Contract signing for Human Biology Building at NUI Galway

Contract signing for Human Biology Building at NUI Galway-image

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  

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The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative to discuss how human rights can inform healthcare

The President of Ireland’s Ethics Initiative to discuss how human rights can inform healthcare-image

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

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World Expert in Pain Research Speaks at NUI Galway

World Expert in Pain Research Speaks at NUI Galway-image

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-      

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February 2015

NUI Galway Global Alumni Network Goes LIVE

NUI Galway Global Alumni Network Goes LIVE-image

Monday, 2 February 2015

                                    Graduate Will Leahy from 2FM presents Network at Digital Summit NUI Galway has over 90,000 graduates around the world, and at a recent NUI Galway event, RTE’s Sean O’Rourke, NUI Galway Alumni Association Chair launched a new departure through the means of an innovative social media platform for the University’s graduates to connect. The new Alumni Network is an exciting new way for graduates to connect with NUI Galway's global network and with each other, and it can be found at www.nuigalway.ie/network This week in Galway over 500 people attended the first ever West of Ireland Digital Summit organized by OMiG Marketing and speaking on the new Global Network, NUI Galway graduate and 2FM DJ Will Leahy said: “We've always known that NUI Galway graduates are making waves in many roles and locations around the world. This website nuigalway.ie/network is a very visual way to show where our recent, and not so recent, graduates are and what they are doing. “It’s fantastic to see a University using a social platform like LinkedIn in such an engaging and dynamic way. The NUI Galway Global Alumni Network is an excellent way for people to connect with each other and it is great to see this University tapping into their rich cohort of graduates.” Since the site went live, NUI Galway has seen over 600 graduates tag their location through this platform. From Mexico City to Kuala Lumpur, it’s fascinating to see where NUI Galway, or indeed UCG, graduates have gone, and the career paths they have chosen – from an Engineer in Kyoto and a Patent Executive in the European Patent Office in Munich to a Development Coordinator in Ethiopia – NUI Galway graduates are spread far and wide in a plethora of interesting career paths. Using an innovative approach to social media we have reached people who graduated as far back as 1962. Mr Leahy added: “It seems that NUI Galway is the first University in the world to tap into LinkedIn's interface in this way, allowing graduates to register via LinkedIn, tag themselves, tell us where they are, what they are doing and to connect with each other. The platform also gives current students and graduates the ability to connect to potential employers through the network, so endless possibilities……including the likes of me checking up on classmates from years gone by.” Ireland West Airport Knock have also announced their partnership with NUI Galway in connecting their graduates with the West of Ireland and the world offering flights to international destinations so put yourself on the map and join the NUI Galway Alumni Network - www.nuigalway.ie/network. ENDS

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Ryan Institute iTunes Podcast Channel Rapidly Climbs the Charts

Ryan Institute iTunes Podcast Channel Rapidly Climbs the Charts-image

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research at NUI Galway has just launched a new podcast channel on iTunes. Within weeks of going live, iTunes are recommending the radio channel under ‘New & Noteworthy’ on its iTunes store. Interviews with academic staff about their research, recorded seminars by visiting academics and archived media interviews have been uploaded onto the channel and are accessible through the iTunes store for free. The content can be downloaded by visiting the home page of the Ryan Institute website at www.ryaninstitute.ie. Listeners can hear about the human body generating electricity, computer models predicting storm surges, genetic analysis of sea creatures, challenging human consumption or antibiotics in the environment. “In just three weeks since going live, the podcast channel has reached number four in the Natural Sciences category of iTunes podcasts. This is a major achievement considering the competition from the big news corporations around the world, and major global learning institutions who are regularly uploading content,” said Dr Martina Prendergast who is the Strategic Development Manager of the Ryan Institute and who conducted many of the interviews for the site. She went on to explain that iTunes has created a number of categories for their podcasts and the Ryan Institute is filed under Science and Medicine, which has three sub-categories (Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences). “Considering that there are about 30,000 overall daily podcasts on iTunes, the rapid rise through the charts of the Ryan Institute channel is a considerable success, and we are happy that our activities are profiled on a global platform. It was made possible by working with Garry Kelly from GK Media who made it really easy for us to record and upload content.” she added. Dr Sarah Knight, Ryan Institute Outreach Officer, who conducted some of the interviews said: “We will be regularly adding content as the weeks go by, so I urge everyone to subscribe to the channel to receive updates and notifications of when we add new seminars and interviews. The goal over the next six to eight months is to record interviews with every one of our 100 academic staff and to get to number one in the iTunes charts.” Dr Prendergast said: “This would mean that the research activities of the Ryan Institute community could reach audiences in countries across every continent. This will place the spotlight on our world-class research that is contributing to solving some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century around the environment, energy and food security, economic resilience, and social cohesion.” ENDS

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NUI Galway Announce Details of the Fourth Martin Reilly Lecture Series

NUI Galway Announce Details of the Fourth Martin Reilly Lecture Series-image

Monday, 2 February 2015

Musician Seán Gilrane to present first lecture NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil have announced details of the fourth Martin Reilly Lecture Series with musician Seán Gilrane presenting the first talk this year. Entitled ‘The life, times and music of the legendary Leitrim flute player John McKenna (1880-1947)’, the talk will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 10 February int the Galway City Library. Seán’s talk stems from research conducted as part of the recent publication and recording ‘The Music and Life of John McKenna: The Buck from the Mountain’. This release, published by the John McKenna Society in Leitrim, is the definitive work on McKenna and includes his complete corpus of 44 commercial recordings, as well as a substantial accompanying book containing an extensive biography, an analysis of his music style and legacy together with music transcriptions of his tunes. McKenna was one of the premier stars of the legendary golden age of Irish traditional music in New York in the 1920s and 30s, and left behind an unsurpassed legacy that is the first major corpus of recorded Irish flute music. A native of Leitrim himself, and a flute player, Seán has worked extensively with the John McKenna Society in researching the life and music of the maestro McKenna. This series of talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum. The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city. Admission is free to all talks in the Martin Reilly Lecture Series. Further information on this and other planned talks in the series available by emailing Martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com, or Facebook: Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series. -Ends-

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NUI Galway’s 5th International Nursing and Midwifery Conference

NUI Galway’s 5th International Nursing and Midwifery Conference-image

Monday, 2 February 2015

The 5th International Nursing and Midwifery Conference, hosted by NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, will be held from 30-31 March. The conference is organised in partnership with the Nursing and Midwifery Planning Development, HSE West/Mid West. The over-arching theme of the conference, 'Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice' highlights the importance of strengthening nursing and midwifery practice at international, national, local and community levels. The conference provides an opportunity for researchers, practitioners and policy makers to get together to learn, debate and share methods of building and promoting excellence in practice. There will be oral and poster presentations and five different workshops that delegates can choose to attend. Keynote addresses will explore: Evidence - Professor Neal Maskrey, Honorary Professor of Evidence-Informed Decision Making, Keele University. Compassionate Care - Professor Belinda Dewar, Professor of Practice Improvement at the University of the West of Scotland. Risk and Resilience - Professor Charlotte Clarke, Head of the School of Health in Social Science, University of Edinburgh. Motivation - Evelyn Gilmore, Consultant Work and Organisational Psychologist, an Accredited Psychotherapist and a Business and Executive Coach. Professor Kathy Murphy, NUI Galway’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “This conference will be a unique experience offered within the beautiful, peaceful city of Galway. The conference reception and cultural event showcases the best of Irish music and dancing, while offering delegates the opportunity to sample traditional Irish cuisine.” The conference is unique as it integrates an arts and wellbeing focus into the programme to promote the wellbeing of practitioners, so that they can return to care with energy and purpose. Music is woven into the programme and delegates will also have the opportunity to attend a critically acclaimed short play focused on healing, performed by actor and playwright, Caroline Lynch. Delegates can choose to attend mindfulness or relaxation sessions and there will be a designated wellbeing area to relax in. To avail of the early bird reduced fees please visit http://www.nursingmidwifery.ie/site/view/9/registration/ and register prior to Monday, 9 February. -Ends-

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NUI Galway CAO ‘Performance Points’ Scheme for the Creative Arts

NUI Galway CAO ‘Performance Points’ Scheme for the Creative Arts -image

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Students who meet strict criteria will be awarded 40 CAO ‘Performance Points’ for eligible undergraduate courses under the NUI Galway Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme. Building on the success of the inaugural Creative Arts Performance Points scheme in 2014, NUI Galway is to again reward a limited number of students with exceptional achievements in selected disciplines in the creative arts with CAO ‘Performance Points’ for entry into undergraduate courses in the University. This is the only Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme of its kind offered by a university in Ireland. The Creative Arts Scholarship Scheme is offering 40 ‘Performance Points’ in recognition of the significant time and dedication applicants have shown to reach an exceptional level in their chosen field in the creative arts, along with evidence of academic achievement and commitment. CAO applicants for this scheme must meet strict criteria in a number of creative arts achievements. The 40 ‘Performance Points’ will be added to a minimum requirement of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in 6 subjects. The closing date for applications is 14 February 2015. This year’s offer will be made to a maximum of 15 candidates who are selected through a two-stage process involving an application (stage one) and interview (stage two). Candidates will be made a conditional offer of their performance points prior to the Leaving Certificate and the CAO change of mind. The Creative Arts scheme is available in areas where the University has an acknowledged international standing: Creative Writing Digital Arts and Media Drama, Theatre and Performance Film Non-fiction writing, including Journalism Students with high standards of achievement in any of those areas may apply for any undergraduate course within the University, with the exception of Medicine (GY501). Successful applicants will be assigned a mentor in their Creative Arts discipline. Mentors will assist the students’ development as artists during their time at NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne said “NUI Galway is proud of the many alumni who have excelled in the creative arts. As a University, we aim to lead in our research, innovation and learning and the Arts Scholarship Scheme recognises and supports similar ambition and dedication in those that excel in the creative arts.” NUI Galway’s Professor of Drama and Theatre, Patrick Lonergan added, “Many NUI Galway students have benefitted from the support that the University has offered them in creative arts for many years. The Performance Points Scheme will broaden the horizon of achievement both for NUI Galway and for students with an interest in creative arts, and we have the facilities, structure and supports in place to help students achieve their goals, both academic and creative.” In recent years NUI Galway graduates have had great success in the creative arts. Cathal Cleary was named Britain’s most promising young director in 2012; Aoife Spillane-Hinks has directed plays for Rough Magic Theatre, the Gate Theatre Dublin, and more; Deirdre Sullivan is the author of  Prim Improper (nominated for Children’s Book of the Year, 2011);  Tara McKevitt is a playwright whose works have appeared with Smashing Times Theatre Company and Tron Theatre Glasgow; and Duncan Lacroix appeared in Outlanders, a 16-part serial for Sony Television produced by Ron Moore (Battlestar Galactica) and directed by John Dahl (Dexter, Breaking Bad). Applicants will be selected through a completed application form, samples of work provided, references and an interview process. The assessment will be based on the selected creative arts areas, and will also consider evidence of academic achievement and commitment. The successful candidates will then receive a conditional offer of the 40 performance points prior to the Leaving Certificate and CAO changes. Successful candidates will receive benefits such as dedicated mentoring and support for resources. These supports will be for the duration of the undergraduate degree of the successful candidate and will be reviewed on an annual basis. This scheme will only apply to new entrants applying for full-time undergraduate courses at NUI Galway. Students must receive a minimum of 350 CAO Points from a single sitting of the Leaving Certificate in six subjects, and must achieve all minimum entry and course specific requirements. For further details visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/creativeartsperformacepoints/. -Ends-

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Minister English Highlights Success of Action Plan for Jobs during Visit to NUI Galway

Minister English Highlights Success of Action Plan for Jobs during Visit to NUI Galway -image

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation, Damien English T.D., recently visited NUI Galway’s students, academic staff and industry partners involved in the Higher Diploma in Software Design and Development (Industry Stream). The visit coincided with the Government’s launch of Action Plan for Jobs 2015. The Minister welcomed the opportunity to meet with students and graduates of the programme who are experiencing the benefit of the Government’s SpringBoard ICT Skills investment. He also met with a number of local industry partners who have partnered with NUI Galway on this innovative programme such as Avaya, Storm Technologies and INSIGHT. Speaking during the visit, Minister English said: “Earlier today we launched the Action Plan for Jobs 2015 and a key element of that is a National Talent Drive which involves a 60% increase in the number of ICT graduates from higher education by 2018. The importance of these objectives were never so obvious than here today after meeting with such talented and enthusiastic graduates who are benefitting from those efforts.” Programme Director, Dr Enda Howley advocated the return on investment of ICT conversion programmes for the economy: “We are now seeing our graduates successfully win lucrative salaries that are resulting in the initial investment being reimbursed more than four times in the first 12 months of graduation through direct and indirect taxation. No other investment could offer such a fast and significant return for the government. We are very fortunate to have experienced such a positive engagement from industry by providing paid internships for our students prior to enrolment in the programme. This unique arrangement allows us to reskill each student specifically for each company’s technology requirements, in return for the promise of a paid internship at the end of the programme. This is the ultimate win-win for all involved, and we look forward to continuing this engagement over the coming years. 90% of our programme graduates are now in long-term employment in software companies.”  The ICT Skills scheme was devised by the Higher Education Authority in 2012 to fund the University fees of suitable graduates from areas such as engineering and science for reskilling to meet the skills shortage in the software development industry. NUI Galway has developed the Higher Diploma programme with a view to selecting highly performing level 8 graduates and pairing them for re-training and internships with our participating industry partners.  Applications for the 2015-16 academic year will open in May, and potential applicants or partner companies are encouraged to contact the Programme Director Dr Enda Howley for more details at ehowley@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

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Sean-nós Singing Workshops at NUI Galway

Sean-nós Singing Workshops at NUI Galway-image

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, the newly appointed 2015 Sean-Nós Singer in Residence at NUI Galway, will give a series of sean-nós singing workshops beginning on Wednesday, 11 February at 7pm in the Seminar Room at the Centre for Irish Studies, NUI Galway. From Áird Thoir, Carna, Máire comes from a family which has a long and rich tradition of sean-nós singing. Her vocal style echoes with the singing from her mother Bairbre and the Heaney side of the family, Joe Heaney being her granduncle. The workshops are free and open to all and will run for five weeks. 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. Further information available from Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -Ends- Ceardlann Amhránaíochta ar an Sean-nós in OÉ Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith de cheardlanna amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós san Ionad an Léinn Éíreannaigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin,11 Feabhra 2015. Is í Máire Ní Mhaoilchiaráin, atá ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach Sean-nóis i mbliana, a bheidh i mbun na gceardlann. Is as an Aird Thoir, i gCarna, Máire agus tá oidhreacht shaibhir cheolmhar le cloisteáil ina cuid amhránaíochta. 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. Tá na ceardlanna saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 492051 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie -Críoch-

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