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Canadian Ambassador Presents Irish Language Scholarships
Friday, 6 August 2010
Scholarships for six foreign students learning Irish in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway His Excellency Patrick G. Binns, Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, has presented six scholarships to Canadian students attending an Irish language course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht. These awards are made available to students registered in certain Canadian universities and offer an opportunity to participate this summer in approved Irish language courses in a Gaeltacht setting. The scholarships are provided by the Ireland Canada University Foundation. At present there are 64 foreign students learning Irish on a month-long course in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge. This course is of significant advantage to the Connemara economy with the students living and socialising locally. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge's Chief Executive, Peadar Mac an Iomaire said: "It is an honour to have the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland with us in An Cheathrú Rua on this the 33rd year of Irish language courses for foreign students at this centre. We are grateful for the support that the Irish government provides to enhance the links between NUI Galway and people in Canada and in universities all over the world who are eager to broaden their knowledge of the Irish language." Historical links between Ireland and Canada go right back to the sixteenth century. Irish people, mainly from the Southeast of the country, used to cross to Newfoundland in search of codfish. This emigration predated the well-recounted exodus during the Great Famine. It is appropriate that these links are today being enhanced and developed in the Irish language sector. At present, four million Canadians or 13% of the population of Canada claim Irish heritage. The Ireland Canada University Foundation provides exchange programmes between Irish and Canadian universities and these programmes are open to all academic disciplines. The Foundation was established in 1994 by Dr Craig Dobbin, Newfoundland and former Irish President, Dr Patrick Hillary. In 2004 the Foundation was given recognition in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and the Rt. Hon. Paul Martin M.P., Prime Minister of Canada. -Ends-
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Recently Discovered Hurling Films Screened for First Time in Eighty Years
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Recently discovered short films by NUI Galway academic, Dr Seán Crosson, will be screened for the first time in over 80 years at the Kilkenny Arts Festival. The series of short films featuring hurling were made for American cinema audiences by the Hollywood majors Warner Bros., MGM and Paramount pictures between the 1930s and the 1950s and copies have recently been acquired by the Irish Film Archive. The series of short films will be screened by the Irish Film Institute, entitled Ireland's Athletic Assault and Battery"?: Hollywood and Hurling on Monday, 9 August, as part of the Festival. While researching Hollywood's treatment of the GAA, Dr Crosson, Director of the MA in Film Studies Programme at the NUI Galway Huston School of Film and Digital Media, discovered the films in an archive at the University of Madison in Wisconsin. During the 1920s, '30s and '40s the GAA organised annual tours to the United States for the All-Ireland winners in both hurling and gaelic football to promote the games stateside. These visits inspired some American producers to consider hurling in particular as a subject for their work. While both Pathé and Fox Movietone newsreels covered several of the games, hurling would also appear in a number of short films released in cinemas in the 1930s including two segments of sports series narrated by seminal American broadcaster Ted Husing, Ted Husing's Sports Slants and Sports Thrills. These films were made by the Vitaphone Corporation for Warner Bros, in 1931 and 1932 respectively. The MGM produced Pete Smith Specialty Hurling (David Miller, 1936) film resulted in a deputation from the GAA visiting the Irish Film censor to demand that objectionable images be removed from the film. These films were joined in 1955 by the Oscar nominated Paramount Pictures short Three Kisses (Justin Herman, 1955), a film featuring the legendary Cork hurling team of the 1950s. Dr Crosson noted: "These films have important historical value, representing some of the very few examples of moving image footage of Gaelic games we have from this period, including the 1930 All-Ireland champions Tipperary on tour in the United States. However, they also provide a fascinating insight into an evolving Irish-American identity on screen in this crucial transitional period for this community in the United States". -Ends-
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Stress and Anxiety Topic of Discussion at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
The 31st World Conference of the Stress and Anxiety Research Society (STAR) will take place in NUI Galway, from tomorrow (4 August) to Friday, 6 August. The conference will be hosted by the Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS) in the University. During STAR 2010, a strong emphasis will be on applied and experimental research on stress and anxiety. Contributors will also focus on social, political, and policy-related aspects of major world events, such as terrorism, natural disasters, global warming, and the worldwide economic recession. The three-day event will incorporate a sequence of cutting-edge keynote addresses from leading figures in stress research. Professor Michael Eysenck, University of London and Roehampton University, UK who is renowned for his research in memory and cognition, will give the distinguished Spielberger address, focusing on new theories on anxiety and cognition, and drawing on his many years of research experience and publication of over 40 books. Professor Charles D. Spielberger, University of South Florida, will deliver another keynote address on the scientific study of emotions. Professor Spielberger is one of the world's most prominent research psychologists who, across a 50-year career, has published over 400 scientific papers. He has also served as president of both the American Psychological Association and the International Stress Management Association. Dr Brian Hughes, Director of CROLS, NUI Galway says: "Stress and anxiety are universal experiences and the problems they create are extensive. This is why it is so important that they be researched extensively. We are delighted to be holding the World Conference on Stress and Anxiety Research in Galway this year. Leading figures from the behavioural, social, and health sciences will be coming to Galway to share the latest research findings in this important area." "As well as the stress of everyday life, it is important for us to understand more about how people are affected by extreme or traumatic stressors. Researchers will be reporting findings about the human impact of the earthquake in Haiti, missile attacks in the Middle East, and stressful occupations such as firefighting, police work, and military aviation", Dr Hughes added. The conference will be attended by over 250 researchers in the social, behavioural, and health sciences from across the world. Delegates will present research focusing on stress, anxiety, depression, coping, mental health, ergonomics, psychosomatics, therapeutics, education, and psychophysiology. Other keynote speakers at STAR 2010 include: Douglas Carroll, University of Birmingham; Jack James, NUI Galway; Jian Li, University of Wuppertal; Germany, Daniel W. Russell, Ohio State University, USA; and Charles D. Spielberger, University of South Florida, USA. A host of pre-conference workshops will also take place running in parallel sessions allowing for a very high level of knowledge dissemination. Across its 30 year history, the conference has traversed the globe, being held in Europe, Australia, Africa, and North America. STAR 2010 marks the first visit of the conference to Ireland. The Centre for Research on Occupational and Life Stress (CROLS) at NUI Galway is an integrated, interdisciplinary research consortium comprising of collaborators from across the behavioural and social sciences, medicine and health sciences, business, public policy, and law. Ends
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Significant Opportunities for Cod Farming – Minister Told at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Mr Sean Connick, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, today (27th July) visited EIRCOD, a state-of-the-art cod breeding project at the NUI Galway Carna Laboratory in Connemara. The project is aimed at designing, establishing and operating a cod broodstock programme customised for the Irish environment and underpinning the native fish farming industry. "The benefits from supporting the development of an emerging cod farming industry in Ireland are many," said Minister Connick, whose Department has already highlighted the need to research and develop alternative aquaculture species on a commercial and profitable scale in its recent Food Harvest 2020 Report. "In addition to the obvious socio-economic benefits accrued by coastal communities, such an industry would contribute positively to Ireland's aquaculture and seafood sectors by offering species diversification and high value added products." The scientists, working in NUI Galway and University College Cork on the EIRCOD project, were funded under the Sea Change national marine knowledge, research and innovation strategy, co-ordinated by the Marine Institute. "Sea Change supports a range of fishery and aquaculture projects, all designed to build a better understanding of factors that contribute to improving the competitiveness of Ireland's marine food sector," said Dr. Peter Heffernan of the Marine Institute. "There is a strong scientific link between the EIRCOD project and another Sea Change-funded project in Cork on fish genetics where scientists at UCC are developing new DNA tools to help identify unique strains of cod." Leading fish geneticist Professor Tom Cross who, with his team at UCC, are partners in EIRCOD stated "we are using the latest genomic approach to assist the NUI Galway cod breeding programme and increase knowledge of wild stock structure. This invokes next generation sequencing of part of the cod genome allowing us to detect many thousand microsatellites and SNPs (as used in human forensics) and also functional genes involved with traits important in farmed production." As well as being partners in EIRCOD, the UCC group is also funded by the Beaufort Fish Population Genetics Award from the Irish government with Dr Phillip McGinnity as Principal Investigator. The first three years of EIRCOD saw the transfer from NUI Galway's Martin Ryan Institute (MRI) Carna Lab to the Trosc Teo fish farm in Connemara, Co. Galway of specially bred juvenile cod, reared from eggs collected from the Celtic Sea off the South coast of Ireland. The parentage of these fish is known and the growth performance of the different groups are monitored up to market size with the better performing groups being selected for use in future breeding activities. These fish are being selectively bred as a specific Irish strain. As part of this work, the researchers track and benchmark the Celtic sea cod in the farm situation and compare performance with farmed and wild stocks in Ireland and elsewhere. Majbritt Bolton-Warberg, a fish biologist at NUI Galway's MRI facility in Carna explains: "It appears that these Celtic sea cod, grown in Irish waters and at our higher water temperatures, display faster growth rates in the early years of life than those in more northerly European countries. This gives a significant commercial competitive advantage to Ireland". By 2011 the EIRCOD project will have had adult cod at sea for the past four years with in excess of 50 unique family groups, many of which will be reaching their sexual maturity. It will therefore be possible for researchers to selectively breed these fish for the first time; identifying and actively selecting the best performers and applying classical breeding techniques that have been used for centuries in agriculture to give a better performing stock and applying them to fish farming. According to Dr Richard Fitzgerald, Senior Scientist with the EIRCOD project at NUI Galway, "the work of the EIRCOD partnership has underpinned the ongoing development of an innovative sustainable and profitable cod farming industry in Ireland through this strategic breeding programme. In addition, we are putting the final touches to a report 'An Economic Assessment of Cod Farming in Ireland' where we have identified several opportunities for the cultivation of cod on the western seaboard of Ireland." The EIRCOD project is funded by the Marine Institute and the Marine Research Sub-programme of the National Development Plan and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund. It is led by NUI Galway's Martin Ryan Institute in Carna, Co. Galway with partners UCC, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Irish Seafood Producers Group, Trosc Teo and Dr Ashie Norris, consultant. The project builds on work carried out by the Martin Ryan Institute and Trosc Teo over in the past with the assistance of the relevant state agencies Údarás na Gaeltachta, Marine Institute, and BIM. -Ends-
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HSE West Ambulance Officers made Honorary Clinical Fellows of NUI Galway
Monday, 26 July 2010
In recognition of their contribution to the undergraduate teaching programme at NUI Galway, three Ambulance Officers from the HSE West area have been made Honorary Clinical Fellows of the University. The Ambulance Officers, Gabriel Glynn, Vincent O Connor and PJ Commins, were involved in establishing and delivering an innovative special study module in Pre-hospital emergency care to second year NUI Galway medical students under the direction of the University's Dr Gerard Flaherty, Lecturer in Medical Education and Clinical Skills and Coordinator of the Special Study Module programme. The Pre-hospital emergency care module provides students with basic training in immediate care such as basic life support and spinal immobilisation. The students are also given an opportunity to accompany paramedic crews on routine and emergency calls in the capacity of supervised observers. The students benefit by developing a greater understanding of the challenges of pre-hospital emergency care and a deeper appreciation of the role of multidisciplinary team members in an emergency environment. Commenting on the success of the Pre-hospital emergency care module, NUI Galway's Dr. Flaherty said, "Feedback from the module has been overwhelmingly positive to date and it has been the most popular choice of module for second year students over the two years that it has been running. The module is another excellent example of seamless and fruitful partnership between the HSE and the School of Medicine. Both groups will benefit greatly from this academic initiative." Chief Ambulance Officer, HSE West, Mr. Paudie O Riordan said, "The Ambulance Service places great value on the relationship that has built up over the two years with our colleagues in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. The relationship has benefited the Ambulance Service greatly and we are delighted at the positive response from the students". ends
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