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NUI Galway Announces Members of Gender Equality Task Force
Friday, 27 February 2015
Following a meeting of Údarás na hOllscoile/the Governing Authority today (February 27), NUI Galway announced the full membership of a Task Force on Gender Equality to advise the University on its policies, procedures and a range of initiatives to achieve gender equality in promotion. At an earlier meeting of the Governing Authority in December, the University agreed to establish a Task Force and last month announced that Professor Jane Grimson has been appointed as Chairperson. It has now confirmed the 15 members of the Task Force which comprises of individuals with a broad spectrum of expertise and perspectives. The members are as follows: Professor Jane Grimson Former Vice-Provost, Trinity College Dublin Liam Bluett General Manager, Ballybane Enterprise Centre Norah Gibbons Chairperson, Child and Family Agency Professor Áine Hyland Former Vice-President, University College Cork Dr John Kremer Former Reader in Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast Professor Gerry Loftus Former Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Science, NUI Galway Gráinne McMorrow, SC Senior Counsel and Sole Member at Douch Commission of Investigation Tadhg Ó hÉalaithe Former Secretary General of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht Dr Louise Allcock Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway Dr Nata Duvvury Senior Lecturer, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway Caroline Loughnane Academic Secretary, NUI Galway Aoife McNena HR Operations Manager, NUI Galway Professor Donncha O’Connell Head of the School of Law, NUI Galway Professor Maura Sheehan Personal Professor, J. E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway Natalie WalshResearch Support Officer, Research Office, NUI Galway A student member will also be added to the task force in the near future. Speaking on today’s announcement, Professor Grimson said: “Firstly I am hugely honoured to act as Chair of this Task Force and delighted to be working with such a group as that announced today. As previously stated by the University President, NUI Galway has fully acknowledged the issues and are fully committed to addressing them and these appointments clearly mark a milestone for the University in tackling gender equality and I very much look forward to working with the University on this Task Force. The University has also committed through its Strategic Planning process, to develop a programme of gender equality initiatives through the international Athena Swan programme, something I am hugely supportive of, which will provide a framework to enable the University to set itself realistic but stretching targets to move towards greater gender equality. The establishment of a Task Force for gender equality is a significant step towards tackling challenges around gender equality. I am confident we will meet this challenge but it will take time. Having announced the full membership of the Task Force, we plan to hold our first meeting in March following which we will set out our full and detailed terms of reference.” The Task Force, which will report directly to the University’s Governing Authority, has a wide ranging remit aimed at helping NUI Galway to achieve gender equality. The Task Force was established in response to the recent decision of the Equality Tribunal in respect of gender discrimination towards a staff member in the 2008 Senior Lecturer promotion round.
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NUI Galway Introduce New Pilot Scheme for A-Level Students
Monday, 5 January 2015
NUI Galway today announced a new one-year pilot scheme for GCE A-Level students for entry in September 2015. This initiative is intended to increase the number of Northern Ireland students attending NUI Galway with approximately 200 places across more than 50 undergraduate programmes, with the exception of Medicine due to the HPAT (Health Professions Admission Test) requirement, will be made available to students sitting 3 or more A-Levels under the scheme. Currently the A-Level to Leaving Certificate points conversion model is based on 4 A-Levels being the equivalent to 6 Leaving Certificate exams. Approximately 80% of A-Level students only sit 3 A-Levels, which means the maximum number of points for these students is 450 points. In addition to this, a student might earn up to 65 points if they sat a fourth AS-Level, but this cohort is in the minority. For each course, A-Level students will be ranked in order of their achievement in their best 3 GCE A-Level exams and places would be offered to the applicants who rank highest, to fill agreed scheme quota places per programme. As with CAO applicants, all other minimum entry requirements will also need to be met, including: Applicants must meet all matriculation requirements for that programme Meet all other course specific requirements, e.g. minimum grade language requirements. Speaking on the new initiative, Registrar and Deputy President Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh explained: “Historically, the percentage of students from Northern Ireland and the UK studying at Universities in the Republic has been surprisingly low. There are many reasons for this and one of those is the grade equivalences between A-Levels and Leaving Certificate points. At NUI Galway we have seen a big increase in the level of interest in our courses from A-Level students. We are committed to urging the Irish Higher Education sector to review our entry routes for these students. This pilot is an important first step in opening up entry routes to broader cohorts of students at NUI Galway.” Applications for the students chosen course can be done through the CAO by 1st February 2015 and entry onto the scheme will be automatic, once eligibility has been established. For further information see on Central Admissions Office (CAO) see www.cao.ie. For more information on courses available at NUI Galway visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/alevelentryscheme or visit the University YouTube channel www.youtube.com/user/thinkingaboutnuig -Ends- Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh tús le Scéim Phíolótach nua do dhaltaí A-Leibhéal Inniu, d'fhógair OÉ Gaillimh scéim phíolótach nua bliana do dhaltaí A-Leibhéal GCE d'iontráil i mí Mheán Fómhair 2015. Táthar ag súil go gcuirfidh an tionscnamh le líon na ndaltaí as Tuaisceart Éireann a fhreastalaíonn ar OÉ Gaillimh trí thart ar 200 áit a chur ar fáil ar bhreis is 50 clár fochéime do dhaltaí atá i mbun trí cinn nó níos mó A-Leibhéal. Ní bheidh feidhm ag an scéim do chúrsaí Leighis mar gheall ar an riachtanas HPAT (Tástáil Iontrála na nGairmeacha Sláinte). Faoi láthair is ionann ceithre ábhar A-Leibhéal agus sé ábhar Ardteistiméireachta nuair atá na pointí á gcur le chéile. Déanann thart ar 80% de dhaltaí A-Leibhéal trí ábhar A-Leibhéal, rud a chiallaíonn gurb é 450 pointe an t-uasmhéid pointí is féidir leo a bhaint amach. Lena chois sin, d'fhéadfadh dalta 65 pointe breise a bhaint amach dá dtabharfadh sé/sí faoin gceathrú AS-Leibhéal, ach is beag duine a dhéanann é seo. Do gach cúrsa, rangófar daltaí A-Leibhéal de réir chomh maith is a éiríonn leo sna trí scrúdú A-Leibhéal GCE is fearr atá acu agus tairgfear áiteanna do na hiarratasóirí is fearr a chruthaíonn, chun an cuóta áiteanna comhaontaithe a líonadh. Mar atá i gcás iarratasóirí CAO, beidh ar na daltaí seo na híosriachtanais iontrála ar fad a chomhlíonadh chomh maith, lena n-áirítear: Caithfidh iarratasóirí na riachtanais mháithreánacha ar fad a bhaineann leis an gclár faoi leith a chomhlíonadh Caithfidh iarratasóirí gach riachtanas sonrach a bhaineann leis an gcúrsa a chomhlíonadh, e.g. riachtanais íosghráid teanga. Ag labhairt dó faoin tionscnamh nua, dúirt an Meabhránaí agus Uachtarán Ionaid, an tOllamh Pól Ó Dochartaigh: “Go stairiúil, tá an céatadán de dhaltaí ó Thuaisceart Éireann agus ón Ríocht Aontaithe a dhéanann staidéir in Ollscoileanna sa Phoblacht thar a bheith íseal. Is iomaí cúis leis seo agus ar cheann acu sin tá na comhionannais ghráid idir A-Leibhéil agus pointí na hArdteistiméireachta. In OÉ Gaillimh tá méadú mór feicthe againn ar an spéis atá daltaí A-Leibhéal a chur inár gcúrsaí. Táimid meáite ar iarraidh ar an earnáil ardoideachais in Éirinn athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar na bealaí iontrála do na daltaí seo. Is céim thábhachtach í an scéim phíolótach seo maidir leis na bealaí iontrála in OÉ Gaillimh a oscailt amach do réimse níos leithne daltaí. Is féidir le daltaí iarratas a dhéanamh ar a rogha cúrsa tríd an CAO faoin 1 Feabhra 2015 agus cuirfear isteach ar an scéim iad go huathoibríoch, chomh luath is a bheidh incháilitheacht dearbhaithe. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil féach ar láithreán gréasáin na Lár-Oifige Iontrála (CAO) ar www.cao.ie. Chun tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoi chláir atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh téigh chuig http://www.nuigalway.ie/alevelentryscheme nó chuig cainéal YouTube na hOllscoile www.youtube.com/user/thinkingaboutnuig - Críoch -
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Major ERC funding success for NUI Galway
Monday, 5 January 2015
Dr Eilionóir Flynn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy and Martin O Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine at NUI Galway have both been approved by the European Research Council (ERC) for starter grants. Professor O’Donnell’s award will support his so-called "blue sky research" project entitled 'Clarifying Optimal Sodium Intake Project' (COSIP) which seeks to clarify how much sodium (salt) intake is optimal for health. Professor O'Donnell explains that the leading cause of death globally is cardiovascular disease, and elevated blood pressure is a major modifiable cause. High sodium (salt) intake causes an increase in blood pressure, and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Based on studies looking at reducing sodium intake and blood pressure, it is recommended that sodium intake is reduced to low levels (<2.0g/day) in the entire population, which is about half of current intake. However, says O'Donnell "sodium is an essential nutrient, and some recent research by our group, and others, has raised questions about whether low sodium intake is optimal for health in all people. My research will focus on understanding the relationship between different levels of sodium intake and physiological markers of cardiovascular health. We will explore whether our genetics play an important role in modifying the effects of different levels of sodium intake on blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart disease. Does one size fit all, or do people have different sodium intake requirements? In addition to sodium intake, we also look at potassium intake and effect of overall dietary patterns on cardiovascular health." O'Donnell said that this ERC funding will have a considerable impact on his research, as it will support an ambitious research programme over the next five years. Dr Flynn is the youngest of the ERC Starter grantees this year and amongst nine in Ireland to win a total of €11m in funding under these prestigious awards. Her award of almost €1m in funding for the ground-breaking VOICES project will run for three and a half years. The VOICES project aims to make visible the experiences of people with disabilities who have been denied legal capacity. It will involve a series of workshops where people with this lived experience will be paired with social and legal scholars to develop their narratives, and construct critical responses to these narratives, for inclusion in an edited collection at the end of the project. Particular themes to be addressed include criminal responsibility, consent, and contract law. Dr Flynn said "The VOICES project will take a radical approach to develop new law reform ideas based on the concept of “universal legal capacity”, a basic human freedom to make one’s own decisions and have them respected by law. People with disabilities will be supported in this project by legal and social science scholars to develop personal narratives about their experiences in exercising, or being denied, legal capacity. This is important because many people with disabilities, especially people with intellectual, psycho-social and other cognitive disabilities, have been denied this fundamental right – informally, in the private sphere, and formally, in the public sphere through states’ laws and policies." Dr Flynn is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, NUI Galway and Deputy Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy. The Centre focuses on advancing social justice and human rights for persons with disabilities through legislative and policy reform. With major research accolades and some of the most respected members in the field on the staff board, the CDLP has earned its place as a policy leader, both in Europe and beyond. See www.nuigalway.ie/cdlp for more information. ENDS
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HEAR and DARE Information Clinic at NUI Galway
Monday, 5 January 2015
In advance of the CAO application deadline, NUI Galway will run an application advice clinic for students and parents who are interested in applying for access to college through the HEAR and DARE schemes. The clinic will be held on Saturday 10 January from 10am to 2pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. The Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) is a college and university admission scheme which offers places on reduced points to school leavers with disabilities under 23 years old. The Higher Education Access Route (HEAR) is a college and university admission scheme which also offers places on reduced points to school leavers from socio-economically disadvantaged background who are under 23 years of age. Both schemes are part of a range of initiatives to encourage a greater number of applications to third level from groups of students who find it difficult to progress to college due to personal, cultural or financial challenges. The advice clinic is open to Leaving Certificate students, their parents or guardians, teachers and guidance counsellors. Those considering making an application to either scheme can drop in for one-to-one guidance and support on applying to the HEAR and DARE Schemes. Advisers will offer guidance on how to make a completed application to either or both schemes. The aim of the advice clinics is to reduce the number of incomplete applications received by directly explaining to applicants and their families the supporting documentation required and answering any queries they may have. According to Sinéad Quinn, Irish Universities’ Association, HEAR/DARE Development Officer, and formerly of NUI Galway: “The clinic provides extremely useful information on applying for the HEAR and DARE programmes. If anyone has any queries about any aspect of these courses, I would really encourage them to attend.” Further information on is also available on www.nuigalway.ie/access/hear.html -Ends-
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NUI Galway Mature Students Open Evening
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
NUI Galway is hosting a Mature Students Open Evening on Thursday, 15 January at 6pm in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle. The open evening is an opportunity to find out more about courses on offer, entry requirements, CAO application procedure, mature scholarships and practical student supports within the University. The information evening is designed for people aged 23 and over who are considering embarking on full-time or part time undergraduate degree programmes in NUI Galway in the 2015/2016 academic year. In attendance this year will be Graham Doyle, Communications and Customer Service Manager from Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), who will be on hand to advise on application for grants and financial supports. NUI Galway has currently 850 mature students studying across all degree programmes and plays a large part in the student undergraduate population. Trish Bourke, Mature Students Officer at NUI Galway, said: “Mature Students are attracted to this university because of its excellent reputation for teaching and learning and for the wide range of programmes on offer including Medicine, Psychology, Journalism and Speech and Language Therapy. The Open Evening is the opportune time to find out about SUSI Grants and receive the new Mature Students Guide, the University Prospectus and find out all you need to know before applying through the CAO.” Embarking on third-level education can be quite a challenge for many mature students. Some may have been out of formal education for some time but it is important to highlight that there are routes to university through NUI Galway’s Access courses. Many mature students perform very well academically each year with 30 mature scholarships awarded for excellence in September 2014. To register attendance for the Information Evening visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/mature/matureopenevening.html or email Trish Bourke at email@example.com. A Mature Students Guidebook is also available with further information at www.nuigalway.ie/mature. -Ends-
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NUI Galway to Hold Information Evening in Cavan
Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Cavan on Thursday, 15 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Crystal Hotel, Dublin Road, Cavan. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterwards, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions in relation to courses offered by the University and about practical issues like accommodation, fees and scholarships, and the wide range of support services available to our students. The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in-part due to a suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market. Unique programmes include a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights, an Energy Engineering degree which is taught in the University’s new Engineering Building, Ireland’s largest School of Engineering, and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. Visitors to the information evening will also get information on NUI Galway’s newest degree programmes, a BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, BA in Journalism, BA in Science (Physics- degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical or Theoretical) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Gaeilge). Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway, said: “NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Cavan, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Cavan is a perfect opportunity for prospective students to meet current students and lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit for them.” To find out more about the information evening in Cavan, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne on 087 244 0858 or firstname.lastname@example.org. -Ends-
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Aquila Bioscience wages war on disease-causing bacteria, viruses and biotoxins
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
A new war is being waged by scientists at Aquila Bioscience on disease-causing bacteria, viruses and biotoxins. The NUI Galway spin-out has signed a deal with the European Defence Agency to develop decontamination products that are portable, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Aquila’s expertise lies in understanding cell biology and the role of complex sugars – or glycans – which pathogens use to interact with and invade host cells. The company will deliver a novel strategy to decontaminate physical and biological surfaces by capturing pathogens using sugar-protein coated materials. The method will be used to combat a range of pathogens, and will be safe for military, defence equipment and personnel. Pathogenic bacteria, viruses and many biotoxins display specialised sugars (glycans) and sugar-binding proteins (lectins) on their surface. This allows them to interact and invade host cells through a complex process of carbohydrate-protein mediated attachment and invasion. Aquila is utilising its expertise in glycobiology to develop novel strategies to inhibit pathogen binding to host surfaces by neutralising the sugars displayed on the pathogens. NUI Galway’s Professor Lokesh Joshi is Science Foundation Ireland Stokes Professor of Glycosciences and a co-founder of Aquila: “This is an innovative approach to decontamination. Complex sugars coat each and every cell in a living organism and mediate interactions between cells. Glycans can connect to others on similar cells, a bit like Velcro®. Pathogens are very clever at figuring out glycan patterns, and use this to attach to and invade their hosts. We want to turn the tables, by using glycans to neutralise pathogens’ approach.” The technology was partly developed using a Science Foundation Ireland funded TIDA Award, and the project with the European Defence Agency is expected to last two years. Aquila has attracted further international attention from both private companies and academic institutions to help develop technologies to detect, capture and neutralise viruses and bacteria. Professor Joshi also has ambitions to take this approach to the fight against Ebola. “Aquila and the glycoscience group in NUI Galway are looking at different strategies to prevent Ebola binding and to decontaminate surfaces infected with Ebola. These strategies can also be used for other virus and bacterial pathogens that may cause serious threat to the society.” Overall, the science Aquila is developing is an extension of work initiated by the Alimentary Glycoscience Research Cluster (AGRC) at NUI Galway. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland five years ago, the AGRC was set up to focus on glycoscience, which was then a relatively new but important and rapidly emerging area of research. The ARGC was focused on the discovery of novel diagnostics, therapeutics and nutraceuticals. The knowledge generated and technologies developed are now also highly applicable to other infectious diseases, as well as cancer, immune system, inflammation, neuroscience and biomaterials research. Aquila has made significant leaps in less than two years, securing a number of high profile projects; including an EU-FP7 Project aimed at developing novel, high throughput strategies to detect and identify pathogen contamination in water using carbohydrate-based approaches. More information on the work been carried out for this project can be found at (http://www.napes.eu/). -ends-
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Irish journalists don’t trust social media, survey finds
Friday, 9 January 2015
Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway releases results of first national survey on social journalism Irish journalists still rely on traditional methods to verify stories, according to the first nationwide survey of news reporting in the digital age. “This survey reveals that the vast majority of journalists in Ireland use social media for sourcing news leads, content, and verifying information, but the majority still believe that, without external verification, the information cannot be trusted," said Insight researcher Dr Bahareh Heravie. "Very few journalists use specialist tools to validate information, instead relying on the practice of contacting individuals directly. While this practice upholds traditional journalistic procedures for verifying information, in the age of social media, it is an increasingly time consuming process.” Overall, the survey found that 99 per cent of Irish journalists use social media, with half of those using it daily. While most journalists believe that using social media makes them more engaged with their audience and with other journalists, over half state that they believe social media is undermining traditional journalistic values. Social media is most popular with journalists for sourcing leads and content. Few surveyed believe that content found on social media can be trusted. The majority rely on contact with ‘real world’ sources for verification. The comprehensive report: Social Journalism Survey: First National Survey on Irish Journalists’ Use of Social Media (2014) was compiled from data from hundreds of professional journalists working in Ireland by the Digital Humanities and Journalism group of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at the National University of Ireland, Galway. The survey was open to all professional journalists working in Ireland, and was distributed widely to attract the broadest possible set of responses. The survey collected information from journalists working in all areas of reporting, from Irish news to world news, and from arts through business, lifestyle, sports, and technology. Respondents for the most part identified as skilled users of social media, and worked for a wide range of media, from print to broadcast to online-only publications. In a world where the first person to see and write about a breaking news event is a random individual with a smart phone, instead of a seasoned reporter in the field, what role does social media play in contemporary journalism? This and many more questions are being addressed for the first time in the Irish context by the survey launched today. ENDS
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NUI Galway to Hold CAO Information Evening
Monday, 12 January 2015
With the CAO deadline fast approaching on 1 February, NUI Galway will host a CAO Information Evening for parents and Leaving Certificate students. The event will take place in the Arts Millennium Building on campus on Tuesday, 20 January from 7–9pm. NUI Galway recognises the key role that parents play in supporting students as they take this important next step, and the CAO Information Evening will ensure that parents have access to all of the information needed in supporting their child through their University career. With over 60 degree courses on offer by NUI Galway, the evening will begin with a series of short talks on the University. This will be then followed by College specific talks on Arts, Business, Law, Engineering and Informatics, Science, Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. NUI Galway’s Schools Liaison Officer, Gráinne Dunne, said: “This is an excellent opportunity to talk to representatives from all NUI Galway’s Colleges about the subjects your son or daughter is interested in and to find out about practical issues and the wide range of support services available to our students.” If you would like to find out more about the CAO Information Evening contact Gráinne Dunne on 087 2440858 or email@example.com. -Ends- Oíche Eolais CAO á heagrú ag OÉ Gaillimh Tá spriocdháta an CAO den 1 Feabhra ag teannadh linn agus i ngeall air sin tá OÉ Gaillimh ag eagrú Oíche Eolais faoin CAO do thuismitheoirí agus do dhaltaí Ardteistiméireachta. Beidh an ócáid seo ar siúl in Áras Dán na Mílaoise ar an gcampas Dé Máirt, an 20 Eanáir ón 7-9pm. Tuigeann OÉ Gaillimh an ról lárnach atá ag tuismitheoirí agus iad ag tacú le daltaí an chéim thábhachtach seo a ghlacadh, agus cinnteoidh an Oíche Eolais faoin CAO go mbeidh gach eolas ag tuismitheoirí a theastaíonn uathu chun tacú lena mac nó iníon tabhairt faoi ghairm Ollscoile. Tá breis is 60 cúrsa céime á thairiscint ag OÉ Gaillimh, agus cuirfear tús leis an oíche le sraith cainteanna gearra faoin Ollscoil féin. Ina dhiaidh sin beidh cainteanna sonracha ó na Coláistí seo a leanas - Dána, Gnó, Dlí, Innealtóireacht agus Ionformaitic, Eolaíocht, Leigheas, Altranas agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte. Dúirt Gráinne Dunne, Oifigeach don Chaidreamh le Scoileanna in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is iontach an deis í seo le labhairt le hionadaithe as gach Coláiste in OÉ Gaillimh faoi na hábhair a bhfuil spéis ag do mhac nó ag d'iníon iontu agus le heolas a fháil faoi fhadhbanna praiticiúla agus faoin réimse leathan seirbhísí tacaíochta atá ar fáil dár mic léinn.” Má tá tuilleadh eolais uait faoin Oíche Eolais CAO déan teagmháil le Gráinne Dunne ar 087 2440858 nó firstname.lastname@example.org. -Críoch-
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Transformation of Irish Theatre by Migrants Explored in New Book
Monday, 12 January 2015
The transformative impact of inward migration on Irish theatre is documented in a newly published book Staging Intercultural Ireland: New Plays and Practitioner Perspectives. The edited collection contains eight plays with critical introductions, and six interviews with migrant and Irish-born theatre artists who are producing work at the intersection of interculturalism and inward-migration in Ireland during the first decades of the 21st Century. The book is edited by Dr Charlotte McIvor, a Lecturer in Drama at NUI Galway, and Dr Matthew Spangler, an Associate Professor of Performance Studies at San José State University in California, and is published by Cork University Press. The book offers a contribution to transnational migration studies, as well as intercultural theatre research in a global context. When inward migration numbers began to climb in the early and mid-1990s, Irish-born and migrant theatre artists started producing theatrical work that addressed these profound cultural and demographic shifts. Their performances have been produced at venues ranging from the Abbey Theatre, to mid-sized theatre companies, to community centres, and even refugee accommodation centres. The plays in the book have been selected due to their critical impact within the field of Irish theatre and the various forms of cultural, political, and social conflict and accommodation they register. The plays in question include: Donal O’Kelly’s The Cambria (2005), which dramatises African–American abolitionist Frederick Douglass’ journey to seek refuge in Ireland in 1845; Rosaleen McDonagh’s Rings (2012), a play about the widespread discrimination experienced by people with disabilities and members of the Traveller community in Ireland; Charlie O’Neill’s Hurl (2003), which depicts immigrants excelling in Ireland’s most iconic sport while grappling with their broader lack of acceptance; and Nicole McCartney’s Cave Dwellers (2002), a play that draws on Samuel Beckett in its portrayal of refugees waiting for someone to guide them. Also featured are: Ursula Rani Sarma’s Orpheus Road (2003), which explores the challenges of growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland through the metaphor of cross-cultural romance; Bisi Adigun’s Once Upon a Time & Not So Long Ago (2006), which dramatizes the intercultural encounters of west Africans in Ireland; and Paul Meade’s Mushroom (2007), a play that is based on the experiences of undocumented migrants working in highly exploitative conditions. The theatre artists and companies profiled in this book include Bairbre Ní Chaoimh formerly of Calypso Productions, John Scott of Irish Modern Dance Theatre, Declan Gorman and Declan Mallon of Upstate Theatre Project, Anna Wolf, Kasia Lech and John Currivan of Polish Theatre Ireland, actress Alicja Ayres, and José Miguel Jimenéz of the Company. According to McIvor and Spangler: “ Ireland is unique in that it is one of a small group of nations to have such a close and powerfully charged relationship between the theatre and debates of national and cultural identity. The theatre in Ireland offers something of a looking-glass through which changing culture might be viewed, though as we have argued, the plays collected here do more than simply reﬂect an extra-theatrical reality; they are also themselves active agents of cultural change.” It is especially fitting that the book has been written by faculty in NUI Galway, which is at the heart of the nation’s most diverse city, and the work is continuing. Dr Charlotte McIvor is already in the process of expanding this research with the support of an Irish Research Council starter grant which will allow her to finish her full-length monograph on the subject titled “Towards A New Interculturalism: Migration and Performance in Contemporary Ireland” (forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) as well as expand the research in other and more collaborative directions. Dr Jason King, who has also extensively published in this area including a contribution to Staging Intercultural Ireland, is working with Dr McIvor as a postdoctoral researcher on the IRC project, “Interculturalism, Migration and Performance in Contemporary Ireland” and comes to NUI Galway directly from working with the Integration Centre. This project is based at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Drs McIvor and King are also partnering with local schools, including Scoil Chroí Íosa- Presentation Primary School and Mercy Primary School, to develop drama workshops on interculturalism and diversity in Ireland today. They hope to extend this work into a long-term drama outreach program with community partners including schools among other constituencies. According to Dr Charlotte McIvor: “I often encounter the perception that the end of the Celtic Tiger meant the end of migration and its impact on the future of Irish identity. However the 2011 census tells us that 17% of this nation is non-Irish born and you need to look no further than our schools - as we have - to see that this perception of mid-1990s migration trends not influencing our nation’s future is false. Our research responds to Ireland as it is now, and Ireland as it will keep evolving. We do so through looking to theatre as a mode of not only reflection, but intervention.” Upcoming events associated with the IRC project include the “GUIDE (Galway University Integration through Drama and Education) Symposium" on 31 January 2015. The event is for educators and theatre practitioners working in the area of interculturalism, migration and integration, and has been made possible with support from the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. In addition, an international symposium “Interculturalism and Performance Now: New Directions?” will take place from 10-11 April 2015 featuring leading scholars in theatre and performance studies from Australia, Canada, the United States, the UK and Turkey debating the issues at the heart of the project. Both events will be open to the public. -ends-
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