Tuesday, 31 October 2017

John Carney, one of the most acclaimed and successful contemporary Irish film directors, has been appointed an Adjunct Professor with the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway. Mr Carney will give talks and workshops in the Huston School over the next three-years, including the forthcoming BA in Film and Digital Media, and will also contribute to the increasing integration of the school’s programmes with the film and audio-visual industry in Ireland and internationally.    John Carney will visit the Huston School of Film and Digital Media on Thursday, 9 November at 5.30pm to give an inaugural lecture as Adjunct Professor. John’s talk will be preceded by a directing workshop in the Huston School at 4pm for leaving certificate students interested in the School’s forthcoming BA in Film and Digital Media, enrolling from September 2018. Dr Seán Crosson, Acting Director of the Huston School of Film and Digital Media at NUI Galway, said: “We are delighted that such a distinguished director as John Carney has agreed to join us in Huston as an Adjunct Professor. John has been a key figure in Irish film over the past twenty years. His award-winning work, particularly in the musical genre, has helped to reimagine the parameters of Irish cinema and brought Irish stories and characters to wide international audiences. John will make an important contribution to the Huston School programmes in the coming years, and allow us to further develop our connections with the film and audio-visual industry in Ireland and internationally.”  Speaking about his appointment as Adjunct Professor, John Carney, said: “I’m thrilled with the appointment. Galway holds a special place in my heart as a film maker, and I look forward to many months of work with the NUI Galway students, discussing, developing and making films.”   John Carney was born in Dublin and was educated at De La Salle College Churchtown and at Synge Street CBS. He was bassist for Irish rock band The Frames between 1991 and 1993 and also directed some of their music videos. Carney also co-wrote and co-directed the hugely successful RTÉ TV series Bachelors Walk. In recent years Carney wrote and directed the 2006 global hit movie Once, which went on to win numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It has since been adapted as one of the most successful theatrical musicals of recent years, including award winning runs on Broadway and the West End. Subsequent films directed by Carney have enjoyed considerable critical and commercial success. Begin Again (2013) grossed over $63 million worldwide and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Lost Stars. His most recent film, the Irish set coming of age musical Sing Street (2016), was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 74th Golden Globes in January 2017. With a core focus on the development of creative and critical skills, the BA in Film and Digital Media equips graduates for a career in today’s rapidly changing media environment. Employing over 6,000 people nationwide, and generating an estimated €550 million annually, the creative industries are central to Ireland’s economic and cultural achievements on the global stage. At the heart of the industry’s success lie the creative talents of the individuals working within it. The exciting new BA in Film and Digital Media undergraduate degree offers students a unique combination of theory and practice across the areas of film and digital media, providing them with practical skills in filmmaking, screenwriting, and digital development and design, and positioning them to become the next generation of content creators. The event is free and open to the public on Thursday, 9 November and students interested in attending John Carney’s inaugural lecture can email hustonfilmschool@nuigalway.ie. For further information on the Huston School and its programmes, visit: www.filmschool.ie   -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Council of Europe finds that Ireland violated the European Social Charter the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection. The Council of Europe has today upheld a Collective Complaint that Ireland has violated Article 16 of the European Social Charter on the right of the family to social, legal and economic protection. Adequate housing is viewed as an integral element of this right. The Council of Europe held that Ireland failed to take sufficient and timely measures to ensure the right to housing of an adequate standard for a significant number of families living in local authority housing, and therefore there is a violation of Article 16 of the Charter in this respect. This Collective Complaint was facilitated by the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway, working in association with local tenants groups in the main cities, law centres and Non-Government Organisations, involved the submission of detailed evidence of housing conditions on local authority estates, with associated human rights standards. Some 90% of the estimated 130,000 Irish local authority tenant households live on estates. Dr Padraic Kenna, Director of the Centre for Housing Law, Rights and Policy at NUI Galway today welcomed this landmark decision, saying: “We have been working with tenants groups, law centres, national and international human rights agencies, over the past five years. Our students at the University researched the European human rights norms. This decision marks a significant historical development, which could enhance the development of Irish State housing policy.” The Irish State does not support any national organisation of its tenants, who could be consulted or participate in framing legislation or housing policy, unlike almost every other European country. There was no opportunity, within Ireland, for these tenants to have the collective issues examined in any systematic way. They could submit this European Complaint only through other organisations. Many issues faced by Irish local authority tenants could be resolved by tenants associations. Dr Kenna added: “Of course, nothing in this complaint was intended to diminish respect for the valuable and dedicated work of national and local authority housing professionals, or the committed work of voluntary and community groups and public representatives, who work tirelessly to improve the situation of local authority tenants in Ireland. This issue is more complex. State housing in Ireland generates a surplus after maintenance costs are deducted from rents. A recent report from the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) shows that local authorities generated a surplus of €40 million in 2014, from their housing, used to cross-subsidise other services.” The Council of Europe noted that complete statistics on the condition of local authority housing have not been collated since 2002. It also noted that a significant number of regeneration programmes have not been completed, leaving many local authority tenants in unacceptable housing conditions. Significantly, housing standards for 30,000 tenants of approved housing bodies are now regulated by the Residential Tenancies Board, but there is no such regulation of State tenancies. Indeed, the State is both the landlord and the regulator on housing standards in local authority housing. The Irish State must report to the Council of Europe within 12 months on how it has addressed this violation. The full decision and a summary is available at: https://mycloud.coe.int/index.php/s/gmW0htvgNt9hFhN#pdfviewer -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

After eight days of science films from all over the world, the Irish Parkinson’s disease documentary, Feats of Modest Valour, a Science on Screen documentary by CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, won the prestigious Scientist Award at the Imagine Science Film Festival in New York last week. The Scientist Award is awarded by the leading international science journal, Science, and its publisher, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), to a film that portrays in an accurate and inventive way the life of a scientist. The select jury included Nobel prize-winning scientist, Professor Martin Chalfe, and award-winning science columnist for the New York Times, Professor Carl Zimmer. In Feats of Modest Valour, three individuals live clockwork existences, dictated by a strict regime of medication to manage the physical reality of living with Parkinson’s disease. Brian Carney is a farmer from County Mayo whose son had to take over the running of the family farm from a very young age; Milena Lulic is a Croatian World War II survivor who faces her condition head-on with great dignity; and Tom Hickey, the Irish actor, talks about how suffering for his art takes on a whole new meaning with the disease. Interwoven with their stories, we see researchers from CÚRAM, the Centre for Research in Medical Devices at NUI Galway, led by Dr Eilís Dowd, who are developing a novel therapeutic approach which they hope will revolutionise treatment of the condition. Guided by stunning animated sequences, it delves into the brain of someone with Parkinson’s disease, and shows how dying cells can be replaced by stem cells supported by a natural biomaterial ‘scaffold’. Speaking about the film, Dr Dowd, who is currently President of both Neuroscience Ireland and the Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR), said: “This is a film about science and medicine, about scientists and patients, about art and music, but most of all, about hope. It was a genuine privilege to work on this project with such talented filmmakers and such inspirational patients.” Feats of Modest Valour was produced through the ‘Science on Screen’ initiative between CÚRAM, Science Foundation Ireland, and the Galway Film Centre who manage Galway’s UNESCO City of Film designation. Science on Screen was conceptualised as part of CURÁM’s Public Engagement Programme, and aims to facilitate, promote and increase the inclusion of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) content in Irish film and TV productions. Other productions from the initiative include Mending Legends directed by Paul Webster and produced by James Ryan of Stationhouse Media, and BitterSweet - the Rise of Diabetes directed by Hugh Rodgers and produced by Anna Rodgers and Zlata Filipovic of Invisible Thread  films. Commenting on the initiative, Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “Together with Galway Film Centre we could see the potential of the film for bringing science to life, and we are very proud of Feats of Modest Valour, for winning this major international award.” The film is co-directed and co-produced by Mia Mullarkey and Alice McDowell of Ishka Films, and is due to be screened on RTÉ 1 on Sunday November 12 at 10:30pm. The film has already been screened at numerous community events and at film festivals both here in Ireland and across Europe. To find out more about the film, see http://featsofmodestvalour.com/index.html   -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Galway’s innovators invited to join biggest global climate action hackathon in history to reduce carbon footprint of Galway city Galway city’s innovators will join 111 cities across 44 countries on six continents in a day of innovation to generate pioneering ideas that could lead Galway towards the zero-carbon economy of the future. Galway Climathon 2017 will harness the energy and dynamism of all interested groups and individuals to develop and scale innovations towards a zero-carbon future for Galway city, taking place on Friday 27 October at the Cube in NUI Galway’s Bailey Allen Hall. This is the second year that Galway has participated in the Global Climathon hackathon, which this year is being hosted by NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute in conjunction with the award-winning Masters degree in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS) program at the University. The global 24-hour climate change hackathon, powered by Climate-KIC will take place simultaneously in major cities around the world. Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, and runs this annual event to empower individuals and organisations to work together in order to develop new solutions to the climate crisis at the city scale. Professor Charles Spillane, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. With 90% of the world’s urban areas situated on coastlines, cities are at high risk from some of the devastating impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels and powerful coastal storms. Coastal cities such as Galway are on the frontlines of global climate change and are well-positioned to play a leadership role with sister cities worldwide in driving global action to address climate change. Our Climathon event presents a unique opportunity for multiple innovators, groups and individuals to work together to develop and scale innovations towards a zero-carbon footprint horizon-point for Galway city districts, sectors and inhabitants.” At Galway Climathon 2017, each team will develop their own innovation idea throughout the one-day event, facilitated by the NUI Galway TechInnovate team, culminating in a pitch competition at the end of the day before a high-profile judging panel. The top three teams will receive over €1000 in TechInnovate funding support to progress their innovations on to accelerator and entrepreneurship programs that will in turn translate them into start-up companies, social enterprises or funded projects/programmes. Dr Peter McKeown and Dr David Styles from NUI Galway’s MScCCAFS program added: “Galway can lead in this global challenge, having been in the firing line of a number of powerful storms over the past few years, such as Storm Desmond in 2015 and Storm Ophelia last week. It is therefore apt that Galway harnesses the creativity and international innovation leadership for which it is renowned to lead global efforts in climate mitigation.” Climathon 2017 will provide a unique opportunity for innovators, change agents and stakeholders in Galway to create new technologies or ways to implement existing technologies that can effectively decarbonise the city, and other cities globally. Prospective innovators are encouraged to sign up for Climathon 2017 at: https://climathon.climate-kic.org/galway and Follow on Twitter @GalwayClimathon View Climathon participating cities globally here: https://climathon.climate-kic.org/#map -Ends- 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Two science documentaries produced through Galway UNESCO City of Film and CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, have achieved great success in reaching numerous audiences in Ireland and internationally, with a third documentary, Bittersweet – the Rise of Diabetes, scheduled to premiere during Science Week this November, as part of the Galway Science and Technology Festival 2017. Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes is a half-hour documentary directed by Hugh Rodgers and produced by both Anna Rodgers and Zlata Filipovic of Invisible Thread Films. The film captures the health system’s fight to treat the rising number of diabetic patients, and warns against this troubling epidemic facing our population. It follows the personal stories of young people who are living with diabetes and their daily struggle to manage it. Over the course of the documentary, we also discover ground-breaking research and development in pharmacology and biomedical science, capturing the important work of CÚRAM’s Professor David Brayden and his team at UCD’s Veterinary Hospital, where they are developing new ways of delivering insulin to the body. In 2015, CÚRAM joined forces with Galway Film Centre and Galway UNESCO City of Film, to invite filmmakers to make two science films. The pilot of the ‘Science on Screen’ initiative, funded through Science Foundation Ireland’s Discover Programme, resulted in two high quality 26-minute science documentaries that incorporated areas of research currently taking place in CÚRAM: Feats of Modest Valour and Mending Legends.  These two films have gone from strength to strength, scooping broadcast slots with both TG4 and RTÉ, screening at numerous film festivals in Europe and the US and are being used extensively and continuously as part of CÚRAM’s public engagement programme. Screenings have taken place at community events and schools, as well as at academic conferences both in Ireland and abroad. The filmmakers have been invited to represent Ireland at festivals overseas including dokumentART in Germany, and have been nominated for awards like the Short Lens Competition, Guth Gafa. Over 200,000 people have viewed the films and over 40 screenings have been held to date. Feats of Modest Valour recently won the AAAS Scientist Award as well as the runner up People's Choice Award at the prestigious Imagine Science Film Festival in New York City. Professor Abhay Pandit, Centre Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, said: “The films have had an incredibly broad reach and a significant impact on audiences all over the country and beyond. We have been hugely impressed with how these filmmakers have taken on the scientific information and woven together stories that have a powerful impact on their audiences, showing not only what a difference a career in research can make, but showing the real challenges that people face when living with chronic illness that we are trying to address.” “Given the huge success of the programme to-date, not only in terms of how far the films have travelled, but also audience feedback, the enthusiasm of researchers to share their stories and the skill and initiative shown by the filmmakers in engaging with scientific information and getting right to the heart of the story, we plan to continue the initiative with our partners at Galway Film Centre who have excelled in guiding the filmmakers through the process each year”, Professor Pandit added. Commenting on the success of the films, Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “We are delighted to see how well these high-quality documentaries have been received and commend CÚRAM on their success. Science Foundation Ireland is committed to making science accessible to all. Through our Discover Programme we are delivering scientific programmes which inform the public about the work they are funding, and will also inspire the next generation of scientists, those who will drive Ireland’s future economy and shape our society.” In Feats of Modest Valour, viewers meet three individuals living with the physical challenges of Parkinson’s disease. Brian Carney from County Mayo works on the family farm, while Milena Lulic who lives in Galway City recounts her days in World War II in Croatia. Tom Hickey, an Irish actor who recently received a lifetime achievement award at the Abbey Theatre from President Michael D. Higgins, talks about how suffering for his art takes on a whole new meaning with the disease. Meanwhile, researchers on the ‘BrainMatTrain project led by CÚRAM and Dr Eilis Dowd at NUI Galway, are searching for a way to halt the disease. The film is co-directed and co-produced by Mia Mullarkey and Alice McDowell of Ishka Films. Directed by Paul Webster and produced by James Ryan of StationHouse Media, Mending Legends explores the physical and psychological impact of tendon injuries amongst athletes and visits the team of Galway-based scientists, led by Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis in CÚRAM at NUI Galway, who are designing a new type of tendon implant, in the form of the world’s first 3D cell assembled tendon prototype. Declan Gibbons, Manager of Galway Film Centre and Director of Galway UNESCO City of Film, said: “We are very proud of the two Science on Screen films and how well they have travelled. It is testament to the work of the filmmakers and the exciting scientific research that takes place in CÚRAM. We look forward to the next Science on Screen film, Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes, this November and rolling out the scheme again in 2018.” To register to attend the free screening of Bittersweet – The Rise of Diabetes at An Taibhdhearc in Galway on 25 November, visit: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/science-on-screen-2017-tickets-39326703228   Feats of Modest Valour will broadcast on 12 November at 10.35pm on RTÉ 1 coinciding with the start of Science Week. Mending Legends was aired on TG4 on 24 September and is still available to view on the TG4 Player. -Ends-

Thursday, 26 October 2017

NUI Galway in conjunction with the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) will host a public lecture by Fintan O’Toole entitled ‘Bernard Shaw and the Uses of Celebrity’ to mark the publication of Judging Shaw on Tuesday, 7 November at 6.30pm. The event will take place in the Aula Maxima at the University and will be followed by a panel discussion on “Making Judging Shaw” moderated by Professor Patrick Lonergan, NUI Galway with Ruth Hegarty, RIA, Barry Houlihan, James Hardiman Library and Fintan O’Toole. Judging Shaw is the fourth book in the Royal Irish Academy’s award-winning ‘Judging’ series and looks at the legacy of George Bernard Shaw (GBS), Nobel prize-winner for literature and internationally renowned playwright, intellectual and commentator. The book, written by Orwell-prize-winning journalist Fintan O’Toole, traces the growth of ‘GBS’, the first great global brand, and discovers how Shaw created this most modern of concepts. Judging Shaw brings together a new insights on the making and invention of GBS, the complex relationships Shaw had with both England and Ireland, through times of revolution and after; reconsiders the ‘dark side of GBS’ as well as his death, commemoration and legacies. The illustrated volume features over one hundred digitised archival documents, sourced from institutions around the world, including NUI Galway’s digital theatre collections at the Hardiman Library, many published for the first time and which visualise the great achievements and also wide range of networks Shaw lived and worked in. Also being unveiled is a new exhibition to coincide with the publication of Judging Shaw. Co-curated by Barry Houlihan of NUI Galway, Ruth Hegarty and Jeff Wilson of the Royal Irish Academy and Fintan O’Toole, the exhibition brings a wealth of archival images and stories from Shaw’s remarkable public and private life, drawing on many experiences such as time spent in the West of Ireland at Coole Park, the home of Lady Isabella Augusta Gregory, Shaw’s political and socialist writing, his theatre as staged in London, Dublin and also in Belfast after his death. The legacy of Shaw is considered in the ‘afterlife of GBS’, how his work was staged in contemporary times and how his life was commemorated. Before he died, Shaw noted those around him were ‘going Shaw-mad!’ The exhibition will be open to the public at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway. George Bernard Shaw has left a vast legacy of theatrical, fictional, polemical, critical and philosophical writing. The first person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award, Shaw bridges the Victorian era and the contemporary culture of celebrity. The GBS brand came to be recognised globally as referring to an Irish provocateur with a red beard and startling opinions. He was a master of self-invention, a nobody who captured the zeitgeist and one of the first private individuals to understand fully how to generate—and how to use—global fame. Speaking in advance of the public lecture, Professor Patrick Lonergan, said: “We are delighted to welcome Fintan O’Toole and the Royal Irish Academy to NUI Galway to explore and celebrate the life and work of George Bernard Shaw. This university is deeply committed to preserving our nation’s theatrical heritage through our work in archives, allowing us to offer courses that give our students a unique behind-the-scenes perspective on Irish theatre.  We also are strongly committed to promoting awareness of that heritage through talks, publications, and other activities. This beautifully produced book and the fascinating exhibition that accompanies it will bring huge pleasure to readers and theatre-makers around the world, ensuring that Shaw’s legacies – as a dramatist and a political thinker – will have an impact for generations to come.”   Fintan O’Toole said: “Shaw had an ambivalent relationship with Ireland, but Ireland had a very ambivalent relationship with Shaw. He is by far the most influential, famous Irish person who has ever lived. There is no other Irish person that had the global reach that Shaw had. He is a vast terrain. It is a pleasure to see the book translated into an entirely different medium in the exhibition and one of the things that you see in it is that as well as being a great thinker, a great political activist, great dramatist, as well as that he was one of the world’s great posers.” Admission is free but places are limited so please register go to www.conference.ie    ENDS

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Report highlights impact of recent senior lecturer promotions on academic staff profile to exceed national average -58% of those promoted were female -40% of university senior lecturers female -36% published national average  NUI Galway today published a progress report on its activities relating to equality and diversity/gender equality. The report includes data on its latest senior lecturer promotion scheme, through which 33 lecturers advanced. Of the 33 promotions, there were 19 women (58%) and 14 men (42%). These figures have had a positive impact on the academic staff profile by gender at Senior Lecturer grade bringing NUI Galway to 40% female Senior Lecturers. This figure is above the national average of 36% in the most recent data published by the Higher Education Authority.  The University has met its own target to increase the percentage of women in the university at senior lecturer grade to 40% by April 2020 and remains committed to increasing the percentage of women in senior academic grades.  It has a target to increase the percentage of female professors to 30% by 2020. Commenting on the quarterly data, NUI Galway’s Head of Equal Opportunities, Aoife Cooke, said: “There has been a campus wide focus on gender equality and I’m pleased that following this range of initiatives, we have seen greater numbers of women achieve promotion to senior lecturer posts.  We have an ambitious programme of activities planned for this year and I look forward to working with colleagues to support our staff to achieve their potential in an environment where the value of diversity is recognised.” Equality and Diversity Highlights of the past year include: Implementation of actions arising from the University’s Gender Equality Action Plan, published in November 2016, including a comprehensive programme of training and development. While all 24 of the actions are in the process of being implemented, the annual report outlines that there is “significant work to do” to bring about gender equality at all levels of the University.  The formation of an LGBT+ Network, marked by the raising of the Pride flag at the University during Galway Pride week. Establishment of task groups on cultural diversity, access and disability which have identified measures to further equality and inclusivity in those areas. Extensive gathering of equality data, including recruitment processes and audits of staff with disabilities, throughout the year to ensure the required supports are in place. The Office of the Vice President of Equality and Diversity has a stated aim to improve monitoring on all nine protected characteristics under employment equality legislation. The University has also announced the awarding of 11 Research Capacity Building Grants to academic women from across all five colleges who have had an extended period of leave connected with caring. The grants were established to support women in building their independent research careers and provide support to help mitigate the impact of an extended leave period on research activities. Professor Anne Scott, Vice President for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, said: “A key priority over the coming years will be to advance an agenda of achieving gender equality in NUI Galway. We, the NUI Galway community, are moving ahead to ensure that not only matters of gender equality but also other forms of equality, diversity and inclusion are a live and active part of our agenda right across our institution.” The Office of the Vice President for Equality and Diversity supports and oversees a comprehensive programme to support family friendly working with ‘Back to Work’ workshops for new mothers returning from maternity leave, Managing Inclusively workshops for line managers, the introduction of a ‘Meetings during Core Hours Policy’ and monthly Breast Feeding Support meetings providing peer-to-peer support for breastfeeding mothers. The University has also announced the establishment of a staff LGBT+ network and is in the process of developing a new Gender Identity/Gender Expression policy.  To read more, visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/genderequality/ and http://www.nuigalway.ie/equalityanddiversity/resources/publications/ -Ends- 

Thursday, 26 October 2017

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs NUI Galway in partnership with Blackstone LaunchPad hosted its inaugural Innovation at Play Symposium, today (26 October). The one day experiential symposium focused on exploring play for the purpose of innovation and featured award winning game designer, Brenda Romero, and astrophysicist, Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of CELT at NUI Galway. The symposium also featured a spellbinding one woman live interactive performance by Ada.Ada.Ada that told the story of Ada Lovelace, the daughter of Lord Byron and the world’s first computer programmer. Using an LED dress and wearable technology operated live on stage by performance artist and technology professional Zoe Philpott, the show aims to inspire future generations to follow in Lovelace’s footsteps and push boundaries. Offering a series of workshops throughout the day, the symposium created a time-out for people to pause, reflect and play, and to think about how study and work can be enhanced by being more open to all forms of innovation and seeing it as the calling card of the future. In addition to participants from industry and academia, the event was opened up to local secondary schools. According to Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “It’s important for the University to share innovations, small and great, with the wider community. By involving secondary schools in ‘Innovation at Play’ we hope to inspire the next generation of innovative thinkers.” Workshops included: Parallel Hands-on, Minds-on Workshops. Creativity Through Mask Making - A workshop tool for reflection on the process of the person as inventor and innovator. Innovation Through Lego Serious Play - A hands-on workshop in Lego Serious Play to enhance innovation in communication, creativity and building shared mental models. Story Telling Through Sound - Exploring ways of telling a story using only sound instead of words. Innovation through Performance: a Practice-based workshop - How to use theatre skills to inspire and foster creativity in yourself and the people you work with. Fireside Chat – Innovation Knows No Boundaries – a panel and intergenerational conversation on innovation and the contributions that each generation can make by truly embracing innovation. Mary Dempsey from the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway’s education mission is to build communities of contemporary innovators who will imagine and realise the world as a better place for all society, and the Innovation Symposium we hope will encourage people to explore how the spirit of innovation can be nurtured through playful methodologies.” -Ends- 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Better understanding of the disease connections between human health, animal health and environmental health is important if lethal disease pandemics are to be prevented in the future. This was the key message at a conference hosted by the Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development, co-founded by NUI Galway, at the Department of Foreign Affairs this week. The inter-connectedness of human health, agriculture, wildlife and the environment was the focus of the event, which was held to mark World Food Day. In his opening remarks, Professor Charles Spillane, Vice-Chair of IFIAD and Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Many diseases which infect livestock or wild animals can also infect humans. Such zoonotic diseases pose a major threat to global health. While measures are necessary to find vaccines or treatments against such diseases, integrated development and public health programs are necessary to limit the transmission frequency of zoonotic agents from animals to humans. Well-meaning development programs can inadvertently change the transmission dynamics of such diseases or aggravate the problem of antimicrobial resistance amongst disease-causing organisms” Entitled ‘Agriculture in the Delivery of One Health’ the IFIAD event brought together international development experts, health practitioners, animal scientists, agriculturalists, government representatives, and representatives from international development organisations to promote ‘One Health’, a recognition that the health of humans is often directly connected to the health status of animals. Speakers at the conference included representatives of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Dr Delia Grace, Programme Manager at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya. The Ryan Institute’s Centre for Health From Environment (CHE) at NUI Galway has a range of ‘One Health’ research activities underway. In the panel discussion at the IFIAD event, Professor Martin Cormican, Head of the CHE at NUI Galway and HSE national lead on anti-microbial resistance, stressed the importance of addressing the challenges facing Ireland and developing countries in relation to anti-microbial resistance which is rendering many antibiotics useless. Professor Cormican said: “Properly used antibiotics have been wonder drugs. In the last century they were called ‘magic bullets’ because in a very ill patient antibiotics like penicillin were literally like magic, they precisely hit a lethal target in the bacteria. As doctors, vets and citizens, we have used thousands of tonnes of antibiotics for all sorts of things as if they were a cheap and cheerful solution to all our problems. Today, antibiotic resistance means that many of those magic bullets that we had when I left medical school 30 years ago are now like shooting blanks because the targets have changed. Worse still it turns out there is a lot less magic than we hoped and we have not found many new bullets.” “All this mess we have made with antibiotics has come to a head and we now have a global epidemic of bugs that live in the gut of humans and animals. They spread silently between human, animals, water and soil, they are harmless when you are fit and well but when people are at their most vulnerable they can escape from the gut and cause infections that can be impossible or almost impossible to treat. The good news is that even now if we all buy into ‘One Health’ and work together, we can slow down and limit the damage as some other countries have done. But time is short because these bugs are getting more common in people and we have already found them in the water and just like rhododendron, Japanese knot weed or zebra mussels, once these invasive species are established in Ireland there will be no way back”, cautioned Professor Cormican. Members of the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Health From Environment are working closely with counterparts internationally and nationally, including Teagasc on antimicrobial resistance in agri-food systems. A number of research teams within the CHE were recently part of a successful bid for a new One Health European Joint Programme worth €90 million. Dr Lance O’Brien of Teagasc and Chair of IFIAD, said: “Six out of ten infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals. The issue of ‘One Health’ is therefore critically important to the farming sector, the health profession, research organisations, and agencies involved in development work overseas. In Ireland, we must first of all recognise this, and then take steps to work together more closely. We in Ireland know only too well about the links between livestock and infections such as TB and BSE in the human population. Overseas, infections that have spread from animals to humans, including Avian flu, Salmonella, Lassa Fever, Nipah Virus, Lyme disease, Ebola and of course HIV, have caused large numbers of fatalities.” Agricultural specialist at Gorta-Self Help Africa, Paul Wagstaff, said that the ‘One Health’ issue was hugely important for Irish organisations working in developing countries too, as agencies needed to be acutely aware that increased farm production and sustainable agricultural intensification needed to be approached in a manner that does not have knock-on implications for human health further down the line. The Irish Forum for International Agricultural Development (IFIAD) is a voluntary organisation that brings together representatives from Irish agriculture, the agri-food sector, academia and international development to share knowledge and good practices for the benefit of agricultural development programming and policy in support of Ireland’s development objectives. NUI Galway is a founding member of IFIAD. For more details, visit: www.ifiad.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Researchers complete project with Longford company BMS to remove floating debris from storm water sewer systems bringing new products to international water treatment markets Researchers in civil engineering at the College of Engineering and Informatics in NUI Galway have recently completed a technology development project with Irish company Butler Manufacturing Services Ltd. The group at NUI Galway have evaluated one of the company’s products, the BMS Stormbreaker Defender, which is a unique device capable of removing floating debris, grit/sand and oils/hydrocarbons from storm water sewer systems. Due to the projected increase in extreme storm and weather events, such as the recently experienced Hurricane Ophelia, existing storm sewers are being put under severe stress due to blockages caused by a flush of materials (such as bottles, plastics, oils, sand) from the urban environment. The Stormbreaker Defender aims to tackle such issues by effectively intercepting and capturing the material before it clogs sewers or makes its way into watercourses, relieving stresses on water infrastructure resulting in significant savings in maintenance costs. The project, led by Dr Sean Mulligan and Dr Eoghan Clifford from NUI Galway, involved a comprehensive investigation of a full-scale model of the Stormbreaker Defender at the Hydraulic and Aerodynamics Laboratory at the University’s Alice Perry Engineering Building. Following the experimental testing and analysis, using in-house cutting edge equipment and instrumentation, the team generated substantial data sets representing the complex flow processes in the device which were used to validate its performance and develop new design tools for the Stormbreaker Defender. Dr Sean Mulligan, Research Associate at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “It’s great to work with industry, and especially with indigenous Irish companies who are bringing innovative products to the world stage. We have a lot of expertise in fluid dynamics, wastewater treatment and commercialisation which allows us to bridge the gap between the laboratory and the field for companies like BMS.” Dr Eoghan Clifford, lecturer at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: “The project is part of ongoing research undertaken at the department of civil engineering in collaboration with industry and highlights the significance of academic-industrial partnerships in pushing innovative ideas and theories developed by both universities and industry to solve real-world problems in the field.” Based in Longford, Butler Manufacturing Services is a specialist designer and manufacturer of products for the water treatment sector. The company employs 20 people and has products in over 40 countries worldwide. “The opportunity to collaborate with NUI Galway and to access their expertise and facilities, allows us to optimise and evaluate the performance of our BMS Stormbreaker Defender”, said Seamus Butler, Managing Director of Butler Manufacturing Services. “We believe this successful project is the start of a strong partnership between both the NUI Galway research team and our company over the coming years. We are already in discussions with the University on an expanded exploration of this product into wastewater treatment.” To support the expansion of this technology to export markets, Butler Manufacturing Services engaged with the civil engineering research team at NUI Galway. Through an Enterprise Ireland Co-Funded Innovation Voucher, the University was able to undertake a hydraulic evaluation of the technology. -Ends- 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

The European Investment Bank will provide EUR 60 million towards development of the NUI Galway campus. The first ever loan to the university from Europe’s long-term lending institution, agreed in Galway earlier today, will finance construction of campus developments including new student residences and a new building for the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. At the signing, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “The University is nearing the conclusion of a ten year capital development plan, which has transformed our campus.  While philanthropic and State funding have enabled much of this expansion, the support from EIB will assist in the completion of our new Human Biology Building, which will transform the learning environment for our health science students, as well as the development of new campus student accommodation.  Construction of new residences for 430 students is well underway, and at a time when there are such significant issues nationally with supply of housing, we are looking forward to having this increased capacity during the next academic year.”  “Future generations of students will benefit from the transformation of Galway’s already impressive campus made possible by the EUR 60 million EIB financing agreed today. Irish universities are recognised around the world for both their academic and research renown, and enjoyable student experience. The European Investment Bank is committed to ensuring that world-class third level institutions across Ireland can build on these strengths in the years ahead. This follows successful cooperation between the EIB and all Irish universities and EUR 1.2 billion support for Irish education investment in recent years.” said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President. Following agreement for the new financing for NUI Galway the EIB will have supported campus investment at all seven members of the Irish Universities Association. Over the last decade the EIB has provided EUR 1.2 billion for education investment across Ireland, including EUR 675 million for investment in third level education in the country. EIB loan agreed in Galway The first ever EIB loan to the university was formally agreed in Galway earlier today by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway and Andrew McDowell, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank.  “I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s Education and Training Service the best in Europe within a decade. Investment from the European Investment Bank has made a significant contribution towards advancing us to this goal. State of the art facilities are key to being the best and in recent years, new schools and universities in Cork, Limerick, Maynooth and Dublin have been transformed as a direct result of the EIB’s commitment to Ireland. Less than three years ago the EIB set out to ensure that all Irish universities could benefit and now Ireland is the only country in Europe where all universities have benefited from EIB backed investment.  Today’s meeting with the Irish Universities Association will set out how to ensure that Irish education continues to benefit from EIB’s technical experience and financial expertise.” said Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills “The new EUR 60 million EIB loan to NUI Galway will ensure that the university continues to lead research across a range of disciplines including medtech.  Strengthened EIB backing for Irish universities in recent years is ensuring that students, researcher and staff at Irish universities are already benefiting from better facilities and the latest technology across the country. The EIB’s firm commitment to support future investment is a clear vote of confidence in world class Irish universities.” said Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State for Higher Education. During the visit the EIB delegation saw at first-hand how ongoing modernisation and new construction was transforming research, education and recreation at the university. Completion of dedicated Irish university financing programme The new financing agreement between NUI Galway and the European Investment Bank marks the successful completion of a dedicated initiative to support capital investment at Irish universities launched in October 2015 and ensure that all Irish universities could benefit from low-cost, long-term EIB financing. In recent years the EIB has financed transformational investment to improve teaching, research and student facilities at Trinity, UCD, DCU, University College Cork, Maynooth University and the . University of Limerick.

Monday, 23 October 2017

The Chancellor of the National University of Ireland Dr Maurice Manning today conferred the honorary degree Doctor of Laws (LLD) on former Taoiseach Mr Enda Kenny TD. Having conferred the degree on Enda Kenny, the NUI Chancellor Dr Maurice Manning said: “The National University of Ireland is pleased to honour Enda Kenny today as we have honoured his predecessors. Through honouring those who have served in the office of Taoiseach, NUI affirms our sovereign state, our democratic system of government and the freedoms it confers on the citizens of Ireland.” Introducing Mr Kenny, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway surveyed his career in Irish politics and highlighted his achievements. “For more than four decades, Enda Kenny has been a member of Dáil Éireann, conscientiously representing his Mayo constituents, while simultaneously making enormous contributions to national and international politics.  He inspired many with his vision, his sense of purpose, his tenacity and, no less important, his innate humanity and personal decency.  Today we salute him as the ‘Quiet Man’ from Mayo who, when the call came, rose to lead his country out of darkness, to restore it to its place among the nations, and to give all of us a reason to hold our heads high once more.” The tradition of conferring honorary degrees dates back to the NUI charter of 1908. Since then NUI has conferred honorary degrees mainly with the purpose of honouring academic distinction, whether in the humanities or in the sciences. In addition, the University honours those ‘who, whether in their personal or representative capacities, through their energies, service and actions, have contributed significantly to public life ….’. NUI traditionally honours the office of Head of the Government of Ireland by honouring those who have served as Taoiseach.   Enda Kenny is ‘father’ of the current Dáil having been first elected in 1975 and re elected in 11 subsequent general elections. He served as Minister for Education and Tourism and Trade and became Leader of Fine Gael in 2002.  He led the Party for 15 years, the longest period of any Fine Gael Leader. He became Taoiseach in March 2011 and again in May 2016, the first Fine Gael Leader to be re-elected as Taoiseach in successive elections.  His party remains the largest Party in the Dáil. His tenure of office saw the exit of Ireland from a Troika bailout, without condition, and saw the restoration of Ireland’s sovereignty and economic independence. Enda Kenny retired as Taoiseach in June 2017 after 6 years and oversaw a smooth transfer of power to a new government led by Leo Varadkar. Enda Kenny will remain a TD until the dissolution of the Dáil prior to the next general election. He is married to Fionnuala and has three adult children. -Ends-

Monday, 23 October 2017

Inniu bhronn Seansailéir Ollscoil na hÉireann, an Dr Maurice Manning céim Dhochtúireachta oinigh le Dlíthe (LLD) ar an iarThaoiseach, an tUasal Éanna Ó Coinnigh TD. Agus an chéim bronnta aige ar Éanna Ó Coinnigh, dúirt Seansailéir OÉ, an Dr Maurice Manning: “Tá áthas ar Ollscoil na hÉireann onóir a bhronnadh ar Éanna Ó Coinnigh mar atá déanta againn i gcás na dTaoiseach a chuaigh roimhe. Trí onóir a bhronnadh ar Thaoisigh na tíre, dearbhaíonn OÉ ár stát ceannasach, ár gcóras daonlathach rialtais agus na saoirsí a bhronnann sé ar shaoránaigh na hÉireann.” Agus an tUasal Kenny á chur i láthair ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, bhreathnaigh sé siar ar a ghairm i bpolaitíocht na hÉireann agus tharraing sé aird ar a raibh bainte amach aige. “Le breis is dhá scór bliain, ba bhall de Dháil Éireann é Éanna Ó Coinnigh, áit a ndearna sé ionadaíocht dhúthrachtach ar mhuintir Mhaigh Eo, chomh maith lena chion agus níos mó do pholaitíocht ar leibhéal náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta.  Is iomaí duine a spreag sé lena fhís, lena aidhm shoiléir, a dhiongbháilteacht agus, chomh tábhachtach céanna, a dhaonnacht dhúchasach agus a ghnaíúlacht phearsanta.  Inniu tugaimid ómós dó mar Fhear Ciúin Mhaigh Eo, a d’éirigh chun a thír a stiúradh amach ón dorchadas nuair a tháinig an t-am chuige, chun í a chur ar ais san áit ba dhual di i measc na náisiún, agus chun cúis a thabhairt dúinn ar fad a bheith bródúil arís.” Tá céimeanna oinigh á mbronnadh ó tháinig cairt OÉ i bhfeidhm in 1908. Ó shin i leith tá céimeanna oinigh á mbronnadh ag OÉ chun ardchaighdeán acadúlachta a aithint, bíodh sin sna daonnachtaí nó sna heolaíochtaí.  Lena chois sin, bronnann an Ollscoil onóir orthu siúd ‘a bhfuil a gcion déanta acu don saol poiblí, trína gcumas pearsanta nó ionadaíoch, trína bhfuinnimh, seirbhís agus gníomhaíochtaí ...’. Go traidisiúnta, bronnann OÉ onóir ar oifig Cheann Rialtas na hÉireann trí onóir a bhronnadh orthu siúd a bhí i ról an Taoisigh.   Is é Éanna Ó Coinnigh ‘athair’ na Dála reatha de bhrí gur toghadh den chéad uair é sa bhliain 1975 agus gur atoghadh é san aon olltoghchán déag ina dhiaidh sin. Bhí sé ina Aire Oideachais agus ina Aire Turasóireachta agus Trádála agus ghlac sé ról Cheannaire Fhine Gael sa bhliain 2002.  Bhí sé i gceannas ar an bPáirtí ar feadh cúig bliana déag, an tréimhse ab fhaide i measc cheannairí uile Fhine Gael. Toghadh ina Thaoiseach é i mí an Mhárta 2011 agus arís i mí na Bealtaine 2016, an chéad Cheannaire de chuid Fhine Gael a atoghadh mar Thaoiseach i dtoghcháin i ndiaidh a chéile.  Tá a pháirtí fós ar an bPáirtí is mó sa Dáil. Faoina stiúir d’fhás Fine Gael nó go raibh sé ar an bpáirtí is mó ar leibhéal áitiúil, Dála agus Pharlaimint na hEorpa, toradh nár baineadh amach riamh cheana. Bhí sé ina chomhchathaoirleach ar na Cainteanna Trádála Domhanda i Singeapór in 1996 agus bhí sé ina chathaoirleach ar Chomhairle Airí Trádála an AE le linn Uachtaránacht na hÉireann. Sa bhliain 2011 bhunaigh sé rialtas le Páirtí an Lucht Oibre nuair a bhí Éire i lár an chúlaithe eacnamaíochta is measa riamh. Faoina cheannaireacht, go dtí mí na Bealtaine 2017, bhí Éire ar an tír AE is sciobtha fáis blianta as a chéile; tháinig laghdú ar dhífhostaíocht ó 15.2% go 6.3%; thit rátaí úis ar iasachtaí Éireannacha ó 15% go náid, athshlánaíodh rátáil chreidmheasa na tíre agus fuarthas rochtain iomlán ar na margaí airgeadais arís. Tá breis is dhá mhilliún duine fostaithe anois agus tá go leor daoine a d’fhág an tír le linn an chúlaithe eacnamaíochta ag filleadh abhaile anois. Bhí Éanna Ó Coinnigh ina Leas-Uachtarán ar Pháirtí an Phobail Eorpaigh ar feadh sé bliana agus fuair sé tacaíocht iomlán don éileamh go mbeadh Tuaisceart Éireann aitheanta mar bhall iomlán den AE agus nach mbeadh gá athiarratas a dhéanamh tar éis an Bhreatimeachta, dá mbeadh Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta curtha i bhfeidhm ag vóta na ndaoine. Faoina rialtas rinneadh comóradh uileghabhálach agus cuimsitheach ar Éirí Amach 1916, ó thuaidh agus ó dheas, agus go bunúsach, tugadh an Bhratach Náisiúnta ar ais do mhuintir na hÉireann. Le linn a ré in oifig chonacthas an Troika ag fágáil na hÉireann, gan choinníoll, agus rinneadh ceannasacht agus neamhspleáchas eacnamaíochta na hÉireann a athbhunú. D’éirigh Éanna Ó Coinnigh as a ról mar Thaoiseach i mí an Mheithimh 2017 tar éis sé bliana agus chinntigh sé nach raibh aon fhadhb leis an aistriú cumhachta chuig rialtas nua faoi stiúir Leo Varadkar. Beidh Éanna Ó Coinnigh ina TD go scaoilfear an Dáil roimh an chéad olltoghchán eile. Tá sé pósta le Fionnuala agus tá triúr clainne orthu agus iad fásta suas anois. -Críoch-

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

NUI Galway today (18 October 2017) launched NovoVerse, a new eJournal dedicated to publishing undergraduate student research. This type of research is defined as, ‘an inquiry or investigation conducted by undergraduate students that makes an original, intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline’. Itsaim is to support students as researchers by promoting their work in the disciplines of higher education. Dr Trevor Clohessy, editor-in-chief and post-doctoral researcher from the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “Our aim is to motivate undergraduate students in a supporting but diligent environment, to engage in the craft of innovative and empirically rigorous academic research writing, which is then published and disseminated to a wider public audience, where the authors of accepted research papers will be invited to present their research at the annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference.”   The NovoVerse eJournal project involves specific stakeholders in the review and publication process: undergraduates (Authors), postgraduates (Mentors) and academics (Stewards). This undergraduate eJournal will be underpinned by an action research element that will provide a project template for increasing awareness of the importance of undergraduate research communication and dissemination at a national level.   Dr Clohessy added: “The benefits for students who publish their research in NovoVerse are multifold. While initially being rolled out as a pilot project for business and information undergraduates, it will be scaled up to include all other NUI Galway undergraduate disciplines in early 2018. It also welcomes articles from a broad range of topics submitted from single or multiple authors and papers from students at other institutions. Theoretical and practical research (including case studies and project reports) providing useful insights will be considered. Our editorial philosophy is to strive for a balance between theoretical and practical topics. All accepted research articles will be published electronically on the NovoVerse eJournal website.”   The NovoVerse submission process:   ·         An undergraduate student submits their research article. ·         The article is reviewed by a group of postgraduate research students. ·         A decision is then made whether to publish the article. ·         The student receives constructive feedback on their submission regardless of the article being accepted or not. ·         The entire process is monitored by a senior editorial panel. ·         If the paper is accepted and published, the student will present their research as a poster or presentation at the annual NUI Galway Undergraduate Research Conference.   NUI Galway has a number of industry partners with whom undergraduates complete their final year project, and they will be made aware of the eJournal to ensure they become familiar with some of the innovative research the students are carrying out. The students can use the hyperlink to their published paper to include with their resumes, LinkedIn profiles and research portfolios to showcase their writing, research and report writing skills.   NovoVerse will serve as a beacon that will highlight the innovative research being conducted by NUI Galway undergraduate students. For example, in 2016, some fourth year Business Information Systems students competed in the Global Undergraduate Student Blackstone Competition, which presented students around the world with a single challenge: Solve a Campus Problem.Their entry ‘UniConnect’, which doubled as their final year project, was a mobile app which consolidated all of the social and academic data of students’ lives into one place. Out of 105 entries across 17 global universities the students finished in fifth place following first round voting.   A report on the eJournal will be completed by NUI Galway at the end of 2017 to provide a blueprint for a national rolled out version of the project. This report will detail the benefits of the project, lessons learnt and the benefits of a national pan-undergraduate platform.     NovoVerse is sponsored by a Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching research grant.   For further information visit NovoVerse at novoverse.nuigalway.ie   -Ends- Message history

Monday, 23 October 2017

Students from across Connacht, who received a grade ‘A’ in the Junior Certificate Honours Business Studies, were presented with Certificates of Achievement from the College of Business, Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway recently. The presentations, in association with the Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland (BSTAI), were made at a special ceremony at the University where teachers and parents were in attendance. This is the eighth year NUI Galway has presented these awards. A total of 250 students received recognition for their outstanding academic achievement at the ceremony this year. The certificates were awarded to students from 58 individual schools throughout Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. Professor John McHale, Dean of the College of Business Public Policy and Law, NUI Galway, who presented the certificates to each individual winner, said: “I would like to congratulate all of the students on their wonderful success. Recipients of this award place amongst the top 9.2% of students who sat this examination, an achievement to be most definitely proud of. NUI Galway believes that it is important to recognise the achievements of our potential future business leaders. I would also like to acknowledge the work of teachers in helping students achieve their potential. I hope to have the pleasure of meeting many of these students again in NUI Galway as students of our programmes in the future.” Seamus Robinson, former President, BSTAI, said: “The BSTAI is delighted to continue its partnership with NUI Galway in recognising students who have achieved excellence in Business Studies as part of their Junior Certificate. Congratulations to you, your teachers, parents and principals. The recipients of these awards hold the visionary seeds of the future and I am confident many of today’s award recipients will build successful careers in the business world.” -Ends-

Friday, 20 October 2017

Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) will host an information evening on Monday 6 November, which is open to patients, their families and to anyone interested in learning more about blood cancers. Led by NUI Galway, Blood Cancer Network Ireland is a collaborative group of doctors and scientists who have come together with the aim of increasing our understanding of blood cancers and developing new treatments for this disease. Overall the network aims to enhance research into blood cancers and, most importantly, through clinical trials it will give Irish patients access to new drugs and drug combinations that would not otherwise be possible. Blood Cancer is an umbrella term for different kinds of cancer that affect blood cells that includes cancers such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Blood cancers account for about 10% of all cancers and every year in Ireland, approximately 1600 patients are diagnosed with blood cancer and about 700 people die from this disease. There are effective treatments for some types of blood cancer, however some blood cancers become resistant to the treatment and patients relapse. There are also some blood cancers for which there are no effective treatments so there is an urgent need for new therapies. The network is unique because it is a nationwide effort that focuses on three main areas: Early stage clinical trials (phase 1 trials) which are tests designed to develop new and improved ways to treat blood cancers. This will give Irish patients access to innovative new drugs and drug combinations and an enhanced level of care which will potentially lead to better outcomes for those patients. Setup of a blood cancer biobank. This means blood and bone marrow samples from patients will be stored or ‘banked’. Scientists working on blood cancers will be able to access and analyse these samples to understand how blood cancers develop and how they become resistant to treatment. Establish a blood cancer registry. The registry will collect patients’ clinical information to better understand what treatments work best and collect patient reported information to allow the BCNI to better understand what impact the treatment has on the patients’ quality of life. This will help direct health resources to where they are most effective and where they have the most benefit for patients. Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway and Director of BCNI, said: “The information evening will give an overview of blood cancers and will shed light on the important work my colleagues in Blood Cancer Network Ireland are carrying out in blood cancer research, work that has the potential to save lives. Since our establishment in June 2015, BCNI has been at the forefront of blood cancer research in Ireland and this information evening will give us an opportunity to tell the public about our activities.” Blood Cancer Network Ireland is funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland and its members are based in universities and hospitals in Galway, Dublin and Cork. The information evening will take place in Room 2010, Top Floor of the Clinical Sciences Building, Galway University Hospital. There will be tea and coffee afterwards and the opportunity to take a tour of the clinical research facility.  For more information and directions, visit: http://www.bloodcancers.ie/bloodcancers/newsevents/blood-cancer-information-evening.html -Ends-

Thursday, 19 October 2017

New research by CÚRAM, The Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, will allow for improved treatment options for patients with nerve damage. The study was recently published in the prestigious Advanced Functional Materials journal. Treatment of peripheral nerve injuries that can result in the loss of motor or sensory function remains a major problem worldwide. In recent years, different strategies have been used in an attempt to improve regeneration and functional recovery in the injured peripheral nervous system, which consists of the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord, using artificial nerve grafts. However, there has been little investigation into changes that occur at the molecular level as a result of these interventions. The study explored the differences in peripheral nerve repair that result from using biomaterial conduits (artificial nerve grafts) to support recovery, compared with the use of two different types of conduit-materials, namely collagen and the chemical compound, polymer PLGA, in an effort to understand fundamental differences in their repair mechanisms at the molecular level in the early stages of repair. Both collagen and PLGA have previously provided the desired result for the repair of damaged nerves. Past attempts to improve artificial nerve grafts have often failed to translate to the clinic, due to this limited understanding of the biological response. Recovery of damaged nerves in the peripheral nervous system is quite robust with the use of suturing, and nerves are known to be able to regenerate across relatively short distances, less than 0.5 mm. For treatment of larger gaps between damaged nerves however, the primary treatment methods used are auto/allograft or the use of hollow artificial nerve grafts. Autograft (the use of the patients own tissue), despite being the gold standard for repair, has a number of limitations. These include limited supply of donor tissue, risk of neuroma formation (a disorganised growth of nerve cells at the site of a nerve injury), mismatch in size, and the distribution of nerve tissue in the central nervous system between the donor nerve and the injury site. The results presented in the study support the hypothesis that regeneration in large peripheral nerve injuries is affected by the material used. The team found that each material selectively activates different regenerative pathways and alters different biological functions throughout the artificial nerve grafts. The analysis also highlights some of the existing deficiencies in conduit-mediated repair in comparison to the use of the patients own tissue.  Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific director of CÚRAM and lead author of the research paper, explains: “Numerous studies have identified that the choice of conduit material used can have an influence on the level of nerve regeneration. We now have a clearer understanding of how the body responds to the use of these two biomaterials, which paves the way for the development of specific peripheral nerve regeneration strategies using biomaterial conduits, based on the biomaterial used. Our findings suggest that by supplementing the expression of certain proteins on the biomaterial of choice, we can potentially attain the regeneration equivalent or even superior to autograft using biomaterial conduits.” This study focused on a non-critical nerve injury and did not incorporate the effect of increasing gap distance on the regenerative response. To address this question, further research on the effect of increasing gap distance on the regenerative response is underway at NUI Galway, which will be published at a future date.  To read the full study in Advanced Functional Materials, visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/adfm.201702170/abstract -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

 NUI Galway has co-led a major worldwide study with the University of Southern California showing that schizophrenia is associated with widespread changes in how the brain is wired. The study was published today (17 October 2017) in the major impact journal, Molecular Psychiatry. Schizophrenia is a debilitating psychiatric disorder with a considerable societal burden and has been a major focus of neuroimaging studies for decades, yet its neurobiology remains only partially understood. The World Health Organisation has described schizophrenia as a “leading cause of disability, and more disabling that paraplegia or blindness in 18-35 year olds.” The main focus of the study, co-led by Professor Gary Donohoe at the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, was to identify changes in white matter, often thought as the brain’s wiring system that causes this disability. Cumulative evidence has led to a ‘dysconnectivity’ hypothesis that schizophrenia may involve abnormal or inefficient communication between brain regions, due to disturbances in the underlying pattern of white matter. Until now several small studies have tried to identify white matter changes with inconclusive results. In an effort to overcome the problems of previous studies, researchers from around the world came together as part of the ‘ENIGMA consortium’ to carry out the first ever large-scale coordinated study of white matter microstructural differences in schizophrenia. In an unprecedented sample of 4,322 individuals scanned across 29 cohorts from Australia, Asia, Europe, South Africa and North America, data from patients and controls were re-analysed in a manner that allowed greater power to identify changes across the brain. The study also determined if disease-related factors (including duration of illness, age at onset of schizophrenia, antipsychotic medication, smoking, and severity of positive and negative symptoms) are also associated with differences in white matter microstructure. Using an approach known as diffusion tensor imaging, or DTI, the results from the study showed that throughout the brain, the so-called ‘white matter’ fibres which connect different brain regions are slightly altered, or frayed, making communication between different brain regions sub-optimal. While these differences were larger in some areas of the brain than others, an important finding from the study was that these changes were seen right across the brain and not just in one area. In schizophrenia, these changes are likely to help explain several clinical symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions, but also the cognitive difficulties that people experience and that strongly predict a level of disability. Commenting on the study, the studies’ senior author Professor Gary Donohue from NUI Galway, said: “It’s almost 40 years since we had the first clues that schizophrenia was associated with changes in brain structure. What the ENIGMA consortium has achieved here is to provide definitive proof that these changes are not specific to any one area of the brain, but rather reflect subtle yet widespread changes throughout the brain. In terms of the idea that schizophrenia might be caused by a mis-wiring of the brain, this study provides unequivocal evidence that this is the case. The next steps will be to identify the individual genetics variants that lead to this mis-wiring.” Professor Donohoe added: “Schizophrenia can be enormously disabling and is frequently misunderstood. These studies are essential both for explaining the difficulties that those affected experience, but also to bring us further along the pathway to developing new therapies. Towards that end, this study is pointing us in a particular direction to treat schizophrenia as a disorder affecting the whole brain rather than one part of it.” To read the full paper in Molecular Psychiatry, visit: http://www.nature.com/mp/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/mp2017170a.html?foxtrotcallback=true -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Céim Oinigh le bronnadh ar Ollamh ó Ollscoil Villanova Bainfidh os cionn 2,500 mac léinn céim amach in OÉ Gaillimh sna Searmanais Bronnta Céime a bheidh ar bun idir 17-21 Deireadh Fómhair.Bronnfaidh an Ollscoil Céim Oinigh Dhochtúireachta san Litríocht ar an Ollamh Jim Murphy, Stiúrthóir Emeritus an Chláir sa Léann Éireannach in Ollscoil Villanova. Bronnfar Céimeanna, Ard-Dioplómaí agus Máistreachtaí le linn na gcúig lá ar mhic léinn ó Choláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; ó Choláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; ó Choláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí agus an Dlí; ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta; agus ó Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh. Déanfar bronnadh ar Jim ar an méid oibre atá déanta aige ag cur béim idirdhisciplíneach chun cinn ar staidéar staire agus cultúir na hÉireann agus Ghael-Mheiriceá araon. Tá clár Villanova ar an gclár fochéime sa Léann Éireannach is sine agus is mó i Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá anois.  Sa bhliain 2008, d’ainmnigh an irisleabhar Irish America an tOllamh Murphy ar dhuine den 100 Scoth-Ghael-Mheiriceánach. Bronnadh duais Lindback for Outstanding Teaching air chomh maith. Chuaigh sé ar scor ó Ollscoil Villanova sa bhliain 2010. Ag labhairt dó roimh na searmanais bhronnta, dúirt an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh, déanaim comhghairdeas lenár gcéimithe ar fad agus tá fearadh na fáilte roimh a dtuismitheoirí, a dteaghlaigh agus a gcairde. Tá ríméad orainn aitheantas a thabhairt dá gcuid éachtaí agus guímid gach rath orthu san am atá le teacht.” Bhí searmanais bhliantúla an Ionaid Foghlama agus Forbartha Gairmiúla d'Aosaigh ar siúl Dé Sathairn, an 14 Deireadh Fómhair. Bronnadh dámhachtainí ar níos mó ná 800 mac léinn a chríochnaigh a gcúrsaí teastais, dioplóma agus céime in ionaid éagsúla ar fud na tíre. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Villanova University Professor to Receive Honorary Degree Over 2,500 students will graduate from NUI Galway during the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which take place from 17-21 October.  The University will also confer an Honorary Doctor of Literature on Professor Jim Murphy, Director Emeritus of the Irish Studies Program at Villanova University. Degrees, Higher Diplomas and Masters will be awarded to students graduating over the five days from the College of Engineering and Informatics; College of Business, Public Policy and Law; College of Science; and the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies.   Professor Jim Murphy is to be recognised at NUI Galway with an honorary degree for his dedication in bringing an inter-disciplinary focus to the study of the history and culture of both Ireland and Irish-America. Villanova’s program is now the oldest and largest undergraduate Irish Studies program in the United States.    In 2008, Irish America Magazine named Professor Murphy one of the Top 100 Irish Americans. He has also been awarded the Lindback Award for Outstanding Teaching. He retired from Villanova in 2010.   In advance of the conferring ceremonies, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “On behalf of NUI Galway, I congratulate all our graduates and extend a warm welcome to their parents, families and friends. We are delighted to acknowledge their outstanding achievements and wish them continued success in the future.”   The annual Centre for Adult Learning and Professional Development ceremonies took place on Saturday, 14 October, where awards will be conferred on over 800 students who completed their certificate, diploma and degree courses at many locations across the country.   -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

NUI Galway and Connacht Rugby have announced an extension of their partnership until 2019. NUI Galway became Connacht’s Academy and University partner in 2013, and since then 19 Connacht players have, or are about to, graduate from NUI Galway including current senior squad members Denis Buckley, Eoin Griffin, Eoin McKeon, Andrew Browne, Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader, Eoghan Masterson, Sean O’Brien and Conor McKeon. Through the partnership, NUI Galway supports the Connacht Rugby Academy, and Connacht age grade players, particularly through the provision of structured third level education. This year, 18 Connacht players across senior, academy and sub-academy squads are currently studying in NUI Galway in a number of disciplines including Commerce, Leadership, Law, Financial Maths and Economics, Science, Arts, Engineering, Computer Science and IT and Project Management. As part of the partnership there is also an opportunity for athletes from NUI Galway to benefit from Connacht Rugby’s high level strength and conditioning expertise. Commenting on the extended partnership, NUI Galway’s Director of Sport, Mike Heskin said: “This partnership gives Connacht Rugby players the supports to realise their ambitions on and off the field by combining the student experience with life as an elite sportsperson.   Both organisations are focused on excellence, and since the partnership began, Connacht have succeeded in the Pro 12, while NUI Galway has risen to the Top 1% of world universities. As this partnership evolves over the coming years we look forward to developing this culture of success while helping the next generation of leaders to reach their potential on the rugby field and throughout their careers.” Welcoming the continued partnership, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby, Brian Mahony said: “We are delighted to be announcing the extension of this key strategic partnership with NUI Galway for a further two years. At Connacht Rugby we want our players to excel both on and off the field. Furthering their education is a key component to their personal development and having the opportunity to further their education in such a prestigious university is of huge importance. The partnership has been a huge success over the past few years and I have no doubt that it will continue to flourish into the future.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Rinneadh ceiliúradh in OÉ Gaillimh le gairid ar ghrúpa ar leith mac léinn chéad bhliana ag searmanas speisialta an tseachtain seo caite, mar aitheantas ar na pointí arda a ghnóthaigh siad i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta. Mar chuid de shearmanas bliantúil na hOllscoile le Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa a bhronnadh, bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar fiú €1,500 iad ar 56 mac léinn. Bronntar na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa gach bliain ar mhic léinn atá díreach tosaithe ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh agus a fuair 560 pointe, ar a laghad, i Scrúdú na hArdteistiméireachta, seachas mic léinn Leighis. Sa Leigheas, bronnadh deich Scoláireacht bunaithe ar thorthaí na hArdteistiméireachta agus na Tástála Iontrála nua (H-PAT Ireland) araon. Tá na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ann chun luach saothair a thabhairt do na daltaí is fearr a n-éiríonn leo san Ardteistiméireacht, agus chun a dtiomantas leanúnach i sárchaighdeán acadúil a spreagadh le linn a dtréimhse in OÉ Gaillimh. D’fhéadfaí go mbeadh scoláireachtaí nó deontais eile ag an té a fhaigheann na scoláireachtaí seo, Scoláireachtaí Iarchéime na hOllscoile, Scoláireachtaí do Mhic Léinn Lánfhásta, Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na hOllscoile agus scéimeanna a bhaineann go sonrach le coláistí agus iad siúd a n-éiríonn thar barr leo sna scrúduithe Ollscoile san áireamh. Ag labhairt dó roimh bhronnadh na ngradam, bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cúis áthais dom na scoláireachtaí seo a bhronnadh ar na daoine sármhaithe seo mar aitheantas ar a gcumas acadúil. Déanann OÉ Gaillimh iarracht i gcónaí tacú le sárchaighdeán acadúil i ngach uile dhisciplín agus é a spreagadh. Tá na Gradaim seo ann le gach mac léinn a spreagadh le lántairbhe a bhaint as a gcumas mar mhic léinn, trí thairseach réalaíoch sárchaighdeáin a leagan amach agus luach saothair a thabhairt do gach mac léinn a bhaineann an leibhéal sin amach. Deis atá ann freisin le haitheantas a thabhairt don tsárobair atá déanta ag a dtuismitheoirí agus ag a múinteoirí.” I mbliana bronnadh na Scoláireachtaí Sármhaitheasa ar scoláirí ó 37 scoil ar fud na hÉireann. Bronnadh scoláireachtaí ar mhic léinn as na contaetha seo a leanas – An Clár, Corcaigh, Dún na nGall, Gaillimh, Ciarraí, Luimneach, An Longfort, Lú, Maigh Eo, Uíbh Fhailí, Tír Eoghain agus An Iarmhí. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

NUI Galway recently celebrated the success of a select group of first-year students with a special ceremony last week, in recognition of the high points they achieved in the recent Leaving Certificate Examination. As part of the University's annual Excellence Scholarships, 56 students received €1,500 each.   Each year the Excellence Scholarships are given to new entrants at NUI Galway who reached a minimum of 560 points in their Leaving Certificate examination, except in Medicine. For Medical students 10 Scholarships were awarded certificates, based on the combined results in the Leaving Certificate and the new Admissions Test (H-PAT Ireland).   The Excellence Scholarships are designed to recognise and reward Leaving Cert success for the highest-achieving students, and encourage their ongoing commitment to academic excellence during their time at NUI Galway. The awards may be held with any other scholarships or grants, including the University's Postgraduate Scholarships, Mature Student Scholarships, Sports Scholarship Scheme and schemes specific to individual colleges for those who excel in their University exams.   Speaking in advance of the Awards presentation, NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I am delighted to present the scholarships to these outstanding individuals in recognition of their academic talent. NUI Galway constantly strives to support and promote academic excellence across all disciplines. The purpose of these Awards is to encourage each student to develop his/her academic potential to the fullest, by setting a realistic threshold of excellence and rewarding every student who attains that level. It is also a chance to give due credit to their parents and teachers for their important contribution to such success.”   This year Excellence Scholarships were awarded to students from 37 individual schools throughout Ireland. The winners represented 12 counties including Clare, Cork, Donegal, Galway, Kerry, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Offaly, Tyrone, and Westmeath.   -Ends-

Friday, 13 October 2017

NUI Galway MA in Literature and Publishing graduate Catherine Doyle has signed a six-figure deal with Bloomsbury Children’s Books for her novel, The Storm Keeper’s Island. The Storm Keeper’s Island tells the story of Fionn Boyle, who is sent away for the summer to stay with his grandfather on the magical island of Arranmore. His arrival awakens an ancient magic buried deep in the island’s layers – and the adventure that follows sees him face his fears and embrace his destiny as the Storm Keeper’s heir. The novel will be published in the UK and Australia in July 2018, and the US in early 2019. Catherine said: “Having grown up listening to my grandfather’s stories of daring sea rescues and adventures on Arranmore Island, it’s wonderful to be able to write a magical island story that has been inspired by them. This is very much the book of my heart and in Bloomsbury I believe it has found the perfect home.” Dr Rebecca Anne Barr, Director of MA in Literature and Publishing at NUI Galway said: “I’m delighted by the success of our recent graduate, Catherine Doyle. Catherine excelled in her MA degree, where she studied literature, contemporary publishing, and the marketing of YA fiction. As a writer she unites this understanding of the publishing world with her individual creativity, earning her a huge following among young readers around the world. Catherine regularly returns to the MA in Literature and Publishing to give talks to our students on the genre of Young Adult Fiction and the use of social media in publishing. We look forward to celebrating her achievement and to reading many more of Catherine’s books in the future.” Catherine’s writing career launched after she secured a three-book deal for her Young Adult Blood for Blood triology with the same international publisher who discovered JK Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter series. -Ends-

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) has been awarded Best Contribution to Data Science from an Academic Research Body at the 2017 DataSci Awards NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) received the Best Contribution to Data Science award at the 2017 DataSci Awards for work in producing two high-resolution Numerical Weather Prediction simulations, which will enable ground-breaking climate research for Ireland. The data from these simulations has the potential to inform public policy, the Irish energy sector and a wide range of research in fields such as climate change trends, agriculture, disaster prevention, renewable energy, and socio-economic planning. ICHEC Climate Change lead Dr Paul Nolan said: “This work was made possible through Ireland’s national supercomputer Fionn and ICHEC’s expertise. Weather and climate shape economies and infrastructures that touch upon nearly every aspect of our daily lives, from food supply to recreational activities to energy resources.” Dr Nolan added, “We would hope that this recognition will showcase the importance of homogeneous, long-term, gridded datasets to be utilised within industry, research and public sectors.” The simulations were run on the ICHEC supercomputing systems with the research funded by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) climate research project. The datasets were analysed in detail for energy applications. This energy research component was funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The aim of this work is to promote and make the data publicly available for researchers, policy makers, the general public and Irish industry. The provision of these datasets support Ireland's renewable energy commitments. For example, under the EU Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Renewable Energy (2009/28/EC, NREAP), Ireland is committed to ensuring that 16% of the total energy consumed in heating, electricity and transport is generated from renewable resources by 2020. -Ends-

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

NUI Galway to host public lecture by leading international war crimes lawyer Peter McCloskey The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host a free public lecture on the prosecution of the Bosnian genocide on Thursday, 19 October at 7:30pm. The lecture will be given by Peter McCloskey, a senior trial attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia who has been working for two decades on cases concerning the massacres which took place in Srenbrenica in July 1995. Peter McCloskey has been closely involved in the prosecution of twenty individuals indicted by the Tribunal for crimes committed in Srebrenica, including most prominently Serbian President Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić and General Ratko Mladić. He will speak of his experience in prosecuting genocide, the “crimes of crimes,” which aims at the destruction of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague is one of the few international courts to ever prosecute the crime of genocide, the other being the tribunal for Rwanda. Both courts have almost completed their work and this lecture offers a valuable opportunity to reflect on their efforts in addressing the crime of genocide. For Peter McCloskey, these prosecutions provided an opportunity to bring to light the organised and systematic murder of over 7,000 people at Srebrenica. “Over the years,” he explains, “we grew to know many of the survivors, witnesses and victims of Srebrenica and learned from them how much they appreciated our effort and how much our work meant to them.  From their words and warm affection it appears we have been able to bring a small measure of peace and justice to those Bosnians and the Bosnian Muslim community as a whole.” “Dr Shane Darcy of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said: “We are honoured that Peter McCloskey will travel to Galway to share his vast experience in the prosecution of notorious war criminals. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has been a ground-breaking development in international affairs, demonstrating that perpetrators of serious international crimes can be called to account before a judicial body, despite the various legal, political and practical challenges that this may have presented.” The lecture takes place at 7:30pm on Thursday, 19 October in the Tyndall Theatre, NUI Galway concourse. -Ends-  

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Michael M O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934: Engineering the Promised Land An archive of papers belonging to distinguished engineering graduate, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934), who oversaw some of the world’s most iconic engineering projects as city engineer for San Francisco, has been catalogued and digitised, and is the subject of a new exhibition on display at Natioanl University of Ireland (NUI) Galway entitled Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934): Engineering the Promised Land. Born in Loughill, Co Limerick, Michael M. O’Shaughnessy, moved to Galway in 1882 to study engineering in what was then called Queen's College Galway. In 1885, he emigrated to America, where he embarked on an illustrious career on railways, mines and irrigation projects in California and Hawaii. In 1912, O’Shaughnessy was appointed City Engineer for San Francisco, six years after the city’s devastating earthquake. For over two decades he was involved in many iconic projects in the region. He approved the concept of a bridge crossing the Golden Gate Strait and the subsequent design of the Golden Gate Bridge. He led the development of municipally-owned utilities including the city’s famous streetcar system and hydro-electric power projects. O’Shaughnessy led the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and power project at Yosemite National Park, which is still the primary water source for residents of San Francisco. One of the dams in the project was named the O'Shaughnessy dam in his honour. The archive was donated to NUI Galway in 2016 by Bernadette O’Shaughnessy whose late husband was a grand-nephew of Michael O’Shaughnessy. Its contents include material that documents his time in private practice: a large and fascinating volume of photographs from throughout his professional and personal life, engineering drawings, related reports and correspondence that detail survey work in California, and irrigation design and construction projects in Hawaii. The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, also holds a major collection of archival material donated by his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, in 1992. Speaking at the launch, University Librarian at NUI Galway, John Cox, said: “Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy had a very distinguished career in the United States and his work continues to be recognised in San Francisco today. This was evident to me when I visited UC Berkeley earlier this year and learned of the extensive use being made of the archive there. The material donated to NUI Galway complements the Berkeley archive and adds new insights into his family life in particular.” Officially launching Michael Maurice O’Shaughnessy (1864-1934): Engineering the Promised Land, Dr Gray Brechin, from University of California Berkeley, said: “The new exhibition of the career of Michael O’Shaughnessy will go far to resurrecting the reputation of one of America’s great engineers whose public works largely created the cities of San Diego and San Francisco and had a profound impact not only on California but on the wider Pacific Basin.”  Professor Padraic O’Donoghue, Civil Engineering at NUI Galway, said: “There is no doubt that Michael O’Shaughnessy was one of our most famous engineering graduates. His achievement in bringing a secure supply of drinking water to San Francisco has contributed enormously to the growth of the Bay area and Silicon Valley. The archive provides fascinating insights to this pioneering work while it also provides interesting commentary on large scale infrastructure projects in a 1920’s Ireland, particularly the Shannon Scheme.” An exhibition based on the archive has been curated in a joint project between the NUI Galway Library and the College of Engineering and Informatics. In addition, a distinct project to explore the archive in O’Shaughnessy’s own words, using his memoir will also be available online. Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: “The University values archival collections and we are excited to receive a collection of such importance in engineering. Digitisation enables its use globally and we are keen to take all opportunities to collaborate with UC Berkeley on linking the two archives. We are very grateful to Bernadette O’Shaughnessy for this very generous donation.” The archive has been catalogued and digitised in its entirety, and is available to view at https://exhibitions.library.nuigalway.ie/oshaughnessy/.  ENDS  

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Director of NUI Galway’s UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre is co-editor of new handbook bringing together leaders in the field of Children’s Rights in the UK and Ireland A new book, the Routledge Handbook of Global Child Welfare, co-edited by Professor Pat Dolan from NUI Galway, provides a compelling account of child welfare, grounded in the latest theory, policy and practice. The book will beofficially launched at the House of Lords in Westminster, London next Tuesday 17 October by Doreen Elizabeth Massey, Baroness Massey of Darwen and Labour member of the House of Lords. The launch at the House of Lords will bring together leaders in the field of Children’s Rights from across the UK and Ireland. Briefings will be delivered on key themes from selected chapters such as preventing child sexual exploitation, the de-institutionalisation of children and the process and outcomes relating to multidisciplinary work with children and young people. Briefings will be presented by Professor Pat Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, Professor Jenny Pearce, University of Bedfordshire, Georgette Mulheir, Lumos Foundation (whose founder and President is the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling) and Professor Nick Frost, Leeds Beckett University. Speaking in advance of the launch, Professor Pat Dolan co-editor of the book and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway, said: “This ambitious and far-reaching handbook is essential reading for everyone working to make the world a better and safer place for children. Whether it is deaths resulting from child protection failures, sexual abuse and exploitation or the impact of war and famine, child refugees, or the simple fact that corporal punishment is still in existence in a third of the world’s countries, the effects of these issues on children requires collective responses and calls for something to be done. This book brings together a group of leading commentators, academics and activists to offer a considered examination of the challenges and hopefulness towards solutions.” Co-editor of the book, Nick Frost from Leeds Beckett University, said: “It was a great pleasure to work with Pat Dolan in editing this collection of articles. We hope we have provided a comprehensive overview of global developments. Whilst it was impossible to cover every country and every theme, we hope we have highlighted the key challenges and suggested some realistic directions of travel for the future. Our volume does not explicitly cover issues common to all children, health and education, for example: it is concerned with children who may be regarded as ‘vulnerable’ and/or amongst the most disadvantaged on the planet.” Drawing on eminent international expertise, the book offers a coherent and comprehensive overview of the policies, systems and practices that can deliver the best outcomes for children. It considers the challenges faced by children globally, and the difference families, services and professionals can make. -Ends-  

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Galway City Council and NUI Galway have signed an agreement to formalise joint plans for collaboration and development in Galway city. The signing of the “Poitiers Declaration” means NUI Galway is the latest of the Coimbra Group of long-established, multidisciplinary research European universities to agree cooperation initiatives within their local socio-economic environment.   Galway joins cities from Barcelona to Vilnius in setting a programme of collaboration in areas as diverse as economic development, public transport and sport. Over the coming years, joint initiatives will include: Sharing the benefits and impact of research and education locally, nationally and internationally. Development of policies to attract companies as well as medical, social and cultural services and activities. Internationalisation of the activities of the University and the city. Support for the expansion of youth entrepreneurship directly linked to research. Rethinking of public transport and urban mobility, with attention to the needs of the student population. Promotion of sport among students and all citizens. Speaking at the signing, The Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Pearce Flannery said, “This is a unique occasion for Galway City Council to hold its meeting in the Aula Maxima and to sign and endorse the Potiers declaration to enhance collaboration between the University and Galway City Council.” The University has made it a strategic priority to serve and engage with its diverse communities through enhanced relationships on campus, in the region and around the world. As a hub for start-ups, and through extensive research collaboration with industry and public bodies, the University places a strong focus on supporting regional economies. Through community engagement and partnerships, particularly in the arts and sport, the University supports social and cultural development as part of a holistic approach to regional development. Speaking today, Dr Jim Browne, NUI Galway President added: “NUI Galway has a strong tradition of collaboration within our region, and we are delighted to formalise these commitments with Galway City Council. For our communities to flourish, we need an environment which cultivates talent. The West is renowned for this, and we look forward to working with Galway City Council to develop supports that encourage social prosperity and economic growth.”  -Ends-

Monday, 9 October 2017

Students interested in studying at NUI Galway are invited to an Information Evening in Ennis on Thursday, 19 October. Guidance Counsellors and teachers are also invited to the event, which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis Co. Clare.   The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to its innovative programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. NUI Galway is launching seven new Arts degrees for enrolment in 2018. These include a BA (Music) which gives students a deep immersion in the study of music history, traditional Irish music, vocal and choral skills, composition, keyboard skills, music technology and music management. Information on BA (Music) and the other new Bachelor of Arts programmes will be available at the event.   Sport is integral to student-life at NUI Galway and visitors to the information evening will also have the opportuntiy to learn about the scholarships and supports available to high performing athletes. The event will feature sports at NUI Galway, including a short panel discussion with players from Connacht Rugby and sports representatives from the University.   The event will also have representatives from across the University’s five Colleges available to answer questions about the programmes on offer, entry requirements, and placement and employment opportunities. Shannon College of Hotel Management, now a College of NUI Galway, will also be attending the event.   Sarah Geraghty, Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager at NUI Galway, said: “In recent months NUI Galway was announced as ranked in the Top 1% of universities worldwide and in recent days announced as the Sunday Times University of the Year for 2018. These top accolades are testament to the excellence in teaching and learning at NUI Galway, the focus on developing highly skilled and employable graduates and the overall the richness of the student experience. Our Information Evening in Ennis is an opportunity for students to take a closer look at the opportunities that await them at NUI Galway.”   -Ends-

Friday, 6 October 2017

Ainmníodh OÉ Gaillimh mar ‘Ollscoil na Bliana 2018’ sa Sunday Times University Guide, den tríú huair. Bhuaigh an Ollscoil an gradam mór le rá seo an chéad bhliain ar bronnadh é in 2002 agus arís in 2009. D’éirigh níos fearr le OÉ Gaillimh ná an 21 institiúid tríú leibhéal eile sa tír agus i measc na gcúiseanna ar bronnadh an gradam seo ar an ollscoil bhí an dea-cháil atá uirthi mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, a sárchaighdeán sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí, na rátaí maithe maidir le dul chun cinn chomh maith leis na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr as aon ollscoil eile in Éirinn. Dúirt Alastair McCall, Eagarthóir an Sunday Times Good University Guide: “Sna hocht mbliana ó bhuaigh OÉ Gaillimh duais Ollscoil na Bliana cheana tá forás déanta aige i dtéarmaí a cháil domhanda mar cheann de na suíomhanna foghlama is fearr atá le fáil. Tá cuid den lucht acadúil ar na daoine is mó a dtagraítear dóibh ar domhan agus cuimsíonn a cháil na dána agus na heolaíochtaí. Anuraidh thuill an ollscoil ioncam taighde sa bhreis ar €65m, fianaise ar an gceannródaíocht atá ar bun ag an lucht acadúil. “Ina theannta sin, baineann tábhacht ollmhór leis an ollscoil i dtéarmaí an gheilleagair réigiúnaigh, tá sé lárnach sa phobal mórthimpeall ag gach leibhéal. Spreagtar mic léinn na hollscoile chun obair dheonach a dhéanamh agus a bheith mar chuid den phobal úd seachas díreach a bheith ina dturasóirí oideachais i nGaillimh. Nuair a bheidh Gaillimh mar Phríomhchathair Chultúrtha na hEorpa sa bhliain 2020, beidh an ollscoil i gcroílár na féile; agus Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú mar ráiteas ceannasach ar thábhacht na ndán don ollscoil. “Is comhartha ómóis é bua na bliana seo chomh maith do cheannaireacht Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Jim Browne, a bheidh ag cur deireadh lena théarma deich mbliana in oifig go luath an bhliain seo chugainn. Fágann sé OÉ Gaillimh i staid an-láidir, réidh chun tuilleadh dul chun cinn a dhéanamh i ranguithe ollscoile domhanda agus náisiúnta, agus inniúil ar oideachas tríú leibhéal den scoth a chur ar fáil do mhic léinn sna blianta amach romhainn.” Ní ar chúrsaí na dtáblaí sraithe amháin atá an gradam bunaithe ach ar mheasúnú faoi 22 critéar ar ról na hollscoile ar leibhéal áitiúil, náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. “Táimid i dtiúin go láidir le riachtanais na tíre agus an réigiúin,” a deir an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh. Déanaimid iarracht ár gcláir a dhíriú ar thacaíocht a thabhairt d’uaillmhian ár gcuid mac léinn agus ar riachtanais ár ngeilleagair san fhadtréimhse. Déanaimid iarracht chomh maith cothromaíocht chuí a bhaint amach maidir le léann acadúil traidisiúnta agus foghlaim obair-bhunaithe. Tá sé mar sprioc againn go dtabharfaidh 80% dár mic léinn fochéime faoi fhoghlaim ó thaithí.” Anuas ar an méid sin, dúirt an Dr Browne: “Is iad na mic léinn agus na comhaltaí foirne atá againn croílár na hOllscoile seo agus tugann an gradam seo aitheantas dá gcruthaitheacht, dá nuálaíocht agus don obair chrua a dhéanann siad.  Níl aon teorainn leis an uaillmhian anseo agus táimse muiníneach go bhfuilimid ar an mbealach chun cáil níos mó fós a bhaint amach don institiúid seo agus don réigiún.” Ollscoil na Bliana sa Sunday Times Tá barr feabhais bainte amach ag an Ollscoil sna dána agus sna heolaíochtaí agus rinneadh infheistíocht shuntasach inti le déanaí. D’oscail Micheál D. Ó hUiginn, Uachtarán na hÉireann, Ionad Uí Dhonnchadha don Drámaíocht, an Amharclannaíocht agus an Taibhléiriú in Aibreán agus osclaíodh acadamh leighis chomh maith i nDún na nGall, ar thailte Ospidéal na hOllscoile, Leitir Ceanainn. Tá cáil ar an Ollscoil mar ionad barr feabhais i réimse na teicneolaíochta leighis, rud a bhí soiléir nuair a seoladh Cúram, an t-ionad taighde d'fheistí leighis de chuid Fhondúireacht Eolaíochta Éireann i Meán Fómhair 2016. Cuireann an t-ionad naisc chun cinn idir an lucht acadúil agus comhpháirtithe tionsclaíochta. Déanfaidh SFI agus cuideachtaí éagsúla eile infheistíocht €49m thar shé bliana, agus tiocfaidh maoiniú breise €19m ó chlár Dheiseanna Nua an AE, 2020. Tá dlúthbhaint chomh maith ag caighdeán na foirne acadúla in OÉ Gaillimh leis an rath atá ar an ollscoil, agus tá roinnt ollúna cosúil leis an Dr Henry Curran, an tOllamh Colin O’Dowd, an tOllamh Donal O’Regan agus an Dr Ronan Sulpice ainmnithe i measc na dtaighdeoirí is mó a ndéantar tagairt dóibh in anailís ar thaighde foilsithe ag an ngrúpa ilnáisiúnta Clarivite Analytics. Chuidigh tagairtí taighde leis an ollscoil dul chun cinn níos mó a dhéanamh sna ranguithe ollscoile idirnáisiúnta i mbliana. Thuill an lucht acadúil thart ar €89,000 an duine in ioncam taighde de réir an tsuirbhé is déanaí a rinneadh sa Good University Guide ar chumhacht an taighde. Is féidir le OÉ Gaillimh a mhaíomh go bhfuil na hionchais fostaíochta is fearr aige as ollscoileanna uile na poblachta agus ráta dífhostaíochta thar a bheith íseal i measc céimithe ag trí faoin gcéad. Tá ceann de na rátaí dul chun cinn is fearr ag baint leis an ollscoil seo chomh maith, agus críochnaíonn 88% de mhic léinn a gcláir staidéir. Ghlac sa bhreis ar 260 mac léinn páirt i gcúrsaí rochtana agus i mbonnchúrsaí in OÉ Gaillimh i mbliana, agus fuair 150 díbh sin tairiscint ar chlár.  San iomlán, tá os cionn 1,100 fochéimí faoi chúram na hoifige rochtana.  Tá oscailteacht OÉ Gaillimh do mhodhanna éagsúla teagaisc agus foghlama soiléir chomh maith ina chuid oibre leis an nGaeilge. Tá an ollscoil gar do Ghaeltacht Chonamara, an réigiún is mó sa tír ina bhfuil Gaeilge á labhairt ann agus mar sin déanann OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh agus cothú ar an nGaeilge ag cur ranganna ar fáil do thosaitheoirí agus do dhaoine le Gaeilge líofa mar aon le cláir a mhúintear trí mheán na Gaeilge. Feidhmíocht OÉ Gaillimh i Ranguithe Domhanda Is é OÉ Gaillimh an t-aon ollscoil in Éirinn a bhfuil dul chun cinn seasta déanta aige sna Ranguithe Ollscoile Domhanda is iomaíche. Tá dul chun cinn déanta ag an Ollscoil bliain i ndiaidh bliana i Ranguithe QS agus Times Higher Education, agus áirítear an Ollscoil anois ar cheann den 250 ollscoil is fearr sa dá rangú. Dar le QS, tá OÉ Gaillimh i measc an 1% is fearr d’ollscoileanna an domhain. Críoch

Friday, 6 October 2017

NUI Galway has been named 'University of the Year 2018' in the Sunday Times University Guide, securing the prestigious accolade for a third time, having won the inaugural title in 2002 and again in 2009. Outperforming 21 other third-level institutions, NUI Galway's strong reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, its excellence across the arts and sciences, its impressive progression rates as well as having the best job prospects of any other Irish university were among the reasons for the award. Alastair McCall, Editor of The Sunday Times Good University Guide, said: “In the eight years since NUI Galway last won our University of the Year award it has continued to grow its global reputation as one of the great seats of learning. Some of its academics are among the most cited in the world and its reputation spans the arts and the sciences. The university brought in more than €65m of research income last year, evidence of the cutting edge at which many of the academics operate. "It is also pivotal to the regional economy, rooted in its community and playing an active role at all levels. Its students are encouraged to volunteer and be part of that community and not just come to Galway as educational tourists. When Galway is the European Capital of Culture in 2020, the university will be at its heart; the newly-opened O'Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance a bold statement of the importance of the arts to the university. "Its triumph in this year's University of the Year award is also a tribute to the leadership of University President, Dr Jim Browne, whose 10-year term of office ends early next year. He leaves NUI Galway in a position of great strength, ready to make further progress in world and national university rankings, and offering a distinctive third level education to future generations of students.” The award is not only based on league table position but on an assessment under 22 criteria on the university's role on a local, national and international level “We are very well attuned to the needs of the country and the region,” says Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway. “We try to orient our programmes to support the ambition of our students and the needs of our economy in the longer term. We also try to have an appropriate balance of traditional academic scholarship and work-based learning. We have a target that 80% of our undergraduate students would have experiential learning.” Dr Browne added:  “Our students and staff are the vital ingredient that make this University truly special and this award acknowledges their creativity, innovation and hard work.  The ambition here knows no bounds and I am confident that we are on a path for even greater renown for this institution and the region.” Sunday Times University of the Year Statement The University, which excels across the arts and sciences, has seen considerable recent investment. Michael D Higgins, President of Ireland, opened the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance in April and a medical academy has come on stream in Donegal, in the grounds of Letterkenny University Hospital. The University has a reputation as a centre of excellence in relation to medical technology, as evidenced by the launch in September 2016 of Cúram, Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) centre for research in medical devices. The centre promotes links between academia and industry partners. The SFI and various companies will invest €49m over six years, with €19m more in funding coming from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The quality of academic staff at NUI Galway is also crucial to the university’s success, with a number of professors such as Dr Henry Curran, Professor Colin O’Dowd, Professor Donal O’Regan and Dr Ronan Sulpice named among the world’s most highly cited researchers in an analysis of published research by multinational group Clarivite Analytics. Research citations have helped the university rise further up the international university rankings this year. Academics garnered around €89,000 per head in research income in the Good University Guide’s latest survey of research power. NUI Galway boasts the best job prospects of any university in the republic with an impressively low three per cent graduate unemployment rate, together with one of the best progression rates, which sees 88% of students complete their studies. More than 260 students took part in NUI Galway access and foundation courses this year, with 150 receiving an offer of entry. In total, the access programme office has 1,100-plus undergraduates on its books.  NUI Galway's openness to alternative means of teaching and learning is evident, too, in its work with the Irish language. The university is close to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country and as such NUI Galway celebrates and promotes the Irish language offering classes from beginner to advanced level as well as programmes taught through the medium of Irish. NUI Galway Performance in World Rankings NUI Galway has been the only university in Ireland to rise consistently in the most competitive World University Rankings. Both the QS and Times Higher Education Rankings have placed the University in a higher position year-on-year, and the University is now counted among the Top 250 universities in both rankings. According to QS, NUI Galway is among the Top 1% of universities in the world.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

NUI Galway is to become custodian of the extensive archives of Conradh na Gaeilge, Ireland’s oldest Irish language organisation which celebrates its 125th anniversary next year. Conradh na Gaeilge has agreed to permanently deposit archival material spanning over a century of its existence, providing an unparalleled insight into linguistic, cultural, social and political aspects of Ireland’s past. At an event to formally announce the acquisition of the archive, Dr John Walsh, Senior Lecturer in Irish at NUI Galway, said: “This deposit marks a major expansion of the already extensive Irish language archival collections at NUI Galway and is highly significant for Irish language scholarship. The Conradh na Gaeilge archive allows researchers unprecedented access to primary sources about the development of Irish language policy over the past century. By studying Conradh na Gaeilge we can better understand contemporary European minority language movements which continue to have such resonance today.” The Conradh na Gaeilge archive includes previously unseen material and correspondence related to Conradh na Gaeilge figures throughout the organisation’s history such as Douglas Hyde, Patrick Pearse and Thomas Ashe. It also includes documents from Conradh na Gaeilge branches throughout Ireland, press cuttings and material related to various Irish language campaigns. President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “This is a very significant milestone for both organisations. NUI Galway is honoured to work with Conradh na Gaeilge to become the custodian of this critically important archive, the significance of which extends well beyond the Irish language and encompasses social, cultural and historical dimensions of Ireland and our development as a nation. It is especially fitting that NUI Galway will host this archive, given our University’s strong commitment to the Irish language and our growing reputation as a centre for archival scholarship.” President of Conradh na Gaeilge, Dr Niall Comer said: “Although historians, academics and scholars have been interested in the Conradh na Gaeilge archive for many years, it was only with the passing of time that the value of the archive was understood fully. The person who spends time looking through the archive material will recognise immediately that it contains a remarkable insight into a decisive period in the country’s history. Now, with NUI Galway’s plan to catalogue and digitise the material, this jewel will be available widely.” The archive is to be housed in NUI Galway’s Special Collection Reading Room which boasts state of the art facilities for researchers. University Librarian, John Cox said: “We look forward to opening this archive for research and teaching once it has been catalogued. Our archives team will provide expert advice in its use and will connect users with the University’s extensive Irish language collections. These include manuscripts related to Douglas Hyde, the Bairéad collection of folklore sources, and papers related to leading Irish language figures of the twentieth century such as Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa and Éamon de Buitléar.” Under the agreement with Conradh na Gaeilge, NUI Galway will employ an archivist to catalogue the collection and to digitise part of it. In order to ensure maximum use, the University will promote the collection among students and researchers at home and abroad. An Interest Group of experts, internal and external to NUI Galway, will also be established to ensure the active development of the archive. As part of Conradh na Gaeilge’s 125th anniversary, an academic event will be held in the University in 2018 when part of the material has been catalogued. ENDS 

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Beidh OÉ Gaillimh ag feidhmiú mar choimeádaí ar chartlanna fairsinge Chonradh na Gaeilge, an eagraíocht Ghaeilge is ársa in Éirinn a bheidh ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain ar an bhfód an bhliain seo chugainn. Tá sé aontaithe ag Conradh na Gaeilge ábhar cartlainne a bhaineann le tréimhse os cionn céad bliain a chur i dtaisce go buan san Ollscoil, rud a thabharfaidh léargas dosháraithe ar ghnéithe teangeolaíocha, cultúrtha, sóisialta agus polaitiúla a bhaineann leis an am a caitheadh in Éirinn. English version available hereAg an ócáid ina ndearnadh sealbhú na cartlainne a fhógairt go foirmiúil, dúirt an Dr John Walsh, Léachtóir Sinsearach le Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh: “Cuireann an taisce seo go mór leis na bailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge atá ag OÉ Gaillimh cheana féin agus tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach do léann na Gaeilge. Tugann cartlann an Chonartha rochtain nach raibh ar fáil cheana do thaighdeoirí ar fhoinsí príomhúla maidir le forbairt an bheartais teanga i leith na Gaeilge le breis agus céad bliain anuas. Trí staidéar a dhéanamh ar bhailiúchán Chonradh na Gaeilge is féidir linn teacht ar thuiscint níos fearr ar ghluaiseachtaí mionteanga na hEorpa a mbaineann an oiread sin tábhachta leo fós sa lá atá inniu ann.” Tá ábhar agus comhfhreagras i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge nach bhfacthas cheana a bhaineann le daoine a raibh baint acu le Conradh na Gaeilge le linn stair na heagraíochta cosúil le Dubhghlas de hÍde, Pádraig Mac Piarais agus Tomás Ághas. Tá cáipéisí ann chomh maith ó chraobhacha Chonradh na Gaeilge ar fud na hÉireann, gearrthóga nuachtáin agus ábhar a bhain le feachtais Ghaeilge éagsúla. Dúirt Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne: “Is cor cinniúnach é seo don dá eagraíocht. Is onóir é do OÉ Gaillimh oibriú le Conradh na Gaeilge agus a bheith ina choimeádaí ar an gcartlann thar a bheith tábhachtach seo. Tá tábhacht i bhfad níos leithne ag baint leis an gcartlann ná an Ghaeilge féin mar go gcuimsíonn sí gnéithe sóisialta, cultúrtha agus stairiúla na hÉireann agus an fhorbairt atá déanta againn mar náisiún. Tá sé thar a bheith fóirsteanach gur in OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh an chartlann seo coinnithe, i bhfianaise thiomantas láidir na hOllscoile i leith na Gaeilge agus an cháil atá orainn mar ionad do léann na cartlannaíochta.” Dúirt Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge, an Dr Niall Comer: “In ainneoin go bhfuil staraithe, an lucht acadúil agus scoláirí ag cur spéise i gcartlann Chonradh na Gaeilge le blianta fada anuas, níorbh é go dtí le himeacht cheart aimsire gur tuigeadh go hiomlán an luach a bhí leis an gcartlann chéanna. Don té a chaitheann am ag breathnú trí ábhar na cartlainne, aithneoidh sé nó sí láithreach go bhfuil insint faoi leith ann ar thréimhse chinniúnach i stair na tíre seo. Anois, leis na pleananna atá ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le catalógú agus digitiú an ábhair, beidh an tseoid seo ar fáil go forleathan.” Coimeádfar an chartlann i Seomra Léitheoireachta na mBailiúchán Speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh áit a bhfuil scoth na n-áiseanna do thaighdeoirí. Dúirt Leabharlannaí na hOllscoile, John Cox: “Táimid ag tnúth go mór an chartlann seo a oscailt do chuspóirí taighde agus teagaisc nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta uirthi. Cuirfidh ár bhfoireann cartlainne sainchomhairle ar fáil in úsáid na cartlainne agus gheobhaidh úsáideoirí eolas ar bhailiúcháin fhairsinge Ghaeilge na hOllscoile. Áirítear orthu seo lámhscríbhinní a bhaineann le Dubhghlas de hÍde, bailiúchán Bhairéad d’fhoinsí béaloidis, agus páipéir a bhaineann le daoine mór le rá ón bhfichiú haois cosúil le Pádraig Ó Mathúna, Proinsias Mac Aonghusa agus Éamon de Buitléar.” Faoin gcomhaontú le Conradh na Gaeilge, fostóidh OÉ Gaillimh cartlannaí chun catalógú a dhéanamh ar an mbailiúchán agus chun cuid de a dhigitiú. D’fhonn a chinntiú go mbainfear an úsáid is fearr as an gcartlann, cuirfidh an Ollscoil an bailiúchán chun tosaigh i measc mac léinn agus taighdeoirí sa bhaile agus thar lear. Ina theannta sin, bunófar Grúpa Sainleasa de shaineolaithe, inmheánach agus seachtrach do OÉ Gaillimh, chun forbairt ghníomhach na cartlainne a chinntiú. Mar chuid de cheiliúradh 125 bliain Chonradh na Gaeilge, reáchtálfar ócáid acadúil san Ollscoil in 2018 nuair a bheidh catalógú déanta ar chuid den ábhar. CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Following a hugely successful pilot of its Teachers in Residence Programme, CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at NUI Galway, is now enrolling for the second year of the programme with applications being accepted up to 11 October, 2017. The Teachers in Residence programme supports both primary and secondary school teachers in science education and promotes equal opportunities in science for all students in the classroom. The programme has ten places available annually, for five primary and five secondary school teachers, with priority placement given to teachers from DEIS schools. The residency runs for ten evenings over six months from October to March. Teachers work directly with researchers  to develop content for the classroom, while learning about the medical device research being carried out at CÚRAM that will improve the quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses like Parkinson’s and heart disease. Scientific Director of CÚRAM Professor Abhay Pandit said: “We were really impressed with the level of dedication and creativity shown by the primary and secondary teachers in the pilot year of the programme. We now have a suite of excellent resources developed for both primary and secondary school classrooms which will be built on year by year by these teachers, who are the real experts when it comes to engaging the next generation of scientists and engineers. Our goal is to provide inspiration for teachers by providing access to current, cutting edge research happening here in Ireland and working with them to incorporate it into classroom activities. If we can inspire and excite the teachers, our hope is it passes onto their students for years to come.” During the residency, teachers are introduced and linked to the range of educational resources provided by Science Foundation Ireland and to the ReelLife Science video competition for primary and secondary schools. A guest speaker will lead a discussion around encouraging equal opportunities in STEM careers for both boys and girls, and teachers will be invited with their classes to attend educational workshops run by CÚRAM during the Galway Science and Technology Festival in November 2017. Lesson plans and classroom activities developed during the pilot programme will be made available online at the end of October and participants in this year’s programme will evaluate and develop these further. The resources developed through the programme constitute a ‘learning module’ about CÚRAM and MedTech in Ireland that links with multiple streams and themes in the primary and junior cycle curricula. -Ends-

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Researchers from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway have developed the world’s first verified identification guide and symptoms checklist for General Practitioners and the public on how to treat bites from the False Widow spider. The study was recently published in two separate research papers in international journals, one in the journal, Biology and Environment, which showed that the False Widow spider (Steatoda nobilis) is taking over Ireland and is an invasive species with a detrimental effect on native species. This study also featured on the journals front cover. The second journal, Clinical Toxicology showed five reported cases of False Widow bites in the UK and Ireland that have provided the world’s first verified identification guide on how to treat bites from this spider.   Led by Dr Michel Dugon, the research team based at the Venom Systems and Proteomics laboratory in NUI Galway made the discovery while investigating the potential of local bugs that included the venom from the False Widow spider, as a source of novel therapeutics to develop medication to treat illnesses ranging from bacterial infection to cancer. This is the only laboratory in the world currently working on extracting venom from The False Widow spider for potential therapies. This particular species of spider is having a detrimental effect on other local species and spiders in Ireland due to their competitiveness and fast breeding nature. The False Widow lives for five to seven years whereas most other spider and bug species in Ireland only lives for a maximum of one year. In Ireland False Widow spiders live close to buildings and houses inhabited by people, they only survive in cities and not in rural areas. Dublin, Cork and Wexford have the highest number of False Widows to date. Dr Michel Dugon, lead author of the study from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “While it is extremely unlikely that a bite will ever be fatal, we do need to consider bites from False Widows as a potential health risk given the increase of this species not just in the UK and Ireland but also mainland Europe and the US. We hope that our study will help to address some of the public’s concerns about these spiders and will provide healthcare professionals with the information required to accurately diagnose and report bites associated with the False Widow.” The False widow spider arrived in the UK about 100 years ago and has steadily invaded Ireland over the past 20 years through human transport of goods, a by-product of globalisation. The first true case of a False Widow spider bite was identified in the UK in the 1990’s and in Chile last year. There has since been five additional reported cases, three in Ireland and two in the UK, leading to the NUI Galway study being the most intensive research carried out on this species to date. Bites from a False Widow spider are not fatal with identified symptoms resulting in a large swelling within three minutes of being bitten, sometimes followed by the formation of a dry necrotic wound when the swelling subside, and inflammation for a few days afterwards. The venom from a False Widow spider is a lot more powerful than the researchers expected, producing about one tenth of a millionth of a litre of venom. This study was funded by the Irish Research Council. -Ends- https://youtu.be/3YEaGnl4Mlg

Monday, 2 October 2017

More than 90 recruiting companies from a wide range of sectors will bring a potential 4,500 graduate jobs to the NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair in the Bailey Allen Hall, on Tuesday, 3 October from 12.30 - 4pm. The fair will open at 12pm exclusively for students with disabilities, providing them with a more comfortable environment to meet with employers This annual event, coordinated by the Career Development Centre in NUI Galway,   showcases graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, civil and public sectors, consultancy and many others. Visitors to the event are invited to spend the afternoon networking with leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Medtronic, SAP, Enterprise Ireland and Smyths will attend, in addition to international companies including Abbott, Siteminder, Smartbear, SITA Inc., Workday and Accenture. Josephine Walsh, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “This year’s Graduate Jobs Fair is our biggest one yet with national and international employers looking to recruit NUI Galway graduates across all academic disciplines. This is an ideal opportunity to meet with employers who are targeting NUI Galway students and graduates and to find out more about the jobs available and the skills employers are looking for.” Josephine also has some advice for those attending the Graduate Jobs Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name as they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you. Prepare for your visit by downloading the Careers Fair Plus App which is new this year. This will help you research the companies you are interested in and the type of opportunities they have available. The App also has hints and tips on how to make a good impression and prepare your career pitch. Be confident, positive, enthusiastic and dress appropriately. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on participating exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers -Ends-  


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