the importance of volunteering to the community. Tickets for the free event, entitled 'A Little Goes a Long Way', will be available to the public, but must be booked in advance. Mr. Kerins will speak as part of a keynote seminar series hosted and sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway. Focusing on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship, this keynote series is being offered as a response to the impact that volunteering has in today's communities. The African Project began after Alan's visit to the Cheshire Home for Physically Disabled Children, in Mongu, western Zambia in 2005. What he saw triggered a fundraising campaign that has raised over a quarter of a million Euro for AIDS Orphans, water schemes, food aid, school building, housing development, childcare and rehabilitation. Mr. Kerin's works as a physiotherapist and plays on the Galway County Hurling Team. He was the winner of the Irish People of The Year Award 2006 as well as winning the Rehab Galway Person of the Year 2006 for his work with the African Project. Lorraine McIlrath, Project Coordinator, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway said "We are delighted to have Alan participate in our Keynote Seminar Series as he represents a generation of young people who have a huge propensity for giving of their time and energy to benefit the community. We are witness to this here on campus where our students actively participate in service-learning programmes and join our ALIVE volunteering project." Dr. Garret FitzGerald was the first to speak as part of the Keynote Seminar Series in November 2006 and other speakers lined up for the coming months include Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship; Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian; Maurice Mullard, University of Hull, Reader in Social Policy; and Caroline Casey, The Aisling Foundation. The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and endeavours to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. For tickets, please contact Mary Bernard at the Community Knowledge Initiative at mary.bernard@nuigalway.ie or on 091 493823. -ends – For further information contact Lorraine McIlrath, Project Coordinator, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway. Phone 091 495234

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Minister for Education Praises National Essay Competition

Minister for Education Praises National Essay Competition-image

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

This year's BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition saw Leaving Cert student Paul Kelliher of the Intermediate College in Killorglin, Co. Kerry, receive top prize in an exciting national science essay competition organised by NUI Galway. Paul, who won a laptop, crystal trophy and €500 science bursary for his school, received his prizes from the Minister for Education and Science, Mary Hanafin T.D., on the Science Foundation Ireland booth at the festival. The competition, co-ordinated by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway, and sponsored by Medtronic, is now in its second year. Over 250 essays were received from across the country on the theme of "The Quest for Immortality: Who wants to live forever?" Presenting the prizes for the second year in a row, Minister Hanafin described the competition as an initiative worth acknowledging and described writing about science as something that "enables us to spread our ideas all over the world." Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director at REMEDI and competition judge, thanked all the students who participated in the competition, highlighting that "There are many attributes which are necessary to become a successful scientist. Two of those are the ability to ask big questions and also the ability to communicate clearly the results of these efforts and I think that we have a very talented pool of students that have excellent writing skills in the sciences." Professor Frank Barry also thanked Medtronic and SFI for their work in supporting science education. Paul's essay was selected from a top-ten shortlist by a high profile panel of judges including Leo Enright (Chair of the Discover Science & Engineering Steering Committee), Tom Kennedy (Editor of Science Spin Magazine), Professor Frank Barry (Scientific Director, REMEDI) and Cormac Sheridan (Freelance Science Journalist) who met at REMEDI in November 2006 to choose a winner. Commenting on Paul's essay, competition judge Cormac Sheridan said "Paul's essay crackles with ideas and are expressed with great verve. He is a writer with real intellectual energy and genuine potential." The runner up prize of a video iPOD, crystal trophy and €250 school science bursary went to transition year student Sarah Grace, of the Loreto Abbey Secondary School in Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Organised as part of a joint REMEDI and NCBES secondary school outreach programme called GRO (Galway Regional Outreach), the aim of this annual competition is to hear young people's views on contemporary scientific questions and to encourage students to consider studying science in third level. Last year's competition winner, Laura Bree, is now studying biomedical engineering at NUI Galway. REMEDI is a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) located at NUI Galway. To read the winning essays or for additional information on REMEDI and NCBES outreach programmes, visit www.remedi.ie and www.ncbes.ie -ends-

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