NUI Galway Graduate appointed Cardinal

NUI Galway Graduate appointed Cardinal-image

Tuesday, 6 February 2001

Release date: 6 February, 2001 NUI Galway Graduate appointed Cardinal Pope John Paul has announced the appointment of seven more Cardinals, among them the Franciscan Archbishop of Durban (Republic of South Africa), Wilfrid Napier. Wilfrid Napier was born in Matatiele, South Africa, in 1941 and grew up amid the injustices brought about by the apartheid regime of the country at that time. His family knew the Franciscans from Ireland, who ministered in the area and Wilfrid came to this country, where he joined the Order at their Novitiate in Killarney. He went on to study in the Faculty of Arts at NUI, Galway, where he took a B.A. degree in Latin and English, graduating in 1964. He excelled at sports - and is still prone to using sporting metaphors when preaching. Having been professed in St Anthony s College, Galway in 1964, he went to the Irish Franciscan College at Leuven, Belgium, where in succession he took degrees in Philosophy and in Theology. He then returned to his native South Africa, where he has progressed to the highest ranks of the Catholic Church. He became Bishop of Kokstad, his native diocese, in 1981, at the age of forty. He served a term as President of the South African Bishop s conference, and was frequently its spokesman. In 1992, he was appointed Archbishop of Durban. As a distinguished alumnus of the University, Archbishop Napier was conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Laws in NUI, Galway on June 26th 1995. Ends Information From: Máire Mhic Uidhir. Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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March 2001

Three NUI Galway Researchers Honoured

Three NUI Galway Researchers Honoured-image

Wednesday, 21 March 2001

Release date: 21 March, 2001 Three NUI Galway Researchers Honoured for Excellence in Erosion and Sediment Control Three National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI, Galway) researchers have been honoured for excellence in natural resource conservation and environmental protection. The researchers measured the amount of erosion resulting from sheep grazing peat hillsides in western Ireland. Rain can wash sediment from such erosion into streams, threatening water quality and spawning grounds of wild Atlantic salmon. John Mulqueen, of Teagasc, who is based in the University and Michael Rodgers and Niall Marren, of NUI, Galway s Civil Engineering Department, describe their findings in a technical paper, Erosion of Hill Peat in Western Ireland. Their paper has received the 2001 Most Distinguished Technical Paper Award, from the International Erosion Control Association (IECA). Dr. Michael Rodgers accepted the award on behalf of all three researchers during formal ceremonies at the recent 2001 IECA conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, Nearly 2000 erosion control professionals from around the world attended the conference. The award is made to a scientific paper that contributes most to advancing erosion control knowledge and also recognises concise, clear technical writing, which presents innovative solutions to erosion control problems. The NUI, Galway research, the first of its kind involving peat hillsides, was prompted by concerns that increased stocking rates of sheep could accelerate erosion. Grazing by more sheep could remove too much soil-protecting vegetation and increased foot treading on paths could loosen the peat soils, leaving them more vulnerable to the erosive impact of raindrops and to runoff. The two-year field study involved an 8-hectare Leenane subcatchment of the Erriff River on a Teagasc research farm at Glendavock townland (Co. Mayo). Many slopes on the farm have gradients of 9% to 18%. Average annual rainfall, about 2,500 mm, is among the highest in Ireland. In addition to the field studies at Leenane, the researchers conducted laboratory tests on undisturbed slabs of peat from Leenane and three other sites at Maam, Croagh Patrick and Newport at the Environmental Engineering and Soil Mechanics Laboratories at NUI, Galway. In the laboratory tests the researchers varied the slope and simulated the type of soil disturbance caused by sheep traffic. They found that annual peat sediment losses at the Leenane hill farm averaged 278 kg per hectare with a stocking rate of 0.9 Scottish Blackface ewes per hectare. In the laboratory trials, the virgin peats at Leenane and Maam were very resistant to erosion, while virgin peats from both Newport and Croagh Patrick were erodible. According to the researchers, this study suggests that overstocking, primarily through excessive sheep traffic damaging the peat and weathering of shallow peat, increases the likelihood of erosion. Removal of vegetation, per se, by grazing has less impact on erosion because of the strength of the peat's fibrous top layer.For hill peat farming, the sustainable sheep-stocking rate depends on the proportion and strategic use of greenland available. Under the management system at Leenane, this stocking rate is 0.9 ewes per hectare. To reduce erosion, sheep access areas and corridors should be changed from time to time. If heavily treaded with little vegetation, these areas should be fenced off to allow for recovery of the peat surface and re-establishment of vegetation. The research was financed, in part, by European Union Structural Funding through Teagasc. The IECA, founded in 1972, is a non-profit professional organisation, with members in 56 countries around the world who are dedicated to minimising accelerated soil erosion. This is the tenth year of the annual IECA Environmental Excellence Awards programme. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Ultra-fast laser facility puts Galway Centre at the

Ultra-fast laser facility puts Galway Centre at the-image

Monday, 12 March 2001

Release date: 12 March, 2001 Ultra-fast laser facility puts Galway Centre at thecutting edge of Technology The National Centre for Laser Applications (NCLA) NUI, Galway has just opened a new state-of-the-art laser processing facility. The new laboratory is built around a femto-second laser system, supplied by Clark MXR of the US. This is only one of four similar systems installed in laboratories around Europe and places the NCLA at the forefront of the new science of ultra-fast laser processing of materials. "This new laser will allow us to provide this cutting-edge technology to Irish companies for the first time", according to Dr Gerard O Connor, manager of the NCLA. "The first industrial research project based on this new technology has just been agreed between the NCLA and a leading global manufacturer of micro-components." The NCLA is Ireland s centre of excellence in laser technology, working closely with Irish industry on the development of new production tools and techniques based on laser and optical systems. Laser technology is successfully employed in a large number of industries, from drilling and cutting of engineering materials, to precision marking and welding of advanced polymers. "Lasers are also a key enabling technology in the automation of high precision industrial processes, " explains Dr. O Connor. "Many Irish companies, both indigenous and multi-national, in sectors ranging from electronics to medical devices, benefit significantly from the improved product quality, greater efficiency and higher throughput, which laser tooling can provide". The medical device manufacturing sector is one of the most active in the uptake of laser technology and the NCLA provides much support in terms of research and development services to this sector and runs a successful conference each year for this industry. Galway is now acknowledged as the European Centre for medical device manufacturing, with many thousands employed in companies such as Boston Scientific and Medtronic AVE. Femto-second lasers are an exciting new technology in the field of materials processing applications. "The technology is based on the generation of a stream of extremely short, high intensity light pulses, each lasting for only a few hundred femto-seconds. (A femto-second is equal to 10-15 of a second, or a million-billionth of a second!)," explains Dr. O Connor. "The key benefits of such ultra-short pulses lie in their ability to deposit energy into materials in a very short time interval, offering significant advantages over conventional laser sources in high-precision applications such as micro-machining, micro-drilling and ultra-precise cutting." Materials processing with femto-second lasers is also largely independent of the optical properties of the material, which opens up the possibility of processing transparent materials like glasses and highly reflective and conductive materials such as aluminium and copper which have traditionally been unsuitable for laser machining. "Femto-second lasers are facilitating 21st century advances in science and technology, enabling the machining of the smallest precision features in biological and man-made materials," according to Dr. Jonathan Magee, a senior engineer at the NCLA. As the energy is transferred from the laser beam into the material, the temperature of the material rises rapidly above its boiling point, where it vapourises. This process is called ablation. "With conventional laser processing techniques, the heat is conducted quickly away from the absorption region before ablation occurs, leading to melting of the material over a larger area. This results in a lower precision and quality of the laser processed parts," says Dr. Magee. The femtosecond system located at NUI, Galway consists of three laser sources in a single table-top system. These lasers are referred to as the semiconductor seed laser, the YAG pump laser and the titanium-sapphire amplifier laser. The system will deliver up to one thousand ultra-short pulses per second and the duration of the pulse can be varied from 180 to 1000 femtoseconds. "This is an exciting development for the NCLA and we look forward to giving many Irish companies the opportunity to develop new products and processes using this new facility" says Dr. O Connor. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, Tel. 091 750418

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April 2001

Presentation of Scoláireachtaí na nGéanna Fiáine

Presentation of Scoláireachtaí na nGéanna Fiáine-image

Friday, 6 April 2001

Release date: 6 April, 2001 Presentation of Scoláireachtaí na nGéanna Fiáine in NUI, Galway GAELOILIÚINT, the Council for Life-long Gaelic Learning, have presented six Scholarships to students of the Higher Diploma in Education as Gaeilge, in NUI, Galway today (Friday 6 April, 2001). The scholarships have been presented in memory and in honour of Ireland s Wild Geese i.e. the citizens of Ireland who, although they may have had to exile abroad, always strove to further the Irish cause, a tradition which exists to this day. The scholarships, valued at £600 each, were presented by Doctor Dónall Ó Baoill, Professor of Irish Studies in Queen s University, Belfast and Chairperson of GAELOILIÚINT. Each recipient will donate £100 of the scholarship to the Gaelscoil of their choice. The ceremony took place in Áras na Gaeilge, NUI, Galway today at 2.30 p.m. The recipients of the scholarships are: Adrian Ó Brádaigh, Offaly Máire Bríd Breathnach, Ros Muc, Co. Galway Yvonne Ní Chomnraí, Tuam, Co. Galway Fiona Ní Chualáin, Carna, Co. Galway Mícheál Ó Mealláin, Newcastle, Galway Gráinne Máire Ní Fhlannabhra, Grattan Park, Galway This year s scholarships are named after Irish Ambassadors, some famous, some not, some living, some who have passed away, all pillars of Irish citizenship be it abroad or at home, with little or no recognition or thanks. Their endeavours furthered the Irish language, culture, politics and community: Douglas Hyde, scholar and politician, founder of the Gaelic League and first Irish President Anne Devlin, A Dubliner who spent many years of her life, especially during the Famine, helping to clothe and feed the poor and downtrodden Peig Sayers, a noble and exemplary lady who needs no introduction Michael & Pearl Flannery, based in New York - they too espoused the cause of the poor George Harrison, also worked out of New York as an active Irish Socialist. George remains a close friend of Nelson Mandela Terry Callaghan, now also in New York, Terry was personal Secretary to the late Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich. She continues to work quietly and diligently for the Irish language and people. "All these Wild Geese have, during their lifetime displayed an unusually high degree of diligence and vision through their personal and public work" states Dr. Dónall Ó Baoill. "They provided guidance and moral leadership to the community around them in a quiet steadfast way by the very example they gave. I have absolutely no doubt that such pioneers continue to come through our Irish Universities today, such as the young recipients of our scholarships, who will, in due course, achieve still greater things for our language and people" ENDS Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway Tel: 091-750418

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Rural GPs - NUI Galway Study

Rural GPs - NUI Galway Study-image

Monday, 2 April 2001

Release date: 2 April, 2001 Demands of Out-Of-Hours Care seriously restrict Family and Social Life of Rural GPs - NUI Galway Study General practitioners in rural Ireland express grave concerns about their lack of time off and complain that the large proportion of time committed to out-of-hours care greatly infringes on their social and family life. A qualitative study on the experiences of rural general practitioners of the provision of out-of-hours care, conducted by the Departments of General Practice and Psychology at NUI, Galway, has just been published in the British Journal of General Practice, the world s premier academic general practice journal. The study was carried out by Mrs. Nuala Cuddy (Health Psychologist, currently working as researcher in the Department of General Practice at NUI, Galway), under the supervision of Ms Anne Marie Keane (Lecturer at the Department of Psychology at NUI, Galway;) and Professor Andrew Murphy (Professor of General Practice at NUI, Galway). This is the first comprehensive research to qualitatively explore the attitudes of rural general practitioners to out-of-hours work. Although general practitioners expressed general satisfaction with their work, including the satisfaction they experienced from helping to make people better and providing comfort for the terminally ill in a small rural community, Nuala Cuddy reports that the demands of out-of-hours care is one of most stressful aspects of their job. "While they accept that it s part of the service they provide, the GPs believe there s far too much of it, and it places unreasonable restrictions on both themselves and their families", she said. Closely linked with restrictions was the irritation general practitioners experienced by what some described as constant interruptions and unrealistic patients expectations of their doctor. "Patients calling to their door and sleep interruptions were viewed as particularly stressful", said Nuala Cuddy. "Older general practitioners found these especially trying." She went on to say that one general practitioner remarked, 'They know I m off, but people think I am just there at home and it s only me… they don t realise there are another thousand people who think it is only me'!The researchers point out that 'a persistent theme throughout the research was the negative impact out-of-hours care provision could have on family life. Many male participants, in particular, expressed concern for having to leave so many household and family responsibilities to their spouses. Nuala Cuddy noted that 'being on call not only restricted them in their own lives, but also greatly restricted their spouses as they could not pursue any social or occupational activity outside the home in the evenings. One spouse remarked, ''My husband couldn't mind the children if I wanted to go to a night class when he is on call… he couldn't even mind them while I go to Mass ! Most general practitioners had difficulty in getting locums. Nuala Cuddy notes that they felt that locums were not interested in coming to rural areas because of the isolation, the work intensity, the larger catchment areas and the smaller volume of private patients' fees compared to urban practices. According to one GP: "Locums just don t want to come to the rural areas; they want the soft pickings of the cities and the towns.' Providing accommodation for locums in some rural areas also proved very difficult. Consequently, GPs and their families were obliged to leave their own homes in order to accommodate locums!. They strongly resented this and viewed it as an enormous infringement on their privacy and family life.In terms of coping with out-of-hours care provision and its consequences, all general practitioners felt that patient education was of paramount importance; however it is sometimes difficult to implement this in a small community. As one general practitioner said: It s so much hassle sometimes trying to educate people. It is often easier to say give me the form and I ll sign it"! Professor Murphy and Ms Keane emphasise that 'the findings of this and other similar studies suggest the need for both individual orientated (e.g., patient education and stress management approaches) and organisational responses (e.g. central provision of regular locum coverage to rural practitioners).' Fundamental organisational changes in the delivery of out-of-hours care, including general practice co-operatives, have recently occurred in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Finland. The first such co-operative was established in Ireland in 1999, with most health board areas now either implementing or organising them. This study describes very clearly why this is happening. It also emphasises why rural general practitioners, in particular, must be included in such initiatives. Nuala Cuddy is available for interview on the findings of her research. Ends Information From: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway.

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May 2001

Abortion Issue a Red Herring

Abortion Issue a Red Herring-image

Wednesday, 30 May 2001

Release date: 30 May, 2001 Abortion Issue a Red Herring in International Criminal Court Debate Opponents of the referendum authorising Ireland to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court are misinformed about the content of the treaty when they suggest it may jeopardise Irish law concerning abortion, says Professor William A. Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, which is based at National University of Ireland, Galway. "The Court is empowered to prosecute "forced pregnancy" as a crime against humanity", explained Professor Schabas. The term is further defined as "the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population or carrying out other grave violations of international law". Those drafting the Statute had in mind atrocities committed in concentration camps in the former Yugoslavia. The provision represents a consensus that resulted from negotiations involving several states with a particular interest in the abortion question, including the Holy See, Ireland and Malta, noted Professor Schabas. During the referendum debate, adversaries of the Statute have suggested that the provision might be used to attack countries like Ireland where access to abortion is strictly controlled. But out of respect for the sensibilities of countries like Ireland, the Statute of the International Criminal Court also declares: "This definition shall not in any way be interpreted as affecting national laws relating to pregnancy." "The referendum challenge based on the abortion question is ill-informed and simply wrong," said Professor Schabas. Professor Schabas is an internationally-recognized expert on the International Criminal Court and was a delegate to the 1998 Rome Conference at which the Statute of the Court was adopted. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway

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Human Rights Expert calls for support for the two 'other' Referendums

Human Rights Expert calls for support for the two 'other' Referendums-image

Monday, 28 May 2001

Release date: 28 May, 2001 Human Rights Expert calls for support for the two other Referendums While most attention has been paid to the ratification of the Treaty of Nice on 7th June, two other referendums will also take place on that day. These provide for a constitutional amendment approving of the International Criminal Court and prohibiting introduction of the death penalty. "These two referendums, which raise very important human rights concerns, appear to have been marginalised by public debate about the Nice Treaty", said Professor William A. Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor Schabas explained that the Centre, located at National University of Ireland, Galway, is concerned that public opinion be properly sensitised to the importance of the abolition of capital punishment and support for the International Criminal Court. "Ireland appears to be the first country in the world to have such a referendum on capital punishment", said Professor Schabas. "Although capital punishment has been abolished in Ireland for many years, the constitutional referendum will prevent capricious legislators from reintroducing it", he explained. The recent debate in the Oireachtas on the death penalty referendum indicated virtual unanimity. Only one TD spoke in favour of capital punishment, but his arguments were antiquated and out of step with the current debate. He insisted on the death penalty's alleged deterrent value. But virtually all experts now agree that compared with detention in prison, capital punishment offers no measurable additional deterrent value."The deterrence thesis has been abandoned even by capital punishment's fervent advocates in the United States", noted Professor Schabas. A recent poll shows that even the American public no longer believes in deterrence. "If the public doesn't believe it deters, then who exactly is being deterred?" he asked.Internationally, the recent success of abolitionism has been dramatic. In 1989, Amnesty International published figures showing 100 states still retained the death penalty while 80 had abolished it in one form or another. This year, the Secretary-General of the United Nations reported that 123 states have abolished capital punishment, and only 70 still use it. "Within the past decade, Russia dropped capital punishment as a condition for joining the Council of Europe and South Africa eliminated it by judgement of its new Constitutional Court. Only last week the Ukraine abolished capital punishment", added Professor Schabas. "Abolitionism also now prevails in Latin America and much of Africa". "A successful Irish referendum on capital punishment will have international repercussions," said Professor Schabas. "It will testify to evolving public opinion in a mature, progressive society. It may also give a friendly nudge to the Americans, who are doing a lot of soul-searching on the question right now." "But if Ireland is in the forefront on the death penalty, it is seriously dragging its heals with respect to the International Criminal Court", said Professor Schabas. Already, thirty-two countries have ratified the Rome Statute, which will come into force with the sixtieth ratification, likely to take place within the next twelve months. "Although Irish diplomats have been very supportive of the Court", said Professor Schabas, "it has taken three years since adoption of the Rome Statute for the referendum to be held. Assuming it is successful, Ireland will still need to adopt legislation to permit co-operation with the Court before it can ratify the Statute. "It is extremely important that implementing legislation be adopted without delay. Otherwise Ireland will not be one of the original parties when the Court is established, and will not be able to nominate a judge", Professor Schabas warned. The Irish Centre for Human Rights, at the National University of Ireland, Galway, is engaged in teaching, research and advocacy relating to human rights within Ireland and internationally. Professor is available for interview on both referendums. End For more information:Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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Ireland's winning industrial formula protects economy against effects of US down

Ireland's winning industrial formula protects economy against effects of US down-image

Tuesday, 15 May 2001

Release date: 15 May 2001 Ireland's winning industrial formula protects economy against effects of US downturn Fears that the Celtic Tiger economy will be severely affected by the downturn in the US economy are unfounded according to research carried out in NUI, Galway and just published by the OECD. Irish Government policy of creating 'clusters' of similar type industries and embedding foreign firms within the local economy has proved to be a winning formula in the development and sustainability of Ireland's extraordinary economic metamorphosis,' says Professor Roy Green of the Department of Management at NUI, Galway and leader of the research team. The research project is entitled, Boundaryless Cluster: Information and Communications Technology in Ireland.What has happened in Galway in the 1990s, according to Professor Green, is a microcosm of the success of Ireland as a whole in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, as well as healthcare, financial services and pharmaceuticals. The emergence of a powerful software sector in Galway in the wake of the Digital closure of 1993, resulted from a combination of measures to attract foreign investment and build local supply chains into a 'boundaryless' cluster. 'This regional cluster is boundaryless in the sense that its global character defies traditional stereotypes of domestic rivalry and collaboration,' explains Professor Green. There are at present sixty ICT companies in the Galway region. "Although Ireland is not completely protected against market conditions, the integration of investors within local clusters, the emphasis on linkages within research and educational institutions and the shift of firms higher up the value chain, all militate against closure or relocation", says Professor Green. The main findings of Professor Green's research include the following: The globalised nature of Irish ICT, the influence of the multinational sector and the niche operations of indigenous firms suggest the need for a new, more outward-looking approach to the advent of the "boundaryless" cluster. The presence of at least one large ICT operation provides a useful catalyst and focus for cluster development. This presence affords the opportunity to build local capacity in new technologies and skills both within the operation itself and more widely in the emerging cluster through outsourcing, vertical supply chains and ultimately, horizontal inter-firm linkages. The development of the regional skills base is cumulative and parallels the scale and sophistication of the industry cluster, whose growth patterns are themselves path dependent. The Galway experience suggests that appropriate regional business support structures are the final major local ingredient in successful cluster development. Without such structures, skilled personnel would be unemployed or underemployed, or alternatively would emigrate. Enterprise Ireland's role in developing an indigenous, entrepreneur-driven technology sector has been complimented with a newly-announced commitment to create 'clusters of new knowledge-intensive enterprises in regional centres'. The instrument of intervention will be a series of technology hubs known as "Webworks", whose task will be to 'generate a critical mass of high potential start-ups in the regions – companies that are high R&D and export performers. The first Webworks Facility is to be established in Galway. The sustainability of the ICT cluster will derive from constant innovation, which in turn must be based on leading-edge research and research training. Professor Green says that the cluster dynamic is supplied in the case of Irish regions by 'a unique mix of inter-firm collaboration, interaction and rivalry, by the development and constant replenishment of common pools of skilled labour, by the localised support of research and educational institutions, by the commitment of local business organisations and unions and by the strategies of national and regional development agencies'.Professor Green is available for interview on his research Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418

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June 2001

Conferring of Honorary Degrees

Conferring of Honorary Degrees-image

Friday, 29 June 2001

Release date: Friday, 29 June, 2001 Conferring of Honorary Degrees at NUI, Galway NUI, Galway has honoured five people who have made remarkable and very distinctive contributions to contemporary Ireland and whose interests and achievements are reflected in the life and work of the university. Honorary degrees were conferred on the following at 3.30 p.m., today (Friday 30 June) Noel Dorr, Former Secretary-General, Department of Foreign Affairs. (Degree of Doctor of Laws) As one of the most outstanding civil servants in the history of this state, Noel Dorr has had a long and distinguished career in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He has held the following positions: Permanent Representative to UN, New York 1980; Irish Representative on UN Security Council 1981-1982 (and President of the Security Council in April 1981and August 1982); Ambassador of Ireland London 1983-1987, and Secretary General, Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin, 1987 until his retirement in 1995. The esteem in which he was held is reflected in the roles accorded to him both at home and abroad – in negotiating the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1995, in the drafting of EU Treaties, and as Government representative on the Carlson committee on the reform of the United Nations. Seán Ó Mórdha, Film maker (Degree of Doctor of Literature) His many documentaries of Irish writers including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, Seán Ó Riada, Séamus Heaney, John McGahern and Thomas Kinsella, have established themselves as milestones of modern Irish cultural history. His most recent television series, Seven Ages, traces the history of the Irish State from its foundation in 1921 to the late 1980s. In honouring him today, the National University of Ireland is recognising not only his individual talents, but also paying tribute to the ethos and ideal of public service broadcasting which underlie so much of Seán Ó Mórdha's remarkable corpus of achievement both within RTÉ and as an independent producer. Derek Mahon, Poet. (Degree of Doctor of Literature) Derek Mahon is widely regarded as a poet whose work constitutes the highest and most enduring aesthetic achievement of contemporary Irish writing. In the judgement of The New Yorker magazine, Mahon's poems exhibit 'astonishing excellence'. His fellow poet, Eamonn Grennan describes Mahon's styles as 'wry, speculative, eloquent, debonair'. Many of his poems are epistles, verse letters addressed to an intimate community of readers. Yet, this poetry is never merely personal: it is, instead, full of voices from older traditions that Mahon catches in a modern glare. He has also authored a number of translated works and has been the recipient of many prestigious literary awards. Angela Barone, Lecturer and Author (Degree of Doctor of Literature In 1987 she was appointed Director of the Italian Institute in Dublin and Cultural Attaché to the Italian Embassy, positions she served with exemplary distinction until her retirement in 1994. Her task was to promote Italian language and culture in Ireland, in co-operation with universities, schools, teachers of Italian and the Department of Education. She has made an incisive cross-cultural contribution during her time in this country. Dr. Barone also developed her deep interest in Irish by learning the language and has translated the work of many Irish authors from both Irish and English to Italian. Professor Cherif Bassiouni, Writer and Jurist (Degree of Doctor of Laws In the wake of the Balkan conflict in 1992, the UN Security Council set up a Commission of Experts to investigate war crimes. Cherif Bassiouni took over the direction of the Commission, which paved the way for the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. His work more than any other single person is credited with the creation of the International Criminal Court. Cherif Bassiouni has been a professor of law at DePaul University, in Chicago and is author of many books in the fields of international human rights and international criminal law. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091-750418

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Health Promotion Conference

Health Promotion Conference-image

Wednesday, 20 June 2001

Release date: 20 June, 2001 NUI, Galway Health Promotion Conference to address issues of Social Capital The Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway in association with the Western, North Western and Mid-Western Health Boards will host a Conference on Health Promotion and Social Capital, on Thursday and Friday, 28 and 29 June, 2001 at the National University of Ireland, Galway. One of the current concepts creating interest among health promoters is social capital. The concept of social capital is based on the assumption that communities with good communication networks and supports, as well as a positive cultural identity, will enhance both individual and community well-being and hence promote health. However, like all new concepts there remains questions and paradoxes to be explored. The Conference programme will include Plenary Sessions which will feature keynote speakers from Ireland, United States and Germany looking at accounts of social capital: the mixed health effects of personal communities and voluntary groups, health and inequalities, social exchange and health, and a proposed sociological framework. Tom Healy, Department of Education and Science, Ireland will open the forum with an exploration of the concept of social capital and related concepts. He will go on to consider the findings, focusing on health and personal well being impacts of a recently completed international survey on social capital which he undertook at the OECD. The second keynote speaker is Professor Stephen Kunitz from the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester, New York. His paper will focus on the use of the concept of social capital in the fields of public health and health promotion. He will argue that empirical data suggests that social capital has mixed effects, sometimes associated with improvements in health and at other times with diminished health. Professor Brian Nolan and Dr. Richard Layte, ESRI (Economic and Social Research Institute), will present a joint paper on Health Inequalities in Ireland. They will summarise what is known about the overall extent of health inequalities in Ireland, highlight the serious gaps in our knowledge, set out the agenda for research to fill those gaps and discuss key issues in framing a policy response. Professor Johannes Siegrist, Department of Medical Sociology, University of Dusseldorf, Germany will deliver a paper on "Social differentials of adult morbidity: the role of effort-reward imbalances at work", which will focus on exposure to a stressful psychosocial environment as one of several explanations of social differentials of morbidity in adult life. He will look at place, social exchange and health and discuss the health policy implications and scientific challenges from demonstrated results. The Symposium will present progress of work undertaken to-date by The HRB Research Unit on Health Status and Health Gain, which was established at the Centre for Health Promotion Studies in NUI, Galway. Professor Cecily Kelleher will present an overview of Health and Social Gain in Ireland, while Professor Andrew Murphy, Department of General Practice, NUI, Galway will focus on Primary Care: Urban and Rural comparisons. Ends Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway. Tel. 091 750418

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