Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Students to Engage with Her Excellency, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on European Matters during President’s Address at NUI Galway  NUI Galway today welcomed President of the Republic of Croatia, Mrs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, as part of the official State visit to Ireland. The President’s visit to Galway is particularly celebratory as the city which, together with Rijeka, was designated the European Capital of Culture 2020. The visit will also be an opportunity for the President to meet some of the Croatian community at the University. NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, speaking in advance of the official visit, said:   “It is a great pleasure to announce the visit of President Grabar-Kitarović to NUI Galway, where she will engage with students and academics on a range of programmes from across the campus. We look forward to welcoming her and the Croatian delegation to the University. As the newest member of the European Union, this visit is a welcome opportunity to hear from the Croatian President and this dynamic young European state at a time when European ideals are being tested. Ireland and Croatia share much, not least the cultural bonds which will be further developed over the coming years, during the lead-up to 2020 when Galway and Rijeka , (home town of President Grabar-Kitarovic) will share the title of European Capital of Culture.” The visit to NUI Galway will include an address by President Grabar-Kitarovic to students and academics, followed by a Q&A session moderated by Professor Brian Hughes, Dean of International Affairs, NUI Galway. Among the topics of discussion will be: International Relations; Brexit and the Future of the European Union; Global Women's Studies; Geo-politics of South Eastern Europe; the Role of Croatia within Europe; Migration, Culture and Identity in Europe; and Peace-building & International Human Rights. As part of the visit a showcase of Galway European Region of Gastronomy will take place in conjunction with Galway City and County Councils, featuring local artisanal food producers. As part of the State Visit the Croatian President held working meetings with her host President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and also with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., and members of the Croatian-Irish Friendship Group. The Croatian delegation will be accompanied by Minister of State, Seán Canney, T.D., the Ambassador of Croatia to Ireland, Mr Ivan Masina and the Ambassador of Ireland to Croatia, Her Excellency Olive Hempenstall. About President Grabar-Kitarović President Grabar-Kitarović was born 29 April 1968 in Rijeka, where she attended primary school. She completed secondary school in Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States of America. In 1993, she obtained a degree in English and Spanish from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb, and in addition completed further education in Portuguese. In 1994, she completed the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna and in 2000 obtained her Master's degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb. From 2002 to 2003, she was a Fulbright scholar on pre-doctoral research in international relations and security policy at the George Washington University, United States of America. At the time she was awarded the President’s Medal for scientific, social and political work. She was also a Lukšić Fellow in Senior Managers in Government Executive Program at the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard in 2009. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović began her career in 1992 in the Ministry of Science and Technology and in 1993 moved on to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she held various positions – in 1995 she was Head of Department for North America, in 1997 she worked as Counsellor in the Croatian Embassy in Canada, later as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission. From 2001 to 2003, she was Minister Counsellor in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in November 2003 was elected Member of Parliament in the 7th electoral district. The same year, she was sworn in as Minister of European Integration, and in 2005 as Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, office she held until 2008. The major objective of her term was to lead Croatia on its path to Euro-Atlantic integration and she was Head of the State Delegation for Negotiations on the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union. In 2008, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović became Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United States of America. In 2011, she was appointed NATO Assistant Secretary-General for Public Diplomacy, position she held until 2014, as the first woman Assistant Secretary-General ever in the history of NATO and the highest ranking woman in NATO. She is married and mother of two. She is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese and has some command of Italian, French and German. ENDS Cuireann OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh Uachtarán na Cróite le linn Cuairt Stáit Mic léinn le labhairt lena Soilse, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović faoi Chúrsaí Eorpacha le linn Óráid an Uachtaráin in OÉ Gaillimh Chuir OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh Uachtarán Phoblacht na Cróite, an tUasal Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, inniú mar chuid den Chuairt Stáit oifigiúil ar Éirinn. Is cúis ceiliúrtha ar leith é cuairt an Uachtaráin ar Ghaillimh mar gur ainmníodh an chathair, mar aon le Rijeka, mar Phríomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa 2020. Deis a bheidh sa chuairt ag an Uachtarán chomh maith casadh le cuid de phobal na Cróite san Ollscoil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, agus é ag labhairt roimh an gcuairt oifigiúil:   “Is mór an onóir é cuairt an Uachtaráin Grabar-Kitarović ar OÉ Gaillimh a fhógairt, áit a labhróidh sí le mic léinn agus le lucht acadúil ar réimse clár ar fud an champais. Táimid ag tnúth le fáilte a chur roimpi agus roimh an toscaireacht Chrótach chuig an Ollscoil. Mar an ball is nuaí den Aontas Eorpach, is deis mhaith í an chuairt seo cloisteáil ó Uachtarán na Cróite agus an stát óg dinimiciúil Eorpach seo ag tráth a bhfuil idéil na hEorpa á dtástáil.  Tá go leor cosúlachtaí idir Éirinn agus an Chróit, na naisc chultúrtha go háirithe a fhorbrófar tuilleadh sna blianta amach romhainn, ag druidim le 2020 nuair a roinnfidh Gaillimh agus Rijeka, (baile dúchais an Uachtaráin Grabar-Kitarovic) teideal Príomhchathair Chultúir na hEorpa. Mar chuid den chuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh tabharfaidh an tUachtarán Grabar-Kitarovic óráid uaithi do mhic léinn agus do lucht acadúil, agus ina dhiaidh sin beidh seisiún ceisteanna agus freagraí faoi stiúir an Ollaimh Brian Hughes, an Déan Gnóthaí Idirnáisiúnta, OÉ Gaillimh. I measc na n-ábhar cainte beidh: Caidreamh Idirnáisiúnta; Breatimeacht agus Todhchaí an Aontais Eorpaigh; Léann Domhanda na mBan; Geopholaitíocht Oirdheisceart na hEorpa; Ról na Cróite laistigh den Eoraip; Imirce, Cultúr agus Aitheantas san Eoraip; Cothú na Síochána & Cearta Daonna Idirnáisiúnta. Mar chuid den chuairt beidh sárthaispeántas de Ghaillimh mar Réigiún Gastranamaíochta na hEorpa ar siúl i gcomhar le Comhairlí Cathrach agus Contae na Gaillimhe, áit a mbeidh táirgeoirí áitiúla bia ag taispeáint a gcuid earraí. Mar chuid den Chuairt Stáit bhí cruinnithe ag Uachtarán na Cróite le hUachtarán na hÉireann, Micheál D. Ó hUigínn agus leis an Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D., agus le baill de Ghrúpa Cairdis na Cróite-na hÉireann.   In éineacht le toscaireacht na Cróite beidh an tAire Stáit, Seán Canney, T.D., Ambasadóir na Cróite chuig Éirinn, an tUasal Ivan Masina agus Ambasadóir na hÉireann chun na Cróite, a Soilse Olive Hempenstall.   Eolas faoin Uachtarán Grabar-Kitarović Rugadh an tUachtarán Grabar-Kitarovic ar an 29 Aibreán 1968 in Rijeka, áit ar fhreastail sí ar an mbunscoil. D’fhreastail sí ar an meánscoil in Los Alamos, Meicsiceo Nua, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá. Sa bhliain 1993, bhain sí céim amach sa Bhéarla agus sa Spáinnis ó Dhámh na Fealsúnachta, Ollscoil Shágraib, agus rinne sí breis staidéir ar an bPortaingéilis. Sa bhliain 1994, chríochnaigh sí an tAcadamh Dioplómaitiúil i Vín agus sa bhliain 2000 bhain sí céim Mháistreachta amach i gCaidrimh Idirnáisiúnta ó Dhámh na hEolaíochta Polaitiúla, Ollscoil Shágraib. Idir 2002 agus 2003, ba scoláire Fulbright a bhí inti ar thaighde réamhdhochtúireachta i gcaidrimh idirnáisiúnta agus polasaí slándála in Ollscoil George Washington, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá. Ag an am bronnadh Bonn an Uachtaráin d’obair eolaíoch, shóisialta agus pholaitiúil uirthi. Ba Chomhalta Lukšić chomh maith í i mBainisteoirí Sinsearacha i gClár Feidhmiúcháin Rialtais i Scoil Rialtais J.F.K. in Harvard in 2009. Chuir Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović tús lena gairm in 1992 san Aireacht Eolaíochta agus Teicneolaíochta agus in 1993 bhog sí go dtí an Aireacht Gnóthaí Eachtracha áit a raibh cúpla ról aici – in 1995 bhí sí ina Ceann Roinne do Mheiriceá Thuaidh, in 1997 d’oibrigh sí mar Chomhairleoir in Ambasáid na Cróite i gCeanada, agus ina dhiaidh sin mar Aire-Comhairleoir agus Leas-Cheannaire Misin. Ó 2001 go 2003, bhí sí ina hAire-Comhairle san Aireacht Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus i mí na Samhna 2003 toghadh í ina Teachta Parlaiminte sa seachtú toghcheantar. An bhliain chéanna, rinneadh Aire Lánpháirtíochta Eorpaí di, agus in 2005 ghlac sí oifig mar Aire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Lánpháirtíochta Eorpaí, agus bhí sí sa ról sin go dtí 2008. Ba é príomhchuspóir a téarma an Chróit a threorú i dtreo lánpháirtiú Eorpach-Atlantach agus bhí sí ina Ceannaire ar an Toscaireacht Stáit d’Idirbheartaíochtaí ar Aontachas Phoblacht na Cróite leis an Aontas Eorpach. In 2008, ghlac Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović leis an ról mar Ambasadóir Phoblacht na Cróite chuig Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá. In 2011, ceapadh í ina hArd-Rúnaí Cúnta NATO do Thaidhleoireacht Phoiblí, ról a bhí aici go dtí 2014, agus í ar an gcéad bhean a bhí i ról Ard-Rúnaí Cúnta riamh i stair NATO agus an bhean ba shinsearaí in NATO. Tá sí pósta agus tá beirt chlainne uirthi. Tá sí líofa sa Bhéarla, sa Spáinnis agus sa Phortaingéilis agus tá cumas áirithe aici san Iodáilis, sa Fhraincis agus sa Ghearmáinis.  CRÍOCH

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

An NUI Galway-led study, which was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, has raised questions over the continued application of wastewater treatment plant residuals (sewage sludge) to land. Sewage sludge is a by-product of wastewater treatment processes, and up to 80% of sludge produced in Irish wastewater treatment plants is applied each year as fertiliser to agricultural land. This practice is not permitted in some other European countries. The research project was led by Dr Mark Healy, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering at the College of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, and comprised of researchers from the University, Teagasc and UCD. The study found that despite the many potential benefits of recycling sewage sludge to land, there are many risks, which include the presence of emerging contaminants and metals in sewage sludge and the potential for surface runoff of harmful contaminants into receiving waters.  Speaking about the research findings, Dr Mark Healy at NUI Galway said, “This is a significant finding which may have implications for the continuation of this practice in Ireland. There is a possibility that contaminants present in sewage sludge, some of which are not currently regulated by legislation, may be applied to land, and may accumulate in the soils and enter the food chain.” The results of this study have been published by the Environmental Protection Agency Research Report 200 entitled, ‘Health and Water Quality Impacts Arising from Land Spreading of Biosolids’. To read the published EPA report visit: http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/researchpublications/researchreports/research200.html   -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NUI Galway’s Choral Society will host a free concert with over 100 singers from the Guilford High School Choirs of Connecticut, USA on Monday, 10 April at 8pm in the Bailey Allen Hall.   The programme will consist of a selection of both classical and contemporary choral works from around the world. Featured pieces include madrigals, spirituals, folk songs and Irish medleys, as well as more traditional classics.  Melissa Morris, Auditor of the NUI Galway Choral Society, said: “We are delighted to be joining together with this wonderful group of singers from Guilford. It is not often that we have the opportunity to sing with such a large choir. We’re all very excited about the event and encourage anyone who is interested in singing to attend.”  On a first time visit to Ireland, the 105 students from Guilford, Connecticut are aged 16-19 and are recognised as one of the best high school choir in the USA.  Led by Director Dr Kevin Bruno, the choir has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Centre in New York City and travelled extensively throughout the north eastern states of America. Previous overseas tours have included Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic.  Dr Bruno said: “We are honoured to be visiting Galway and singing at NUI Galway as guests of the University Choral Society. The students are keen to meet the other singers and have the opportunity of sharing their music.” After their visit to NUI Galway the choir will give another concert on Tuesday, 11 April at 8pm at the Cathedral of St Mary in Tuam in aid of Western Alzheimers. For further information please contact alison.n.pullen@gmail.com or the NUI Galway Societies office on 091 492852. -Ends-

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

NUI Galway-led study finds that localised residency and inter-annual fidelity to coastal foraging areas may place sea bass at risk of local depletion A collaboration between Irish researchers from NUI Galway, UCC and Cork Harbour Angling Hub, have become the first in the world to track the detailed movements of individual sea bass in Europe. The authors have found that sea bass in Cork Harbour were highly resident, remaining within one to three kilometres of where they were originally caught and tagged, a behaviour not known before this study. They also found that these localised fish returned to the same areas after their winter migration. The study, published this week in Scientific Reports, was led and co-authored by Dr Tom Doyle from the Ryan Institute and MaREI Centre at NUI Galway, in close collaboration with researchers Mr Damien Haberlin, Mr Ashley Bennison and Dr Mark Jessopp from UCC’s MaREI Centre and expert angler, Jim Clohessy from Cork Harbour Angling Hub. Sea bass is a large fish species only found in Irish and UK waters and south into the Mediterranean and along North Africa. It is a commercially important species as it fetches a high price on the markets compared to other fish species. Sea bass is also an important fish for recreational anglers and is worth up to €70 million to the Irish economy. Despite very robust conservation measures in place in Ireland, sea bass populations in northern European waters have been declining since 2010, so much so that the EU has introduced a series of emergency measures to try and halt this decline. These include catch restrictions on various bass fisheries, a large closed area around Ireland and Celtic seas, and a limit to the amount of sea bass that recreational anglers can retain in a day (one fish). The International Council for the Exploration of our Seas (ICES) advised the EU Commission that there should be no catch of sea bass in 2017. This study presents the first telemetry tracking movements of sea bass. Telemetry is the remote tracking of an animal using an electronic device (transmitter) and a series of listening posts (acoustic receivers), which were strategically placed all around Cork Harbour. The team used acoustic telemetry to track 30 individual fish for up to one year during 2013 to 2015 in the harbour. As the tagged fish swam around the harbour their movements were detected if they swam within 500 metres of a listening post.  Speaking about the research, Dr Tom Doyle from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, said: “Knowing that sea bass return to the same little patch of coastal water each year is absolutely fascinating and asks so many questions about how they navigate and recognise when they are ‘home’, but it also has important implications for the conservation of this species.” Fish left the harbour in October and November and returned in May and June, accurately describing the timing of departure and return migrations. Remarkably, 93% of fish returned to Cork Harbour after their winter migration and 86% returned to the exact area they resided in before their migration, displaying high fidelity to these local areas. Given their longevity (fish can live up to 25 years) and the combination of inter-annual fidelity to localised foraging areas, sea bass may be very susceptible to local depletion. Co-author of the study, Mr Jim Clohessy from Cork Harbour Angling Hub, said: “The marriage between science and angling in this study is fascinating. The results and some of the information coming out of this research has the potential to save the state a lot of money in terms of targeting their fisheries protection.” Mr Damien Haberlin from UCC’s MaREI Centre, added: “It is really amazing that for many of our familiar marine fish we know very little about their movements beyond some very broad generalisations that they are found inshore during the summer months and during the winter they move offshore to reproduce. So in this context, our findings are very exciting. It’s really nice to have some detailed movement data on one of our most important marine fish species.” The research was funded by ESB and Science Foundation Ireland (under MaREI Centre), with strong support from the local angling community in Cork Harbour, and in particular Richie Ryan and Andy Davies, who helped catch the fish to carry out the research. To read the full paper in Scientific Reports visit: www.nature.com/articles/srep45841 -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

An Taoiseach announces transatlantic collaboration partnership to provide entrepreneurship training for SFI researchers that includes NUI Galway-based CÚRAM Investigator and Translational Medical Device Lab Director Dr Martin O’Halloran, Investigator at the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices (CÚRAM) and Director of the Translational Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway, has been announced as one of the first twenty Irish researchers funded through Science Foundation Ireland’s new I-Corps programme. The researchers will travel to the US to undertake entrepreneurship training as part of the NSF I-Corps Curriculum. Dr O’Halloran, Mr Atif Shahzad and Dr Neil Ferguson from CÚRAM will work alongside their clinical lead, Dr Conall Dennedy, Consultant Endocrinologist and Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics at NUI Galway. The researchers will travel to the US this summer as one of the first Irish teams to receive training on opportunity-discovery and business model development. This applied training course is based on the ‘Lean LaunchPad’ methodology, developed by renowned Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur, Steve Blank of Stanford University. The programme will involve teams participating in an intensive and immersive boot camp, delivered at some of the most prestigious universities in the US. This will be followed by a mentored programme that will see teams interview up to 100 potential customers over a six-week period, using collected observations to arrive at a viable and validated business model for a proposed technology. Announcing the investment in Washington DC on the 16 March, An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, said: “I am delighted to announce this international collaboration led by Science Foundation Ireland, which will support and cultivate entrepreneurship in the research community in Ireland. This is a significant step towards achieving the innovation and entrepreneurship skills outlined in the Irish Government’s science strategy, Innovation 2020. “This programme aligns well with our commitment to having one of the most highly skilled and innovative workforces in the world. By fostering increased entrepreneurship, we will also see greater commercialisation of cutting-edge research, giving us a globally competitive advantage.” Dr O'Halloran’s Translational Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway explores the use of low-power electromagnetic waves for medical imaging and therapeutic applications, and his research ranges from basic science to the clinical evaluation and commercialisation of novel medical devices. Speaking about the award, Dr O’Halloran said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to develop new skills within our team, to facilitate the efficient translation of our research into viable commercial products that ultimately improve quality of life for patients.” The NSF’s ground-breaking I-Corps Curriculum will prepare scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and broaden the impact of research projects. The announcement marks Science Foundation Ireland becoming the first European Funding Agency to implement the highly regarded NSF entrepreneurship programme. Speaking at the announcement, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “This extremely prestigious programme builds on Ireland’s international reputation for research excellence, and on the long-standing relationship that exists between Science Foundation Ireland and the NSF. It will greatly enhance Ireland’s innovation potential, with SFI-funded researchers receiving immersive, real-world training in bringing scientific and technological research to market.” “The NSF I-Corps program has already enabled researchers to expand their horizons far beyond the lab into the marketplace, and has bolstered the US national innovation ecosystem,” said Barry Johnson, acting NSF Assistant Director for Engineering, which oversees the NSF I-Corps program. “The new SFI-funded teams will contribute to the global innovation environment, providing new opportunities for international collaborations and helping to provide novel approaches to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

NUI Galway is delighted to announce that Dr Faisal Sharif has been appointed the new Director of BioInnovate Ireland. A Stanford-affiliated programme at NUI Galway, BioInnovate Ireland brings together doctors, engineers, designers and business experts to identify unmet medical needs and develop solutions that directly benefit patients.  Dr Sharif is the one of the founding members and clinical director of the programme which began in 2011. An Interventional Cardiologist in the Saolta group and a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway, he has a keen interest in new medical devices for unmet clinical needs and has started multiple new programmes in collaboration with industry and the Saolta group. He also directs the Cardiovascular Research Centre in NUI Galway. Professor Peter McHugh, Dean of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics, said: “This highly successful programme directly addresses the demand for innovation training and the generation of new product concepts in the Medtech sector; the fact that it is led by NUI Galway is testament to our world-leading status in this industrial area, and we wish Faisal every success in his new role to take the programme to even greater success.” Dr Faisal Sharif said: “Since its inception, BioInnovate Ireland has forged very strong links with the industry, clinicians and academics. I look forward to strategically growing the ‘BioInnovate Ireland’ brand both nationally and internationally and advancing its mission by producing world-class entrepreneurs for our indigenous Medtech sector. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to BioInnovate Ireland in the last six years, including the previous Director Professor Mark Bruzzi and I look forward to the next phase of this exciting programme.” The programme mission is to develop future Medtech entrepreneurs through a well-defined process of need identification to commercialization. Participants focus on one specific clinical area and receive mentorship from industry, clinicians, Venture Capitalists, domain experts and academics. Each participant is supported by Enterprise Ireland. Teams are located in partner universities, perform their initial clinical immersion phase in the associated hospitals, and subsequently in hospitals across the country. To date, team members have interacted with hundreds of clinical staff in over 50 hospitals. The programme has developed global links including Stanford, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic (USA) and Karolinska/KTH (Sweden). -Ends-   

Monday, 3 April 2017

NUI Galway and EPA pilot study finds that people perceive they are happier, more restored and more motivated to be active, when connecting with nature NUI Galway and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have published a pilot study that connects health benefits with people’s perceptions of nature. The report, Health Benefits from Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure describes how people perceive contact with nature and how it enhances their health and wellbeing. Professor Martin Cormican, Centre for Health from Environment, NUI Galway, and a lead author of the report, said: “Caring for the environment is about caring for people. The environment is where we live, work and play, it is what we eat, drink and breathe. The environment is the foundation of our personal wellbeing and of our communities. Communities working together with local authorities, health service and environmental agencies is the most effective and the least expensive way to get to help people live well and live long. Our work helps to find better ways in which we can work towards that goal.” Researchers from NUI Galway assessed (1) evidence of wellbeing and health benefits from biodiversity, (2) views of health benefits from nature held by people who make decisions regarding green space and (3) practices to engage the public with the natural environment as a sustainable health strategy, to inform policymakers and practitioners of the health benefits from the natural environment, and to recommend implementation strategies in Ireland. How people spend time outdoors and connect with nature changes as they progress through life. The researchers wanted to know who influences the type of outdoor spaces on our doorstep - and what do they think about nature and health? The team assessed scientific reports and also held interviews with decision-makers representing local authority staff, conservationists and health promotion officers.   The research is important for local authorities and communities, health promotion officers and environmentalists as it demonstrates the need for decision makers and communities to work together to share their views on how to secure safe biodiverse attractive spaces for people and nature. Key recommendations from the report include:  Health Service Executive and local authorities should work closer together to ensure that access to attractive biodiverse space is secured at strategic planning levels.  Safe accessible nature spaces should be co-designed with communities, reflect local needs and be within 300m of people’s homes. The overarching recommendation is that health officials and environmental organisations need to work together to safeguard a healthy environment for healthy communities. Professor Mike Gormally from the Applied Ecology Unit at NUI Galway, and a lead author of the report, said: “Recognising that people’s perceptions of nature differ is the first step. The next step is to discover how their perceptions influence the actions of key green space decision-makers and how that might impact on biodiversity.” Dr Caitriona Carlin from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and a lead author of the report, said: “We were delighted that all stakeholders recognised that contact with nature was important for their health and wellbeing. Some stakeholders were happy knowing nature was just around the corner, or talked about the presence of street trees. It is really important to create or retrofit urban spaces for nature and for people, to help them exercise, relax and feel calm. When people value that connection with nature, they are also more likely to conserve it. This has led directly to a new project, NEAR Health, which is all about connecting individuals and communities to nature. It is very exciting to work in this emerging area of nature and health as part of a team of scientists, social innovators, marketing and medical professionals.” This pilot study has informed the NEAR Health project. Communities play a huge role in caring for our environment. The NEAR Health project asks communities what they want from nature in their locality, and what would help people connect more with nature.   This research was conducted in the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, with collaboration from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and local authorities. The full report, Health Benefits from Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure, is available on the EPA website at: http://www.epa.ie/researchandeducation/research/researchpublications/researchreports/research195.html -Ends-

Monday, 3 April 2017

Research Day will discuss topics ranging from the challenges presented by the current populist backlash against government policy and political systems election of leaders, environmental sustainability, transport, and higher education policies The Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change will hold its annual Research Day on Thursday, 6 April in the Alice Perry Engineering Building at NUI Galway. The institute is named after the late Dr T.K. Whitaker who is widely recognised for setting Ireland’s economy on a path of internationalisation and modernisation. Throughout his illustrious career, Dr Whitaker demonstrated and implemented innovative ideas and approaches to challenges and issues facing our economy and society. The Whitaker Institute has adopted a similarly innovative, multidisciplinary and transformative approach in its research on challenges facing business and society in Ireland today and internationally. The Whitaker Institute’s Research Day will encompass research under each of the three thematic areas of the Institue: Sustainable and Inclusive Societies, Public Sector Innovation and Reform, and Business, Innovation and Economic Development.  Focusing on these main themes, the Research Day is an opportunity for those interested in research to meet and discuss how the broad and diverse research of the Institute, on a range of social and economic issues, can promote a more sustainable and inclusive society. Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, said: “The Whitaker Institute Research Day will discuss a broad range of topics including the election of leaders, transport, environmental sustainability, wellbeing, creative entrepreneurship, mediation, higher education policies, domestic violence, and the role of robots in care. We honour the legacy of T. K. Whitaker’s work and we consider how the issues he raised can still inform our research and policy making today. The research day will foster discussion of those key ideas that have an impact on today’s society, in terms of sustainability, inclusivity, innovation, and reform.” The Research Day will involve a series of talks in the University’s Alice Perry Engineering Building, and a poster display of on-going Institute research in the building’s foyer. The day will be divided up into five main sessions. The first session will encompass presentations under the Sustainable and Inclusive Societies theme, focusing on the topic ‘A Sense of Place’.  The second session, under the Public Sector Innovation and Reform theme, will focus on the topic ‘Addressing the Backlash’. Speakers in this session will explore the question, ‘How might research adapt to address the challenges presented by the current populist backlash against government policy and political systems?’ “We are particularly pleased to welcome Professor Liam Delaney, AIB Chair of Behavioural Economics at UCD, who will deliver the keynote speech Back to Hume: Economics, the Behavioural Sciences, and Public Policy”, added Professor Ahearne. Professor Delaney’s session will lead into the third set of presentations under the Business, Innovation and Economic Development theme on the topic of ‘Understanding Behaviour’. Finally, a second set of presentations under the Sustainable and Inclusive Societies theme will address issues related to ‘Place and Inclusivity.’ Register online, and download the full agenda at:  http://whitakerinstitute.ie/event/whitaker-institute-research-day-2017-2/ -Ends-

Monday, 3 April 2017

The School of Law is hosting a half-day conference on Wednesday, 5 April on the theme “The Judiciary, the State and Social Change”. The conference will focus, in particular, on proposed reforms to the judicial appointments system. Speakers include: Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, author of ‘The Politics of Judicial Selection in Ireland’ Dr Tom Hickey of Dublin City University and co-editor of ‘Judges, Politics and the Irish Constitution’ Tom O'Malley, School of Law, NUI Galway For further information contact eoin.daly@nuigalway.ie or click here. -Ends-

Friday, 31 March 2017

National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) will participate in an open house exhibition of rare book materials and a panel discussion on ‘Representations of Jews in Irish Literature’ at the Butler Library in Columbia University’s Heyman Center, New York on Tuesday, 4 April. The exhibition, curated by Dr Emily Bloom of Columbia University and Dr Marie-Claire Peters of Ulster University, is one of the outcomes of a three-year research project led by Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh, Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway. The project, which has researched representations of Jews in Irish literature over the last 1,000 years in both Irish and English, was funded £408,000 by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council and is a collaboration between Ulster’s Arts and Humanities Research Institute and NUI Galway’s Moore Institute. The renowned Shakespearean scholar Dr James Shapiro from Columbia University will compère the event. Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh will speak about the origins of the project and also about Irish-Jewish autobiography. The Irish author, Ruth Gilligan, will read from her latest novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, a work of historical fiction that describes the complex Irish-Jewish community. Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh at NUI Galway, an expert on German Jewish studies who took the initiative to develop this collaborative project five years ago, said: “I am delighted that this project is being brought to the Heyman Center. The exhibition is testament to the fact that Irish literature reveals a cultural diversity that goes far beyond narrow stereotypes. As two diasporic communities whose paths have often crossed, the Irish and the Jews have complex shared histories. This exhibition and discussion aims to connect these interwoven narratives of migration, displacement, and cultural contact. This project sheds a light on an important aspect of how Irish identity has evolved, and the Columbia version of the exhibition will add a further dimension by shedding light on American aspects of Irish-Jewish interaction. It cannot be said often enough that Irish identity is and always has been far more diverse than some narratives would suggest, and I look forward to engaging with colleagues from across the Atlantic on the subject.” Versions of the exhibition have successfully toured Ireland in 2016 and 2017, across six towns and cities in Dublin, Armagh, Belfast, Galway, Coleraine and Waterford. To register for the conference visit: http://heymancenter.org/events/the-irish-and-the-jews/ -Ends-

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Four A grades for NUI Galway Research in U-Multirank 2017 edition, an EU Commission-led initiative, highlighting the University’s research impact NUI Galway’s research performance has been given the ranking of four A grades for its research impact. The ranking was published today in U-Multirank 2017, an EU Commission-led initiative, which is described as the world’s largest and most detailed university rankings measure of excellence in over 1,300 higher education and research institutions worldwide. The indicators, published across Europe today highlighted NUI Galway’s impact in research with A grades in four performance indicators in this area. This follows advances for NUI Galway in both the QS and Times Higher Education rankings, which have seen the University join the Top 250 global institutions for the first time. Professor Lokesh Joshi, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed today’s announcement: “It is rewarding to see that the excellent research carried out here at NUI Galway is ranked so highly by this EU Commission initiative. The impact of our research on society and the economy demonstrates the international relevance of our work. “As our international reputation continues to grow, we are furthering collaborations with other universities and with industry, for even greater impact. Global collaborations are an integral part of our research strategy and these rankings testify to the strong relationships we have internationally.” NUI Galway announced just last week that CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at the University is to collaborate with the Mayo Clinic in the United States on research into blood clots that cause ischemic stroke. In recent years, NUI Galway has also announced high-level institutional agreements with the likes of Tsinghua University in Beijing and University of Massachusetts, while its many successful EU projects are multi-University collaborations. Meanwhile, collaborative projects such as that led by Dr Ellen Roche with Harvard University on a soft robotic sleeve to help a heart to beat, show the innovative outcomes to collaboration. Professor Joshi continued: “It’s at the cross-section of collaboration that we often have our greatest breakthroughs in research, and the team here at NUI Galway are very open to working with colleagues and industry partners around the world. We also partner with the individuals and organisations on whom our research will have the greatest effect, which brings about mutually-enriching ways to maximise the impact of our research. We are, for example, engaging with patients to design clinical trials, involving youth researchers on issues that affect them, and bringing people with disabilities onto research projects about policy.” To view the University’s research rankings visit: http://www.umultirank.org/#!/explore?trackType=explore&sightMode=undefined&section=exploreUniversityDetail&detailUniversity=165&name=national-university-of-ireland-galway  -Ends-

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Giada Lagana, a final year PhD candidate in the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, was recently awarded the Elocution prize at the PhD contest ‘My Thesis in 3 Minutes … in French!’ in Dublin. The event was organised by the Embassy of France in Ireland and set during the month of la Francophonie, which celebrates and promotes French language and cultural diversity. The contest tasks PhD candidates of all nationalities and all disciplines to present their research project in three minutes in French. This year, 25 competitors coming from seven universities and Institutes of Technology were judged according to several criteria including speech quality, outreaching and speech structure. NUI Galway were represented by two PhD candidates, Justine Aussant from Zoology who presented her work on microalgae, and Giada Lagana who presented “The European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process” winning her one of the three prizes attributed during the contest. The jury were composed of four experts working in Ireland, all of them having defended a doctoral thesis including: Dr Virginie Gautier, principal investigator at University College Dublin; Dr Rachid Seghrouchni from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Ireland; and Dr Michel Dugon and Dr Muriel Grenon, two NUI Galway lecturers from the School of Natural Sciences experienced with public engagement in science. Stéphane Aymard from the French Embassy in Ireland said: “All presentations were of outstanding quality and participants, of whom 70% were not native speakers, were all successful in speaking clearly and concisely in French while delivering fascinating information on their research. It was great to have doctorate participants from most part of Ireland including NUI Galway, where many staff and students have a strong interest in French values and culture.” Dr Muriel Grenon, Vice-Dean for Promotion of Science Technology Engineering and Maths at NUI Galway said: “It is a very important and useful skill for researchers to be able to communicate clearly and simply the importance of their work to the public – it is an additional advantage to be able to communicate in multiple languages. Congratulations to Justine and Giada, their participation and Giada’s victory are a credit to the multiple talents of NUI Galway postgraduate students.” More information can be found at http://www.ambafrance-ie.org/My-Thesis-in-3-minutes-in-French-4407. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne, today (Tuesday, 28 March) presented over 950 student volunteers the ALIVE Certificate for Volunteering. The ceremony was attended by Galway City Mayor, Councillor Noel Larkin. Students have volunteered with a variety of local and national organisations throughout the year including Barretstown, Music for Galway, Scouts, Ability West, and Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. Volunteers have also brought experiments to Galway schools through a wide range of science outreach workshops and participated in reading and mentoring through school homework clubs. Guest speakers shared the impact of the media this year for two important social justice issues including the Galway Traveller Movement who spoke on the success of the ethnicity recognition campaign and the Galway Simon Community reflected on Apollo House. Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway Student Volunteer Coordinator, said: “Sometimes we see a community event on our television or through social media but it is difficult to connect this to our everyday lives and the behind the scenes collective effort to create social change. The ceremony is an important opportunity to discuss national and local social justice concerns, with our community partners who can share their expertise and inspire the next generation to take action.” NUI Galway student Eavan O’Dochartaigh, who volunteers with Galway 14th, St Patrick's Scout Group, said: “I really enjoy that the Beavers give children a chance to do activities that they might not otherwise get the chance to do (e.g. overnight camping, kayaking). It's great to see the children learning new skills while having fun and making friends. It's also rewarding to see their independence develop as well as friendships that come about because of Scouts.” Rachel Kane, NUI Galway student and volunteer with Ability West, said: “With volunteering you walk away with so much, a sense that you have helped in a small way and made a difference or brought just a little happiness to somebody’s day.” ALIVE is the student volunteering programme at NUI Galway and students are awarded Certificates to acknowledge their contribution to campus programmes and local and international community volunteering. The ceremony is an annual event to encourage volunteering and to thank all the community partners for hosting student volunteers. This year the ALIVE programme worked with higher education institutions across Ireland to successfully launch StudentVolunteer.ie a national platform to match students to non-profits. For further information contact Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Coordinator at 091 495346, or email alive@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

NUI Galway is organising an international conference entitled ‘The Future is Now! eConveyancing and Title Registration’ from 7-8 April. The conference, which will take place in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, will be chaired by Supreme Court Justice Miss Mary Laffoy and Court of Appeal Judge Michael Peart. Technology is rapidly transforming the transfer of property, land and housing in Ireland and across the world. Electronic Conveyancing, or eConveyancing, is heralded as the future for conveyancing and title registration. This international conference brings together leading world authorities on eConveyancing and title registration drawn from academia, legal practice, the Law Society and the Property Registration Authority. Keynote speaker at the conference will be Professor John Wylie, leading land law expert and author of ‘Irish Land Law’ and ‘Irish Conveyancing Law’. He will outline the development of the Irish Conveyancing System and the radical changes that will be required to traditional conveyancing processes in the move to eConveyancing. Other speakers will examine the changes taking place in Ireland to facilitate these technological developments in property, land and housing, registration and transfer, including the new Blockchain system. Speakers at the conference will include: Professor Nicholas Hopkins, Law Commission of England and Wales Liz Pope, CEO, Property Registration Authority of Ireland Dr Gabriel Brennan and Eamonn Keenan, eConveyancing Project, Law Society of Ireland Professor Martin Dixon, University of Cambridge Professor Sjef Van Erp, Maastricht University Professor Peter Sparkes, University of Southampton Dr Una Woods, University of Limerick Associate Professor Rod Thomas, Auckland University of Technology Mark Jordan, University of Southampton Patricia Rickard Clarke, Solicitor and former Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission Dr Simon Cooper, Oxford Brookes University  Dr Padraic Kenna of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “This stellar line up of speakers includes leading national and international experts in this field. Land and Conveyancing Law is changing rapidly in this country, and with government policy supporting the move to eConveyancing, it is vital that both academics and practitioners keep abreast of developments in this area. It is particularly important and relevant in light of the proposed move to pre-contract title investigation in Ireland. The conference will allow delegates to familiarise themselves with the up to date position and current thinking about eConveyancing and Title Registration from the standpoint of the key players in Ireland.” Full details and registration online are available at: http://conference.ie/Conferences/index.asp?Conference=495. The conference, which is sponsored by Ronan Daly Jermyn, will provide seven hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points for those who register and attend. For further information please contact Dr Padraic Kenna at padraic.kenna@nuigalway.ie or Sandra Murphy at s.murphy52@nuigalway.ie in NUI Galway. -Ends-

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

NUI Galway-led ENERGISE seeks to transform energy use in households and communities across Ireland and Europe and contribute to European policy-making on reducing energy consumption ENERGISE is an innovative pan-European research initiative setup to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy consumption. Led by NUI Galway, and funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019), ENERGISE develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. ENERGISE is the European Network for Research, Good Practice and Innovation for Sustainable Energy. The research team at NUI Galway are currently looking to identify interesting initiatives for reducing energy consumption in households and communities across Ireland and Europe, inviting people to contact them about their ideas and projects. ENERGISE uses cutting edge research techniques (e.g. Living Labs) to directly observe existing energy cultures in a real-world setting and to test both household and community-level initiatives to reduce energy consumption. Across Europe, there are a many people and organisations that take steps towards more sustainable, low-energy living and this initiative would like to showcase and learn from as many different sources as possible. The ENERGISE team would like to hear and learn from: Those involved in a project that seeks to change the way people use and consume energy. Those promoting energy efficiency and lower energy consumption in households, for example an NGO, an energy agency, a business, a group of neighbours or a social club. Dr Frances Fahy, Head of the School of Geography at NUI Galway and Lead Investigator on the ENERGISE project, hopes that members of local community groups will get involved and let the NUI Galway team know about the many energy initiatives that are taking place all around the country: “Individual energy consumption is a function of who we are, where we come from, as well as the social and cultural contexts in which we live. We are really keen to hear from groups who are involved in any scale of activities that impact or try to influence the way people use and consume energy.” Projects that get selected as part of the research may contribute to European policy-making on reducing energy consumption. The projects may also be shared across 30 European countries through a database the ENERGISE team are creating on their website, and gain international recognition through scientific reports and policy papers. The ENERGISE consortium includes ten research partners (universities, research institutes, enterprises and NGOs) from Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. To participate send your contact details and basic information about your project, or a project you are aware of to: eimear.heaslip@nuigalway.ie or phone Dr Frances Fahy at 091 492315. For further information about the project visit: http://www.energise-project.eu/ -Ends-

Monday, 27 March 2017

Launch of the Alliance for Wound Research and Innovation to take place during the event NUI Galway, in partnership with The New York College of Podiatric Medicine, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland and The Organisation of Chiropodists/Podiatrists of Ireland will host the third Transatlantic Wound Science and Podiatric Medicine. This two-day international conference will take place from the 31 March in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, and is set to be the largest wound science and podiatric medicine conference in Ireland. The conference will be dense with presentations and workshops by experts in the fields of diabetes, wound management, vascular disease and podiatric medicine. The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Sharing the Vision – innovation, integration, new horizons’ and is expected to attract a large number of national and international delegates to Galway City. Speakers will include: Cheryl O’ Neill, Chair of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists of Ireland Professor William Jeffcoate, Consultant Diabetologist, Nottingham Foot Ulcer Trials Unit, UK Dr Paramjit Chopra, Chairman and Medical Director, Midwest Institute for Minimally Invasive Therapies and Associate Professor, Rush University, US Professor Michael J. Trepal, Professor of Podiatric Surgery, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean, New York College of Podiatric Medicine, US Professor Caroline McIntosh, Established Professor and Head of Podiatric Medicine, NUI Galway Dr Georgina Gethin, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway Professor Caroline McIntosh, Head of Podiatric Medicine at NUI Galway, said: “The University has benefitted from its affiliation with the New York College of Podiatric Medicine through student exchanges, collaborative research initiatives, video case conferences and shared seminars, the sharing of knowledge and expertise, an international perspective and collaborative research opportunities. On Friday evening we will launch the Alliance for Wound Research and Innovation, a multidisciplinary, multiagency collaboration to provide a focus for research and innovation in the field of wound care. The Galway region has one of the highest numbers of medical device technology companies in the world and in addition NUI Galway is host to CÚRAM – the Centre for Research in Medical Devices. Galway also delivers the only BSc Podiatric Medicine programme in the Republic of Ireland, the School of Nursing and Midwifery has an MSc/PhD in Wound Healing and Tissue Repair. Our colleagues have conducted world-leading research in stem cell therapies in wound healing and along with researchers/clinicians in microbiology, bioengineering, nursing, medicine and others we have a wealth of expertise.” Dr Georgina Gethin, Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway, said: “This new initiative will be pivotal in the development of collaborative research to improve the lives of the 1000’s of people with wounds or at risk of a wound and help alleviate the impact on the individual, society and healthcare systems.” -ENDS-           

Monday, 27 March 2017

NUI Galway coordinated PANDEM report outlines the threat posed by pandemics to European citizens and makes recommendations on priorities for future research to enhance the capacity of EU Member States to respond to the next pandemic The European Union-funded pandemic project, Pandemic Risk and Emergency Management (PANDEM), has completed its research phase and produced a final report, identifying current needs and recommending innovative solutions to the European Commission. The 18-month project, coordinated by NUI Galway, was funded through the EU Horizon 2020 Secure Societies programme of research and innovation, to help improve pandemic preparedness across European Union member states and beyond. Throughout history, pandemics have had a major impact on the health and security of human populations. An outbreak of plague killed one third of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages, and Spanish flu killed 40-50 million people in the early 20th century. In 2003, a new disease called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) emerged in China and spread from Hong Kong through international transport hubs to multiple countries within days causing major disruption with an estimated economic cost of US$80 billion. The most recent H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 spread around the world in weeks, affecting all countries with significant health, economic, political, social, cultural and environmental consequences. More recently, outbreaks of the Zika virus, Ebola and MERS-CoV have posed major threats to human health, and to global trade and trust. The threat analysis conducted by the project concluded that the risk of emergence of a pandemic is greater now than ever before. Influenza viruses continue to circulate between birds, pigs and humans, greater numbers of laboratories engaging in bioengineering work on dangerous pathogens increases the risk of accidental release if biosafety measures are not strictly implemented, and bioterrorism poses a threat with the increased availability of technology and knowledge to build a bioweapon. Antibiotic resistance is also a major threat to human health which could bring the management of infectious diseases back to the pre-antibiotic era. The objectives of the PANDEM project were to review best practice and identify tools and systems needed to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response at national, EU and global levels. From the beginning of the project in September 2015, there has been a particular focus on identifying innovative solutions to build capacity of EU member states to collaborate on cross border risk assessment, response and recovery. These solutions aim to build the foundations for a multi-disciplinary, inter-sectoral network of experts, and contribute to the reduction of health, socio-economic and security consequences of future pandemics through improved preparedness at local, national, EU and global level. Professor Máire Connolly from the Discipline of Bacteriology in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, and coordinator of the PANDEM project said: “The timing and origin of the next pandemic is uncertain, but improved preparedness can minimise the impact on human lives and health, and the disruption to economies and societies that results. By applying innovations from the security, defence and crisis management sectors to improve the tools and systems used by the health sector, we can help to ensure that Europe and the wider world are better prepared to rapidly detect and mitigate the impact of the next pandemic.” The project coordinated by NUI Galway included the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Swedish Defense Research Agency, Public Health Agency of Sweden, Université catholique de Louvain and IGS Strategic Communications. The PANDEM team at NUI Galway, a collaboration between the School of Medicine, the College of Engineering and Informatics and the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, demonstrated the cutting edge expertise in the University and the value of cross-disciplinary work to bring science and innovation to the next level in this important field of pandemic research. The PANDEM Final Conference was held in Brussels earlier this month, back-to-back with a meeting of DG HOME’s Community of Users for Safe, Secure and Resilient societies, which brought the recommendations of the PANDEM project and proposed next steps to more than 1,000 members of the Community of Users in crisis management, security and related fields in Europe. For more information on PANDEM visit: http://www.pandem.eu.com/ -Ends-

Monday, 27 March 2017

NUI Galway will hold a workshop on ‘The Dark Psychological Impacts of Social Media in the Workplace’ at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics on Monday, 10 April. A large body of research has considered the positive aspects of social media in the workplace. However, emerging research and practice are beginning to focus on complex and often alarming ways in which use of social media may harmfully affect workers.  For example, addiction, anxiety and depression, privacy violation, stress, information overload, and work-family conflict are some of the issues that have been studied so far. This workshop focuses on these psychological effects of social media in the workplace.  Dr Eoin Whelan, Lecturer at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics said: “We are delighted to be hosting this workshop the dark psychological impacts of social media in the workplace. Social media plays an increasingly significant role in our experience of work. But what we need to remember is that unintended consequences arise when we begin to use new communication technologies. For example, email was initially used by scientists to share important information across geographically boundaries. But now we email people sitting a few metres away with information that is often not very important. We are only beginning to understand the unintended consequences of social media use in the workplace. The line-up of international speakers will discuss state-of-the-art knowledge on how social media is affecting the psychology and physiology of workers. We particularly welcome industry practitioners to the event.” Speakers at the workshop will include: Dr Eoin Whelan, NUI Galway; Professor Hanna Krasnova, University of Potsdam; Professor Tom Jackson, Loughborough University; and Professor Monideepa Tarafdar, Lancaster University. Industry practitioners are especially welcome. To register for the workshop, click here https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-dark-psychological-impacts-of-social-media-in-the-workplace-tickets-31961605021 For further information, contact Dr Eoin Whelan at eoin.whelan@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Over 70 students were recognised by NUI Galway today (Thursday, 23 March) at a special ceremony when they were conferred with a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne. Two students were also conferred with a Doctor of Medicine at today’s ceremony. All Colleges of the University were be represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, the College of Business, Public Policy and Law; the College of Engineering and Informatics; the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; and the College of Science. NUI Galway President Dr Jim Browne, said: “I would like to congratulate each graduate on their achievement in earning their doctorate degrees. We in NUI Galway are determined that this University will play its full part in producing the graduates and the leaders who will create the future. We have significantly increased our number of PhD graduates in recent years as we strive to meet the needs of the knowledge and innovation economy.” The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 9 June and the summer conferring on Tuesday, 13 June. -Ends- Searmanas Bronnta PhD in OÉ Gaillimh  Ag searmanas speisialta in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Déardaoin, 23 Márta), bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr Jim Browne, Dochtúireacht san Fhealsúnacht (PhD) ar bhreis is 70 mac léinn. Bronnadh Dochtúireacht Leighis ar bheirt mhac léinn ag searmanas an lae inniu chomh maith. Bhí céimithe ó gach Coláiste san Ollscoil i measc na gcéimithe sin ar bronnadh PhD orthu - Coláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh; Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí; Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na hIonformaitice; Coláiste an Leighis, an Altranais agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte; agus Coláiste na hEolaíochta. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le gach céimí as a gcáilíocht dochtúireachta a bhaint amach. Cuirimidne in OÉ Gaillimh romhainn go ndéanfadh an Ollscoil seo a cion féin le céimithe agus ceannairí a chur ar fáil a mhúnlóidh an todhchaí. Tá méadú suntasach tagtha ar líon na gcéimithe PhD le blianta beaga anuas chun freastal ar riachtanais an gheilleagair eolasbhunaithe agus nuálaíochta.” Beidh an chéad searmanas bronnta céimeanna eile ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh i rith an tsamhraidh – Dé Máirt, an 13 Meitheamh agus is ar an Aoine, an 9 Meitheamh, a bhronnfar na Céimeanna Oinigh. -Críoch-

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Laurence May appointed Adjunct Professor in Accounting and Finance at J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics NUI Galway has announced an innovative collaboration with KPMG on a new Masters programme, the MSc in International Accounting and Analytics, and the appointment of Laurence May, Audit Director at KPMG, as Adjunct Professor in Accounting and Finance at the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway. The MSc in International Accounting and Analytics is the first of its kind in Irish and UK universities to offer practical, hands-on modules in SAP and audit analytics for accountants and is targeted at both prospective and early to mid-career accountants. Key features of the programme include: an internationally recognised SAP Certification; the KPMG-led Summer School on Audit and Accounting Analytics and Cognitive Technologies using KPMG software and tools; the development of professional skills for the workplace; and membership of the ACCA Accelerate Programme which offers specialist networking advice, CV workshops, and access to the global ACCA community. Dr Geraldine Robbins, Programme Director, NUI Galway said: “Provision of useful information to facilitate organisational decision-making in a timely fashion is core to the success of private and public sector organisations. This new MSc in International Accounting and Analytics develops skills in these two technical areas of accounting and analytics that are essential to firms realising their strategic objectives. The collaboration with KPMG on this programme and the appointment of Laurence May as Adjunct Professor further cements the long withstanding relationship NUI Galway shares with KPMG.” The year-long ‘Pathway A’ on the programme is designed for high-calibre business related and commerce graduates who have not specialised in accounting and who now wish to consider pursuing a professional career in accounting and analytics after graduation. It is expected that these graduates will secure substantial exemptions from the examinations of the ACCA.  ‘Pathway A’ commences in September 2017. The seven-month ‘Pathway B’ has been designed to reflect the increased importance of analytics for many different accounting careers, and is designed to provide early and mid-career accountants with the skills and knowledge needed to engage with big data in a variety of roles in practice and industry. ‘Pathway B’ commences in January 2018. For more information about the MSc programme email Nicola Arrigan at accounting@nuigalway.ie or visit www.nuigalway.ie/accounting-analytics.html/.  -End-

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

What happens if an Irish company becomes implicated in human rights violations when doing business overseas? International and Irish experts will convene at NUI Galway on Friday, 24 March to examine questions of responsibility and legal liability for Irish companies that may become complicit in violations of human rights when operating outside of Ireland. Convened by the Irish Centre for Human Rights, the one-day conference, entitled ‘Exploring litigation as a business and human rights remedy’, will examine the opportunities, challenges and barriers to pursuing cases in Irish courts against companies implicated in human rights abuses. “Access to remedy for victims of human rights violation involving business is critical”, according to Dr Shane Darcy of NUI Galway, who notes that “the Irish government has committed itself to reviewing how best to ensure such access as part of its national action plan implementing the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights.” The conference will bring together United Nations experts, legal practitioners, academics and advocates to explore civil litigation for serious human rights harms in the Irish context. The experience of other jurisdictions will also be discussed, including the United States and the United Kingdom, where recent litigation has lead to notable settlements for victims of corporate human rights harms. Speakers at the conference will also address the feasibility of similar litigation in Ireland, with particular attention being given to the legal and practical barriers which may prevent remedies for business-related human rights violations. -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

International collaboration will support ground-breaking research on the blood clots that cause stroke and drive significant improvements in outcomes for patients in the future CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices, based at National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) today announced an agreement with Mayo Clinic in the United States to collaborate on research into blood clots that cause ischemic stroke.  As part of this agreement, researchers will work at CÚRAM and Mayo Clinic, to analyze and characterise clots from stroke patients in both Europe and the United States. The goal of the research is to advance and improve therapies for stroke patients in the future.   An estimated 15 million strokes occur worldwide each year. Ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. Ischemic stroke can be caused by clots that come from the heart, or from the carotid artery, or from other parts of the body. The characteristics of these clots can vary widely, which has implications for what therapy is given to patients.   This unique collaboration brings together clinicians, scientists and engineers from academia, stroke centers, and industry to drive innovation through targeted research. With funding support from both Neuravi, an Irish biomedical company experienced in endovascular device development, and from Science Foundation Ireland, the collaboration reflects the commitment of a diverse group of experts to advancing the understanding and treatment of stroke. An NUI Galway post-doctoral fellow will perform research on secondment at Mayo Clinic to facilitate collaboration on standardising protocols and setting up an international database. Mayo Clinic’s Applied Neuroradiology Lab is initiating a nationwide effort in the US to retrospectively and prospectively collect samples of clots removed from patients who have suffered a stroke in order to analyze them to inform treatment in the future. Through CÚRAM, NUI Galway will be establishing a dedicated clot pathology lab to conduct parallel clot research in Europe.     Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director of CÚRAM at NUI Galway, commented: “With this partnership and postdoctoral fellow program with Mayo Clinic, we’re excited by the opportunity to advance research in this area. Researchers at CÚRAM have been working on the analysis and characterisation of clots through collaborative arrangements with Neuravi, and we’re delighted that they and Science Foundation Ireland are funding this postdoctoral fellow program. This convergence of interests and expertise has enabled us to structure a unique collaboration with Mayo Clinic. We hope this will lead to ground-breaking research and drive significant improvements in outcomes for stroke patients in the future.” David Kallmes, Director of Mayo Clinic Applied Neuroradiology Lab, said: “We’ve come a long way in treating stroke, but we’re just beginning to tap the surface when it comes to understanding the occlusive clots that cause acute ischemic stroke. It is not an insignificant challenge, and so this kind of multinational public-private research collaboration puts us in a unique position to make real progress. Working together with motivated stroke experts in the US, we’ve started the Stroke Thromboembolism Registry of Imaging and Pathology (STRIP) to analyze actual clots retrieved via thrombectomy (the surgical removal of a clot from a blood vessel), and to use that learning to inform treatment. This program with CÚRAM will help us make this into a world-class research effort.” For more information about CÚRAM visit: http://www.curamdevices.ie/ and for Mayo Clinic visit: http://www.mayoclinic.org/ -Ends-

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

NUI Galway’s Centre for Irish Studies and Comhrá Ceoil are delighted to announce details of the second talk in this year’s Martin Reilly Lecture Series, which will be given by Gerry Clarke, at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 28 March 2017, at Galway City Library.   The lecture,‘Irish traditional and hillbilly music in the era of the 78 rpm: Finding ‘Old Familiar Tunes’, will introduce the shared sources of Irish traditional musicians and the emerging genre of hillbilly (or country as it became known) recorded on 78 rpms during the first half of the twentieth century. Much of the repertoire of songs and tunes which Gerry will focus on are known to listeners from current practice of Irish traditional music,  but he will also focus on the less known early versions of traditional music recordings made in the 1920s and 1930s. An engineer by profession, Gerry Clarke has been collecting 78 rpm recordings for almost fifty years. He co-founded Oldtime Records with piper Emmett Gill in 2005, and since then Oldtime Records have produced six volumes of Irish traditional music from the 1920s and 1930s.  This series of free talks is dedicated to Martin Reilly, the celebrated Galway uilleann piper, and gives an opportunity to researcher-practitioners in Irish traditional music and dance to present their work in a public forum.  The success of the series thus far confirms the interest in research of this kind in Galway, where traditional music and dance are part of the cultural fabric of the city. For further information on the Martin Reilly Lecture Series email martinreillylectureseries@gmail.com or visit Facebook at Martin-Reilly-Lecture-Series. -Ends-

Monday, 20 March 2017

The NUI Galway based ‘Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network’ launches START COMPETITION for primary school students On 20 May every year, the world celebrates International Clinical Trials Day. This event marks the anniversary of the first ever documented clinical trial, which was conducted with sailors in the Royal Navy in 1747. To celebrate this important occasion, the Health Research Board – Trials Methodology Research Network (HRB-TMRN) based in NUI Galway has launched the Schools Teaching Awareness of Randomised Trials (START) competition. The competition, now in its second year, invites 4th, 5th and 6th class students and their teachers to design, carry out and evaluate their very own clinical trial. Participation in this competition meets several key aspects of the school curriculum including Maths, Science, English, Irish, Information and Communication Technology and Social, Personal and Health Education. Students are asked to choose a simple, easy to answer question and use the proper steps of a trial to answer it scientifically, using the resources provided on the HRB-TMRN website. Questions might include things like “Can using coloured paper for written spelling tests increase students’ scores?” or “Does 10 minutes of dancing every morning before classes improve student’s attention?” Findings from each trial can be reported in any format such as podcast, video, website, report format, collage or poster. The purpose of the competition is to help students become aware of the clinical trial process, rather than answering a ground breaking question. Commenting on the project, Dr Sandra Galvin, HRB-TMRN Coordinator based at NUI Galway said: “This is an exciting initiative and the first of its kind to bring awareness of clinical trials to the younger community. Schoolchildren and their teachers are so creative and we are really looking forward to seeing what innovative ways teachers and pupils go about designing and reporting their trial.” All schools submitting an entry will be listed among the ‘Trial Aware Primary Schools 2017’ on the HRB-TMRN website, and shortlisted entries will be invited to Galway on Friday, 19 May, where the winner will be announced and presented with the START Trophy 2017. Each project will be assessed by: How well does the project adhere to the structure of a clinical trial? Does the project provide new insights into a healthcare issue in the school or the local or wider community? How well presented are the findings of the trial, so that any member of the community could understand the findings? Can other schools learn something new from this project? To register your trial complete the Trial Registration Form, which can be found on the website www.hrb-tmrn.ie and email it to hrb-tmrn@nuigalway.ie or alternatively Post to: Room 235, 1st Floor, Áras Moyola, School of Nursing and Midwifery, NUI Galway. For further information or to contact one of the Trial Ambassadors visit: www.hrb-tmrn.ie   Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/hrb.tmrn and Twitter on twitter.com/hrbtmrn or @hrbtmrn. -Ends-

Monday, 20 March 2017

CAO First Preferences up 10% for the University NUI Galway today (Monday, 20 March) announced the full programme of events for its next CAO Open Day on Saturday, 1 April from 9am to 3pm.  NUI Galway has seen a 10% increase in First Preference CAO applications in 2017, despite the total number of applications nationally remaining static year on year. Announcing the Open Day programme, Registrar and Deputy President, Professor Pól Ó Dochartaigh said: “As international rankings continue to show advances by NUI Galway, the marked increase in CAO applications highlights the growing interest in studying at one of the world’s Top 250 institutions across all subject areas. At the upcoming Open Day, students and parents can find out for themselves why more and more students are choosing NUI Galway for their degree studies.” Open Days are an excellent opportunity for schools, students, parents and families to explore NUI Galway’s facilities and to learn first-hand from lecturers about the learning experience, skills development and career prospects from each of the degree programmes. There is a packed programme of events lined up for the day, including: Over 80 stands providing information on courses, CAO points, employability, career progression routes, accommodation and fees. Sample subject talks designed to give students a real insight into studying at NUI Galway. Hands-on science workshops. Interactive sessions in Engineering, IT systems and robotics. Tours of the campus, including the state-of the-art sports complex and student accommodation, including tours as Gaeilge. Talk highlights for students include Sports at NUI Galway, Career Opportunities and Inspiring Women in Engineering. For parents, a range of special talks focusing on topics such as SUSI Grants, Scholarship Applications and Student Life are scheduled. To get the most out of your day visitors are encouraged to view the timetable of talks at www.nuigalway.ie/opendays.  -Ends-

Monday, 20 March 2017

NUI Galway will host a very special public lecture by a leading international expert examining the evolution of humans during the past fifty thousand years, during a time when much northern Europe periodically became a harsh, frozen wilderness and was intermittently covered by vast and desolate sheets of ice. Professor Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, will deliver the William King Annual Lecture on the ‘Genomic History of the Ice Age Europeans’ on Thursday, 23 March. Professor Krause was a senior member of the international team that made scientific history in 2010 when it published the first draft sequence of the DNA of Neanderthal people, the closest evolutionary relatives to humans living today. Later that same year, his team discovered a previously completely unknown group of human ancestors – the Denisovans – based on DNA preserved in a tiny fossilised finger bone recovered from a Siberian cave. More recently, Professor Krause uncovered the DNA of the bacterium responsible for the Black Death, based on samples extracted from the 14th-century plague cemetery in London. Event co-organiser Professor Heinz Peter Nasheuer, Biochemistry, NUI Galway, said: “It is very exciting to have an international scientist of the calibre of Professor Krause speak at NUI Galway. His research, which involves the careful extraction and painstaking analysis of ancient genetic material from fossil bones and teeth, has provided amazing, and unique insights into the evolution of modern humans in Europe.” The William King Annual Lecture series was established in 2015 with the aim of honouring the scientific legacy of William King, the first Professor of Geology and Mineralogy in Queen’s College Galway (as NUI Galway was then known). King made his own scientific history in 1863 when he first proposed the formal scientific name Homo neanderthalensis for Neanderthal people. Dr John Murray, Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway, who is also involved in organising the forthcoming public lecture, said: “William King’s scientifically bold and farsighted suggestion to define a new group of ancient human ancestors based on fossil evidence was a vitally important step in the birth of palaeoanthropology, or the study of human evolution. He remains the first scientist to ever name a new and extinct species of human – by any measure remarkable scientific achievement.” Professor Krause’s free talk will take place at 6pm in MY243 Lecture Theatre, Áras Moyola and all are welcome to attend. -Ends-

Monday, 20 March 2017

Two nursing students studying the new Masters Degree in Children’s Palliative and Complex Care at NUI Galway receive Victoria Thompson Scholarships The School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway hosted the inaugural launch on (Tuesday 14 March) of ‘The Victoria Thompson Scholarships’. Comedian and TV presenter, Tommy Tiernan presented two nursing students who are studying on the new Masters in Children’s Palliative and Complex Care, with the scholarships. The dedicated Masters/Postgraduate Degree programme in Health Sciences specialising in children’s palliative and complex care, aims to equip nurses with the necessary skills for the increasing numbers of children and adolescents who have complex, life-limiting or terminal conditions and require care in a variety of settings (hospital or community), according to child and family preference. Dr Georgina Gethin, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, stated: “It is timely that this first scholarship is awarded in the very same week that the School of Nursing and Midwifery has been recognised for its work and nominated in the Top 100 Globally for the subject nursing in the 2017 QS World University Subject Rankings. We are delighted with the opportunity this scholarship provides for nurses to further their studies and acquire new knowledge and skills in this highly specialised and very challenging field of nursing. We wish the recipients every success and know that they will make a positive impact on the lives of so many children and their families.” The Victoria Thompson Scholarship was established to assist nurses in obtaining specialist qualifications in the care of children with terminal and life limiting conditions. The scholarship was setup in memory of baby Victoria Thompson who lived for exactly nine months and required the help of specialist pediatric palliative care nurses as a result of a rare disease. It is run by Victoria’s parents Sharon and Brian Thompson from Donegal. NUI Galway students of the new Masters/Postgraduate Degree in Health Sciences, nurses Anne Browne and Aisling Devitt, were the proud recipients of the scholarships. Commenting on the scholarship, Victoria’s mother, Sharon Thompson, said: “When we were told Victoria’s condition was rare and terminal, we found it difficult to find specialised nursing care for her. In her memory we highlight the need for rural palliative care services for children. Families should automatically get access to options of care for a child with complex or palliative medical needs. Skilled nurses and this new course at NUI Galway are key to this happening for children all over the country.” Speaking about the new NUI Galway programme and her scholarship, Nurse Aisling Devitt, said: “It can be difficult to work with children and families in such tough circumstances and the more education we have about palliative and complex care can only help us to be become better practitioners. It’s fantastic that NUI Galway has recognised this Health Service need as the numbers of children increases significantly. It has also been great to see nurses from all corners of Ireland attending the course to help bring the knowledge and skills back to our individual work places and encourage others to consider doing further education in this area, or at the very least highlight the important role we play in caring for these children and their families. It is also an honour to receive the Victoria Thompson Scholarship and I am delighted to be able to put it towards the second year of the programme this September.” Applications for the second intake of the NUI Galway programme are being accepted from Spring 2017 at: http://www.nuigalway.ie/nursing-midwifery. For more information about the Victoria Thompson Scholarship visit: www.thevictoriathompsonscholarship.com. -Ends-

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A group of five Civil Engineering students from NUI Galway raised €1,000 for local mental health awareness charities Jigsaw Galway and Pieta House West. The funds were raised from an Engineers Ireland West Region table quiz which took place in the Westwood hotel recently. Engineers and Engineering students battled it out for a selection of prizes kindly sponsored by Engineers Ireland, OCC Construction, APS Consulting and the Westwood Hotel. This is an annual event and this year the Engineering students beat the professionals to claim first prize at the quiz. The team of students included: John O’Connell from Killererin, Tuam, Co. Galway; Conor O’Meara from Birr, Co. Offaly; Michael McElrone from Pettigo, Co. Fermanagh, Conor Croxford from Clifden, Co. Galway; and Huseyin Guntas from Turkey. Dr Jamie Goggins, Chairperson of Engineers Ireland West Region and a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway, said: “It’s great to see enthusiastic engineering students such as John, the two Conors, Huseyin and Michael, take initiatives like this to give back to the community. They are, after all, learning in college how to turn science and technology into things that are tangible and useful to society. This knowledge, together with the work ethic and ethos of these students, will no doubt lead to many positive contributions to society over many years to come during their careers.” Justin McDermott, Fundraising Manager, Jigsaw Galway, said: “We are so delighted to have been selected as one of the charities to benefit from this fantastic fundraiser.  All the funds and support we have received is vital, as it enables us continue to provide our free, confidential and non-judgemental service supporting the mental health and well-being of young people (aged 15-25) in Galway City and county.” -Ends-

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

NUI Galway to host event on the Trump presidency Tuesday, 14 March, 2017: The Moore and Whitaker Institutes and the School of Law at NUI Galway will host an event on Wednesday, 22 March, entitled “President Donald Trump: The First Sixty Days and Beyond”.  The event will take place in the Emily Anderson Concert Hall (Upper Aula Maxima) at 5.30pm in the University’s Quadrangle. The panel discussion will feature five speakers who will provide various perspectives - political, human rights, historical, economics and more - on Donald Trump's election and his time in the White House. This will be followed by an interactive audience question and answer session. A reception with light refreshments will precede the event and begin at 5pm. Mary Regan, a native of Moycullen, Co. Galway and well-known political journalist and columnist for the Sunday Business Post who also appears frequently in the broadcast media, will moderate the event. Speaking on the evening will be: Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway, and former special adviser to the Minister for Finance; Professor Daniel Carey, Director of the Moore Institute, NUI Galway; Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, Lecturer, Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway; Larry Donnelly, Lecturer, School of Law, NUI Galway, and political commentator; Karlin Lillington, Journalist and Columnist, The Irish Times. Commenting ahead of the event, Larry Donnelly, NUI Galway said: “In a year full of major news events, the 2016 US presidential election attracted a phenomenal amount of interest in Ireland. The early days of President Trump’s administration have been unpredictable and, in many ways, unprecedented.  On 22 March, people here in Galway, as well as the staff and students of NUI Galway, will have a unique opportunity to delve behind the tweets and explore the policy implications of different facets of the Trump presidency, in an uncertain era of change and upheaval in the US and throughout the western world.” The event is free and open to the public, however those who wish to attend must pre-register via Eventbrite at http://bit.ly/trumpgalway.  ENDS

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

NUI Galway’s School of Law Annual Distinguished Lecture 2017 will be delivered by Judge Síofra O’Leary of the European Court of Human Rights. The lecture, ‘A Tale of Two Cities: the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Strasbourg and Luxembourg’, will be chaired by Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley of the Irish Supreme Court and take place on Friday, 31 March at 8pm in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway. The lecture is held annually to mark the end of the academic year and to bid farewell to final year Law students and provide an opportunity for them to be introduced to members of the NUI Galway Law School alumni community as they embark on the next stage of their careers. Announcing this year’s event, Professor Donncha O’Connell, Head of NUI Galway’s School of Law, said: “Judge Síofra O’Leary is an immensely distinguished jurist of great international standing whose lecture will, I am certain, be of tremendous interest to our students and alumni. It is also a great honour for the School of Law to have Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley of the Irish Supreme Court – a person with strong family links to Galway – as chairperson for this event.” In July 2015 Síofra O'Leary was sworn in as a Judge at the European Court of Human Rights. Prior to joining the European Court of Human Rights, Judge O’Leary worked for 18 years at the Court of Justice of the European Union. She was a Visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, Assistant Director for the Centre of European Legal Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Emmanuel College. She was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University College Dublin, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cádiz, Spain and a Research Associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London. In the past, the annual lecture has been delivered by: Professor Christopher McCrudden of Oxford University, Baroness Brenda Hale of the UK Supreme Court with Ms. Justice Catherine McGuinness of the Irish Supreme Court, Judge John T. Noonan of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Professor Neil Walker of Edinburgh University and Mr. Justice Nial Fennelly of the Irish Supreme Court, Sir Declan Morgan, the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland and Professor Nicholas Canny. -Ends-