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International Conference Highlights Ireland's 7th Century Knowledge Economy
Thursday, 13 July 2006
An international conference taking place at NUI Galway illustrates how Irish scholars were at the forefront of scientific knowledge in Western Europe as far back as the 7th century. The Science of Computus conference which takes place from Friday, July 14th - Sunday July 16th, will bring together leading scholars from all across Europe, the US and Japan to look at the contribution of Ireland to the development of European science and the origins of present-day mathematical and astronomical ideas. The Science of Computus – the mathematics required to calculate the date of Easter -provoked much debate and controversy in early medieval times. The date of Easter was the most important in the Christian calendar as it dictated the date of all other Christian festivals. However, it was the Irish who led the way in developing mathematical models by which the date of Easter could be most accurately decided, becoming since the 7th century the leading experts in the field of computistics study. Irish scholars travelled throughout Europe gaining a reputation for their knowledge and learning, and held influential positions in courts across Europe. Ireland now seeks to lead the way in Europe's Knowledge Economy. Millions are being invested in producing high-level graduates in the field of technology and science. However, as conference coordinator and Ireland's pre-eminent early medieval scholar, NUI Galway's Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín notes, "From the seventh century Ireland led the way in scientific learning and knowledge throughout Western Europe. Ireland was the knowledge economy of the 'Dark Ages', we invented it. The Irish were head-hunted across Europe for their mathematical and scientific knowledge. Like the early medieval ages, the spread of the Irish diaspora across the world ensures Irish men and women remain in key positions of influence across Europe and the world. However, we now face a challenge in developing our knowledge based economy and recreating the scientific knowledge and learning that was a key feature in the seventh century. Ireland not only needs to attract high-quality researchers but also to invest in its own graduates to ensure that we are to the forefront of scientific learning in Europe." For further information please see conference website at www.foundationsirishculture.ie/conference2006. -ends- For further information, please contact Prof. Dáibhí Ó Cróinín,Department of History, NUI Galway. Tel : 091 492 697
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NUI Galway's Prof. William Schabas Appointed to Human Rights Board by UN Secreta
Wednesday, 12 July 2006
United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has appointed Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, to the Board of Trustees of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights. The Voluntary Fund was established in 1987 by UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar to provide technical cooperation to countries upon the request of their Governments. The focus is on providing practical assistance for the building and strengthening of national structures that have a direct impact on the overall observance of human rights and the maintenance of the rule of law. The Board of Trustees assists in fund-raising and provides expert advice and support to the Voluntary Fund. Members are appointed by the Secretary-General for a three-year term and are chosen for their independence and wide experience in the field of human rights and technical cooperation. Commenting on his appointment, Professor Schabas, said: "It is a great honour to be selected to join this distinguished Board and I look forward to taking up the challenge to develop and advise on human rights structures across the globe. I welcome the opportunity to assist the Secretary-General, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights in building the fund and strengthening its already important impact in the promotion of human rights." Professor Schabas will join human rights notables on the Board, such as Ligia Bolivar Osuna from Venezula, Mary Chinery-Hese from Ghana, Vitit Muntarbhorn from Thailand and Viacheslav I. Bakhmin from Russia. William Schabas is Professor of Human Rights Law at NUI Galway, where he has been the Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights since 2000. He will continue in his role as Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights while serving as a board member of the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in Human Rights. -ends- Professor William A. Schabas Irish Centre for Human Rights Tel: + 353 (0)87 412 9551
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Stem Cell Trials in Heart Disease Patients Planned at NUI Galway and University
Tuesday, 11 July 2006
Researchers at NUI Galway today (11th July 2006) announced that clinical trials of stem cells on heart disease patients could start collaboratively between NUI Galway and University College Hospital within two years, subject to regulatory approval. The research will be the first of its type in Ireland. The announcement was made this week as NUI Galway plays host to an international conference in regenerative medicine, which examines stem cell and gene therapy in a number of areas including heart disease, arthritis and neurological conditions. The conference brings together international researchers who will seek to rapidly advance progress in the area of regenerative medicine to bring research to the clinical trial stage. The conference taking place from Tuesday, 11th July – Wednesday 12th July is being held by the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway in conjunction with Georgia Tech/Emory of Atlanta and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Commenting on the announcement, Prof. Timothy O Brien, REMEDI Director and Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway said, "This is a major announcement for the development of stem cell research in Ireland. We will primarily focus on the cardiovascular area but hope to rapidly advance towards therapies in other areas. This conference is a valuable opportunity to harness the expertise at the Mayo Clinic and Georgia Tech by building a strong alliance with these Institutes to accelerate progress." "Despite progress in modern medicine, an increasing number of patients are experiencing advanced heart failure. Stem cell research may offer new therapies to improve heart function and improve the outcome for these patients. This clinical trial will make a significant contribution to research in this area" added Dr. Pat Nash, Consultant Cardiologist at University College Hospital, Galway. REMEDI scientific Director and leading researcher in adult stem cell therapy, Frank Barry, concluded, "We have developed a very strong expertise at REMEDI in the extraction and preparation of human stem cells from bone marrow and we are finalising protocols for the preparation of stem cells for clinical use. This will be an important step forward in this research area." Regenerative medicine looks at the repair or replacement of tissues and organs by incorporating the use of cells and genes to regenerate healthy tissues and recent research in the area has opened up new opportunities to transplant stem cells to repair or regenerate tissues damaged by trauma or disease. The conference will feature over twenty speakers advancing the latest thinking and developments in orthopaedic, neurological and cardiovascular regenerative medicine. The conference will be attended by representatives from US and Irish universities, industry partners and government agencies. -ends- Note to Editors: The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) is a world-class biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. In state-of-the-art facilities, researchers at REMEDI work together to combine the technologies of gene therapy and adult stem cell therapy with the aim of regeneration and repair of tissues. The unique feature of the research carried out at REMEDI is the novel integration of both therapies in a complementary research and development programme. Based in the National University of Ireland, Galway, REMEDI was established in 2003 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding. The institute is located at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and incorporates the National Cell and Gene Vector Laboratory, a GMP grade vector and cell production facility. REMEDI is a partnership involving scientists, clinicians, and engineers in academic centres and in industry. It is a unique cluster of talented and committed individuals who share a vision in developing new and successful treatment options for patients.
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Dioplóma nua san Aisteoireacht trí Ghaeilge
Tuesday, 11 July 2006
Beidh dioplóma nua páirtaimseartha á reáchtáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i réimse na haisteoireachta an bhliain seo chugainn. Cuirfear tús leis an gcúrsa i Meán Fómhair 2006 agus déanfar ceardlanna aisteoireachta á reáchtáil gach Satharn ar an gcampas sa Cheathrú Rua. Tá an dioplóma seo feiliúnach do dhaoine a bhfuil spéis acu san aisteoireacht ghairmiúil, do dhaoine atá ag plé leis an drámaíocht phobail nó do dhaoine a bhfuil spéis acu san aisteoireacht ar bhonn pearsanta. Is cúrsa an-phraiticiúil a bheidh ann a thabharfaidh oiliúint san aisteoireacht agus sa phuipéadóireacht agus beidh deis ag baill an chúrsa a gcuid scileanna a chur i bhfeidhm nuair a chruthóidh siad dráma le chéile. Cothóidh an cúrsa scileanna foirne chomh maith. Is scileanna iad seo atá luachmhar in aon réimse oibre. Ní gá taithí aisteoireachta a bheith ag iarratasóirí. Fáilteofar roimh iarratais ó aon duine a bhfuil suim acu sa drámaíocht agus a bhfuil an Ghaeilge ar a dtoil acu. Beidh an rogha ag baill an chúrsa deiseanna fostaíochta a ghlacadh i réimse na haisteoireachta stáitse agus i réimse na haisteoireachta teilifíse. Glacfar suas le fiche duine ar an gcúrsa. Ní mór iarratas a dhéanamh go luath le háit a chinntiú. Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin gcúrsa cuir glaoch ar Nora Nic Con Ultaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ag 091 495381 nó seol ríomhphost chuig firstname.lastname@example.org. -críoch-
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NUI Galway to be new home of Henry Library
Monday, 10 July 2006
James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway, has taken custody of approximately 4,500 volumes which form the Henry Library. The books, which were collected by The Reverend Joseph Henry D.D and bequeathed to the Tuam Diocese on his death in 1885, are a unique collection of 16-19th century books. An agreement has been signed by Bishop Richard Henderson, Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry, (on behalf of the Diocesan Council) and NUI Galway which allows for the transfer of the books from Galway's St Nicholas's Collegiate Church to the University on long-term loan. The Reverend Joseph Henry was born in 1821 and came from a distinguished family in Tuam, Co. Galway. He was son of Hugh Robert Henry of Toghermore House and of Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Langrishe, Baronet. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, he was ordained in 1852 and served in Keady, Co. Mayo before going to Lima, Peru where he spent the next 20 years as Consular Chaplain. From 1876, until he died in 1885, Dr. Henry served the Church of All Saints in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. His collection is a great example of a late Victorian library. As well as examples of Bibles in several languages, Biblical commentaries and theology, there are books on history, geography, topography, Classical Civilisation, literature and travel. The majority of the books are of the 18th and 19th centuries but the 16th and 17th centuries are also represented. Marie Reddan, Librarian, NUI Galway, said, "We are honoured that the Diocese has considered our library as a home for this collection and it will add immensely to the rare collections we already house. However, our intention is not only to undertake the stewardship and preservation of the books but also to make the Henry Library accessible to the wider community". The books were originally housed in the Synod Hall in St. Mary's Cathedral, Tuam and more recently St. Nicholas' Collegiate Church, Galway where they became part of the St. Nicholas' Library and Heritage Project. One of the aims of the project – a FÁS project which was begun in 1990 – was to preserve the books for future generations. Before this work began a number of trainees underwent a course in book conservation at Marsh's Library, Dublin. Since then the books have been cleaned, waxed, indexed and preparation of a general catalogue of the material has taken place. -ends–
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NUI Galway names Carron Field Station in honour of the late Professor Máirín de
Friday, 7 July 2006
NUI Galway's newly refurbished Carron Field Station has today been named in honour of NUI Galway's first Professor of Botany, the late Professor Máirín de Valéra. In a special ceremony on Friday, Minister Síle de Valera unveiled a commemorative plaque, which names the field station after her aunt. Located close to the village of Carron in the heart of the Burren, Co. Clare, the field station was established in 1975 as a teaching and research facility for the University. Professor Emer Colleran, Director of the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway said, "The naming of the refurbished Carron Field Station in honour of Professor de Valéra is appropriate, given the University and ECI-stated mission to expand outreach activities, and to increase access by the external community to University learning and research programmes. The intention is that the field station is made more widely available to first, second and third-level educational Institutions, and in particular to local community groups with an interest in environmental issues." Apart from its use as a field teaching centre for university undergraduate students, the station has facilitated a wide range of environmental research projects. One of the on-going research projects focuses on the development of sustainable land management practices for the unique range of habitats found in the Burren region. Liaising with local landowners and acknowledging their expertise is an essential element of this research, particularly in relation to developing Turlough management systems. NUI Galway wishes to recognise the contribution of the University's former Professor of Botany, the late Máirín de Valéra, to teaching and field research by naming the research field station in her honour. Máirín de Valéra, daughter of Eamonn de Valéra, joined the Department of Natural History at University College Galway in 1939. She was solely responsible for teaching Plant Science at University College Galway for many years, and was appointed as the first Professor of Botany in 1962. Approximately €500,000 was recently spent to fully refurbish and modernise this unique facility, with the majority of the funding being provided by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) through the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). -ends-
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NUI Galway Hosts Transatlantic Think-Tank on Stem Cell and Gene Therapy
Wednesday, 5 July 2006
The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) will host a 'Conference in Regenerative Medicine' at NUI Galway, in conjunction with US academic partners Georgia Tech and the Mayo Clinic, from 11-12 July. The conference will feature over twenty speakers advancing the latest thinking and developments in orthopaedic, neurological and cardiovascular regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine approaches the repair or replacement of tissues and organs by incorporating the use of cells and genes to regenerate healthy tissues. Themes addressed at the event will include cellular therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials science, immunology and tissue engineering. "One of the central elements of this new technology is the transplantation of stem cells for the repair or regeneration of tissues damaged by trauma or disease. Progress in this field is dependent upon close alliances between scientists, clinicians and engineers. Our conference will seek to advance these research ties and expand our shared knowledge base", commented Frank Barry, REMEDI Scientific Director. NUI Galway has worked closely for many years with Georgia Tech, which recently opened its first applied research facility outside the United States in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Professor Anthony Windebank, leading expert in regeneration of the nervous system at the prestigious Mayo Clinic is currently based at REMEDI as part of a Science Foundation Ireland E.T.S Walton Fellowship. REMEDI Director, and Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway, Timothy O'Brien, commented, "This conference comes just weeks after the Irish government announced its Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. The strategy points out that Ireland must underpin its lead in the biotechnology arena and we seek to advance this by forging ever stronger links with our US counterparts such as Georgia Tech and the Mayo Clinic." The conference runs from 11-12 July and will be attended by representatives from US and Irish universities, industry partners and government agencies. -ends- Notes to editors: The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) is a world-class biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. In state-of-the-art facilities, researchers at REMEDI work together to combine the technologies of gene therapy and adult stem cell therapy with the aim of regeneration and repair of tissues. The unique feature of the research carried out at REMEDI is the novel integration of both therapies in a complementary research and development programme. Based in the National University of Ireland, Galway, REMEDI was established in 2003 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding. The institute is located at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and incorporates the National Cell and Gene Vector Laboratory, a GMP grade vector and cell production facility. REMEDI is a partnership involving scientists, clinicians, and engineers in academic centres and in industry. It is a unique cluster of talented and committed individuals who share a vision in developing new and successful treatment options for patients. For further information contact: Ita Murphy MSc Communications and Outreach Manager Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) & National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) National University of Ireland Galway Phone: +353 (0)91 495198 Mobile: Phone: +353 (0)91 495198 Email: email@example.com
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NUI Galway sponsors musical research and performance project
Monday, 3 July 2006
NUI Galway has announced it is to sponsor Cumha go Hora, a new musical research and performance project based at the University. The project will seek to retrieve and revive old Irish folk songs and support the creation of new ethnic material. Cumha go Hora takes its title from Cumha, meaning parting sorrow in Irish and Hora, meaning elation or celebration in Romanian. The first output of the project will be a concert at Galway's Augustinian Church on 18 July at which traditional Irish songs, both new and old, will be set to new string arrangements by Garry O'Briain and played by Romanian quartet, ConTempo, Galway Ensemble in Residence. The concert, also called Cumha go Hora, will include performances by Mary McPartlan, well-known traditional and contemporary singer, musicians Garry O'Briain, Dave Carty, Seamie O Dowd and Eddie Lynch and the award-winning NUI Galway Choir. Songs on the night will include Elizabeth Cronin's version of Lord Gregory as interpreted from a collection edited by her grandson, Professor Dáibhi Ó Cronín, NUI Galway. New songs include Cumha, written by Padraig O hAoláin and translated into English by Tim Dennehy, which is a song of sorrow for the changing lifestyles in deepest Connemara. Kiss the Moon and Sanctuary, written by Vincent Woods and set to music by Máirtín O Connor, will be featured along with Seanfhocal by Douglas Gunn, a specially commissioned piece for NUI Galway Choir. Mary McPartlan, recent graduate of NUI Galway and artistic director of the project, commented, "We are creating a new sound by experimenting with ethnic culture and giving a new richness to traditional folk music. Through the project, artists such as ConTempo, who are Romanian classical musicians, will be able to perform some of this country's most precious and previously unheard musical heritage in a revolutionary classical format." The Cumha go Hora project will see a true merging of styles to produce a new dynamic sound that will enrich and extend the experience of traditional music. The Arts Office at NUI Galway is plans to further develop the research part of the project with students, staff, ConTempo and traditional musicians all collaborating. The new and rare material will be documented and there will be future concerts at NUI Galway. Cumha go Hora, the concert, will be performed in a special event during Galway Arts Festival 2006 on Tuesday 18 July at 8.30pm in the Augustinian Church, Augustine Street, Galway. Tickets:€15/12 from Arts Festival box Office at 091-566577 or www.galwayartsfestival.com -ends-
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NUI Galway lecturer publishes new book Green Nation
Monday, 3 July 2006
The Irish Environmental Movement - from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five This week sees the publication of 'Green Nation: Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five , by Dr. Liam Leonard, the Galway-based writer and lecturer in Environmental Politics and Social Movements at NUI Galway. Green Nation examines community-based campaigns over the past thirty years that have become the basis for Ireland's grassroots environmental movement. Starting with the 'No Nukes' protests at Carnsore in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Green Nation traces the emergence of a nascent ecopopulist movement that has witnessed a number of campaigns including anti-mining protests at Tynagh, Donegal and Croagh Patrick, anti-toxics activism in Cork and the heritage dispute at Mullaghmore. The book also looks at the campaigns against incineration in Galway, Meath and Cork, the anti-roads protests at the Glen of the Downs, Carrickmines and Tara/Skryne and the ongoing campaign of 'Shell to Sea' in Mayo which gave rise to the 'Rossport 5', who were imprisoned for seeking justice for their community in North Mayo. Green Nation examines the mobilisation and agenda setting undertaken in these disputes, locating them in the context of a wider rural identity that has shaped grassroots environmentalism in Ireland. According to Green Nation's author Dr. Liam Leonard, Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, "Ireland's recent social history has been characterised by a series of environmentally based community challenges. Throughout the decades of state-sponsored, multinational-led development and infrastructural expansion in Ireland, the voice of the grassroots environmentalist has always been heard. Local communities have proven themselves to be adept at mobilising responses, framing arguments and establishing the networks and alliances that become possible in a populist society." Green Nation addresses a relative gap in literature about environmentally based community social movements which have emerged since the 1970s. These campaigns have been primarily rural, with campaigns in cities such as Cork and Galway still retaining a rural perspective as local communities came to identify themselves with the surrounding hinterlands in the face of modernisation. The book is available from www.choicepublishing.ie. Title: Green Nation: The Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport 5 Author: Liam Leonard Publisher: Choice Publishing, Drogheda ISBN: 1-905451-11-3 - ends-
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Prestigious Human Rights Lectures mark start of Academic Year at NUI Galway
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
29 August 2006: The academic year at NUI Galway will commence with public lectures from two guest lecturers, both prestigious international human rights experts, on 5th and 6th September. The visits by Professor Conor Gearty, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights Law Network, will set the scene for another stimulating and eventful year at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. According to Professor William A. Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, "Since its inception in 2000, the Irish Centre for Human Rights has developed a global reputation as a centre of expertise in humanitarian law and has become the focal point of human rights activity in Ireland. We are delighted to commence the 2006/2007 academic year with a visit to Ireland by such distinguished guest lecturers who are willing to share their expertise with the public." The free public lectures will take place in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway: Tuesday, 5 September 2006 at 9.30am - 'The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights' 'The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights' is the title of the lecture to be given by Colin Gonsalves, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Network and a pioneer in public interest law in India. The HRLN is India s first association of legal professionals providing support to those who have little or no access to law. Mr Gonsalves has also developed the Indian People s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights (IPT), an independent organization directed by retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges which investigates human rights violations and environmental degradation. Its work has sparked public interest litigation, formed social movements, and led to concrete policy changes. Wednesday, 6 September 2006 at 5pm - 'Can Human Rights Survive?' 'Can Human Rights Survive?' is the topic being covered by Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The event in Galway is the culmination of a series of lectures, delivered in the UK and Northern Ireland as the 2005 Hamlyn Lectures, since published by Cambridge University Press. Professor Gearty will confront the fundamental concept of human rights and question whether human rights have the resilience to stand firm against such contemporary challenge as the 'war on terror', the revival of political religion, and the steady erosion of the world's natural resources. For further information please contact the Irish Centre for Human Rights on 353 (0) 91 494575. -ends-
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