Thursday, 12 September 2013

Community initiative asks; how should Galway develop in the next 25 years?   How would you like to see Galway? What type of transport system should we have? Where and how should the city develop? Galway 2040 is a community initiative to address these questions and create a vision for the future of Galway city and its environs. The initiative began in 2010 and is divided into a number of key pillars including (i) Education, (ii) Innovation and Industry and (iii) Infrastructure and Environment.  Galway 2040 is about stimulating ideas, self-determination, about setting out objectives and developing strategies to meet them. Planning for medium to long term, including inter-generational planning, is not something that always comes easy but it is critical for the growth of the region that there is a clear vision for the future – 2040.  Earlier this year, a highly successful seminar was held by the Galway 2040 Education pillar. A follow-up seminar that focuses on Infrastructure and Environment will take place on Friday, 27 September. The seminar will be held in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway beginning at 9am and finishing at lunchtime. The challenge of creating and managing a sustainable infrastructure to meet the needs of Galway in 2040 is of great significance. The seminar will discuss many aspects associated with the growth of a city in the 21st century so that it will best meet the needs of the people who live, work and visit the city.  Among these issues that are critical are (i) the identification of the necessary infrastructure and transportation systems that will facilitate the growth of the city, (ii) the development of a modern infrastructure for the city that is in harmony with the rich environment (iii) the impact of the built environment on the natural environment and (iv) the interaction between the people and the infrastructure/environment. The seminar will feature a number of speakers from diverse backgrounds who have considerable expertise in the wide range of aspects that impinge on infrastructure and the environment. The speakers are drawn from the public, academic and private sectors and include Professor Greg Lloyd, University of Ulster, Brendan McGrath, Galway City Manager, Professors Kevin Leyden and Colin Brown, NUI Galway, and Gavin Duffy of Realsim.  There will be a very strong emphasis on constructive discussion where audience participation will be encouraged. This will be facilitated by a panel session with participants drawn from various sectors and interest groups in Galway. The objective of the seminar is to identify the critical infrastructure/environment issues which will help chart a path for the next steps in Galway 2040. Further information regarding the seminar, including the full programme, and on the Galway 2040 initiative may be found on http://galway2040.ie/ or by contacting at info@galway2040.ie. Attendance at the seminar is free of charge and attendees may register in advance through the website. -ends-

Friday, 13 September 2013

NUI Galway PhD Researcher, Yvonne Lang, was recently awarded the ‘Best Oral Presentation in the Life Sciences prize at the 37th Annual Symposium of the Microscopy Society of Ireland (MSI). A native of County Leitrim, Yvonne is currently pursuing her PhD under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit and Dr David Finn at the Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB) at NUI Galway. Yvonne's PhD research focuses on the use of diatoms as biotemplates to generate structures with elaborate hierarchical architecture. Diatoms are ubiquitous in freshwater and seawater environments and to date over 100,000 different species have been identified, each with its own unique architecture. The potential applications of these ornate algae range from roles in photonics to separation science to catalysis to drug delivery. Professor Abhay Pandit, Director of the NFB at NUI Galway, said:  “Yvonne’s achievement is a testament to the high quality of research being carried out in the NFB at NUI Galway. Her presentation described how various microscopy techniques enabled her to monitor chemical and architectural modifications to microscopic unicellular algae called the diatom.” Professor Pandit’s goal at the Science Foundation Ireland funded NFB is to harness this natural resource to prepare biocompatible structures for drug delivery. -Ends-

Monday, 16 September 2013

NUI Galway will hold their annual Open Days on Friday, 4 October and Saturday, 5 October. The Open Days will provide an opportunity for prospective students to talk to NUI Galway students and staff, explore the campus and its facilities, and find out more about courses of interest. Friday's Open Day, on 4 October, will run from 9am to 3pm and is aimed at school groups, although individuals are also welcome to attend. Running from 10am to 3pm, Saturday's Open Day on 5 October is for students thinking about university and their parents and families. The Open Days are expected to attract some 8,000 visitors and are tailored towards Leaving Certificate and mature students who are interested in studying at NUI Galway. Parents, guardians and teachers are also invited on campus to sample life at university. With over 60 degree programmes on offer at NUI Galway, lecturers and students will be on hand at more than 80 exhibition stands to answer questions on courses, CAO points, employability, and career progression routes. Many of the newer courses at the University have been designed to be responsive to the changing needs of the employment market and meet the needs of the Smart Economy. Mature students are also welcome to attend the Open Days to meet with current mature students and lecturers, to learn more about the third-level options available to them. This year’s Open Days include a dedicated talk for mature students, highlighting the wide range of support available at the University.  NUI Galway has currently over 900 Mature Students studying across all degree programmes and make up approximately 16% of the student undergraduate population. Trish Bourke, NUI Galway Mature Students Officer, said: “Embarking on third-level education can be quite a challenge for many mature students. Some may have been out of formal education for some time but it is important to highlight that mature students still perform very well academically each year with 30 mature scholarships awarded for excellence in September 2013. Open Day is the opportune time to meet with lecturers and find out all you need to know before applying through the CAO.” The Saturday Open Day also includes a Parents’ Programme including an introduction to the University life and a panel information session on key issues such as fees, funding, accommodation, as well as looking ahead to the jobs market for graduates. The Open Days will feature a mix of taster sessions and short lectures to provide a feel for university life. Events will include hands-on science workshops, interactive demonstrations with cameras, media equipment and podcasts, an expert panel to talk about jobs for Arts students, and interactive sessions with IT systems and robotics. Commenting on the importance of the NUI Galway Open Days, Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications, says: “Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions a student will ever make. Parents play a key role in supporting students as they take this important next step. Open Day is the perfect opportunity for parents to ensure they have access to all of the information they need to support sons and daughters through their university career. We are encouraging anyone with an interest in studying at NUI Galway to come along, talk to our lecturers and current students, find out about the courses, check out the facilities and decide for yourself whether NUI Galway feels right for you.” During the Open Days, tours of the campus will allow prospective students to visit the Engineering Building, the largest of its kind in Ireland; state-of the-art sports complex and gym, home to 45 student sports clubs; and Áras na Mac Léinn, the base for over 100 student societies. Tours of the University library and student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. For further details on NUI Galway Open Days, or to view the full programme, visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. -ENDS- Laethanta Oscailte an Fhómhair in OÉ Gaillimh  Beidh Lá Oscailte OÉ Gaillimh ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair agus Dé Sathairn, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair. Deis atá sna Laethanta Oscailte do dhaoine ar spéis leo freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh amach anseo labhairt le mic léinn agus foireann OÉ Gaillimh, seal a chaitheamh ag siúl thart ar an gcampas agus na háiseanna breátha ar fad a fheiceáil agus níos mó eolais a fháil faoi chúrsaí. Dírithe ar ghrúpaí scoile atá an Lá Oscailte a bheidh ar siúl idir 9am agus 3pm Dé hAoine, an 4 Deireadh Fómhair, cé go mbeidh fáilte roimh dhuine ar bith cuairt a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil an lá sin chomh maith. Is do mhic léinn atá ag smaoineamh ar aghaidh a thabhairt ar an Ollscoil, dá dtuismitheoirí agus dá dteaghlach an Lá Oscailte, a bheidh ar siúl idir 10am agus 3pm Dé Sathairn, an 5 Deireadh Fómhair. Táimid ag súil go mbeidh breis is 8,000 cuairteoir ag triall ar an Ollscoil an dá lá seo a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leo aird mic léinn Ardteistiméireachta agus mic léinn lánfhásta araon a tharraingt ar OÉ Gaillimh. Tá míle fáilte roimh thuismitheoirí, roimh chaomhnóirí agus roimh mhúinteoirí cuairt a thabhairt ar an gcampas freisin chun blaiseadh a fháil de shaol na hollscoile. Tá breis is 60 clár céime á reáchtáil in OÉ Gaillimh anois, agus beidh léachtóirí agus mic léinn ag breis is 80 seastán agus iad ar bís le ceisteanna faoi chúrsaí éagsúla, faoi phointí CAO, faoi dheiseanna fostaíochta agus faoi ghairmeacha beatha a fhreagairt. Is é atá mar aidhm le go leor de na cúrsaí atá bunaithe san Ollscoil le blianta beaga anuas a chinntiú go mbeidh na céimithe in ann poist a fháil dóibh féin agus go mbeidh siad breá ábalta dlús a chur faoi fhorbairt an Gheilleagair Ghlic amach anseo. Tá fáilte roimh mhic léinn lánfhásta, chomh maith, chuig na Laethanta Oscailte chun go gcasfaidh siad le mic léinn lánfhásta reatha agus le léachtóirí chun eolas a fháil faoi na roghanna tríú leibhéal atá ar fáil dóibhsean. Beidh caint ar leith ar siúl do mhic léinn lánfhásta chun léargas a thabhairt dóibh ar an réimse mór tacaíochta atá ar fáil san Ollscoil.  Faoi láthair, tá breis is 900 Mac Léinn lánfhásta ag staidéar ar chlár céime san Ollscoil agus is ionann iad agus timpeall 16% de líon iomlán na mac léinn fochéime. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Trish Bourke, Oifigeach na Mac Léinn Lánfhásta in OÉ Gaillimh: “Is mór an dúshlán do roinnt mac léinn lánfhásta aghaidh a thabhairt ar oideachas tríú leibhéal. D’fhéadfadh an t-oideachas a bheith fágtha ina ndiaidh ag roinnt acu le tamall fada ach tá sé tábhachtach a léiriú go n-éiríonn go hiontach le mic léinn lánfhásta ó thaobh na hacadúlachta de gach bliain agus bronntar 30 scoláireacht ar mhic léinn lánfhásta as a sárchaighdeáin i Meán Fómhair 2013. Deis iontach atá sa Lá Oscailte le casadh le léachtóirí agus aon eolas atá uait a fháil sula ndéanfaidh tú iarratas ar an CAO.” Beidh Clár do Thuismitheoirí ar siúl Dé Sathairn, chun eolas a thabhairt do thuismitheoirí faoi shaol na hOllscoile agus beidh seisiún eolais painéil ann chun eolas a thabhairt faoi tháillí, maoiniú, lóistín agus an fhostaíocht a bheidh ar fáil amach anseo do na céimithe. Beidh idir sheisiúin agus léachtaí gairide ar siúl i rith na Laethanta Oscailte le blaiseadh a thabhairt do chách ar an gcineál saoil a chaitheann mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-imeachtaí a bheidh ar siúl beidh ceardlanna praiticiúla eolaíochta, taispeántais idirghníomhacha le ceamaraí, ríomhairí agus podchraoltaí, painéal saineolaithe a labhróidh faoi phoist do mhic léinn sna Dána, agus seisiúin idirghníomhacha le córais IT agus le róbataic. Ag labhairt di faoi thábhacht na Laethanta Oscailte, dúirt Caroline Loughnane, an Stiúrthóir Margaíochta agus Cumarsáide in OÉ Gaillimh: “Ceann de na cinntí is tábhachtaí a dhéanfaidh mac léinn go brách an ollscoil a bhfreastalóidh sé/sí uirthi a roghnú. Tá ról tábhachtach ag tuismitheoirí tacú le mic léinn agus iad i mbun an cinneadh sin a dhéanamh. Is é an Lá Oscailte an deis is fearr do thuismitheoirí a chinntiú go bhfuil an t-eolas ar fad acu chun tacú le mac nó le hiníon i rith a dtréimhse ag an ollscoil. Molaimid do dhuine ar bith ar spéis leo staidéar in OÉ Gaillimh teacht chuig an Lá Oscailte, labhairt leis na léachtóirí agus leis na mic léinn reatha, eolas a fháil faoi chúrsaí, breathnú ar na háiseanna agus a fháil amach duit féin an bhfeileann OÉ Gaillimh duitse.” I rith na Laethanta Oscailte, tabharfar deis do chuairteoirí sciuird a thabhairt ar an bhFoirgneamh Innealtóireachta, an foirgneamh is mó dá leithéid in Éirinn; ar an ionad spóirt den scoth agus giomnáisiam, ionad a bhíonn in úsáid go rialta ag baill an 45 club spóirt atá bunaithe anseo san Ollscoil; agus ar Áras na Mac Léinn – áit a mbíonn imeachtaí ar siúl ag an mbreis is 100 cumann atá bunaithe anseo san Ollscoil. Beidh deis ag cuairteoirí cuairt a thabhairt ar leabharlann na hOllscoile agus dul chomh fada leis na háiseanna lóistín atá ar fáil anseo ar an gcampas freisin más mian leo. Tá tuilleadh eolais maidir leis na Laethanta Oscailte agus clár iomlán le fáil ag http://www.nuigalway.ie/opendays/. -CRÍOCH-

Monday, 16 September 2013

NUI Galway’s twelfth annual Volunteering Fair will take place on Wednesday, 25 September in the Bailey Allen Hall, from 1-5pm. With over 2,000 students, staff and members of the general public expected to attend, the Fair is part of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway. Over 80 charities and community organisations will showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities in Galway. The Fair will be officially opened by Ruairí McKiernan, Social Innovator and member of the Council of State. He is a multi-award winning social innovator who was appointed to the Council of State last year by President Michael D. Higgins. Ruairí is the founder of the pioneering SpunOut national youth organisation and his work focuses on social justice, health and community empowerment campaigns, projects and publishing. He works internationally with numerous non-profit organisations and contributes regularly to the national media. He has recently completed a 'Hitching for Hope' hitch-hiking tour of Ireland and is currently writing a book about social change in Ireland. Lorraine McIlrath, Coordinator of the Community Knowledge Initiative at NUI Galway, said: “The ALIVE student volunteering programme at NUI Galway celebrates a decade of activity with over 9,000 students attaining the ALIVE Certificate.  Our community partners are essential to ALIVE and play a central role in providing volunteer roles within the community. Volunteering and civic engagement are a hallmark of the NUI Galway experience and  students continue to actively seek volunteering opportunities with homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students benefit enormously from getting involved and gain valuable experience, while bringing energy, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn.” Exhibitors at the Volunteering Fair will include: Gorta, COPE Galway, Amnesty International, Brothers of Charity, Croí Na Gaillimhe, Home Start Athenry, Ability West, Green Sod Ireland, Goal, Age Action West, AIDS West and Hope Foundation. ALIVE - A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience – was established by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution the University students make to Galway by volunteering. Through this programme students can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded by NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. To date over 9,000 students have been recognised for their volunteering commitment within a variety of pathways, enabling NUI Galway to become a role model in promoting skills related to democratic participation and civic engagement amongst the student body. To book a stand or for further information, please go to www.nuigalway.ie/cki or contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email cki@nuigalway.ie -ENDS-

Monday, 16 September 2013

On one of the greatest days for Galway Camogie, NUI Galway is proud of its links with the Intermediate and Senior All-Ireland titles coming to the county yesterday with a total of 16 former and current students involved in the three finals. At Senior and Intermediate level, both captains Lorraine Ryan and Sinead Keane, are former students of NUI Galway and played for the University’s camogie club for many years, winning a number of Ashbourne shield titles. Current students on the Galway Senior side include current NUI Galway Sports Scholarship students Niamh McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly, whilst Sports Scholarship student Aisling Dunphy was centre forward on the Kilkenny side. Former Sports Scholarship holders Niamh Kilkenny and Susan Earner were also on the Galway side. Current student Siobhan Coen was on the panel for yesterday’s game, as were former students Noreen Coen, Aoife Donohue, Colette Gill and Sinead Keane. At Intermediate level a number of senior substitutes starred on the winning side of the All-Ireland final. Colette Gill, Sinead Keane, Caitriona Cormican and Aoife Donohue were on the starting line-up with current medical student Caitriona Lee on the panel. A further link with the Galway success is NUI Galway Camogie Ashbourne Cup manager Tony Ward, who was the manager of both successful sides. The NUI Galway link to All-Ireland final Sunday was not just confined to the senior game. Apart from Aisling Dunphy on the Kilkenny side, there were a number of current and former students with other sides. On the Kildare side that captured the All-Ireland junior side were former student Niamh Concannon and current Ashbourne player Melissa Lyons. On the Limerick panel was Mary O’Callaghan, who is also a current student in NUI Galway. NUI Galway Gaelic Games Officer Michael O’Connor is not surprised at the huge contribution of NUI Galway players on all sides on All Ireland weekend: “A significant number of players that starred on the Galway sides are part of the long running scholarship programme initiated by NUI Galway sport. A big cohort of the women who played on Sunday have a past and present involvement with NUI Galway camogie, having played with the University’s many winning awards and starring in many games over the last decade, or as recent at the most recent Ashbourne cup.” He added: “No fewer than 16 players were involved in the three finals with huge performances provided by all, no more so than in the Senior final with Niamh McGrath as top scorer and Ailish O’Reilly grabbing the all-important goal. I would also like to pay a special tribute to dual winning manager Tony Ward who has transformed NUI Galway camogie in his role as Ashbourn manager with his efforts over the last season.” -ENDS-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host a series of Sean-Nós Singing workshops beginning in September. The workshops will be led by the Sean-Nós Singer-in-Residence Joe John Mac An Iomaire, a singer of international renown, in the sean-nós tradition.    Joe won the prestigious Corn Uí Riada (1975, 1977) and Comórtas na bhFear (1968, 1978) at the Oireachtas, and has travelled to sing at festivals throughout Ireland and overseas, particularly in Boston. The workshops will take place at the Centre for Irish Studies on Distillery Road at 7pm each Wednesday, beginning 25 September. The workshops are free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. 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. For further details contact Samantha Williams at 091 492051 or samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS- ___________________________ Ceardlann amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh Cuirfear tús le sraith ceardlann amhránaíochta ar an sean-nós in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ag 7pm, Dé Céadaoin, 25 Meán Fómhai, 2013. Is é Joe John Mac An Iomaire atá ceaptha mar Amhránaí Cónaitheach in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh i mbliana a bheidh mar stiúrthóir na gceardlann. Tá Corn Uí Riada buaite faoi dhó ag Joe (1975, 1977), agus Comórtas na bhFear ag an Oireachtas (1968, 1978) agus is minic ó shin é ag canadh ag féilte in Éirinn agus thar lear, go mórmhór i mBoston mar aoí speisailta de chuid  Chonradh na Gaeilge sa chathair sin. Is sa Seomra Seimineáir in Ionad an Léinn Éireannaigh, Bóthar na Drioglainne, Gaillimh a bheidh na ceardlanna ar siúl. Tá cead isteach saor in aisce agus fáilte roimh chách. Tuilleadh eolais ó Samantha Williams ag 091 512428 nó samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie. -CRÍOCH-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The project will locate research at the heart of patient care at University Hospital Galway Work has begun on NUI Galway’s €20m Clinical Research Facility and Translational Research Facility (CRF-TRF). The contract to construct the four-storey building (gross floor area 5,345m²) has been awarded to BAM Building Ltd. The construction period is anticipated to be 16 months and will create 125 construction jobs at its peak. The CRF-TRF aims to facilitate cutting-edge medical research side-by-side with patient care in University Hospital Galway. This sharing of medical expertise and accommodation including HSE in-patient facilities will help inform new strands of clinical research. The Clinical Research aspect of the facility is being largely funded by the Health Research Board (HRB). The CRF-TRF building is located on the grounds of University Hospital Galway and is directly adjacent to the University’s Clinical Science Institute, UHG’s Critical Care Facilities, Ward Accommodation Block and the Maternity Wards. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne said “this development captures the essence of our work in biomedicine at NUI Galway, allowing clinicians that work with patients the scope to undertake research at the highest level, and inform that research with the daily reality of patient needs. I welcome the support of the HRB which has allowed us to locate the CRF-TRF facility adjacent to Galway University Hospital in partnership with the Health Services Executive.” He added “The benefits of this facility include the ability to provide access to cutting-edge clinical trials and access to novel therapies for patients in the West of Ireland. Clinical care provided in a research-intensive environment has been proven internationally to result in the best patient outcomes. As a result, patient care will improve, and the ability of our hospital to attract and retain the very best medical and allied health staff will be improved.” The Translational Research Facility will be on the second and third floor of the building and will accommodate open and flexible lab spaces. It will have direct links to the Clinical Science Institute where many of the University’s medical students are located, at both ground and second floor levels. The TRF will be fully owned and operated by the National University of Ireland Galway. The HRB Clinical Research Facility occupies the ground and first floors. This facility will form part of an Irish Network of Clinical Research Facilities which will allow patients access to state of the art clinical research in stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials and immunology. It will also have a space specially designed for clinical research in regenerative medicine. The CRF will have direct links to the existing hospital at both ground and first floor levels. The CRF will be fully owned and operated by the Health Services Executive and University Hospital Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

NUI Galway will have seven current and former students on the Mayo Senior football panel for the All-Ireland Football Final against Dublin on Sunday, 22 September. In this year’s Championship, Mayo qualified for their second successive All-Ireland final by defeating Tyrone, and will now face Dublin in the final. The Mayo squad contains a large number of current and former students including Ger Cafferkey, Jason Doherty, Alan Dillon, Conor O’Shea, Shane McHale, Chris Barrett and Cathal Freeman. Former Inter-County star James Nallen, who is a selector with the Mayo side, is a Chief Technical Officer in NUI Galway’s School of Physics. Dr Pat Morgan, Vice-President for the Student Experience at NUI Galway, said: “So many of our students have represented Mayo in football over the years, and we hope this year that our students and graduates will have cause to celebrate, bridge the 62 year gap, and bring the Sam Maguire home to Mayo.” Dr Morgan also invited NUI Galway alumni, friends and supporters to a pre-match breakfast brunch and panel discussion in the Gresham Hotel. The event starts at 11am and the panel will include NUI Galway graduates, John Maughan, John O’Mahony and Tommy Carr, with Éamon Horan of RTÉ Sport as MC. Tickets cost €15 and pre-booking is necessary, online at www.nuigalway.ie/alumni or by telephone on 091 493750. -ENDS-

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute for Environmental, Marine and Energy Research is hosting its annual Research Open Day on Tuesday, 24 September, from 9am to 5.30pm.  The day will include keynote talks from experts including Dr Niall McDonagh, Executive Scientific Secretary of the European Marine Board, and Tony Juniper, leading UK Sustainability Campaigner, who will focus on how to prioritise the environment in the face of ongoing economic struggles.  Research leaders from the Ryan Institute will also be on hand to address the priorities in areas including Energy, Biodiversity and Bioresources, and Climate Change, and attendees will have the opportunity to meet researchers and discuss issues during the poster and networking sessions.  The afternoon will be dedicated to a special session highlighting research in the University’s Centre for Health from Environment. According to Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway: “Understanding how global concerns relate to our region, and likewise putting local research in a global context, is important for the Institute. Our annual Research Day provides the opportunity for us to share our work with the local community, and getting thoughts and insights from those for whom our work aims to benefit.” Dr Martina Prendergast, Strategic Development Manager with the Ryan Institute, added: “We are also delighted to welcome Dr Cathal Gallagher, Head of Research and Development of Inland Fisheries Ireland.  Given the interest in the West of the possible development of a major aquaculture operation, we expect Cathal’s talk and the following Q&A session to be of particular interest.” The Ryan Institute Research Day will take place in the Orbsen Building, NUI Galway, with registration beginning at 8:30am. The Research Day is free to attend and open to all, but please RSVP to ryaninstitute@nuigalway.ie. -ENDS-

Thursday, 19 September 2013

UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre study aims to give recognition to children’s voices NUI Galway researchers are seeking volunteers to help answer questions about how children and young people in Ireland experience, and cope, with the process of their parents’ separation and divorce and subsequent changed family life. The research has been approved by NUI Galway’s Ethics Committee and will be conducted by Professor Chris Curtin, Dr Bernadine Brady and Ms Ann O’Kelly at the NUI Galway UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. Ann O’Kelly, the main researcher on this project, is a doctoral fellow at the UNESCO Centre and is also a family mediator with the Family Mediation Service, with many years’ experience of working with parents and children who are experiencing separation and divorce.  She says “Children’s views are vital to research of this kind to develop more knowledge about what parents’ separation or divorce is like for children in Ireland and is particularly important given that separation and divorce are increasing in this country. Research of this kind has the potential to inform children, parents and policy makers about services needed by children at this time.” Children and young people aged 8-17 years are invited to participate, provided they and their parents have given informed written consent. Informed consent means that a person gives their permission to take part in research with full knowledge of what the research is about, what it is for and what risks, if any, it might involve. The research team only will have access to the data gathered, with confidentiality being guaranteed in accordance with the NUI Galway Code of Practice relating to research data.  Each child and young person will be invited to choose a ‘nickname’ and no identifying information (such as location) will be used when reporting on the research findings. As a family mediator with over fourteen years’ experience, the researcher is aware that speaking about sensitive issues that have occurred within a child’s or young person’s family may cause some distress and can offer assurance that the research will be conducted in a caring and sensitive manner, using tried and tested child appropriate research methods.  Details of appropriate support services will be provided to participants and their parents should a child or young person become distressed and, if necessary the research will not continue. The safety of each participant will be paramount throughout the research process and will be conducted in line with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre’s Child Protection Policy. The location of the interview can be decided by the volunteers. Each interview will last about one hour and will be audio recorded and may employ the use of visual aids, drawings and story-telling.  Each participant will receive a token of appreciation from the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. Past research has shown that children and young people benefit from participating in research of this kind, even though they may not directly reap the benefits. It has also been shown that children and young people appreciate being given an opportunity to have their views heard and are pleased to be involved in research that might bring about change for other children and young people. Volunteers are asked to contact Ann O’Kelly at a.okelly2@nuigalway.ieor 085 7412711. Ann will answer questions and provide more information for parents, children and young people about the research and what it will involve. Further information available at http://childandfamilyresearch.ie/anne-okelly -ENDS-

Friday, 20 September 2013

Abhigyan Satyam, a postgraduate researcher from Network of Excellence for Functional Biomaterials (NFB), NUI Galway is set to travel to Girona, Spain in this month after receiving a travel bursary award from the Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM). The bursary award will enable Abhigyan to deliver a podium presentation at the prestigious FIRM Symposium, which is to be held from the 30 September to 3 October. Abhigyan began his career in biomedical research at Bundelkhand University, Jhansi where he received a MSc in Biotechnology. His master thesis project was carried out at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. In 2010 Abhigyan came to the NFB in NUI Galway to pursue his PhD under the supervision of Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis. His current doctoral research is focused on engineering functional in vitro microenvironment that will enable cell function maintenance ex vivo. Ultimately, the platform technologies developed through his work will enable wide acceptance and clinical translation of cell-based therapies. Abhigyan said: “The scientific sessions of this symposium are extremely contextual, informative and will help him to interact with leading international experts working in the field of regenerative medicine globally.” FIRM is a society established by EPSRC Doctoral Training Centre in Regenerative Medicine based between Loughborough, Keele and Nottingham University, UK. FIRM recognises the ever growing regenerative medicine community that decided to bring young researcher from European institutions and further afield together. -Ends-

Monday, 23 September 2013

 Cnuasach leabhar Gaeilge Dheasúin Bhreatnaigh bronnta ar Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, An Cheathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe Bronnfaidh iníon an scríbhneora, Deasún Breatnach, cnuasach leabhar Gaeilge a hathar ar Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an gCeathrú Rua i nGaeltacht Chonamara ar an 28 Meán Fómhair ag 7.30pm.  Tá isteach is amach le 750 leabhar faoi stair, litríocht, chultúr agus shaíocht na tíre sa leabharlann luachmhar seo.  Beidh na leabhair mar chuid de shainbhailiúchán a bheidh in úsáid ag mic léinn an BA sa Chumarsáid le linn a gcuid staidéir ar an gCeathrú Rua. Scríbhneoir, iriseoir, file, intleachtóir, poblachtach agus gníomhaí ab ea Deasún Breatnach a rugadh i mBaile Átha Cliath i 1922 agus a cailleadh sa bhliain 2007.  Is mar gheall ar ról Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i gcur chun cinn an ardoideachais trí mheán na Gaeilge agus an obair atá ar bun ag an Acadamh i réimse na Cumarsáide Gaeilge a chinn clann Dheasúin Bhreatnaigh a chuid leabhar Gaeilge a bhronnadh ar an institiúid léinn. Cuirtear oideachas i léann agus i gcleachtas na Cumarsáide ar mhic léinn fochéime a bhíonn ag gabháil den BA sa Chumarsáid GY106. Déantar cúram ar leith den iriseoireacht le linn an chúrsa seo a reáchtáiltear go huile agus go hiomlán trí mheán na Gaeilge. Téann céimithe an chúrsa ag obair le comhlachtaí ardghradaim i dtionscal na meán. Leathchéad bliain tar éis Éirí Amach na Cásca, 1916, chuaigh Deasún Breatnach ar stailc ocrais i 1966 chun aird a tharraingt ar a laghad a bhí bainte amach ó thaobh an oideachais trí Ghaeilge.  Ba bhall é den ghrúpa MISNEACH — a bhunaigh an scríbhneoir, Máirtín Ó Cadhain.  Bhí Luci, a bhean chéile, agus Deasún féin mar pháirt de ghrúpa bunaitheoirí na chéad bhunscoile lán-Ghaelaí i gContae Bhaile Átha Cliath, Scoil Lorcáin, i mBaile na Manach. Scríobh an Breatnach raon leathan leabhar agus ábhar i nGaeilge: úrscéalta do dhéagóirí, scéalta do pháistí, leabhar taighde faoin mbéaloideas, filíocht, gearrscéalta, agus bhí saothar fairsing iriseoireachta aige.  Scríobhadh sé don irisleabhar The Bell agus do Scéala Éireann agus é ina chónaí ar Inis Oírr i lár na gcaogaidí.  D’fhoilsigh sé ailt i nGaeilge san Evening Press agus chaith sé seal ag obair don Irish Farmers Journal agus ina fho-eagarthóir ar an nuachtán The Irish Times.  Sholáthar sé ábhar don nuachtán seachtainiúil Gaeilge Inniu agus do na hirisleabhair Comhar agus Feasta.  Scríobh sé as Gaeilge sna nuachtáin Saoirse agus An Phoblacht, a raibh sé ina eagarthóir air. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Dónall Ó Braonáin thar ceann Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge: “Gníomh thar a bheith flaithiúil é seo agus tá buíochas ó chroí againn ar mhuintir Bhreatnaigh. Is cinnte go mbeidh mic léinn atá i mbun an chúrsa BA sa Chumarsáid in ann tairbhe a bhaint as an gcnuasach in Ionad na Ceathrún Rua. Cuimhneachán seasta a bheidh ann dóibh freisin faoi shaol agus saothar Dheasúin. Iriseoir cruthanta a bhí ann a shaothraigh a cheird go cumasach agus a chuir go mór leis an allagar náisiúnta agus caibidil chultúrtha na hÉireann. Toradh foghlama é sin a shantaíonn muid i gcónaí dár mic léinn féin.” -Críoch- Library of Irish language Education Campaigner to be Presented to NUI Galway Deasún Breatnach’s extensive library collection of Irish Language books presented to Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway The daughter of writer, Deasún Breatnach, will present his extensive collection of Irish language books to Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge’s Centre in An Cheathrú Rua in the Connemara Gaeltacht on Saturday, 28 September at 7.30pm. There are in excess of 750 books with themes ranging from history to literature and culture in this valuable library collection. This specialized collection of books will augment those already in use by the students who are studying for their BA (Cumarsáid) (BA in Communications) in An Cheathrú Rua. Born in Dublin in 1922 Deasún Breatnach was well known as a writer, journalist, republican and activist, he passed away in 2007. It is because of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge’s role in promoting and developing higher level education through the medium of Irish, and specifically the Acadamh’s work in the field of Irish Language Communications that Deasún Breatnach’s family decided to present the collection. Undergraduates study the theory and practice of communications while on the course BA (Cumarsáid), GY106. Journalism in particular forms part of this course which is taught completely through the medium of Irish. Graduates go on to work with high-ranking companies in the media industry. Half a century after the 1916 Easter Rising, Deasún Breatnach went on hunger strike in 1966 to draw attention to the lack of progress with regard to Irish language education in the country. He was a member of the group MISNEACH established by writer Máirtín Ó Cadhain. Both Luci, his wife, and Deasún formed part of the original group that founded the first all-Irish secondary school, Scoil Lorcáin in Monkstown, South County Dublin. Breatnach wrote a wide variety of books and material in the Irish language: novels for teenagers, children’s stories, and research books about our oral tradition, poetry, short stories and a large corpus of journalism. He contributed to The Bell magazine and Scéala Éireann while he lived in Inis Oírr in the middle of the fifties. He published Irish language articles in the Evening Press, he spent some time working for the Irish Farmers Journal and also as a sub-editor for The Irish Times. He provided material for the Irish language weekly paper Inniu and for the magazines Comhar and Feasta. He wrote in Irish for papers Saoirse and An Phoblacht, where he spent time as an editor. Dónall Ó Braonáin commented on behalf of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge: “This is a very generous act and our heartfelt thanks go to the Breatnach family. I am sure that the students undertaking the GY106 BA (Cumarsáid) (BA in Communications) in our center in An Cheathrú Rua will benefit greatly from the many books in this collection. They will form a lasting memory of Deasún’s life and work. As an exacting Journalist he plied his craft very capably and added greatly to the national and cultural discourse. This is a quality that we seek to instill in our own students.” -Ends-

Monday, 23 September 2013

Due to demand NUI Galway has announced the re-opening of a computer training initiative, ‘Click and Connect’, aimed at those with little or no experience of using computers, starting Monday, 30 September. Over the last two years NUI Galway has trained over 500 with ‘Click and Connect’ and this year the course is open to beginners and to those from previous classes who might want to refresh their skills. ‘Click and Connect’ will be delivered by the Information Technology Discipline at NUI Galway with the help of student volunteers and this free initiative is funded by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Experienced tutors will introduce learners to the very basics of computers and teach them computer activities such as: surfing the web, setting up and using email, how to download photographs, how to access Government information on-line and social networking. Classes will be small and will be carried out in a relaxed, informal style. Professor Gerry Lyons, Dean of the College of Engineering and Informatics, said that there are thousands of people living in Ireland today who have been left behind when it comes to the internet. Referring to the computer training initiative he said: “Older people will particularly benefit, as will unemployed people and disadvantaged groups in the Galway region. These people miss out on opportunities most people take for granted. For example, those not yet on-line cannot send emails, do internet searches for products or information, or conduct Government transactions online.” NUI Galway has designed training material suitable for beginners, with plenty of support and encouragement from the volunteer tutors. The training provided will be very basic and is intended as practical guidance for people with little or no prior experience of computers and the internet. Classes will be just two hours duration over four consecutive weeks and are a great opportunity to be part of the digital world. For more information on NUI Galway’s “Click and Connect”, or to register for the classes, contact the Discipline of Information Technology at 087 0571967. -Ends-

Monday, 23 September 2013

NUI Galway has launched the 2013/2014 Arts in Action Programme, which invites students to engage with the creative arts during their studies. Aimed at students across the campus, Arts in Action offers access to a variety of international-standard arts events throughout the academic year. This year’s programme, a development and promotion by the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, is again heavily embedded into a series of academic modules in diverse areas throughout the college, which means that students, both Irish and International, will be awarded marks for attending and reflecting on some of the events that are pertinent and of major benefit to their studies within particular modules and projects. The programme is the culmination of a three-year cycle of introducing the international arts to the students at NUI Galway, completing the journey with a focus on the richness of Irish culture particularly the art forms of the western region. The special features are legends of traditional arts and the introduction of emerging young professionals with special features on the Aran Islands. Arts in Action allows most of the emphasis on performances from the young emerging artists who are producing high quality music, song and dance while still active and engaged students of the university community throughout Ireland. Students will also be introduced to some of the international legends of traditional music and demonstrating how the culture and the art is passed from generation to generation. The programme will also introduce young musicians from the outlying counties in the west, who are mostly third-level students, but also professional musicians holding onto their traditions and performing whenever possible with new and exciting interpretations of the music and dance. Included are performances from: Máirtín O’Connor with two of his daughters Sinead and Ciara; Saileog Ní Cheanabháin an interpreter of extraordinary musicality in the great local art of sean-nos singing; and a concert by the NUI Galway Medical Orchestra, made up of students from the Medicine, Nursing and the Therapies Schools. The new NUI Galway Coral Scholarship, in association with St Nicholas Church, will also perform at this final event of the Arts in Action programme. Mary McPartlan, Creative Director of Arts in Action, said: “The message of this year’s programme is to create a dynamic showcase for the young pioneers of the traditional arts in the Galway, Connemara and the wider western region. It is also the most significant outreach approach to presenting Irish Culture at its best to visiting students from all parts of the world currently studying at NUI Galway. All of the events are free to attend and will take place from 1-2pm in The Cube in Áras Na Mac Léinn NUI Galway. The programme will run from 3 October to 20 March, 2014. The programmes are available in the foyer of Áras Na Mac Léinn and all of the details are posted on the Arts in Action website, http://www.nuigalway.ie/arts/artsinaction.html, with up to the minute information on the new Arts in Action Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/ArtsinActionNUIGalway. -ENDS-

Monday, 23 September 2013

Report on Children’s Health Behaviour launched by Minister for Health, James Reilly TD The Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, today (23 September), launched the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) Ireland Trends Report 1998-2010. The survey was carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway. The HBSC is a cross-sectional study conducted in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe. It runs every 4 years and in 2010 there were 43 participating countries and regions collecting data on the health behaviours, health outcomes and contexts of children’s lives. In terms of risky behaviour, the survey reports that in 2010 12% of Irish children said they were smoking compared to 21% in 1998.  28% reported that they had been drunk compared to 29% in 1998.  8% reported that they had used cannabis compared to 10% in 1998. In terms of positive behaviour, seat-belt wearing rates have doubled (82%) amongst children since 1998 and 33% reported that their health was excellent compared to 28% in 1998.  High rates of life satisfaction (76%) and reported happiness (91%) continue. Commenting, the Minister said that: “I am encouraged that the number of children who have smoked tobacco has decreased, similar to the trend in alcohol consumption and use of cannabis. This is a step in the right direction and I hope to see this continue for the good of all our children.  I have been consistent in highlighting the deadly dangers of smoking, in particular, for our children and I will continue that battle.” Commenting on the findings, Principal Investigator Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn of NUI Galway stated “this report is the culmination of many years of work, and brings some good news about the health behaviours of children in Ireland over the years, with a decrease in smoking and in alcohol use for example. Yet still more needs to be done to improve their health, in particular around physical activity. Importantly, the proportion of children reporting high life satisfaction and being happy, fundamental aspects of childhood, has increased over the years, as have health and safety behaviours such as wearing a seatbelt and brushing teeth” The survey has been carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway since 1998 and brings together all the data (relating to almost 40,000 Irish children) collected over this period to examine the key trends and patterns between 1998 and 2010. Overall, 12% reported in 2010 that they currently smoke compared to 21% in 1998; 49% reported in 2010 that they had their first cigarette at age 13 or younger, compared to 61% in 1998; 28% reported in 2010 that they ever been drunk compared to 29% in 1998; 8% reported in 2010 that they used cannabis in the last 12 month compared to 10% in 1998. Positive health behaviour Overall, 20% reported in 2010 that they consume fruits more than once a day compared to 18% in 1998; 82% reported in 2010 that they always wear seatbelt when they are travelling by car compared to 41% in 1998; 51% of children reported in 2010 that they exercise 4 or more time per week compared to 54% in 1998. Health and well-being Overall, 33% of children reported in 2010 that their health is excellent compared to 28% in 2002; 91% of children reported in 2010 that they are happy with their life compared to 89% in 1998; 76% of children reported high life satisfaction in 2010 compared to 75% in 2002. General findings Overall, 67% of children reported in 2010 that they brush their teeth more than once a day compared to 58% in 1998; 37% of children reported in 2010 that they have been injured in the past 12 months compared to 40% in 1998; 52% of children reported in 2010 that they talk to their friends on the phone, via text messages or on the internet every day compared to 31% in 2002. ENDS

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Researchers seek to document the social, emotional and behavioural well-being of children and young people living with a parent with a mental health difficulty A significant number of children are currently living with a parent with a mental health difficulty. These children are thought to be at an increased risk of developing emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties. Estimates suggest that 40-60% of these children may be at increased risk, with 25-50% of those likely to experience a psychological disorder in childhood, adolescence and/or adulthood. Who is it aimed at and why? This research is aimed primarily at children between the ages of 7-17 years who live with a parent with a diagnosed mental health difficulty. Parents and practitioners supporting the children will also be invited to contribute. By and large the voice of the child, their social, emotional and behavioural well-being, remains absent from research in this context. What is known about children's experiences is largely based on the contributions of adults speaking on their behalf via adult centered methods. However, research suggests discrepancies between what children say they want and need in this context and what parents and practitioners think they want or need. The research, approved by the Research Ethics Committee at NUI Galway, is being carried out under the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at the National University of Ireland, Galway. A core focus of the centre is in undertaking research in the area of family support and in focusing on prevention and early intervention for children who may be experiencing adversity making it a suitable environment for this research.  How will it work? The research will focus on children’s experiences of their own lives and will use a novel approach that will provide a framework to listen to them and treat them as experts in their own lives. The approach will give the children themselves the opportunity to express their views visually, symbolically and verbally. There will be a series of task and talk-centred activities including photography, artwork and mapping to combine with informal interviews. Children will be invited by the practitioner (e.g. mental health practitioner/social worker/general practitioner) involved with their parent to meet with the researcher on four separate occasions.  A choice of three locations will be offered: the family home, the workplace of the practitioner involved, or the child and family research centre in NUI Galway. It is up to the child and parent to decide whether they would like to meet with me alone or with someone. In light of sensitivities surrounding the research topic, the participation of all will be treated with the strictest of confidence. Consent from practitioners, parents and children, is a prerequisite to taking part in the project and will be under constant review. How will this help the children who participate? The direct benefit for children who choose to participate in the research is being given the space and freedom to express themselves in a non-intrusive way. The children control what they choose to share and how they choose to share it. Having this control, and the creative ways through which their stories are to be told may have potential therapeutic benefits. However, it should be noted that this project is not in any way attempting to provide a therapeutic intervention to children and young people. Rather, it is anticipated that the benefits will be evidenced in how the overall findings can be used by practitioners and services in order to support children, improving service provision and in turn their lives. -ends-

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Professor Ger Hurley, Professor of Electrical Engineering at NUI Galway, was presented with the prestigious Middlebrook Outstanding Technical Achievement Award at a ceremony in Denver, Colorado recently.  The award was established by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the US to honour innovators in the field of power electronics. Power electronics is an enabling technology in modern electrical systems from smart phones to smart grids and essential to renewable energy systems and automotive electronics. This award is dedicated to the memory of Dr R. David Middlebrook, Emeritus Professor, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California. Dr Middlebrook is regarded as one of the founders of the field of power electronics and developed analysis and other tools crucial to modern power electronics design. The award is presented to an individual who has given outstanding contributions to the technical field of power electronics. Professor Hurley received the 2013 award to acknowledge his pioneering contributions to high frequency magnetic design, modelling of magnetic components and analysis of planar magnetic devices for power electronic applications, work that formed the basis for charging platforms for smart phones. Professor Hurley graduated from University College Cork in 1974 and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, and was awarded the Doctor of Engineering for his published work by the National University of Ireland in 2011. He worked in Canada prior to joining NUI Galway 1991. Professor Hurley has given keynote speeches and invited presentations on high frequency magnetics in the US, Europe, China and Australia. Professor Hurley is a co-author of Transformers and Inductors for Power Electronics, Theory, Design and Applications, published by Wiley earlier this year. He is a Fellow of Engineers Ireland and a Fellow of the IEEE. -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NUI Galway Company Channel Mechanics updates popular channelIT platform to provide improved functionality and flexibility for vendors and distributors worldwide Channel Mechanics, the award-winning channel enablement company based at NUI Galway, has announced the new Release 8.0 of its channelIT platform, now available globally from the 12 September 2013. The new version supports vendors and distributors in the ever expanding global marketplace with additional languages and full multi-currency support, as well as other further functionality, including product rating images, improved reporting detail and a Reseller notes facility. “Our team has been working in and around channels for over 25 years.  Through our work with large vendors, including Motorola Solutions EMEA, we are continuing to uncover ways to add value to any company operating and selling through channel partners,” said Kenneth Fox, CTO at Channel Mechanics. “The Release 8.0 of channelIT offers vendors and distributors a host of new features that enables even better management of channel operations and provides resellers, wherever they are in the world, with an enhanced experience. These updates support international business and make it easier for our customers to operate in the growing global marketplace.” Other enhanced functionality from Release 8.0 of the channelIT platform includes: Product Rating Images – enabling Vendors or Distributors to indicate a price value through a rating system, without exposing the list price Reseller Portal Navigation enhancement – making the navigation experience more informed for the Reseller Bundle Breakout – allowing users to view all items in a VEV (Virtual Entitlement Voucher), so they can fully understand the VEV content, allowing for correct back end system updates Improved Reporting detail - enabling greater analysis of Reseller buying behaviour Reseller Notes facility – allowing better Reseller management and tracking captureIT details available for review – providing Reseller with complete visibility VEV reminder emails for Reseller – giving Reseller notification of the expiry of a VEV For more information, please visit www.channelmechanics.com -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

New legislation relating to decision-making ability is a welcome improvement on the current 140-year-old law governing capacity, but needs some improvements if it is to adequately protect people’s human rights, a working group of civil society organisations said today (Tuesday, 24 September). The Assisted Decision-Making (Capacity) Bill 2013 published in July, is being debated at a public consultation held by the Department of Justice and Equality tomorrow, Thursday, 25 September. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy Centre, NUI Galway, said: “The Bill innovates by introducing ‘assisted decision-making agreements’ which allow people to choose others they trust to help them with making decisions. This is truly ground-breaking and the Government deserves credit for listening to the community and learning from emerging international trends.  “More clarifications will be needed to ensure that these agreements are open to anyone to make, legally binding, and must be respected by others so the Bill can transform lives and reach those who really need it”, continued Professor Quinn Fiona Crowley, Research and Legal Manager, Amnesty International Ireland, said: “This Bill contains some important amendments to the law on capacity which could really benefit people with mental health problems. However, it needs to be amended to clarify how this Bill will interact with the Mental Health Act 2001, so that there are no gaps in the human rights protection of people with mental health problems.” Paddy Connolly, CEO Inclusion Ireland said: “The Bill represents an important shift away from ‘best interests’ decision-making towards respect for the will and preferences of persons with disabilities, which is a great improvement. However the legislation must prioritise the provision of supports to help an individual make their own decisions, rather than using assessments of mental capacity as a basis for substitute decision-making, which removes decision-making power from the person with a disability.” Áine Hynes, Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association, said: “We have significant concerns about the scope of powers given to informal decision-makers under the Bill. While it is important to recognise the realities of decisions made on a daily basis by informal carers, the human rights of individuals must also be respected.” Eamon Timmins, Head of Advocacy, Age Action, said: “The law needs to be changed to restrict this kind of informal decision-making, provide safeguards where it does occur, and require that people are given the option of using assisted decision-making agreements instead.” Brian O’Donnell, CEO National Federation of Voluntary Bodies, said: “It is also crucial that the government provides a timeline for the reform of other areas of law affected by legal capacity but exempted from this Bill, for example, the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993 and the Juries Act 1976, among others.” A brief document outlining the group’s proposed reforms can be viewed at: http://nuigalway.ie/cdlp/documents/amendments_to_bill.pdf -Ends-

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

NUI Galway will host the first Irish Chapter of the Association for Information Systems (IAIS) Workshop on Cloud Computing Research on Friday, 27 September. The workshop, entitled ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’ is supported by IAIS, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre (Lero) and NUI Galway's Whitaker Institute, and is being jointly delivered by NUI Galway and the Cloud Computing Services Innovation Centre at Hewlett-Packard. ‘Research and Practice in the Cloud: What is on the Horizon?’ builds upon NUI Galway, Lero and Hewlett-Packard’s strengths in cloud computing, and will focus on the Irish national agenda for research on cloud computing, bringing together researchers and practitioners across the island of Ireland. NUI Galway’s research on cloud computing has been published in international outlets, and cloud computing has become a core part of a large SFI-funded research team at the University’s J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. Dr Tom Acton, Lecturer with the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, and workshop organiser said: “We will be showcasing national research across a range of cloud-specific topics including cloud business models, value, cloud adoption, implementation, and leveraging the cloud for mobile applications. The workshop is a vehicle for capturing what is happening across the country, not only academic research on cloud, but also in terms of industry experiences with delegates attending from Avaya, SourceDogg, Dimension Data, Verizon 1, CloudStrong, Hewlett-Packard, and many more.” -Ends-

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Two new projects, partnerships between NUI Galway and Teagasc have been funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s (DAFM) Research Stimulus Fund (RSF). The funding is part of grant awards in excess of €6 million for research projects being undertaken, on a collaborative basis, by researchers from Institutions across the island of Ireland, which was recently announced by Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The ‘Joint Ventures to Enhance the Demographic Profile and Socio-Economic Sustainability of Irish Farming’ (Join-to-Farm) project aims to explore how a broader range of joint farming ventures,  have potential to enhance the sustainability of Irish agriculture. These ventures help different stakeholders to work together. The project involves social scientists: Dr Áine Macken-Walsh, Project Leader, Teagasc; Dr Kevin Heanue, Teagasc; Dr Anne Byrne, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway; and Professor Michael Ward and Dr Olive McCarthy of UCC. The second project, ‘Understanding and Facilitating Farmers Adoption of Technologies’ (Agile-Tech), seeks to develop an understanding of how technology is used by farmers, in the first place, and then on an ongoing basis. The project involves social scientists: Dr Kevin Heanue, Project Leader, Teagasc; Dr Áine Macken-Walsh, Teagasc; Ann Lyons, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI, Galway; Mary O’Reilly-de Brún, Centre for Participatory Strategies; and Tomás de Brún, Centre for Participatory Strategies. Dr Anne Byrne, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway, said: “Collaborative scholarship and innovative, inclusive research methodologies enhance not only our understanding of how complex ideas, practices and processes intersect, but crucially stack the odds in favour of good outcomes for those who are at the heart of the projects – farmers.” -Ends-

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Royal Irish Academy (RIA) lecture jointly organised by NUI Galway’s Ryan Institute, EPA and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland. Environmentalist and author Tony Juniper, speaking at the Royal Irish Academy, has said that environmental protection is not a luxury that can be put to one side in recessionary times. In contrast, Tony Juniper argues that rather than the view that conservation and pollution controls stunt growth and competitiveness, the reverse is the case. Wealth and economic growth are utterly dependent on Nature’s essential services. Tony Juniper was speaking at the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), an event jointly organised by the Ryan Institute for Environmental Marine and Energy research at NUI Galway, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Environmental Sciences Association of Ireland (ESAI). Nature’s key role in economic activity is often only apparent when it’s removed. The economic contribution of bees to commercial fruit pollination is only now fully understood as species of bees disappear. Fresh water, a fundamental need, can be sourced, in sufficient quantities by working with natural systems Tony Juniper argues. The replenishment and supply of clean freshwater can often be achieved at a lower cost than highly engineered approaches. Professor Colin Brown, Director of the Ryan Institute for Environment, Marine and Energy at NUI Galway says “The services that nature provides us, like clean water, clean air, fertile soil and food, are crucial for the well-being of humans and represent an astronomical economic value. Typically the loss of biodiversity costs about 3% of GDP which for the EU means about €450 billion - year after year after year. Tony Juniper is one of the most eloquent advocates of the need to tackle the inadequacy of existing economic thinking to tackle this problem.” Tony Juniper cites examples where Healthy Nature can also help control the spread of disease. A study looking into the outbreak of West Nile Virus in the United States in 2002 found that the uneven distribution of cases was linked to wild bird diversity. Where there were greater numbers of wild birds less people caught the disease. Mosquitos that spread the West Nile Virus nasty virus among people prefer to feed on the blood of birds. Where there are fewer birds, they turn to other animals to get a meal, including people. As Ireland works to recover from serious recession, Tony Juniper says it is critical to recognise the direct economic value that is provided by natural systems. Wetlands help reduce flood risk; woodlands absorb carbon dioxide; bees pollinate crops, green spaces improve health and beautiful places attract tourism. These examples and many other natural services make a massive contribution to the economies of places. Indeed for Ireland, it has been estimated that these ‘ecosystem services’ are worth €2.6 billion per year Despite the mounting evidence that protecting Nature is of huge economic value, it is still portrayed as a brake on short-term economic growth. Many people accept the idea that the depletion of natural resources, high greenhouse gas emissions and disappearing animals and plants are the acceptable price of progress. In his talk on 25th September, Tony Juniper challenges these views and demonstrates how healthy environments make vast contributions to economic growth. -Ends-

Friday, 27 September 2013

Students from the floating university programme,  “Semester at Sea”, visited Galway last weekend on a collaborative marine science field-trip led by NUI Galway and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART). Over 570 students from 20 different countries were aboard the MV Explorer which docked in Dublin on Friday. The vessel previously visited Galway in 2012 after a trans-Atlantic voyage in which marine science students from NUI Galway participated. The field-trip was led by NUI Galway oceanographer Dr Rachel Cave and investigated  submarine groundwater flow in County Clare and East Galway. According to Professor Rob Young, professor of marine biology and oceanography for Semester at Sea, and  professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University, “Collaborative programmes such as the one between SMART/NUI Galway and Semester at Sea give students the opportunity to see ongoing research projects in action while promoting inter-cultural understanding.” “Through the SMART partnership programme, and the Marine Institute’s research vessel funding programme, Ireland has very much become a leader in practical offshore training in marine science and technology. Developing collaborative marine initiatives with international programmes such as “Semester at Sea” helps us to cement this” Dr Rachel Cave of the Earth and Ocean Science Department stated. This voyage marks the 50th Anniversary of the “Semester at Sea” programme which has trained over 60,000 students since its inception in 1963. The Autumn voyage will visit 13 countries including South Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Semester at Sea plans to return to Ireland in Summer and Autumn of 2014. ENDS

Friday, 27 September 2013

NUI Galway’s Community Knowledge Initiative will host US entrepreneur and innovator, Sonal Shah for a keynote address on Thursday, 3 October. The event, which is open to the public, will take place from 11am-12.30pm in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building on campus. Sonal has worked in government, business and the non-profit sectors. Until recently she was the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the first White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation focused on investing in and scaling innovative models, leveraging technology, opening information in the social sector to solve some of the nation’s toughest challenges. Before joining the White House, Sonal led Google’s global development initiatives for its philanthropy, Google.org, focusing on leveraging technology and information to help the world’s poor. Prior to Google, she was a Vice-President at Goldman Sachs, Inc. where she worked with the Chairman and CEO in developing and managing the firm’s environmental strategy. Sonal also has started and managed non-profits. She is the co-founder of an international non-profit, Indicorps, which offers fellowships for the Indian diaspora around the world to work on development projects in India. The fellowship invests in and builds the leadership of the diaspora to be able to solve problems even in the toughest of circumstances. Shah also helped set up the Center for Global Development, the leading development think tank in Washington DC, where she managed the daily operations and developed the policy and advocacy programs for the Center. Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, says, “NUI Galway and the CKI are delighted to host Sonal and learn from her vast experiences of social innovation. Sonal has been an inspiration through her role with the Obama Administration and through private enterprises such as Google and will offer a fantastic opportunity for us to grapple with innovation in times of crisis. The Community Knowledge Initiative is committed to fostering community-university partnerships that aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy. Engaging with Sonal will strengthen our work.” As part of this address, Sonal will talk about her pathway into a career in social innovation, what social innovation means to her and how to imbue within young people a sense of themselves as civic and social innovators. For further information see http://www.nuigalway.ie/cki or contact Lorraine McIlrath Lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-   

Friday, 27 September 2013

Minister Fitzgerald launches conference and highlights benefits of new technologies The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, yesterday (Thursday, 26 September) opened the Technology for Well-Being International Conference, which examines the role of technology in supporting young people’s mental health and well-being. New research launched at the conference revealed thatover two thirds of Irish parents (70%) would look for help on the internet if their child was going through a tough time. In addition, over one fifth (22%) of parents used the internet to search for mental health information in the past month alone. ReachOut.com, which provides online support for young people’s mental health and well-being, partnered with the National Office for Suicide Prevention to host this international conference attended by delegates from the health, education and technology sectors. These findings are from the ‘Bridging the Digital Disconnect’ research carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre, NUI Galway and Inspire Ireland, the organisation behind ReachOut.com. The research project is part-funded by the Australian Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre and explores parents’ views on using technology to promote young people’s mental health. “This is the first study to be carried out in Ireland on parents’ views concerning the use of technologies to support young people’s mental health.  The findings will be used to inform the development of a resource to bridge the digital gap between parents and young people and to support parents in harnessing the potential of technologies for promoting young people’s mental health and wellbeing” says Professor Margaret Barry, principal investigator of the study with Dr Aleisha Clarke of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway. Speaking at the conference today, Minister Fitzgerald welcomed the new research and commended ReachOut.com and the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway on their work which she said “aides a better understanding on the role of parent and technology in youth mental.” The Minister added: “Too often media discourse on new technologies and social media focuses on negative aspects such as cyber-bullying and other online threat. But we must also focus on the opportunities which websites, such as ReachOut.com, offer in terms of providing an accessible portal to young people on key issues such as positive mental health.” As part of the fieldwork, parents reviewed the ReachOut.com site and expressed a desire for the development of a website with similar content for parents. Parents also repeatedly spoke about the need for information on the use of social networking sites and issues around young people’s safety and well-being online. Speaking about the results, ReachOut.com CEO Elaine Geraghty said: “We really welcome this research as an endorsement from parents of the importance of technology in all of our lives. If we’re serious about supporting young people we need to be where they are, providing mental health information in the first place they look for it, which is online. That is what we do every day at ReachOut.com.” Gerry Raleigh, Director of the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP), said: “The National Office for Suicide Prevention is delighted to support this conference and recognises the importance of technology to connect with those experiencing tough times. NOSP will continue to invest in partners who deliver safe and evidence-based information and supports that contributes to positive mental health and well-being. In addition to providing online resources such as Yourmentalhealth.ie and Letsomeoneknow.ie, NOSP has invested in various online projects and initiatives including ReachOut.com.” The ReachOut.com Technology for Well-Being International Conference addressed these concerns in order to open a national conversation on the positive role technology can play for both parents and young people, in supporting mental health.” To view the report click: Bridging the digital disconnect Ends

Monday, 30 September 2013

Major organisations from business, industry and voluntary sector will feature at the annual NUI Galway Graduate Jobs Fair on Tuesday, 8 October from 12.30 - 4pm in the Bailey Allen Hall. This free event will showcase graduate employment opportunities for students and graduates from all disciplines, with a diverse number of fields such as accountancy, IT, law, science, retail, consultancy and many other sectors represented. Visitors to the event can attend spend the afternoon networking with Ireland’s leading graduate recruiters. Major local employers such as Creganna, Medtronic, Cisco, Sourcedogg, and SAP will attend, in addition to international companies including Accenture, Abbott, KPMG and Lidl. John Hannon, Head of NUI Galway’s Career Development Centre, said: “Demand for NUI Galway graduates remains high, reflecting on their excellent employability status. There will also be an opportunity to get information on postgraduate programmes available in NUI Galway.” Event organiser, Emma Goode, has some advice for those attending the Fair: “Don’t forget your main objective on the day is to secure your first graduate job. Plan in advance - know what employers are attending and the type of opportunities they have available. Many graduate employers now recruit graduates from all academic disciplines so don’t be misled by an organisation’s name – they may have the perfect graduate opportunity for you! Bring along an up-to-date CV, have it reviewed at the CV Clinic and get feedback on how to package and sell all your experiences to date. Arrive with a ‘can do’ attitude and be prepared to network!” Details on exhibitors is available from www.nuigalway.ie/careers     -Ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

NUI Galway’s School of Mathematics, Statistics and Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway will host a number of events as part of Maths Week Ireland from 12-20 October. Aimed at secondary and primary schools, to promote appreciation, understanding and awareness of maths in society. On Thursday, 17 October, Doug Buchanan will give lively maths challenge workshops to primary and secondary school audiences at NUI Galway. Doug is a recently retired maths teacher, who during his career became an expert at hosting conferences for maths, ICT and his internationally-recognised maths team challenges. He travels all over Ireland and the UK, inspiring and entertaining teachers and students alike with his shows. The School of Maths will also dispatch lecturers and postgraduate students to schools in Galway for talks and workhops. On Thursday, 17 October, the School will launch and host a nationwide maths competition, PRISM (PRoblem solving for Irish Second level Mathematics). NUI Galway’s School of Maths actively promotes appreciation of mathematics by devising school workshops, hosting schools classes through its TY Friday initiative, and enabling pupils to participate in competitions such as Maths enrichment course, Mathematical Contest in Modelling, Challenge Maths competition, Irish Mathematical Olympiad, the national Applied Mathematics Table Quiz contest, and the Team Math competition (with Finals taking place in Galway this Spring.) The University’s maths students also help educate and inspire pupils through the School’s Undergraduate Ambassador Scheme. The University also actively participates in local, national and online events such as the BT Young Scientist exhibition, the Galway Science and Technology forum, ‘I’m a Scientist, Get me out of here’ discussions, and the CERN Accelerating Science exhibition. Booking is essential as places are limited. For further information contact Dr Tim Downing at tim.downing@nuigalway.ie. For other events taking place across the country during Maths Week visit www.mathsweek.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

CodeNinja - an app competition for third-level students in Galway - is back on Galway’s college campuses and is gearing up to give students the skills and knowledge required to create their own apps. CodeNinja is open to teams from NUI Galway and GMIT who want to build an innovative web or mobile app, with prizes to be awarded to the top entries in February 2014. The competition has been designed by local businesses and academics to train and encourage students to be creative in the cultivation of their own technology ideas. Students will be encouraged to build web and mobile applications, and will be given a number of tutorials and workshops along the way. Clodagh Barry, CodeNinja organiser says “CodeNinja represents a unique opportunity for students from any discipline to innovate at the leading edge of app technology. Multidisciplinary teams of students can learn new skills, network with the technology entrepreneurs and academic experts, with a view to fostering a culture of creativity and excitement as well as adding value to their curriculum vitae”. Galway technology entrepreneurs like Mic FitzGerald from OnePageCRM and Paul Killoran from ExOrdo have supported the CodeNinja initiative, agreeing that this is an opportunity which sows more seeds to build on the blossoming tech startup culture that exists in Galway, whilst building links between Galway’s tech scene and its third-level colleges. Organiser Dr John Breslin of NUI Galway says: “CodeNinja is a collaborative effort where our colleges and industry partners are connecting to share a combined skillset and knowledge to meet the demands of the on-campus population. “The app economy is credited with having created nearly 800,000 jobs in the EU according to a recent study from ACT 4 Apps. We had quite a successful outcome from previous CodeNinja events with competition winners finding employment with local app companies and also achieving recognition through subsequent global app competitions.” More information available at http://codeninja.ie/    -ends-

Monday, 30 September 2013

Supported by NUI Galway, the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 - The Professional Handbook of Educators in Ireland is now available. Now in its seventh edition, and this year featuring both a foreword and afterword from the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., the Education Matters Yearbook 2013 is an indispensable guide to Irish education in 2013. Designed as an attractive, easily accessible and portable digest, the Yearbook provides a comprehensive and concise account of the key developments and issues in Irish education over the course of the year. Relevant media content and critical, informative commentary from key stakeholders in Irish education help to tell the story of the Irish educational system during the year. Supported by NUI Galway and an editorial board of educators representing all sectors of the Irish educational system, the Yearbook provides a critical and engaging analysis of the main developments across all sectors: early childhood education and early years care; primary and post-primary education; further education and lifelong learning; third-level education; and fourth-level research and innovation. Dr Tony Hall, Lecturer with NUI Galway’s School of Education and Editor of the Education Matters Yearbook 2013, said: “This is a unique reference work which aims to make available the full range of educational developments in Ireland in any given year. It is an easily accessible, comprehensive, and informative resource for all with an interest in Irish education.” Education Matters began as a newsprint publication in 1987. Over the years it was carried as a supplement by various national newspapers, including The Sunday Timesand The Sunday Tribune. Contributors included Dr Anthony Clare, Gemma Hussey, Cynthia Ní Mhurchú, Vivian Cassells, Louis O’Flaherty, Dr Eileen Doyle and other well-known and respected writers. The first Education Matters Yearbook was published in 2006. The Education Matters Yearbook 2013 is available to buy online, in both print and pdf formats, at www.educationmatters.ie/yearbook. The whole book, 248 pages including index, or the individual sections can be purchased. The Yearbook can also be ordered by email: info@educationmatters.ie or by phone/text: 086 0809969. The Yearbook is also available to purchase in store in Easons, Galway. -Ends-

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Winners were selected from almost 4,000 submissions from 180 institutions worldwide Four NUI Galway students are winners of the 2013 Undergraduate Awards - an international academic awards programme that identifies top students across the globe through their innovative undergraduate research. A further five NUI Galway students were highly commended. Marcus Byrne was announced winner of the Classical Studies and Archaeology category award for his paper entitled Inferring Status From Early Bronze Age Burial whilst Aisling Ní Churraighín secured a win in the Irish Language, Literature and Folklore catergory for her essay Seán Ó hEochaidh – Bailitheor Béaloideasa in Iardheisceart Thír Chonaill sna 1930aidí: Léargas ón Dialann.  Joining them as winners were Khai El Baba Jones in the Philosophical Studies and Theology category with his essay Faith in Kant: The religiosity of moral faith and its relation to ecclesiastical faith in Kant’s thought and John Birrane for his essay on Is There a Need for Positive Psychology?which bagged him an award in the Psychology category. John’s essay not only won the Irish category for Psychology, but also won the overall international award. Judged by a panel made up of academics and industry experts from each field, the winning essays were selected from almost 4000 submissions in over 180 colleges and universities across the globe, to be named the best undergraduate in their field. Congratulating the students, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: "The success of these talented students highlights the high quality of study which our undergraduate students are engaged in.  Their success in these Awards will undoubtedly add lustre to their academic development, as well as underscore NUI Galway’s increasing profile as a centre of world-class research and teaching".  He continued by wishing them continued success in their academic endeavours. The four winning NUI Galway students, along with the 39 other UA winners, will be brought to Dublin for the UA Summit from 13-15 November.  Highly Commended students will also have the opportunity to attend the Summit by purchasing a ticket to the three-day event. The Summit is designed to celebrate these outstanding students from across the world, and to inspire them with speakers assembled from a diverse range of backgrounds. For further information on the UA Summit and the results of the 2013 Undergraduate Awards, please see www.undergraduateawards.com. -Ends-