NUI Galway Launches 14th Annual Arts Festival - Múscailt

NUI Galway Launches 14th Annual Arts Festival - Múscailt -image

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Dr Kieran O’Conor, Lecturer in Archaeology, launched the 14th annual NUI Galway Arts Festival programme, Múscailt, last night (Monday, 27 January). The Festival, which runs from 10-14 February, will contain a superb programme of music, art, spectacle, performance and literature, with many free events to which the public are welcome. Speaking at the launch, Dr O’Conor said: “NUI Galway has unique art research modules in the disciplines of Archaeology, Philosophy and Classics and Múscailt offers a chance for us to explore the treasures on offer in the University.” This year’s theme ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’features artists at play. On Tuesday, 11 February, A Victorian Funfair will take place in the Mechanical Soils Lab, a Victorian Building, from 12-5pm, allowing guests to enjoy a walk back in time to learn more about the Victorian art, science, literature and pastimes, all recreated with fun and games by the popular new Victorian Society at NUI Galway. NUI Galway’s Knitting and Crochet Group have created an enormous doily named ‘Doily-icious’, which will hang in Áras na Mac Léinn, alongside a group show of staff and student artists entitled ‘Wonder’. Throughout the week, Artist Joe McCaul will be doing free self portraits of those who want to sit for him in the atrium of Áras na Mac Léinn. All the new portraits he paints during Múscailt will be added to the walls and be on show in the atrium until 1 March. The Mechanical Soils Lab, next to the Bank of Ireland Theatre, will act as a magnificent Exhibition Space in which the works of three artists will be on view. NUI Galway is honoured to have, on loan, five large paintings by the late Sharon O’Malley, a singular, internationally established artist with close links to Galway who held a life-long interest in classical mythology. Additionally, Susanne Keane will present ‘Where Sea meets Sky’, an exhibition of atmospheric, abstract, seascapes, painted with swathes of bright colours. And Joe McCaul will show a selection of his new and recent portraits and sculptures. All the exhibitions will run until 1 March. Events include: Two illustrated visual art lectures will take place on Wednesday, 12 February from 11am-1pm, with artist Joe McCaul, who will deliver an illustrated lecture on portraiture entitled ‘Getting A Head’ and Conor Newman, Chair of The Heritage Council and Lecturer in Archaeology at NUI Galway, will give a presentation on Insular Art (early Medieval), entitled ‘Portraiture through Possessions’. Ancient Music Ireland members, Simon O’Dwyer and Maria Cullen O’Dwyer, will present and demonstrate a musical exploration through pre-historic instruments up to 700AD on Tuesday, 11 at 8pm in The Cube. Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) will perform the musical, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’,at the Black Box Theatre from 11-15 February. This colourful comedy takes place in the glitz and glamour of the 1920s with frantic preparations for a wedding. On Tuesday, 11 February at 8pm the Witless Band Competition Final will take place in the Student Union Bar with judges and public vote deciding the winning act. Arts in Action presents remarkable young musician Padraic Keane on uileann pipes, accompanied by his sisters Maisie-Kate and Siobhán on fiddles. ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’, a show on the iconic Irish ballad singer Delia Murphy, written by her niece Carmen Cullen. ‘Hello, Delia Murphy, will include a dramatised reading and family photographs, among the songs performed by Carmen Cullen and Máirín O’Donovan with accompaniment by musician Gerry Anderson. Celebrating its fifth year, the ‘Solo Show: Múscailt Monologues’includes new writing and performance from NUI Galway’s students and staff and visitors. ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ by Oscar Wilde, featuring a powerful performance by Rab Swannock and directed by Sandra Coffey, is back by popular demand after a successful début in the inaugural Oscar Wilde festival last October. Dramsoc will perform the show ‘Overcast Teacups’. Colours Street Theatre will début their new show, ‘The Seat,’ written and performed by James Fleming. Múscailt will also see the launch of ‘Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo’, a children’s story by Lionel Gallagher with illustrations by Marina Wild. Galway based storyteller, author, poet, playwright and performer, Rab Swannock Fulton will read from his sci-fi blog-novel ‘Marcus Marcus and the Hurting Heart’. NUI Galway President, Jim Browne extends an open invitation to the public to attend the closing event of Múscailt, ‘The Galway Music Residency-NUI Galway Sponsor’s Concert’, at 1pm on Friday, 14  February in the Bailey Allen Hall. The specially chosen programme for Valentine’s Day, ‘Viennese Classics’, includes works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert, performed by Galway Ensemble in Residence, ConTempo Quartet. Special Guests, Triko Cirkus Teatar, from Croatia, who starred in Múscailt 2013 will present a new Clown Cabaret with performers and traditional musicians from NUI Galway featuring alongside Triko clowns in ‘Night of the Living Clown’, written and directed by Lee DeLong to a live musical score. Specially prepared for Múscailt The Cabaret will be performed for three nights in An Taibhdhearc, under the banner ‘Múscailt-Clown Cabaret’, on 27, 28 February and 1 March. Commenting on this year's line up, Fionnuala Gallagher, NUI Galway Arts Officer said: “Our theme this year, ‘Laugh, Nourish, Love’allows us to look within, have a laugh and highlight our strengths in all of the art-forms. Everyone is welcome to participate.” All exhibitions are open Monday to Saturday until 1 March. For a copy of the programme or further information contact the Arts Office at 091 493766 or 091 495098, or visit www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Tickets for events will be available from the Socsbox at 091 492852 or socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Tickets for the ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ are also available from Town Hall Theatre www.tht.ie or 091 569777. ‘Múscailt-Clown Cabaret’ tickets are available from An Taibhdhearc www.antaibhdhearc.com or 091 562024. -Ends- Múscailt - an 14ú Féile Ealaíon Bhliantúil seolta ag OÉ Gaillimh Sheol an Dr Kieran O’Conor, Léachtóir le Seandálaíocht, an clár do 14ú Féile Ealaíon Bhliantúil OÉ Gaillimh, Múscailt, aréir (Dé Luain, 27 Eanáir). Beidh an Fhéile ar siúl 10-14 Feabhra, le clár iontach ceoil, ealaíon, seónna, taibhithe agus litríochta. Beidh go leor de na himeachtaí saor in aisce agus beidh fáilte roimh chách a bheith i láthair. Ag labhairt dó ag an seoladh, dúirt an Dr O’Conor: “Tá modúil taighde ealaíon ar leith ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh i ndisciplíní na Seandálaíochta, na Fealsúnachta agus an Léinn Chlasaicigh agus deis é Múscailt an saibhreas atá le fáil san Ollscoil a bhlaiseadh.” Léiríonn téama na bliana seo ‘Gáire, Cothú, Grá’ ealaíontóirí ag baint sásaimh as a gceird. Dé Máirt, an 11 Feabhra, beidh Aonach Siamsaíochta Victeoireach i Saotharlann na nIthreacha Meicniúla, Foirgneamh Victeoireach, idir 12-5pm. Tabharfaidh Cumann Victeoireach OÉ Gaillimh blaiseadh do chuairteoirí d’ealaín, d’eolaíocht, de litríocht agus de chaitheamh aimsire Victeoiriach, ar bhealach spraíúil. Tá mionscaraoid mhór mhillteach déanta ag Grúpa Cniotála agus Cróise OÉ Gaillimh dar teideal ‘Doily-icious’ a bheidh ar crochadh in Áras na Mac Léinn, mar aon le taispeántas grúpa comhaltaí foirne agus mac léinn dar teideal ‘Wonder’. I rith na seachtaine, beidh an t-ealaíontóir Joe McCaul ag déanamh portráidí saor in aisce de dhaoine ar spéis leo é i bhforhalla Áras na Mac Léinn. Beidh na portráidí nua ar fad a phéinteálfaidh sé i rith Múscailt le crochadh ar na ballaí agus beidh siad ar taispeáint san fhorhalla go dtí an 1 Márta. Beidh spás iontach Taispeántais i Saotharlann na nIthreacha Meicniúla, béal dorais d’Amharclann Bhanc na hÉireann, agus beidh saothar triúr ealaíontóirí ar taispeáint ann. Is mór an onóir do OÉ Gaillimh cúig phictiúr mhóra le Sharon O’Malley, nach maireann, a bheith ar iasacht againn. Ealaíontóir mór le rá idirnáisiúnta a bhí inti a raibh dlúthcheangal aici le Gaillimh agus a raibh suim riamh aici sa mhiotaseolaíocht chlasaiceach. Chomh maith leis sin, cuirfidh Susanne Keane ‘Where Sea meets Sky’ inár láthair, taispeántas radharc mara atá atmaisféarach agus teibí agus péinteáilte i ndathanna lonracha. Agus cuirfidh Joe McCaul roinnt portráidí nua agus dealbha ar taispeáint. Beidh na taispeántais ar fad ar siúl go dtí an 1 Márta. I measc na n-imeachtaí beidh siad seo a leanas: Beidh dhá léacht amharcealaíon ar siúl Dé Céadaoin, an 12 Feabhra idir 11am-1pm. Ceann leis an ealaíontóir Joe McCaul ar an bportráidíocht dar teideal ‘Getting A Head’ agus ceann le Conor Newman, Cathaoirleach na Comhairle Oidhreachta agus Léachtóir le Seandálaíocht in OÉ Gaillimh a dhéanfaidh cur síos ar an Ealaín Oileánach (Luath-Mheánaois), dar teideal ‘Portraiture through Possessions’. Déanfaidh beirt ó Cheol Ársa na hÉireann, Simon O’Dwyer agus Maria Cullen O’Dwyer, cur i láthair ar uirlisí ceoil réamhstairiúla go dtí 700AD Dé Máirt, 11 Feabhra ag 8pm in The Cube. Cuirfidh Cumann Ceoldrámaíochta Ollscoil na Gaillimhe (GUMS) an ceoldráma, ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’,ar stáitse sa Dubhlann idir 11-15 Feabhra. Tá an scéal grinn seo suite i laethanta geala na 1920idí agus daoine ag ullmhú do bhainis. Beidh craobhchomórtas na mBannaí Witless ar siúl i mBeár Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn Dé Máirt, an 11 Feabhra ag 8pm agus roghnóidh moltóirí agus an pobal na buaiteoirí. Cuirfidh Arts in Action an ceoltóir óg Padraic Keane i láthair ar an bpíb uilleann, agus é á thionlacan ag a chuid deirfiúracha Maisie-Kate agus Siobhán ar an bhfidil. An seó ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’, faoin amhránaí bailéad Éireannach mór le rá Delia Murphy, a scríobh a neacht, Carmen Cullen. Beidh léitheoireacht dhrámata agus grianghraif an teaghlaigh mar chuid de ‘Hello, Delia Murphy’. Casfaidh Carmen Cullen agus Máirín O’Donovan amhráin agus beidh siad á dtionlacan ag an gceoltóir Gerry Anderson. Don chúigiú bliain, tá saothar nua ó mhic léinn, ó chomhaltaí foirne agus ó chuairteoirí OÉ Gaillimh sa ‘Seó Aonair: Monalóga Múscailt’. Bhí an-éileamh ar ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ le Oscar Wilde, ina raibh páirt an-láidir ag Rab Swannock faoi stiúir Sandra Coffey, ag an gcéad fhéile Oscar Wilde i nDeireadh Fómhair agus tá sé á thabhairt ar ais arís dá bharr. Cuirfidh Dramsoc an seó ‘Overcast Teacups’ ar stáitse. Cuirfidh Colours Street Theatre a gcéad seó, ‘The Seat,’ ar stáitse, scríofa agus curtha i láthair ag James Fleming. Seolfar ‘Jumbo Wants to be a Hippo’ chomh maith ag Múscailt. Is scéal é seo do ghasúir a scríobh Lionel Gallagher agus is í Marina Wild a rinne na léaráidí. Léifidh an scéalaí, údar, file, drámadóir agus taibheoir, Rab Swannock Fulton atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh óna bhlagúrscéal ficsin eolaíochta ‘Marcus Marcus and the Hurting Heart’. Mar sméar mhullaigh ar Mhúscailt, ba mhaith le hUachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, Jim Browne, cuireadh oscailte a thabhairt don phobal freastal ar Cheol Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe - Ceolchoirm Urraitheoirí OÉ Gaillimh, ag 1pm Dé hAoine, an 14 Feabhra i Halla Bailey Allen. Tá clár speisialta roghnaithe do Lá Fhéile Vailintín, ‘Clasaicí Vín’, ina mbeidh saothar Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven agus Schubert le cloisteáil ó Ensemble Cónaitheach na Gaillimhe, ConTempo Quartet. Cuirfidh na haíonna speisialta, Triko Cirkus Teatar, as an gCróit, a bhí ina réaltaí ag Múscailt 2013, Cabaret Cábóige nua ar stáitse le taibhithe agus ceoltóirí traidisiúnta as OÉ Gaillimh i gcuideachta chábóga Triko in ‘Night of the Living Clown’, scríofa agus stúrtha ag Lee DeLong le scór beo ceoil. Cuireadh an Cabaret le chéile go speisialta do Mhúscailt agus beidh sé ar siúl ar feadh trí oíche sa Taibhdhearc, faoin teideal ‘Múscailt-Cabaret Cábóige’, an 27, 28 Feabhra agus an 1 Márta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Fionnuala Gallagher, Oifigeach Ealaíon OÉ Gaillimh, faoi chlár na bliana seo: “Tabharfaidh téama na bliana seo, ‘Gáire, Cothú, Grá’ deis machnaimh agus gáire dúinn, agus léireoidh sí ár láidreachtaí sna foirmeacha ealaíne ar fad. Tá fáilte roimh chách a bheith páirteach.” Beidh na taispeántais ar fad oscailte Luan go Satharn go dtí an 1 Márta. Tá cóip den chlár nó eolas breise le fáil ón Oifig Ealaíon ar 091 493766 nó 091 495098, nó téigh chuig www.muscailt.nuigalway.ie. Beidh ticéid do na himeachtaí ar fáil ón Socsbox ag 091 492852 nó socsbox@socs.nuigalway.ie. Tá ticéid ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ ar fáil ó Amharclann na Cathrach chomh maith www.tht.ie nó 091 569777. Tá ticéid ‘Múscailt-Cabaret Cábóige’ ar fáil ón Taibhdhearc www.antaibhdhearc.com nó 091 562024. -Críoch-

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CONSENSUS awarded additional €454,000 in Funding from the Irish EPA for research on sustainable consumption

CONSENSUS awarded additional €454,000 in Funding from the Irish EPA for research on sustainable consumption-image

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

CONSENSUS, a research project on sustainable consumption involving NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin researchers, has successfully been awarded an additional €454,000 in funding from the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out further research. It is the first all-island, large-scale research project examining solutions for sustainable consumption in Irish households with more than €1.4 million invested since 2009. CONSENSUS (Consumption Environment Sustainability) will feature on RTÉ’s Eco Eye programme this evening, Tuesday 28th January at 7pm. This episode ‘2050’ is based on the question; “What will the world look like in 2050 and what will these changes mean for us in Ireland?” On the programme, CONSENSUS team members, including Dr. Henrike Rau from the School of Political Science and Sociology, will be discussing how our everyday lives might evolve in the future to reduce our impact on the environment through cultural change, technology and policy innovation. Some of the research found to date includes Persistent Gaps between Water Consumption Concerns and Actions where 80% of respondents stated there was a need to conserve water and 43% felt that they could save more water. Research also found High Levels of Environmental Concern, with 86% stating they were concerned about environmental issues. There was also an Awareness of Food Waste with 89% trying to reduce food waste and 46% composting their food waste. Research also showed High Levels of Car Dependency, with 71% commuting to work, school or college by car and 7% using public transport to commute. Respondents stated A Desire for Government Action on Energy Issues, with 38% saying they would like to source more energy from renewable sources and 14% would like more environmental protection laws. The project’s innovative and collaborative research initiatives have involved stakeholders in the Republic and Northern Ireland along with over 2,000 members from the public. Today, CONSENSUS is announcing its next phase of research, CONSENSUS#2, which will run until December 2015 and will test novel methodologies for identifying and supporting innovations for sustainable consumption practices. It examines innovative and radical actions that society, government and business can address to achieve sustainable household consumption. One aspect of the research will be the development of a lifestyle segmentation model that will identify different segments of the population according to their environmental actions and attitudes. Speaking about the benefits of this research, Dr. Frances Fahy, Department of Geography at NUI Galway commented, “This research will assist in the development of tailored educational, policy and social media initiatives for sustainable behaviours in Ireland, helping to improve their effectiveness. The segmentation model will be basedon the results of our survey of 1,500 people across Ireland, North and South.” The first phase of CONSENSUS also revealed changes in people’s consumption behavior across the life course. CONSENSUS#2 will investigate how certain life events, for example moving home or having a baby can affect consumption activities in relation to physical mobility, including car ownership and use and routes people choose for their daily travel. It will also make recommendations on how to develop effective policies that focus on these life events to encourage more sustainable mobility practices like cycling, walking and public transport use. Dr. Henrike Rau, Environmental Sociologist at NUI Galway and leader of mobility-related research in CONSENSUS#2 states, “We know that people’s consumption habits can change dramatically in response to major life events such as moving to a new place, the transition from education to employment or the arrival of the first child. Our research will focus on whether and how people’s physical mobility change around these events.” Another goal of CONSENSUS#2 will be the establishment of “Living Labs” with Irish householders to trial and evaluate new, sustainable ways of carrying out everyday washing and eating practices. To find out more about CONSENSUS visit www.consensus.ie and to see a short animation video on the Lifestyle Survey visit www.consensus.ie/lifestyle-survey/ -ends-

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Young people & sexual violence: Government failing to prevent rape & sexual violence

Young people & sexual violence: Government failing to prevent rape & sexual violence -image

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald this morning (28 January) launches new Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) research on Young People, Alcohol and Sex, undertaken by Pádraig MacNeela and his research team in NUI Galway. Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director said, ‘this report tells us that without Government action rapes that can be prevented will continue to occur.  The findings are so shocking that the government must immediately take action to prevent further sexual violence. Therefore  RCNI today also launches ‘The Older Child and Sexual Violence: Questions and Challenges in delivering a national response,’ which is a pathway for our government to address the serious gaps and failings in the protection of older children from sexual violence. This research is relentless in demonstrating young people’s inability to talk about sex, never mind negotiate consent. The young people who took part in this research told us they were wholly unprepared for the task of negotiating sexual consent and thus were at risk of sexual violence. Naming crimes of rape and sexual violence remains very difficult for young people, other than in a far too narrow, uninformed manner. Growing up in a binge drinking culture for young Irish people means that reporting crimes and concerns to the appropriate authorities is rarely seen as an option – leaving young sex offenders free to reoffend causing trauma and lifelong harm to others. Decreasing sexual violence is possible and our strategy document shows the way. This will only happen however with sustained resources and actions, in combination across Government agencies. There is little evidence of this at present in relation to the older child. At today’s seminar Dr. Pádraig MacNeela’s will present the stark findings of his research. We are delighted to have with us one of the most published authors on the area of sexual violence and alcohol Dr. Antonia Abbey, from Wayne State University, Michigan, to further guide us in international evidence and best practice. After which Rape Crisis Network brings to you our reflections on the policy implications of this and previous research. The Full Report, Summary of Findings and Recommendations and RCNI Policy Document will be available on www.rcni.ie

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Druid Academy to Train Future Theatre-makers at NUI Galway

Druid Academy to Train Future Theatre-makers at NUI Galway-image

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Today, during the Belfast run of The Colleen Bawn, Druid Theatre Company and NUI Galway announced a new Druid Academy, to transform Drama and Theatre teaching in Ireland, as part of a 10 year partnership between the two organisations. Part of the Centre for Theatre and Performance at NUI Galway, the Druid Academy covers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Drama, Theatre Studies and Performing Arts, as well as PhD research opportunities.  The Druid Academy will provide training in drama that meets best international practice while also embedding the values associated with Druid Theatre into the teaching curriculum. Borne out of a vision to create excellent theatre, teaching in the Druid Academy will follow the Druid approach, focusing on ensemble as a mode of performance, rigorous critical analysis of theatre, by both practitioners and audiences, and an awareness of the importance of audience, in a variety of locations: locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Speaking at the launch of the Druid Academy, Professor Patrick Lonergan, Head of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway, said: “The Druid Academy allows us to bring the best of the University together with the best of the Irish theatre world. Druid have for many years showed that Galway can be a wonderful place to create theatre – and that it can be an ideal base to bring new Irish drama to audiences all over the world. By working with Druid, we will be able to foster new generations of theatre-makers and playwrights, who will change the way we produce drama in Galway, Ireland, and the world”. Led by Tony Award-winning Director, Dr Garry Hynes, Druid staff will work alongside NUI Galway's Drama and Theatre scholars to provide world-class training in directing, design, playwriting, and many other areas of theatre studies. In a partnership that will see close integration between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama scholars, Dr Garry Hynes takes up the role of Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway, with Drama students benefitting from regular workshops and master classes with the renowned Theatre Director. The Druid Academy will also feature other Druid staff including the Druid Director-in-Residence, Thomas Conway. Thomas, a practising professional director and dramaturge, will have particular responsibility for developing the performance elements of the Druid Academy. The Druid Director-in-Residence will play a key role in building relationships between Druid staff and NUI Galway Drama and theatre students and in developing the practice and performance aspects of the Drama curriculum. Attending the launch of the Druid Academy, Belfast-born actor, Marty Rea, did a dramatic reading of Lucy Caldwall’s LEAVES with NUI Galway Donegal student, Bridín Ní Mhaoldomhnaigh.  Commenting on the benefits of the Druid Academy, Marty Rea said: “There is a beautiful legacy in the fact that Druid was a company founded in Galway, by NUI Galway students, and that it will be passing the baton on to new generations of theatre students in Galway - strengthening the endeavour of establishing Galway city as a centre of Irish and international theatre excellence.” The Academy will also lead to the development of new courses, including three new MA programmes. These are in Irish Drama, Writing for Theatre, and Theatre Practice and Production. NUI Galway also offers a part-time MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, and has two very popular undergraduate Drama programmes. Students of the Druid Academy will gain a unique insight into the world of professional theatre when they get the opportunity to stage an annual professional-standard production, directed by the Druid Director-in-Residence.  Artistic Director of Druid, Dr Garry Hynes, said: “This is a very significant relationship not just for Druid but for Irish Theatre generally. I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues both in Druid and NUI Galway in seeing this relationship flourish". The relationship between NUI Galway and Druid is a long and fruitful one. The company was founded on campus in 1975 by graduates Marie Mullen, Garry Hynes and the late Mick Lally. Through the years the two organisations have collaborated at various times including notably the housing of the Druid archive at the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway and the establishment of a playwriting award in memory of the late Jerome Hynes who was General Manager of Druid at a formative stage in the company's development. The three founders, as well as being graduates, have all been awarded Honorary Degrees by the University. Three years ago that relationship was formalised into a strategic partnership that saw Druid and NUI Galway join forces to train the next generation of theatre-makers. Today that partnership moves on to a new level with the announcement of the Druid Academy. Commenting at the launch, President of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne, said: “The development of Drama and Theatre Studies represents a natural fit for NUI Galway given the vibrant theatre world in Galway. Our Drama and Theatre offering has gone from strength to strength thanks to a unique collaboration with world-class theatre-makers like Druid.  The Druid Academy represents the culmination of a long and fruitful partnership between Druid and NUI Galway and provides our students with unique access to some of Ireland’s leading theatre-makers”. Students interested in finding out more about programmes in the Druid Academy should visit: www.nuigalway.ie/drama

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NUI Galway Researchers Discover New Risk Factor for Schizophrenia

NUI Galway Researchers Discover New Risk Factor for Schizophrenia-image

Friday, 31 January 2014

Research led by NUI Galway and the University of Aberdeen published in the Journal of Cell Science Professor Sanbing Shen of the Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has led a multi-institutional study which has identified a novel rare risk factor linked with mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder which although many genetic risk factors have been identified, no effective treatment is available. Professor Shen and his colleagues have identified for the first time that changes in a little known gene called ULK4 were observed in individuals with schizophrenia. Unlike many other genetic studies, Shen and colleagues have also characterised how ULK4 functions in the brain. When levels of ULK4 are decreased, neuronal (brain) cells tend to function less well, leading to reduced synaptic function and other changes which are also known as risk factors of schizophrenia. The scientists were also able to show that ULK4 is essential for the formation of the nerve fibres which connect the two sides of our brains. The research not only demonstrates that ULK4 dysregulation is a risk factor for schizophrenia, but also that ULK4 plays an essential role in proper brain formation. The findings published in the Journal of Cell Science (Thursday, 30th January) were supported by genetic data provided by the International Schizophrenia Consortium, and confirmed using new data generated from other mental illness groups including autism, major depression, and bipolar disorder. Follow up studies already underway in NUI Galway will lead to a better understanding of the disease and how drugs may be developed to target ULK4 for the treatment of mental illness. The research was funded by Science Foundation Ireland, NUI Galway, Cunningham Trust, Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance, Medical Research Scotland and the University of Aberdeen. Link to Journal of Cell Science http://jcs.biologists.org/content/127/3/630 -ends-

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December 2013

NUI Galway Report Values Ireland’s Ocean Economy at €1.2bn or Equivalent to 0.8% of GDP in 2010

NUI Galway Report Values Ireland’s Ocean Economy at €1.2bn or Equivalent to 0.8% of GDP in 2010-image

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report shows the sector employed 16,300 and had a turnover of €3.5bn NUI Galway’s Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) has published its second report on Ireland’s Ocean Economy as part of their ongoing process of collection and analysis of marine socio-economic data in Ireland. Results from the report show that in 2010, the direct economic value of the Irish ocean economy was €1.2 billion or approximately 0.8% of GDP. The sector had a turnover of €3.5 billion, and provided employment for approximately 16,300 people (Full Time Equivalent). The report allows for the comparative analysis of the contribution of the marine sector to the national economy in the 2007-2010 period. Summary 2007-2010 Established marine industries such as shipping, maritime transport, marine tourism and marine manufacturing, construction and engineering recorded a significant fall in activity. Sea fisheries experienced a fall in overall turnover but gross value added and employment increased Aquaculture increased turnover and gross value added, but employment fell In comparison with the established marine industries, the emerging marine industries have seen growth. High tech marine products and services, marine biotechnology, bio-products and marine renewable energy all recorded an increase in turnover and employment but gross value added was unchanged or decreased. Marine commerce as an emerging sector saw a significant decrease, in line with the general economy and the international financial markets.    Dr Amaya Vega (SEMRU) said “Our research profiles the ocean economy, as a whole and by sector, in a way that allows us to observe and monitor progress on meeting the targets set out in the Government’s Integrated Marine Plan (IMP) for Ireland - Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth (HOOW) (2012). The full report is available to download online at www.nuigalway.ie/semru/publications.html Based in the College of Business, Public Policy and Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, SEMRU conducts research in a variety of marine related issues. The main research focus of the unit is on the economic importance of coastal and off-shore marine environments. This involves examining the economic utility of the marine environment (e.g. transportation, recreation) and ecological value (e.g. fisheries, aquaculture) derived from the productivity of associated ecosystems.  The coastal and contiguous marine environment surrounding Ireland and the EU in general provides the geographical focus for the research carried out in the unit. Consideration of the human dimension in the management of marine ecosystems is also a critical component of all research projects undertaken. Since its establishment in 2009, SEMRU has been successful in attracting research funding to support the expansion of its marine socio-economic research programme. The unit is now a partner in a number of European funded projects in the area of the socio-economics of the marine environment. For more information on SEMRU, please visit www.nuigalway.ie/semru/. Ireland’s Ocean Economy Report Series is funded through the Beaufort Marine Research Award, which is carried out under the Sea Change Strategy and the Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation (2006-2013), with the support of the Marine Institute, funded under the Marine Research Sub-Programme of the National Development Plan 2007–2013. ENDS

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NUI Galway Academic Receives Prestigious Human Rights Award

NUI Galway Academic Receives Prestigious Human Rights Award-image

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Dr Ciara Smyth of NUI Galway’s School of Law was presented with a prestigious Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award in Tilburg recently. Nominated by the Law Faculty Board of Leiden University where she graduated with a doctorate, she received the award for her PhD thesis on ‘The Common European Asylum System and the Rights of the Child: An Exploration of Meaning and Compliance’. Commenting on the award, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway, said: “Dr Smyth’s work in the broad areas of asylum an immigration is cutting-edge and engaged. This award is concrete evidence of its rich academic value and impact internationally.” The Max van der Stoel Human Rights Award was established in 1995 as an incentive for students and PhD students who have written a thesis or any other academic work in the field of human rights. The award was an initiative of the Law Faculty and Studium Generale of Tilburg University and was joined by the School of Human Rights Research as of 1998.  Since 2002, the Human Rights Award is named after Max van der Stoel, the former OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, in honour of his work in that field. -Ends-

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CONSENSUS, Aimed at Capturing Sustainable Consumption in Ireland, Announces New Animations and Updated Website

CONSENSUS, Aimed at Capturing Sustainable Consumption in Ireland, Announces New Animations and Updated Website-image

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The CONSENSUS research project on sustainable consumption has designed a set of exciting video animations on their research. CONSENSUS, five year collaboration between NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, represents the first comprehensive analysis of sustainable consumption in Irish households on an all-island basis. NUI Galway’s Dr Frances Fahy and Dr Henrike Rau lead CONSENSUS’s lifestyle, governance and mobility research. The new videos provide an overview of CONSENSUS’s key findings and innovative research processes, and coincide with the launch of a brand new project website, www.consensus.ie, containing CONSENSUS’s latest reports, publications and a regularly-updated blog. The website includes animation providing an overview of CONSENSUS's research on sustainable transport, food, energy and water consumption. Another animation discusses CONSENSUS’s collaborative visioning process that re-imagined how we might carry out our daily washing, eating and heating practices in the future. Finally, an animated infographic completes the video set depicting key results from CONSENSUS’s all-Ireland survey of 1,500 households on sustainable consumption. Since its launch in 2009, CONSENSUS has been committed to collaborative research, engaging over 100,000 members of the public and 100 government, private sector, and civil society stakeholders through workshops and interactive exhibits. Postgraduate and Postdoctoral researchers from NUI Galway’s School of Political Science and Sociology and School of Geography and Archeology, Mike Hynes and Mary Jo Lavelle are researching CONSENSUS's innovative work on sustainable transport and lifestyles. The short animations can be view here, or for more information on CONSENSUS visit www.consensus.ie  -Ends-  

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NUI Galway Medical Graduates Deliver Intern-led Teaching programme to Final Medical Students

NUI Galway Medical Graduates Deliver Intern-led Teaching programme to Final Medical Students-image

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The final year of NUI Galway’s undergraduate medical curriculum has been enhanced by an intern teaching programme, which has been developed and delivered in first semester of the current academic year. Newly graduated medical doctors teach NUI Galway’s final year medical students and simultaneously act as mentors and role models. This is achieved ‘by on the ward training’ whereby medical interns teach groups of five medical students and take them through the assessment of common patient presentations they encounter, covering history-taking, examination, clinical reasoning and management skills essential to becoming a competent doctor. Teaching takes place at the bedside, in a clinical context. This initiative was conceived and designed by Drs Jennifer Scott and Miroslawa Gorecka, two recent graduates from the University’s School of Medicine. The teaching is ward based and revolves around bedside and clinical teaching, with 20 interns participating in this programme in semester one. Dr Yvonne Finn, Academic Coordinator, School of Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “While the concept of intern teaching is not new, this is the first time that it has been developed into a structured programme. This allows teaching to cover topics in each of the key specialities and offers intern teaching to all final medical students who are currently on clinical placements in Galway University Hospitals.” There are plans to continue this Intern-led Teaching Programme into semester two when those students who have been in the Medical Academies in semester one return to Galway. The final medical students will themselves be graduating in June 2014, and it is anticipated that many of them, having experienced the benefit of the Intern-led Teaching Programme, will volunteer their time and skills to teach and thus continue this valuable teaching programme. -Ends-

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NUI Galway Biomaterial Based Research Institute (NFB) Wins Medical Technology Industry Excellence Award

NUI Galway Biomaterial Based Research Institute (NFB) Wins Medical Technology Industry Excellence Award-image

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) has been presented with a Medical Technology Industry Excellence Award for 2013. NUI Galway’s Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials has won the 2013 Academic/Emerging Medical Technology Company of the Year-Silver Award, was awarded at a ceremony in Galway recently. The awards, established in 2007, are supported by Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA), Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland and aimed at recognising and promoting outstanding performance in the medical technology sector in Ireland. The NFB is an academia-industry-clinician partnership which has established collaborative projects with a large number of leading medical device companies. These projects focus on trouble-shooting biomaterial-based issues in medical devices such as pre-clinical evaluation of prototypes, and validation of novel medical device technologies through clinician-led innovation. Joint efforts between the NFB and partners address biomaterial-based medical device solutions for unmet clinical niche markets. NFB’s unique biomaterial platform technologies help to enrich companies’ existing portfolios through product enhancements and adding value to their existing technology. Collaborative projects with the NFB add to existing devices through process and solution development and consultative support. The market share, head count and profitability of the NFB’s medical device industry partners represent significant economic benefit to Ireland. Professor Abhay Pandit, NFB Team Leader said, “It is an honour to be recognised at the Med Tech Awards. The NFB prides itself on its collaborations with the medical device industry having engaged with nearly forty companies, licenced one of our extracellular matrix technologies and created a spin out company. We are very thankful that our hard work and achievements have been acknowledged.” -Ends-  

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