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Friday, 27 February 2015
FRIDAY, 27 FEBRUARY, 2015 NUI Galway uses a detailed medical questionnaire to conduct pre-employment health screening. An indepth questionnaire replaces the need for a face-to-face medical consultation for staff. This process takes place after a candidate has been offered a position and forms no part of the job interview. This process of health screening was implemented by the University in 2008 following a decision by its Governing Authority. Prior to this all prospective staff were required to attend a pre-employment medical examination. The detail of the medical questionnaire used for pre-employment health screening is a strictly confidential process between doctor and patient.The questionnaire was provided to the University by its Occupational Health service providers and is in line with best practice nationally. Many organisations in Ireland and the UK use a similar process to determine the health of future employees.The questionnaire is completed independently and privately by prospective staff members, regardless of gender, and subsequently examined by the occupational health physician. Where a staff member responds positively to questions the doctor will contact them directly to elicit further information and arrange a consultation if necessary. No person is deemed unfit for employment on the basis of the information disclosed on the occupational pre-placement health assessment form alone.Detailed questions are asked in an effort to identify underlying physiological problems which may require further support.The University takes on board the concerns which have been raised and will review its process in order to ensure that it continues to follow best practice in the area. The University has confirmed that they have suspended the pre-screening questionnaire while under review.
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.
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 -
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
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-
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-
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-
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-
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
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-
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-
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
The 10th annual Teddy Bear Hospital at NUI Galway will take place Thursday and Friday, 22 and 23 January. The event will see over 1,500 sick teddy bears admitted to the hospital, accompanied by their minders, 1,500 primary school children. The event is organised by the Sláinte Society, the NUI Galway branch of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations, and up to 200 medical and science students will diagnose and treat the teddy bears. In the process, they hope to help children, ranging in age from 3-8 years, feel more comfortable around doctors and hospitals. Over the years, children have come along with teddy bears suffering from an imaginative range of sore ears, sick tummies and all kinds of others weird and wonderful ailments. Katie Lynam, a second year medical student at NUI Galway and co-auditor of Sláinte Society, said: “This year we are celebrating ten years of Teddy Bear Hospital and it is going to be our biggest ever with 1,500 children attending over the two mornings. We hope to create a fun, friendly atmosphere for both the children and our volunteers, and are looking forward to a busy couple of days!” This year, 22 local primary schools are participating in the event. On arrival at the Teddy Bear Hospital on campus, the children will go to the ‘waiting room’, which contains jugglers and face painters. Then the children and their teddy bears are seen by a team of Teddy Doctors and Teddy Nurses, who will examine them. The students will have specially designed X-ray and MRI machines on hand, should the teddy bears need them. Recuperating teddy bears can avail of medical supplies from the Teddy Bear Pharmacy, stocked with healthy fruit from Total Produce, along with medical supplies sponsored by MPS and Bank of Ireland. After all this excitement the children can enjoy a bouncy castle and entertainment from the juggling society in the college. Further sponsorship for these came from Medisource and Electric Garden and Theatre. Ríona Hughes, NUI Galway’s Societies Officer, said: “The Teddy Bear hospital is a magical opportunity for the society to invite the children and their teddies to campus and provide a valuable learning experience for all. It is one of the NUI Galway societies’ most colourful and endearing community outreach programme and we are thrilled with its success. Congratulations to Sláinte Society who engage such a large number of our students in this event for such a positive purpose and we look forward to a rewarding few days for all involved.” -ends- Déanann Mic Léinn Leighis OÉ Gaillimh ceiliúradh ar Dheich mBliana d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní Dé Máirt, 13 Eanáir 2015: Den deichiú bliain as a chéile, beidh Otharlann na mBéiríní, ar oscailt in OÉ Gaillimh, Déardaoin, an 22 agus Dé hAoine, an 23 Eanáir. Tiocfaidh breis agus 1,500 béirín tinn chun na hotharlainne lena bhfeighlithe, 1,500 páiste bunscoile. Is é an Cumann Sláinte, craobh OÉ Gaillimh de Chónaidhm Idirnáisiúnta Chumann na Mac Léinn Leighis, agus suas le 200 mac léinn leighis agus eolaíochta a bheidh ar láimh le scrúdú leighis a dhéanamh ar na béiríní agus le cóir leighis a chur orthu. Tá súil acu go gcuideoidh an ócáid le páistí, idir 3-8 mbliana d’aois, a bheith ar a suaimhneas nuair a bheidh siad ag an dochtúir nó san otharlann. Thar na blianta, thug páistí béiríní chuig an otharlann agus iad ag samhlú go raibh réimse leathan tinnis ag gabháil dóibh cosúil le cluasa tinne, boilg bhreoite agus gach cineál gearán eile faoin spéir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Katie Lynam, mac léinn leighis sa dara bliain in OÉ Gaillimh agus comh-iniúchóir an Chumainn Sláinte: “I mbliana táimid ag déanamh ceiliúradh ar dheich mbliana d'Ospidéal na mBéiríní agus beidh sé ar an ócáid is mó a bhí againn riamh le 1,500 páiste ag teacht thar dhá mhaidin. Tá súil againn atmaisféar spraíúil, cairdiúil a chruthú do na páistí agus do na hoibrithe deonacha araon, agus táimid ag tnúth le dhá lá ghnóthacha!” I mbliana, tá 22 bunscoil áitiúil páirteach san ócáid. Nuair a thagann na páistí chuig Otharlann na mBéiríní ar an gcampas, rachaidh siad chuig an 'seomra feithimh', áit a mbeidh lámhchleasaithe agus maisitheoirí aghaidheanna ag fanacht orthu. Ansin buailfidh na páistí agus na béiríní le foireann de Dhochtúirí Béiríní agus d’Altraí Béiríní a chuirfidh scrúdú leighis orthu. Beidh meaisíní speisialta X-gha agus MRI ag na mic léinn ar fhaitíos go mbeidís ag teastáil ó na béiríní. Beidh Cógaslann Béiríní ann chomh maith, agus beidh torthaí sláintiúla ó Total Produce ann mar aon le soláthairtí leighis urraithe ag MPS agus Banc na hÉireann le cóir leighis a chur ar na béiríní. Nuair a bheidh an méid sin curtha díobh acu féadfaidh na gasúir am a chaitheamh ar phreabchaisleán agus beidh cumann lámhchleasaíochta an choláiste i mbun siamsaíochta. Tháinig urraíocht bhreise don ócáid ó Medisource agus ón Electric Garden and Theatre. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Ríona Hughes, Oifigeach na gCumann in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is deis iontach é Ospidéal na mBéiríní don chumann chun cuireadh a thabhairt do pháistí agus a mbéiríní chuig an gcampas agus chun taithí luachmhar foghlama a thabhairt do chách. Tá sé ar cheann de na cláir for-rochtana pobail is deise agus is spraíúla atá idir lámha ag cumainn OÉ Gaillimh agus táimid an-bhródúil as chomh maith agus a éiríonn leis an ócáid. Comhghairdeas leis an gCumann Sláinte a thugann deis do líon chomh mór dár gcuid mac léinn a bheith rannpháirteach san ócáid seo do chúis chomh dearfach agus tá súil againn go mbainfidh gach a mbeidh páirteach an-sult as an gcúpla lá seo.” -críoch-
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies has announced the appointment of Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin as Sean-Nós Singer in Residence for 2015. From Áird Thoir, Carna, Máire comes from a family which has a long and rich tradition of sean-nós singing. Now married, Máire is living in Áird Mhór with her husband Rónán and her four children. Máire’s sister Bríd was appointed as the very first Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at the Centre for Irish Studies in 2002. Máire’s clear, sweet vocal style echoes with the singing from her mother Bairbre and the Heaney side of the family, with Joe Heaney being her granduncle. Within a wide repertoire, ‘Amhrán Mhuighinse’, ‘Amhrán Rinn Mhaoile’ and ‘An Spailpín Fánach’ are signature songs of Máire’s. She can be heard frequently on Raidió na Gaeltachta, at concerts and also gives workshops as part of Féile Chomórtha Joe Éinniú, among others. As part of the appointment, Máire will deliver a series of workshops at NUI Galway and will contribute to the expanding Sean-Nós Archive Collection. The workshops are free and open to the public and will begin on Wednesday, 11 February at 7pm at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. More information is available from Samantha Williams, Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway at 091 492051 or email@example.com. -Ends- Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach ag OÉ Gaillimh Tá sé fógartha ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana. Is as an Aird Thoir, i gCarna, Máire agus tá oidhreacht shaibhir cheolmhar le cloisteáil ina cuid amhránaíochta. Tá Máire pósta agus ag maireachtaint san Aird Mhór anois agus cearthrar clainne aici. Thug sí léi a cuid amhrán óna máthair, Bairbre a fuair an ceol ó mhuintir Éinniú, agus a huncail Joe ina measc. I gclann Bhairbre, tá cáil na hamhránaíochta ar Mháire agus ar a deirfiúr Bríd. Dar ndóigh, ceapadh Bríd mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh sa bhliain 2002, an chéad duine ar bronnadh an gradam sin uirthi. Nuair a chasann Máire amhrán, cloistear stíl a muintire inti agus guth binn glan. Is iad na hamhráin is mó atá luaite léi ná ‘Amhrán Mhuighinse’, ‘Amhrán Rinn Mhaoile’ agus ‘An Spailpín Fánach’. Tugann Máire ceardlann ag Féile Chomórtha Joe Éinniú agus ó am go h-am glacann sí páirt san Oireachtas. Bíonn sí ar stáitse ar fud na háite agus le cloisteáil go minic ar Raidió na Gaeltachta. Beidh sraith ceardlann á múineadh ag Máire san Ollscoil san Earrach agus arís sa bhFómhar agus beidh a cuid amhrán á dtaifeadadh aici don gcartlann sean-nóis atá á bailíú ag Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh. Cuirfear tús leis na ceardlanna i seomra seimineáir an Ionaid ar Bhóthar na Drioglainne ar an 11 Feabhra ag 7pm. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Is iad Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta, An Chomhairle Ealaíon agus Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, OÉ Gaillimh, a mhaoiníonn an tionscnamh seo. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó firstname.lastname@example.org. -Críoch-
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
NUI Galway will hold a one-day conference to address and discuss a number of key legal and policy issues of relevance to older persons in Ireland. Organised by the Mental Health Rights Group and the LLM in International and Comparative Disability Law at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, School of Law, NUI Galway in conjunction with the Employment Law Association of Ireland, the conference, ‘Law and the Older Person’ will take place on Saturday, 24 January. The conference is timely in examining specific issues of relevance to older people who are often overlooked in decision-making that impacts on their lives, whether at a personal level or more broadly from a societal perspective. Dr Mary Keys is the conference organiser: “There are topical and challenging issues being addressed at this event. We will discuss the role of advocacy in upholding the rights of older people, the Fair Deal scheme and the proposed Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 from both legal and medical perspectives. The conference will also explore age discrimination including the mandatory retirement age and aspects of legal practice and the older client.” ‘Law and the Older Person’ will bring together many leading commentators from the fields of law, medicine and practice including: NUI Galway’s Professor Eamon O’Shea and Ursula Connolly; Mervyn Taylor, Service Manager, Sage; Patricia T. Rickard Clarke, Solicitor; Dr Shaun O’Keefe, Geriatrician; Mary Condell, Solicitor; Claire Bruton, Barrister; and Maria Dillon, Solicitor. The conference will provide an opportunity for discussion, and debate and will be of particular relevance to older persons, to carers, advocates, health care practitioners, lawyers, researchers, and independent sector service providers and policy activists. For more information on the programme and on registration please visit: http://conference.ie/. -ENDS-
Wednesday, 14 January 2015
Briefings on the University’s extensive research activities and industry collaborations Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English T.D. visited NUI Galway on 8 January for a briefing on the University’s extensive research activities and industry collaborations. Minister English was welcomed to campus by University President, Dr Jim Browne and Vice-President for Research, Professor Lokesh Joshi. Detailed discussions were held with research leaders in the University and some of the key industrial partners. Discussions centred on research in biomedical science and engineering, medical devices, clinical research, life course and society, big data, neuroscience and graduate studies around key enabling technologies and smart specialisation. After his visit Minister English stated: “The huge potential for day to day social and economic benefits from NUI Galway’s research were of particular interest to me, and were clear to see. It was a pleasure to meet with senior industrial collaborators and to see first-hand that NUI Galway researchers and industries have a very healthy and productive relationship that benefits Galway City, the West and our country overall. From my visit it is clear that NUI Galway are to the fore in drawing down National and EU monies for vital research projects and matching this with private investment. I look forward to NUI Galway excelling under the new Horizon 2020 funding stream.” Industry partners who attended included representatives from HP, Alkermes, Altocloud, Aerogen Ltd, Avaya and Fuijitsu. Speaking after the Minister’s visit, NUI Galway’s Professor Lokesh Joshi said: “The Minister is keen to promote the culture of innovation, enterprise, education and excellent research across Irish educational institutions. I believe he was pleased to see that NUI Galway is living his vision of integrating these principles. The Minister was impressed with the breadth of excellent research activities and in particular the connection between research and its impact on society through industry, clinical and government policies.” The Minister met two recently announced European Research Council (ERC) starter grant awardees. Dr Eilionóir Flynn of the Centre for Disability Law is undertaking a project which aims to make visible the experiences of people with disabilities who have been denied legal capacity. Martin O’Donnell, Professor of Translational Medicine, has a project underway which seeks to clarify how much sodium (salt) intake is optimal for health. Senior representatives from Insight, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Data Analytics, were on hand to brief the Minister. The newest SFI Research Centre at NUI Galway, CÚRAM, was represented by Professor Abhay Pandit who spoke about the next generation of medical devices. A number of other research leaders briefed the Minister on the latest developments in their areas. This was Minister English’s second visit to campus since he became Minister for State last summer. -ends-
Thursday, 15 January 2015
Mobile technologies are becoming a standard teaching tool in the classroom. However, as an ever-growing range of devices and apps come on stream, many teachers are struggling with a technological skills gap. To help combat this gap, NUI Galway’s School of Education, will host the First International Conference on Mobile Technology in Initial Teacher Education (MiTE) on Friday and Saturday, 23 and 24 January, in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill. The two-day conference will celebrate the possibilities and explore the challenges of integrating mobile technology in teacher education and provide a forum for practitioners to come together to benchmark and share best practice. Speakers include experts in the field of mobile technology including representatives from CalStateTEACH, California State University, Apple, Google and national and international education institutions. NUI Galway’s School of Education is aware of the potential that mobile technology has for improving the teaching and learning experiences of pupils in the classroom. Seán Ó Grádaigh, School of Education, and Chair of the MiTE 2015 Conference, said: “Mobile technology offers today's students the opportunity to learn how, when and where they wish. Commonly called digital natives, the pupils of today have smart technology at their fingertips. Incorporating this technology into the classroom is a natural way to help build the pupils' engagement with their learning, thereby preparing mobile citizens for the future.” Punya Mishra, Professor of Educational Technology and Director of the Master of Arts in Educational Technology programme at Michigan State University, observes that technologies become obsolete as quickly as they arrive. This rapid rate of change is a challenge for educators and leads to an increased pressure on teachers to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their teaching. Professor Mishra, an internationally renowned pioneer in the area, will give a keynote address at MiTE. Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir, School of Education, and Conference Co-Chair, said: “The teachers role has evolved to become more facilitative in nature in order to guide students on how to access and manage the vast knowledge now available at their fingertips.” On Friday, 23 January, the conference will provide an academic platform for recent emergent research, and on the second day, Saturday 24, January, the focus will be on the practitioner application of mobile technology in the classroom. This conference is open to parents, teachers and students who are interested in seeing and hearing how mobile technologies, for example, smartphones/tablets, can contribute positively to the learning processes within our classrooms today. To find out more see www.gratek.ie/mite2015. -Ends- Comhdháil ar an Teicneolaiocht Shoghluaiste sa Seomra Ranga Gnáth-uirlis teagaisc tá sna teicneolaíochtaí nua shoghluaiste anois sa seomra ranga. Leis an oiread aipeanna agus gléasanna nua ar an margadh, áfach, is léir go bhfuil bearna eolais ann i scileanna teicneolaíochta na n-oideachasóirí. Chun díriú ar an mbearna sin, tá an Chéad Chomhdháil Idirnáisiúnta ar Theicneolaíocht Shoghluaiste in Oideachas Tosaigh Múinteoirí, MiTE 2015, á reachtáil ag Scoil an Oideachais, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, in Ostán an Galway Bay ar an Aoine agus an Satharn, an 23/24 Eanáir 2015. Déanfar iniúchadh thar an dá lá ag Comhdháil MiTE, ar na dúshláin agus ar na buntáistí maidir le comhtháthú na teicneolaíochta soghluaiste, ní hamháin i réimse Oideachas Tosaigh Múinteoirí ach sa teagasc agus san fhoghlaim i gcoitinne. Tabharfaidh sé deis do ghníomhairí sa réimse a gcuid taighde a roinnt agus a cheiliúradh. Beidh saineolaithe ann ó CalStateTEACH, California State University, Apple, Google, agus ó institiúidí oideachais náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. Tá tábhacht agus poitéinsiúil na teicneolaíochta soghluaiste aitheanta ag Scoil an Oideachais, mar a bhaineann sé le teagasc agus le foghlaim dhaltaí sa seomra ranga. Deir Seán Ó Grádaigh, cathaoirleach MiTE 2015 “Tugann an teicneolaiocht shoghluaiste deis do fhoghlaimeoirí foghlaim ag aon am, in aon áit, agus ar aon bhealach, mar a fheileann dóibh féin. Tá an ‘teicneolaíocht chliste’ mar chuid de shaol laethúil na hóige anois agus luíonn sé le réasún go bhfuil féidearthachtaí agus leasa ag baint leis an teicneolaíocht sin a chomhtháthú san fhoghlaim ar scoil. Ní hamháin sin ach go bhfuil an litearthacht dhigiteach riachtanach don fhostaíocht agus don gheilleagar amach romhainn.” Is ceannródaí sa réimse seo é an tOllamh Punya Mishra. Is é an t-Ollamh ar Educational Technology é agus Stiúrthóir ar an gclár, an Master of Arts in Educational Technology in Ollscoil Michigan State. Sé a bharúil go bhfuil dúshláin ann do oideachasóirí dul i ngleic leis na hathruithe rialta a thagann ar theicneolaíochtaí an oideachais, agus le luas an ráta athraithe sin. Anuas air sin, áfach, is mó na buntáistí agus na féidearthachtaí a bhaineann leis an teicneolaíocht shoghluaiste don teagasc agus don fhoghlaim. Sé an tOllamh Mishra ag thabharfaidh an spreagaitheasc ag an gComhdháil ar an Aoine, an 23 Eanáír. Deir Sinéad Ní Ghuidhir, co-chathaoirleach na comhdhála, go bhfuil ról na háisitheora i ndán do mhúinteoirí. “Tá eolas fairsing ar fáil do dhaltaí go réidh agus go héasca leis an teicneolaíocht. Bíonn ar mhúinteoirí daltaí a threorú chun an t-eolas seo a thuiscint, a bhainistiú agus a úsáid go ciallmhar.” Ardán acadúil don taighde idirnáisiúnta is déanaí sa réimse seo a bheidh ann ar an Aoine 23 Eanáir agus ar an Satharn 24 Eánái, díreofar ar chur i bhfeidhm na teicneolaíochta soghluaiste sa seomra ranga, i sraith ceardlanna éagsúla. Chuirfeadh idir mhúinteoirí, thuismitheoirí agus dhaltaí suim faoi leith in ábhar na Comhdhála seo, go háirithe iad siúd ar spéis leo an fhoghlaim dhigiteach shoghluaiste nó fiú iad san a bhfuil smartphone ina bpóca acu! Fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ar fáil ag www.gratek.ie/mite2015 -Críoch-
Monday, 19 January 2015
NUI Galway’s free Click and Connect introduction to computer classes will resume again on the week beginning 26 January. The classes run for two-hours once a week, over a four week period, providing eight hours of training in total. The classes are aimed at those with little or no computer experience and cover topics such as introduction to the internet, online shopping and booking tickets, setting up and managing email, and using the computer in conjunction with a digital camera. In addition to the Click and Connect programme there will be a slightly more advanced Second Steps programme available to new and past learners. This programme is aimed at those whom have some computer experience or previously completed the Click and Connect programme and are seeking more computer knowledge. Second Steps is a follow up to Click and Connect providing more training to broaden learners understanding on topics such as internet, file management, and using tablets as an alternative to computers. As many of the participants have little to no computer experience the classes are run in a relaxed fun environment, which gives confidence to the new learners. Student volunteers will be on hand to provide one-to-one support to the learners in the classes. Each class is small with a maximum of twelve people and each learner is given a supporting booklet with instructions so that they can continue to develop their skills at home. All who complete receive a certificate of attendance. These free computer classes have provided training to over 600 people since the classes began. The manager of Click and Connect is Pat Byrne, a lecturer in the discipline of Information Technology in NUI Galway. She is delighted with the feedback received from those who have completed the programme. “Our Click and Connect classes have been very successful to date, with many of our learners being older people who have not had the opportunity to use computers at school or in the workplace. They now find that a new world is opened up to them when they are shown how to use the internet. They are able to compare prices and shop online, follow their hobbies and access government services. They are also enabled to have better communication with family and friends using email and Skype. Whether they are looking for a job or searching for a new recipe, access to the internet makes their life so much easier. Everyone can pick up these basic skills and our classes provide a supportive environment in which to do so.” The classes are funded by a small grant from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and are offered free to participants. For further information or to book a place on one of the classes, call 087 0571967, 087 3823370 or 091 493332. -Ends-
Monday, 19 January 2015
Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Clonmel on Thursday, 29 January. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in The Clonmel Park Hotel, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. 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 County Tipperary, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses. With so many courses on offer, this event in Clonmel 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 Clonmel, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Officer, Celine O’Donovan on 087 239121 or email@example.com. -Ends-
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
John Hannon, acting Director of Student Services at NUI Galway, was recently awarded the John Roberts Memorial Prize at the University of Warwick. The John Roberts Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the best student on the AGCAS/University of Warwick Certificate, Diploma or MA in Career Education, Information and Guidance in Higher Education. It is awarded in memory of John Roberts who, before his untimely death in 1995, was a very active and long-serving member of AGCAS with a strong commitment to training and professional development. The award is judged by the University of Warwick course assessment team and is given to the student who has produced the most outstanding work during the academic year of the award. Phil McCash, Course Director at the University of Warwick, said: “John achieved the highest overall performance at our last Examination Board and this is one of the main reasons he was selected for the AGCAS John Roberts Memorial Prize. He successfully completed the MA in Career Education and Guidance in Higher Education with distinction and both internal and external examiners felt this was thoroughly deserved. Throughout his time as a student with us, John also worked at NUI Galway. On a personal note, I have enjoyed working with John, both helping him and learning from him over the course of his MA. It has been a great journey for all of us and I wish him every success in the future.” -Ends-
Thursday, 22 January 2015
New insights may help scientists better understand disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy An international study, which included researchers from NUI Galway, has identified significant genetic factors that influence the size of structures within the brain. It is hoped these new insights may help scientists better understand disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. The research was published today in Nature magazine. NUI Galway professor of psychology, Professor Gary Donohoe, led the Irish contribution to the study, which involved a consortium of almost 300 scientists from 193 institutes - including NUI Galway. The consortium, known as the ENIGMA (Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis), shared results from analyses of genetic data and MRI scans from more than 30,000 individuals worldwide. The study looked at the size of sub-cortical brain regions that are involved in some basic functions such as memory, movement, learning and motivation. Abnormalities in these brain regions are associated with neurological and mental health disorders. According to Professor Donohoe: “For years, scientists have been fascinated by the development of different brain structures and how this changes in brain-based disorders. In this study, we have used MRI scans to look at how the size of different brain regions is influenced by our genes and obtained some fascinating results. We have found, for example, one gene variant that affects the size of the Putamen, a region near the centre of the brain which resembles the stone in the middle of a fruit.The Putamen is partly responsible for movement and learning, and is implicated in Parkinson’s disease. This finding opens up new avenues for research in this disease by giving new clues about the biological mechanisms involved.” The research was in part funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Health Research Board in Ireland and involved collaboration between researchers at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin. “Knowledge about the genetic basis of these structures provides important insights into how the brain develops”, said Professor Donohoe. “These insights are important both to understanding normal human development and to understanding the basis of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. Given the likelihood that thousands of variants are involved, large scale international efforts such as in this study are an important step in unravelling this genetic and biological complexity so as to develop new and better treatments.” “ENIGMA’s scientists screen brain scans and genomes worldwide for factors that help or harm the brain”, said ENGIMA co-founder Professor Paul Thompson from University of Southern California. “This crowd-sourcing and sheer wealth of data gives us the power to crack the brain’s genetic code.” Dr Sarah Medland of QIMR Berghofer in Australia, was senior-author on the study, and added: “Unless you know what ‘normal’ development looks like it’s hard to know how disease manifests in these sub-cortical regions. Previously it has been too expensive for any one institute to collect enough scans and genetic data to make this kind of study possible. By working together in large collaborative projects we can tackle these types of problems and further our understanding of the biology of the brain.” Five genetic variants identified The study identified five genetic variants that influence the size of structures within the brain. Of the genetic associations found, the largest effect was seen for the Putamen, a subcortical region located at the base of the forebrain, which is important for movement and reinforcement learning. This variant is located within the KTN1 gene that encodes the protein Kinectin, a receptor important for cell function. In follow up protein expression work this variant was found to alter the expression of KTN1 in frontal cortex. The study also found evidence of several variants being associated with hippocampal volume (a brain region synonymous with memory encoding and retrieval), one of which has previously been implicated in risk for schizophrenia. The article published in Nature today is ‘Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures’. This research at NUI Galway was undertaken by the Cognitive Genetics and Therapy Group (Principal Investigators: Prof Gary Donohoe and Dr Derek Morris; http://www.nuigalway.ie/psychology/coggene_group.html) and the Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory (Principal Investigators: Prof Colm McDonald and Dr Dara Cannon; http://clinicalneuroimaginglaboratory.com/). More information about the ENIGMA project is available at http://enigma.ini.usc.edu/ -ends-
Monday, 26 January 2015
NUI Galway will host the Spring Postgraduate Open Day on Wednesday, 4 February, from 12 to 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall, Áras na Mac Léinn. The Open Day will showcase over 400 of NUI Galway’s full-time and part-time postgraduate programmes, including taught and research masters, as well as doctoral research options. Joanne Sweeney-Burke, an NUI Galway graduate and CEO of of Media Box and Digital Training Institute, and also was a finalist in TV3’s The Apprentice, will be guest speaker at the event and will talk about how postgraduate studies furthered her own career. NUI Galway has one of the broadest portfolios of postgraduate teaching and learning in the country and the Postgraduate Open Day will give potential students the opportunity to meet and hear from academic staff and current students. With over 3,500 postgraduate students currently attending NUI Galway, 70 information stands will provide details on postgraduate opportunities at the University, with academic staff and current students on hand to answer questions about specific courses. Information on scholarships, fees and other practical considerations will also be made available to prospective students on the day. Visitors will have the option of attending talks on funding opportunities and applications available to them, career prospects and progression, CV clinics and there will also be information on how to apply for a postgraduate course. Irish graduates are ranked first in Europe in terms of how employers rate graduates, and postgraduate study boosts employability. The number of students with a postgraduate qualification in employment has grown consistently in recent years. NUI Galway’s well-established links with industry allow you to take the first step in building your career. Bríd Seoige, Senior Marketing Officer at NUI Galway, said: “A postgraduate qualification broadens your skills-set, defines your areas of expertise, increases your specialist knowledge, and can improve your job prospects: over 91% of NUI Galway graduates are currently employed or are in further study within six months of graduating.” To view NUI Galway’s suite of new and unique postgraduate programmes and to book your place at the Open Day visit www.nuigalway.ie/postgraduate-open-day or simply call in on the day. To apply for an NUI Galway postgraduate course visit www.pac.ie/nuigalway. -Ends-
Monday, 26 January 2015
NUI Galway’s 15th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, was launched today by Dr Anne Byrne, Head of School, Political Science and Sociology. The Festival, which runs from 9-13 February, will contain a superb programme of art, music, performance, song, talks and workshops, with many free events to which the public are welcome. This year’s theme ‘Float Away’ will transform the campus with ‘Creatures from the River’, floating willow sculptures on either side of O’Shaughnessy pedestrian bridge, made by Colours Street Theatre. ‘A Wonderful Watery World’, balloon sculptures by Ana Bella of Fiesta House will also feature inside and outside Áras na Mac Léinn. Art and music feature highly in the programme and often at the same time. This year’s flagship exhibition will be ‘Dreaming Vessels’ by the Galway Chapter of the Irish Woodturners’ Guild, in the Hardiman Research Building. This is a giant installation presenting the form of a Claddagh Hooker, overlaid with individual turned bowls or vessels, raising questions on the nature and value of handmade objects today. The opening of ‘Dreaming Vessels’ will take place at 7.30pm on Monday, 9 February and will be heralded by two pieces from Galway-Ensemble-in-Residence ConTempo Quartet and a reception to mark the launch of the festival. Events throughout the week include: Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) will perform the musical, ‘Cabaret’, at the Black Box Theatre from 10-14 February at 8pm. Set in a Kit-Kat Klub in Berlin during the rise of Nazi Germany, it is exciting, witty and provocative, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. Tickets for the show are €12/10 and €8 for groups of four or more. An exhibition by Photosoc, 'Focus 15' will open on Monday, 9 February at 7pm. The exhibition will take place in the Atrium of Áras na Mac Léinn with a receptions and live music. On Monday, 9 February, RETREAT by Conor McGrady, will open at 5pm in the University’s Art Gallery with ConTempo featuring at the opening. The exhibition includes a series of drawings examining architecture as a means of containment and control that operates to affect a sense of social order. On Tuesday, 10 February, Athenry Guitar Orchestra will play in the Atrium of Áras na Mac Léinn at 6pm for the joint opening reception of ‘Catching Dreams’, by Kathy Ross, and ‘Flow’, a group exhibition on the balcony by the painting and drawing classes of NUI Galway, coordinated by Marina Wild, who also created the artwork for this year’s festival. Learn to sing lenten liturgy in Gregorian chant with Batsheva Battu on Tuesday at 1pm in the View in Áras na Mac Léinn. The Witless Band Competition final takes place in the Students’ Union Bar on Tuesday, 10 February at 8pm with judges and the public vote to decide the winning act. A Victorian Fun Fair will be held in the Bailey Allen Hall on Wednesday, 11 February from 12-5pm, complete with tea, games, art, science, literature, song, pies and cakes, run by the Victorian Society. NUI Galway’s international students will also present a mini-festival of food, music and dance on Thursday, 12 February evening at the Bailey Allen Hall. Arts in Actions presents ‘Around the House’, a concert by students and staff of Cork School of Music, CIT, at 1pm on Thursday, 12 February. Fleadh na Gaillimhe Fundraiser will take place on Friday, 13 February at 8pm, featuring a stellar line-up including Máirtín O’Connor, Mary McPartlan, Maigh Cuilinn Comhaltas and NUI Galway’s own TradSoc. Ticket for the event for the concert will cost €15. The SOLO SHOW will showcase seven original ‘five-minute monologues’ from staff and students at 1pm on Friday in The Cube. Talks throughout the week include: “Megalithic Art and the Irish Passage Tomb Tradition” by Lynda McCormack; “Historical Background to Contemporary Woodturning” by Ambrose O’Halloran; and “From Workhorse to Racehorse, a slide show presentation tracing the evolution of the Galway Hooker” by Cóilín Ó hIarnáin. Commenting on this year’s line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer, said: “Our theme this year, ‘Float Away’, reminds us that a brush with the creative arts can be a sweet release from the routine and pressures of everyday life and may be the dawning of a new adventure. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open Monday to Saturday. For a copy of the programme or further information contact the Arts Office at or 091 495098, or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Tickets and information for society events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Cabaret tickets are also available from the Town Hall Theatre (091-569777 or www.tht.ie). Tickets for the Fleadh Fundraiser are available at OPUS II, High Street, Galway; Salthill Post Office; the Town Hall Theatre; and The Forge, Moycullen. More information on Fleadh Fundraiser is available at www.galwayfleadh.ie or 085 8408746. -Ends- Seolann OÉ Gaillimh Clár an 15ú Féile Múscailt Inniu sheol an Dr Anne Byrne, Ceann na Scoile Eolaíochta Polaitiúla agus na Socheolaíochta clár an 15ú Féile Múscailt, féile ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh. Beidh an Fhéile ar siúl ón 9-13 Feabhra agus cuimseofar clár iontach ealaíne, ceoil, taibhléirithe, amhránaíochta, cainteanna agus ceardlanna agus beidh go leor imeachtaí saor in aisce ar fáil don phobal. Is é ‘Ar Foluain’ téama na bliana seo agus athrófar an campas le ‘Creatures from the River’, dealbha sailí ar foluain ar gach taobh de dhroichead coisithe Uí Sheachnasaigh, curtha le chéile ag Colours Street Theatre. Beidh ‘A Wonderful Watery World’, dealbha balúin le Ana Bella as Fiesta House le feiceáil laistigh agus lasmuigh d'Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh ealaín agus ceol go láidir ar an gclár agus iad ar siúl go minic ag an am céanna. I mbliana is é ‘Soithigh na Samhlaíochta’ le Craobh na Gaillimhe de Chuallacht Deilte Adhmaid na hÉireann an príomhthaispeántas, agus beidh sé le feiceáil in Áras Taighde Uí Argadáin. Saothar mór millteach é seo i bhfoirm Húicéir an Chladaigh, le babhlaí nó soithigh dheilte, ag tarraingt aird ar cheisteanna a bhaineann le nádúr agus leis an luach atá ar rudaí lámhdhéanta sa lá atá inniu ann. Osclófar ‘Soithigh na Samhlaíochta’ ag 7.30pm Dé Luain, an 9 Feabhra agus seinnfidh an ConTempo Quartet, Ensemble Cónaithe na Gaillimhe, dhá phíosa ceoil agus beidh fáiltiú ar siúl chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar sheoladh na féile. I measc imeachtaí na seachtaine beidh siad seo a leanas: Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe (GUMS) an ceoldráma, ‘Cabaret’, ar stáitse sa Dubhlann idir an 10-14 Feabhra ag 8pm. Tá an ceoldráma seo suite in Kit-Kat Klub i mBeirlín le linn theacht chun cinn Ghearmáin na Naitsithe; tá sé spreagúil, tráthúil agus gríosaitheach, agus tá ceol ann le John Kander agus liricí le Fred Ebb. Cosnóidh ticéid don seó €12/10 agus €8 do ghrúpaí de cheathrar nó níos mó. Casfaidh Ceolfhoireann Ghiotáir Bhaile Átha an Rí san Fhorhalla in Áras na Mac Léinn ag 6pm Dé Luain, an 9 Feabhra don chomhoscailt ar ‘Catching Dreams’, le Kathy Ross, agus ‘Flow’, taispeántas grúpa ar an mbalcóin de ranganna péintéireachta agus líníochta OÉ Gaillimh, comhordaithe ag Marina Wild, a rinne an obair ealaíne d'fhéile na bliana seo chomh maith. Osclófar dhá thaispeántas chomh maith Dé Luain, an 9 Feabhra - seó bliantúil líníochta, péintéireachta agus dealbhóireachta Artsoc ag 6pm agus ina dhiaidh sin ‘Focus 15’, taispeántas an Photosoc ag 7pm. Beidh an dá thaispeántas ar siúl san Fhorhalla in Áras na Mac Léinn, agus beidh fáiltiú agus ceol beo ann ar an oíche. Ag 5pm Dé Luain, an 9 Feabhra, osclófar RETREAT le Conor McGrady, i nDánlann na hOllscoile agus seinnfidh ConTempo ceol ag an ócáid. Sraith líníochtaí atá sa taispeántas a bhreathnaíonn ar ailtireacht mar bhealach srianta agus smachta a fheidhmíonn chun dul i gcion ar an ord sóisialta. Eagróidh an Cumann Victeoiriach Aonach Siamsaíochta Victeoiriach i Halla Bailey Allen Dé Máirt, an 10 Feabhra ó 12-5pm, áit a mbeidh tae, cluichí, ealaín, eolaíocht, litríocht, amhránaíocht, pióga agus cácaí. Foghlaim le liotúirge a chasadh i gcantaireacht Ghreagórach le Batsheva Battu ag 1pm Dé Máirt sa View in Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Dé Máirt, an 10 Feabhra ag 8pm agus beidh an buaiteoir á roghnú ag moltóirí agus ag an bpobal. Cuirfidh mic léinn idirnáisiúnta OÉ Gaillimh mionfhéile bhia, cheoil agus dhamhsa i láthair tráthnóna Déardaoin, an 12 Feabhra i Halla Bailey Allen. Cuirfidh Arts in Action ‘Around the House’ i láthair, ceolchoirm le mic léinn agus le foireann Scoil Cheoil Chorcaí, CIT, ag 1pm Déardaoin, an 12 Feabhra. Beidh ócáid bailithe airgid Fhleadh na Gaillimhe ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 13 Feabhra ag 8pm, áit a mbeidh scoth na n-aíonna cosúil le Máirtín O’Connor, Mary McPartlan, Comhaltas Mhaigh Cuilinn agus TradSoc OÉ Gaillimh. Cosnóidh ticéid don cheolchoirm €15. Taispeánfaidh an SOLO SHOW seacht ‘monalóg nua cúig nóiméad’ ó chomhaltaí foirne agus ó mhic léinn ag 1pm Dé hAoine sa Cube. I measc na gcainteanna a bheidh ar siúl le linn na seachtaine beidh siad seo a leanas: “Megalithic Art and the Irish Passage Tomb Tradition” le Lynda McCormack; “Historical Background to Contemporary Woodturning” le Ambrose O’Halloran; agus “From Workhorse to Racehorse, a slide show presentation tracing the evolution of the Galway Hooker” le Cóilín Ó hIarnáin. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, faoi chlár na bliana seo: “Is é ‘Ar Foluain’ téama na bliana seo agus cuireann sé i gcuimhne dúinn gur féidir linn éalú ó ghnáthnósanna agus strus an tsaoil trí bhlaiseadh a fháil de na healaíona cruthaitheacha agus go bhféadfadh sé gur tús le haistear nua a bheadh ann chomh maith.Tá fáilte roimh chách a bheith páirteach.” Beidh na taispeántais ar fad oscailte ó Luan go Satharn. Tá cóip den chlár nó eolas breise le fáil ón Oifig Ealaíon ar 091 495098, nó téigh chuig www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Beidh ticéid do na himeachtaí ar fáil ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó email@example.com. Beidh ticéid don cheoldráma ‘Cabaret’ ar fáil ó Amharclann na Cathrach chomh maith (091-569777 nó www.tht.ie). Beidh ticéid ar fáil d'Ócáid Bailithe Airgid Fhleadh na Gaillimhe in OPUS II, an tSráid Ard, Gaillimh; Oifig Poist Bhóthar na Trá; Amharclann na Cathrach; agus an Forge, Maigh Cuilinn. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin Ócáid Bailithe Airgid sin ar fáil ar www.galwayfleadh.ie nó 085 8408746. -Críoch-
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Construction work has commenced on NUI Galway’s new Human Biology Building. The project cost will be in excess of €30m and is funded approximately one third by public exchequer funding including €7m as announced recently in Budget 2015, with the remaining two thirds funded from University sources. The project will help to sustain up to 200 construction jobs at its peak. The Human Biology Building is a five-storey building plus roof level plant enclosure with a gross floor area of 8,200m² located adjacent to the Áras na Mac Léinn and Áras Uí Chathail buildings. The building will house the existing University disciplines of Anatomy, Physiology & Pharmacology and Therapeutics. The purpose of the building will be to provide a facility in which these disciplines will, within a research-led environment: Deliver core preclinical curricula to Medical and Health Science students Deliver core curricula to Science, Biomedical Science and Engineering students Provide a venue for discipline specific training at 3rd and 4th Level The building has been designed as a teaching and research facility with accommodation including undergraduate teaching laboratories, research laboratories, offices, open plan write-up spaces, meeting rooms, tiered lecture theatres and other ancillary areas. The site is a previously developed site on which stood the former National Diagnostics Centre. The construction contract has been awarded to BAM Building Ltd. with the construction period anticipated to be 19 months. The Design Team for the project comprises: Project Management PM Group Architects Scott Tallon Walker Buildings Services Engineers BDP Civil/Structural Engineers O’Connor Sutton Cronin Quantity Surveyors & Cost Control AECOM ENDS
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
The issue of delivering healthcare fairly, using a human rights framework, will be discussed at NUI Galway on 6 February. The public event is part of the The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative and President Michael D. Higgins will open the event. The event is being organised by NUI Galway’s Irish Centre for Human Rights and its College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Speakers and panel experts will come from medicine, law, ethics, international development, health policy and activism backgrounds. The panels and audience will discuss the links between health and human rights, and applications of human rights concepts and methods in addressing health challenges in Ireland and globally. There is a growing debate worldwide about the need to conflate the issues of healthcare and the principals of human rights. Commentators see human rights as having the potential to deliver an ethical means to improve health and wellbeing for nations worldwide. With each government limited by economic constraints there is a need to decide what can and should be provided for. A human rights framework may be the ideal prism through which to view healthcare and achieve a sense of fairness. Professor Sofia Gruskin from the University of Southern California is a world-expert on the topic and will deliver the keynote address called ‘Health and Human Rights”. Her address will identify and discuss the complex interactions between health and human rights, with particular emphasis on the use of human rights norms and standards for public health thinking and practice. Health topics including HIV, sexual and reproductive health, non-communicable disease, child and adolescent health, and health systems strengthening, will be used to illustrate and explore practical applications of human rights to public health. Professor Michael O’Flaherty is Director of the Irish Centre of Human Rights, and co-organiser of the event: “This is a debate worth having, as the demand for access to healthcare grows worldwide. The outbreak of Ebola in parts of West Africa has thrown into sharp relief global human rights issues in terms of access to healthcare. In Ireland, debate in this area moves from access to medical cards to the need for ambulance services. Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is currently examining the system of emergency health to see if it protects and fulfils human rights, with a particular focus on the right to health.” The afternoon session will address the ethical implications of adopting a rights based approach to health, the keynote on which will be delivered by Professor George Ulrich, Riga Graduate School of Law. Dr Diarmuid O’Donovan, Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventive Medicine at NUI Galway, and co-organiser of the conference explained: “Public health and human rights are both concerned with improving the wellbeing of the population. The World Health Organisation describes how ‘the right to health means that states must generate conditions in which everyone can be as healthy as possible’. To make this achievable we need ethical ways to address inequalities in access to, availability, affordability and quality of both health services and other services that impact on health: a rights based approach.” Other speakers will include: Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway; Les Allamby, Chief Commissioner, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of the Irish Equality and Human Rights Commission; Cliona Loughnane, Irish Heart Foundation; Jane Ann McKenna, Médecins Sans Frontières; Dr Shaun O'Keeffe, Chair of the Clinical Research Ethics Committee, University Hospital Galway; Dr Sara Burke, Health Policy Analyst; and Professor Peter Bartlett, Professor of Mental Health Law, University of Nottingham. Although the event is free and open to the public, attendees must pre-register. For full details of the event and to register visit http://www.conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=409 -ends- The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative The President on many occasions, prior to and following his inauguration, has said that his would be a “Presidency of ideas – recognising and open to new paradigms of thought and action” and that he would seek to develop a public discourse that places human flourishing and an ethic of active citizenship at its heart. Over the past year President Higgins has been working with third level bodies and NGOs across the island of Ireland to create a programme of over 50 nationwide events aimed at stimulating discussion and debate on ethical themes, questions and concerns. The initiative is due to culminate with a national seminar at Áras an Uachtaráin in Spring 2015. The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative is the second in a series of public seminars and reflections that President Higgins intends to hold during his term in Office
Thursday, 29 January 2015
The Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway organised its annual Research Day on Tuesday 27 January with overwhelming success. The day started with a keynote lecture by Professor Herta Flor, a world-renowned leader in the field of pain-related neuropsychology. Professor Flor is the Scientific Director of the Department of Neuropsychology at the University of Heidelberg and Central Institute for Mental Health, Mannheim, Germany. Professor Flor’s research focuses on improving our understanding of the development and maintenance of chronic pain by looking at how learning experiences and memory cause changes in the brain areas known to be associated with the experience of pain. Based on her research findings, she has developed and evaluated innovative treatments for chronic pain such as the use of virtual reality applications. In her presentation, Professor Flor highlighted that chronic pain is associated with maladaptive plastic changes in the brain, showing more widespread activation. Importantly, these changes seem to be influenced by a variety of learning experiences and by memory of events that occurred in the past. This knowledge has led to the development of successful and promising behavioural training interventions such as the Behavioural Extinction Training and mirror treatment. The other keynote speaker was Dr Line Caes, who recently joined the School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. Dr Caes’ research focus is on paediatric pain experience with a special interest in the social context and influences of these experiences. Dr Caes drew attention to the important role that parents’ overprotective behaviours, and feelings of distress in response to their child’s pain, play in how a child adjusts to pain. The research meeting also featured short oral and poster presentations showcasing local pain-related research from a psychological, neuroscience, and biomaterials perspective. The prize for best short oral presentation was awarded to Dr Kieran Rea for his talk on fear-conditioned analgesia and the possible pharmacological manipulation of this effect – work funded by Science Foundation Ireland. Dr Bright Okine and Angeline Traynor were the recipients of the awards for best poster presentation. Angeline Traynor won the prize for best clinical poster for her research on a mindfulness-based stress reduction intervention for adults with chronic headache. Bright Okine received the prize for best basic science poster for his Science Foundation Ireland funded work on the role of a putative novel cannabinoid receptor in the medial prefrontal cortex in regulation of pain. Professor David Finn and Dr Brian McGuire, Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome to Galway Professor Flor who is a leading authority on the neuropsychology of pain. At least 13% of the Irish popoulation suffer from chronic pain. Pain research is very vibrant at NUI Galway and we will continue in our efforts to better understand pain at both the basic science and clinical levels.” For more information about NUI Galway’s Centre for Pain Research visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre_pain_research/ and for information about the Galway Neuroscience Centre visit: http://www.nuigalway.ie/neuroscience -ends-
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
Children in Dublin, Cork, Belfast and Galway who experience chronic pain are invited to help develop an effective pain management programme Researchers with the School of Psychology at NUI Galway are currently inviting children aged from 7-12 years who have experienced chronic or recurrent pain for a period of three months or more, and their parents, to help develop an effective pain management programme for young children which will be computer-based and accessed online. Group sessions will be run at a number of locations across Ireland including Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast. Children with any type of chronic or persistent pain including abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains, are invited to participate. Children and their parents will use art materials to think, draw or write about ideas or topics which they think are important for children and parents dealing with chronic pain. Participants will be shown a computer-based programme designed to support pain management and are invited to give feedback, based on their personal experiences of chronic pain management. The project will involve just one meeting with a group of children and one meeting with a group of parents to enable the researchers to decide what course of action would work best for this type of treatment programme. Group sessions will be fun and interactive, lasting 30-40 minutes. Participant views and personal experiences are extremely valuable and their input will greatly enhance research in the development of an intervention for children who suffer with chronic pain. They may also benefit from sharing their experiences and thoughts about chronic pain management with others in a similar situation, in a casual environment, while offering complete confidentiality. NUI Galway PhD student and group facilitator, Angeline Traynor said: “Chronic pain is increasingly prevalent in young people and can have a significant impact on the day-to-day quality of life. The most common types of chronic pain in children are abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, headache and combined or widespread pains.” Ms Traynor continued, “Given the impact of chronic pain and the increasing focus on technology as a means of treatment delivery, it is essential to identify and address the needs of young children with respect to pain management. Participation is voluntary and anything you say during the group session is strictly confidential. These sessions will give children and their parents the chance to inform our research by telling us of their own personal experiences with chronic pain management.” This programme is part of a PhD research project being carried out at NUI Galway by PhD student Angeline Traynor with Dr. Brian McGuire of the university’s School of Psychology and the Centre for Pain Research. The study is supported by Galway University Foundation. Each group session will include 6-8 other volunteer participants and will be led by Ms. Traynor and Dr. Siobhan O’Higgins of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway. Refreshments will be provided to participants. If you would be willing to help with this important study or would like further information, please contact Angeline Traynor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 086 0378562 or go directly to www.helpkidswithpain.com
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
NUI Galway has appointed Professor Timothy O’Brien as Dean of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Professor Timothy O’Brien is recognized as an international expert on vascular wall gene delivery. Professor O’Brien returned to Ireland in July 2001 as Professor of Medicine and Consultant Physician in Endocrinology and Metabolism at University College Hospital Galway. Professor O’Brien has since established a gene therapy research group the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI). As Director of REMEDI, he has played a key role in establishing both the new Bioscience Building at NUI Galway the Clinical Research Facility in the hospital. Speaking about his appointment Professor O’Brien said, “NUI Galway has a long and proud tradition of serving the local, national and global communities by educating the health care providers of the future. I look forward to building on that success and working with colleagues across the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and Healthcare systems to integrate the education of our future health care providers. In particular, I look forward to working closely with our colleagues in the West Northwest Hospital group to this end. This success in our education programmes is recognised by prestigious scholarship schemes such as the Henry Hutchinson Stewart Medical Scholarships and we will strive to continue and expand on our traditional success in that programme.” Professor O’Brien continued, “The College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences will continue to promote excellence and international competitiveness in selected research areas. We will pursue an innovation agenda with a focus on generation of impact. The research themes will be aligned with University and National priority areas and approaches will emphasize collaboration between our faculty members, hospitals and industry. We will strive to enhance patient care and contribute to economic recovery in Ireland through our research performance. In addition, we will work to contribute to the Irish Government’s aim to win €1.3 billion in funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.” A native of Cork, Professor O’Brien received an honours MB BCh BAO degree from UCC in 1984. He went on to do an internship and general professional training at Cork University Hospital and one year as Registrar to Professor DJ O’Sullivan. He completed a two year residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee in 1990 followed by a sub-specialty fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN in 1992. He was elected to Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Physicians in Ireland and London in 1986 and 1987, respectively and to Fellowship of the American College of Physicians in 1995 and the American College of Endocrinology in 1996. He was awarded MD (1993) and PhD (1997) degrees from the National University of Ireland. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology and Metabolism in the USA and is a registered specialist in both specialties in Ireland. Since returning to Ireland Professor O’Brien has been a principal or co-applicant on grants worth in excess of €73 million. He has been a reviewer for 16 international journals, was a member of an American Heart Association Study Section, has acted as an invited reviewer on an NIH study section, and has been a reviewer for the Wellcome Trust and the Finnish Academy of Science. He served as associate editor of Endocrine Practice, the journal of the American College of Endocrinology from 1999-2006 and the e-journal of Translational Medicine. To date Professor O'Brien has published 240 original papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has contributed to 21 books, and has been invited to present his research at over 150 national and international scientific conferences. He is an author on seven patent applications. He is the Director of the MSc in Regenerative Medicine at NUI Galway and has supervised 18 PhD students to graduation. Professor O’Brien is Director of the Centre for Cell Manufacturing Ireland (CCMI) and he is also a co-founder of a spin-out company, Orbsen Therapeutics. Professor Timothy O’Brien will succeed Professor Gerry Loftus who recently retired.
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
‘Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley’ is the theme of the Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference NUI Galway will host the 52nd Annual Irish Science Teachers’ Association (ISTA) Conference from the 11-12 April. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan Quinn and President Jim Browne of NUI Galway will officially open the Conference entitled “Inspiring Science from Ireland’s Silicon Valley”. The Irish Science Teachers' Association is the professional association of science teachers in the Republic of Ireland. It is over 50 years in existence and is the longest established provider of Continuous Professional Development for science teachers, with internationally renowned speakers invited to present frontier science to teachers. The Conference will host a total of 30 exhibitors in the area of science education. On Saturday 12 April there will be a full day of events in the Arts/Science Building at NUI Galway, starting with parallel talks and workshops in the morning and plenary sessions in the afternoon. Topics vary from ‘The Physics of Cancer’ to ‘Life Saving Chemistry’. Professor Donal O’Shea will give a talk on Childhood Obesity and FameLab science communicator Fergus McAuliffe will also be on stage. Workshops in biology, chemistry and physics will be conducted by teams from the Professional Development Service for Teachers, and there will also be short presentations on EU linked projects such as SCIENTIX, TEMI (Teaching Enquiry with Mystery Incorporated) and Chain Reaction. Primary Science is also included, as Dr Maeve Liston from Mary Immaculate College will present a practical workshop for primary school teachers. In the first plenary session of the afternoon the Nottingham based Professor Martyn Poliakoff, of Periodic Table Videos fame, will give a talk entitled ‘From Test-Tube to YouTube’. This will be followed by the launch of the Hyland Report which looks at International best practice in the design of science syllabi for second level schools. European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn will provide the keynote address at the opening of the Conference and added, “I am delighted to be able to join you for the Irish Science Teachers’ Association Annual Conference this year. The work you do as an association and as individual teachers every day in the classroom, provides the foundation upon which Irish children and young adults are successfully equipping themselves for careers as researchers, academics, scientists in industry and informed citizens. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn continued, “Science and innovation are at the core of our daily lives and will, I believe, unlock a bright new future for generations. As teachers you have the privilege and responsibility to inspire and nurture our young people. I have great confidence in your ability and willingness to step up to the challenge, and continue to produce Europe’s brightest and best young scientists.” Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said, “It is a great pleasure to welcome the Irish Science Teachers’ Association to NUI Galway for your annual conference. This University has a long and proud tradition of scientific excellence in teaching and research. From our popular degree courses to world-leading research, science has been a cornerstone of the University for well over a century. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Irish Science Teachers’ Association continued success for the future. The work that you do to ignite curiosity and inspire young scientists is pivotal to the future of science and technology in Ireland.” The first lecture will be presented by Professor Elaine Fox from the University of Oxford and is entitled: ‘Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain; From Pessimist to Optimist, can we really change?’ It will take place at the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway on Friday 11 April at 8pm. Professor Fox’s work has been discussed in New Scientist, The Economist and the New York Times. There will also be an update from ISTA members on the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment development groups in relation to new syllabi at the Annual Business Meeting; this is the only session that is for members only. The closing talk will be given by the well renowned Professor Jim Al Khalili from the University of Surrey in which he will address the question: ‘Is Life Quantum Mechanical?’ Events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The Association for Science Education representatives from the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland will attend the conference and Professor Teresa Kennedy from the USA will represent ICASE. Both events take place on Saturday 12 April in the Arts/Science Building. The organisation, led by Mary Mullaghy, National Chairperson of ISTA, is one of the pioneers of collaborative learning in association with the Department of Education and Skills, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, State Examinations Commission, Professional Development of Secondary Teachers, Institutes of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Technology Exhibition, BT Young Scientist, SciFest, industry and third level institutions. Many organisations communicate their outreach initiatives through the association as there is an extensive communication network. A Conference dinner and awards ceremony will take place in Hotel Meyrick and will be attended by some of the founding members of the Association including Sr Mercedes Desmond aged 92 years. Advance booking is advised. Full programme details and bookings are available on www.ista.ie and on social media @IrishSciTeach and Facebook. For registration visit http://istaannualconference2014.weebly.com
Monday, 1 December 2014
A first-year biotechnology student, Edel Browne from Athenry, Co. Galway took first prize at NUI Galway’s third annual Threesis Competition which took place last week. The competition consisted of quick-fire presentations, with NUI Galway researchers presenting three slides, in three minutes, to three judges. The competitors had come through a series of heats already held on campus, to take on the final challenge at a public event in An Taibhdhearc. The winners were judged on how well they conveyed and communicated their subject to a general audience. Edel Browne’s presentation was on ‘Free Feet’, a simple and innovative use of laser technology that has revolutionised potential treatment methods for Freezing of Gait in people with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Second and third prize went to Anne O’Connor from Loughrea, Co. Galway and Killian O’Brien from Bishoptown, Cork City. Anne’s work widens our understanding of cultural exchange in Ireland by studying translation and translators and their impact on Irish history whilst Killian researches exosomes and their potential as a viable method of delivering therapies in breast cancer treatment. Máire-Caitlín Casey from Ballydoolough, Co. Galway won the audience prize for her presentation ‘Now you see me’; her research aims to improve our evaluation of breast cancer, particularly in response to chemotherapy, by investigating a novel imaging technique, photoacoustic imaging (PAI). The event focused on taking researchers out of their comfort zones to present their research to a general audience using only three slides over three minutes to three judges. The focus was on impact; how research at NUI Galway impacts upon our daily lives, those of our family and our broader community. Research areas represented at the event included science, engineering, information technology, humanities, social sciences and medicine, with topics ranging from novel tests for early detection of breast cancer to the transport of pollutants in groundwater. The three judges - Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience, NUI Galway, Caroline Crawford, Western Correspondent for the Irish Independent and Dr Marcus McHale, Postdoctoral Research at the Plant and Agricultural Biosciences Centre, NUI Galway had the responsibility of choosing the overall winners of the night. Jonathan McCrea was Master of Ceremonies for the event. Jonathan is a multi-award-winning TV and radio broadcaster, who presents The Science Squad on RTÉ, The Lie on TV3 and Futureproof on Newstalk 106-108fm. Dr Pat Morgan said: “There are twelve winners here tonight; unfortunately we only have prizes for a small few. I am incredibly proud to call you all members of the NUI Galway family and delighted to preside over such an important event in the University calendar.” Other finalists at the event; James Brown (Discipline of Surgery), Doireann Joyce (Discipline of Surgery), Donna Cosgrove (School of Psychology), Alan Kirwan (AGRC), Martin O’Donoghue (Moore Institute), Bianca Perira (Insight), Ihab Salawdeh (Insight) and Sara Vero (Ryan Institute). Ends
Tuesday, 2 December 2014
Students will be performing readings of the winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award 2014 NUI Galway’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance has announced details of a new relationship with Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe, with the rehearsed readings of the three winning scripts of the Walter Macken New Writing Award. The readings will take place on the stage of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe at 7pm on Thursday, 4 December. The chosen scripts, An Love Micheart by Manchán Magan, Díonta by Biddy Jenkinson and Ar Strae by Éidin Nic Éinrí will all be read by students of NUI Galway’s BA and MA drama programmes. NUI Galway offers classes in performing drama in Irish as part of its BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance and its MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. These drama students have been working closely with the writers, script editors and staff of An Taibhdhearc over the last month as part of the script development process. NUI Galway has a long tradition of supporting the development of new writing in Irish. In the last five years alone the University has commissioned plays and adaptations from prominent writers such as Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock and Diarmuid de Faoite, which have been performed by drama students of NUI Galway. “This new relationship between An Taibhdhearc and NUI Galway will open the doors on a whole range of exciting new possibilities within the creative arts as Gaeilge”, says Anne McCabe, Artistic Director of An Taibhdhearc. Tickets are available from the box office of Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe on 091 563600. Please contact Marianne Ní Chinnéide on 087 9080194 for any further information. -Ends- Mic Léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce Beidh na mic léinn ag léamh na scripteanna a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014 Fógraíonn an Lárionad Drámaíochta agus Léiriúcháin an caidreamh nua leis An Taibhdhearc leis an léamh cleachtaithe ar na thrí dhráma nua-scríofa a bhuaigh an Gradam Walter Macken 2014. Cuirfear an léamh cleachtaithe ar stáitse na Taibhdheirce ag 7pm, Déardaoinr an 4 Nollaig, áit a bheidh An Love Mícheart le Manchán Magan, Neainí Golue le Biddy Jenkinson, agus Ar Strae le Éidin Nic Éinrí á léamh ag mic léinn drámaíochta Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh. Cuireann OÉGaillimh ranganna ar stáitsiú dhrámíocht na Gaeilge, as Gaeilge, ar fail mar chuid dá BA in Drama, Theatre and Performance agus a MA in Drama and Theatre Studies. Tá traidisiúin fada ag Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag forbairt dhrámaí nua-scríofa na Gaeilge. Le cúig bhliain anuas tá coimisiúniú déanta ag an Ollscoil ar scríbhneoirí ar nós Biddy Jenkinson, Brendan Murray, Gabriel Rosenstock agus Diarmuid de Faoite le drámaí a scríobh agus a athchóiriú do mhic léinn na hollscoile atá ag tabhairt faoi staidéar na drámaíochta. “Osclóidh an caidreamh nua seo na doirse ar réimse leathan féidireachta ó thaobh na healaíona cruthaitheacha Gaeilge de” a deir Anne McCabe, stiúrthóir ealaíona na Taibhdheirce. Tá na mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tar éis a bheith ag obair go dlúth leis na scríbhneoirí, an eagarthóir scripte agusfoireann na Taibhdheirce mar chuid den phróiséis forbhartha scripte le mí anuas. Ticéid ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc ar 091-563600. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Mharianne Ní Chinnéide ar 087 9080194. -Críoch-