Monday, 21 March 2011

The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and Management Discipline, NUI Galway, recently led a leadership capability study, funded by the IRCHSS, at senior management level in the Irish Civil Service. The study, led by Dr Alma McCarthy, was carried out between May and August 2010. Over 140 senior managers participated in the study from 12 Government Departments and the Office of the Revenue Commissioners with over 1,200 leadership surveys completed in total. The research report from this study will be launched and the findings showcased at a Public Service Leadership Conference, hosted by NUI Galway on Friday, 8 April 2011. This report will represent the most extensive study of its kind to-date in Ireland. Keynote speakers will include Dr Maria Maguire, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and Independent Consultant, who will provide insights from international best practice in the area having worked on leadership, human resource management, and human resource development projects in a range of public sector organisations across the world over the past ten years; Philip Kelly, Assistant Secretary General, Department of An Taoiseach with responsibility for Transforming Public Services will give a presentation on Strengthening Leadership in the Irish Public Service; and Brian Cawley, Director General of the Institute of Public Administration will review leadership development policy to date and present a framework for effective public sector human resource development. At the conference, Dr Alma McCarthy, CISC and J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway will present the findings of the 2010 NUI Galway senior management leadership capability study. Speaking about the upcoming conference, Dr Alma McCarthy, said: "This conference will focus specifically on the area of senior management leadership capability in the Irish public service. The conference will debate the important areas of human resource management, talent management, and leadership development that merit attention in the drive for public service modernisation and reform. The conference is extremely timely given the new Government's express focus on reform and the establishment of the new Public Expenditure and Reform Department under Minister Brendan Howlin." The conference is open to the public and will be of particular interest to senior management in the public and civil service, practitioners, consultants and professionals working in the human resource management, human resource development, and leadership development fields as well as those with an interest in public service modernisation and new public management. For further information, or to register, visit www.conference.ie. Please note that registration closes on Friday, 1 April. -Ends-

Monday, 21 March 2011

The NUI Galway Centre for Irish Studies will host a free public lecture on Tuesday, 29 March, in the Joseph Larmor Lecture Theatre, NUI Galway at 8pm. The lecture, 'Hanna and Her Sisters: The lives of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington and Margaret Sheehy Culhane Casey, as told by their granddaughters', will be a joint presentation delivered by NUI Galway Lecturer, Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, and Professor Dara Culhane, Simon Fraser University, Canada. While studying in the then Royal University in Dublin, Hanna became very aware of the lack of power given to women, specifically in relation to the vote. Joining various campaigns for votes for women, she finally co-founded the Irish Women's Franchise League with Margaret Cousins in 1908. She was imprisoned for suffrage activities and then, when her husband, Francis Sheehy Skeffington, was murdered in 1916, she was elected to tour the US to expose the truth behind this and campaign for Irish freedom. She returned in 1918 to serve on the Sinn Féin Executive. In the first presentation, Dr Sheehy Skeffington will give an account on aspects of Hanna Sheehy Skeffington's life, using archive photos and material housed in the National Library, Dublin. The second presentation, by Professor Culhane, is based on a reading of Margaret Sheehy Culhane Casey's letters to her sister, Hanna. An actress and elocutionist, Margaret lived in Montreal, Canada from 1922 to1939. Her letters home offer insights into Margaret herself, her life in Ireland and in Canada, and into the relationship between these two sisters. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Mary Clancy of NUI Galway noted, "The personal and political lives of Hanna and Margaret Sheehy show in fascinating detail how early twentieth century Ireland tried to construct itself, in public and in private, as it strived to determine and to define a democratic and progressive national state." -ends-

Monday, 21 March 2011

The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway will host the 3rd Annual Social Marketing Conference. Entitled 'Enabling Sustainable Behaviour: The Environment, Communities, Health & Well Being', the Conference will take place on Friday, 15 April at NUI Galway. Social marketing is the application of marketing concepts and techniques to achieve specific behavioural goals for a social good. Social marketing as already had considerable success in tackling issues such as water conservation, waste reduction, obesity, smoking, cancer screening, recycling and road safety in countries including the USA, Canada, Britain, France, New Zealand and Australia. The 3rd Annual Social Marketing Conference will bring together two world renowned sustainable behavioural change experts, Dr Doug McKenzie-Mohr and Dr Craig Lefebvre. For over two decades Dr McKenzie-Mohr, President, McKenzie-Mohr & Associates, has been working to incorporate scientific knowledge on behaviour change into the design and delivery of environmental programmes. He is the founder of Community-Based Social Marketing, has delivered workshops internationally for over 50,000 environmental programme managers and his best-selling book, 'Fostering Sustainable Behaviour: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing' has become requisite reading for those who deliver environmental programmes. Dr McKenzie-Mohr is also the founder of the Fostering Sustainable Behaviour website, journal and listserv and is a former Professor of Psychology at St Thomas University, Canada. Dr Craig Lefebvre is an architect and designer of public health and social change programmes and is an internationally recognised expert in social marketing. Dr Lefebvre s work on several hundred social marketing projects has addressed a multitude of health risks for a broad array of audiences in global, national, state and community contexts. He is chief maven of SocialShifting, a social design, marketing and media consultancy and holds faculty appointments in the George Washington University, University of Maryland and University of South Florida College of Public Health. His current work focuses on integrating design thinking, social media and mobile technologies into social marketing and organisational change programmes. He has also been coordinating a global effort to establish a digital platform and professional association for social marketers. Dr Lefebvre also produces and writes the blog 'On Social Marketing and Social Change' available at socialmarketing.blogs.com. Other practitioners and leaders in the public and voluntary sector will also be on hand to answer questions. Speaking about the upcoming Conference, Dr Christine Domegan, Conference Organiser and Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business and Economics, NUI Galway, said: "For those concerned with community based initiatives and environmental issues, the Conference brings two renowned world experts to Galway for a unique, comprehensive introduction to Sustainable Community-Based Social Marketing. The Conference will enable participants to consider the scope for using marketing principles and techniques to effect environmental change and fundamentally alter the way we live for the better. It will demonstrate how professionals, seeking to bring about behavioural and social change, can apply it to practical situations in Ireland." For more information or to register online, visit the conference website at www.conference.ie. An Early Bird fee will apply to those who register before Friday, 25 March. -Ends-

Monday, 21 March 2011

Information and Communication Technology The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector is one of the most important export-oriented economic sectors in Ireland, with great opportunities for economic development and contributing to the recovery. Innovations made in Ireland, based on research, are creating these opportunities. The Annual All-Ireland ICT Dissertation Award of the Royal Irish Academy aims to make more visible the significant scientific contribution made by Ireland, in particular by post-graduate students, to Information and Communication Technology. This award also aims at initiating knowledge transfer from the Universities and Institutes of Technology into society and the economy. As some of the largest research efforts in ICT in Ireland, this thesis award is organised and sponsored by the Science Foundation Ireland funded Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs) in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector (DERI, CLARITY, CTVR, CNGL, and LERO) under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy. The award is combined with a cash prize of €1500, sponsored by the CSETs. The President of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Luke Drury, said: "This award reflects the importance of ICT research as an integral part of the academic landscape in Ireland. Digital tools and electronic communications are now indispensable in all areas of research as well as more generally in civic society and commerce. Excellence in this area in our Universities and Institutes of Technology is a necessary prerequisite for economic growth and prosperity." The Director of ICT Research in Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Fionn Murtagh, said: "Our ever-changing ICT industry will play a pivotal role in Ireland s economic recovery. With a large number of ICT multinational companies based in Ireland collaborating with ICT-focused research bodies, it is crucially important that we continue to position Ireland at the leading edge of technological innovation. Science Foundation Ireland has been instrumental in facilitating this, and is committed to continuing such a role in partnership with a diverse range of agency, commercial and academic partners." Chairperson of the evaluation committee and Director of DERI, NUI Galway, Professor Stefan Decker said: "ICT has a critical economic role in Ireland. Thanks to the foresight of Science Foundation Ireland, Irish ICT research is internationally competitive, with many areas in a world-leading position. This award is showing the ingenuity of Irish based ICT research to the public. " The closing date for submissions is Saturday, 7 May, 2011. The winner will be announced in June, 2011. For more details about the award please go to :http://ria.ie/our-work/grants---awards/national-prizes-awards.aspx -Ends-

Friday, 18 March 2011

The winners of the newly launched UCG Spirit of 78/80 Socs Bursary were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway this week. The NUI Galway Societies Office, in conjunction with the Graduates of 1978 – 1980 awarded bursaries, each worth €1,000, in six different categories. Funding for five of the prizes are provided by NUI Galway graduates from the class of 1978 – 1980 with the Societies Office at NUI Galway funding the sixth prize. The bursaries are a project which fosters cooperation and vision from the past and present to promote student creativity and empowerment within NUI Galway. The bursaries aim to aid the students to pursue their field of interest. The recipients of the bursaries were: Soloist Category: Isaac Burke from Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Groups Category: Orna Ní Bhroin from Foxrock, Dublin and Diarmuid Scahill from Coolough Road, Galway. Performance Category: Dave Rock from Kinvara, Galway Civic Engagement/Charity Volunteering: Julie D lima from Tirellan Heights, Galway. Audience Choice: Adam Guinane from Limerick City; Borja Catellan-Valladolid, Spain; Joe Junker from Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare, James Frawley from Mervue, Galway; and Meaghan LaGrandeur from Ottawa, Canada. Judges Choice: Joint winners: Aron Hegarty from Inniscaragh, Co. Cork and Teresa Brennan from Barrow House, Co. Laois. Speaking after the final Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway, said "The evening was a huge success with an amazing array of talent. We are delighted that the NUI Galway Alumni are supporting and helping to nurture our future artists and activists." To find out more about the Societies Bursary visit www.socs.nuigalway.ie. For more information on the Graduates of 1978-1980 visit http://www.ucggrads7879ers.blogspot.com -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Naas on Thursday, 24 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Conference Centre of the Osprey Hotel. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterward, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions visitors may have. One of the student ambassadors on the night will be Emmet Creighton from Cellbridge, Co. Kildare. According to the second year Law student: "In Galway, the lecturers are as interesting as they are educational and every effort is made to provide each student with the necessary tools to excel in their careers. With NUI Galway's comprehensive and up to date law library, insightful tutorials and plenty of extracurricular activities, my degree has been thoroughly enjoyable." The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. "Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Kildare, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses", says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. The University recently developed a popular four-year Arts degree called BA Connect, which allows specialisation in certain areas and a year of placement in Ireland or abroad. There are eight to choose from, including Human Rights, Creative Writing, and Theatre and Performance, all areas where NUI Galway leads the field. NUI Galway is Ireland's leading university for Biomedical Science, so students have access to top researchers and the very latest facilities. As the University is at the heart of the medical device industry hub in Galway, graduates have excellent opportunities for ongoing employment in the field. Caroline Loughnane continued: "With so many courses on offer, this event in Naas is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit." To find out more about the information evening in Kildare, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Siobhán Dorman, Schools Liaison Office on 086 042 1591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Secondary school students interested in NUI Galway are invited to an information evening in Dublin on Thursday, 31 March. Parents and guardians are also particularly welcome to the event which runs from 7 to 9pm in the Stillorgan Park Hotel. The evening will begin with short talks about NUI Galway and some of the 60 courses it offers. Afterward, current students and NUI Galway staff will be on hand at information stands to answer any individual questions visitors may have. Conor Mahon from Killiney in Dublin, who is studying Science at NUI Galway, will be there on the night to answer questions: "I'm the third generation in my family to come to NUI Galway from Dublin. The experience of moving away from home has been great, the staff and students are helpful and friendly and I ve made lots of new friends". The ever-increasing popularity of NUI Galway is in part due to a whole suite of innovative new programmes, developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, including an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree aimed at training Maths teachers. "NUI Galway has a great deal to offer. Our own students tell us our lecturers are inspirational and challenge them to achieve their full potential. The student experience in Galway is second to none, and we want to bring a taste of that to Dublin, while also providing all the practical information on accommodation, CAO points, fees, scholarships and courses", says Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. The University recently developed a popular four-year Arts degree called BA Connect, which allows specialisation in certain areas and a year of placement in Ireland or abroad. There are eight to choose from, including Human Rights, Creative Writing, and Theatre and Performance, all areas where NUI Galway leads the field. NUI Galway is Ireland's leading university for Biomedical Science, so students have access to top researchers and the very latest facilities. As the University is at the heart of the medical device industry hub in Galway, graduates have excellent opportunities for ongoing employment in the field. Caroline Loughnane continued: "With so many courses on offer, this event in Stillorgan is a perfect opportunity to meet current students and our lecturers to see what degree might be the right fit." To find out more about the information evening in Dublin, contact NUI Galway's Schools Liaison Office, Siobhán Dorman, Schools Liaison Office on 086 042 1591 or siobhan.dorman@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

To get a taste of university life at NUI Galway, all CAO applicants are invited to the campus on Saturday, 2 April. The annual Spring Open Day is tailored toward Leaving Certificate and mature students who are interested in studying at NUI Galway. Parents, guardians and families are also invited to the campus to sample life at University. Running from 10am to 3pm, the Spring Open Day is expected to attract over 3,000 visitors. Taster sessions will run throughout the day, designed to give a real insight into studying at NUI Galway, with hands-on interactive Science Experience workshops also taking place. Tours of the campus will feature the state-of the-art sports complex and gym, and a glimpse of the brand new Engineering Building which opens in September. Tours of student accommodation will also be available to visitors on the day. Popular highlights for parents will be the talks, 'Focus on Your Career' and 'A Parent's Guide to University'. With plenty to see and do, free parking, refreshment booths and even entertainment for younger children, the event turns into a fun family day out. This year, all counties in Ireland will be represented by a team of 'student ambassadors', answering questions on specific courses and all aspects of university life. Lecturers and support staff will also be available at 80 stands to deal with any queries about degrees, accommodation, finances and much more. "We hold the Spring Open Day at the weekend, so that parents and guardians, as well as prospective students can attend. It's an opportunity to ask questions about courses of interest and to get a feel for the campus. Spring Open Day has proved invaluable to many students and it's a great opportunity for those considering their options before the CAO change of mind deadline of 1 July", said Caroline Loughnane, Director of Marketing and Communications at NUI Galway. With some 60 degree programmes, NUI Galway offers a wide range of traditional courses but also a whole suite of innovative new courses. These have been developed in response to the changing needs of the employment market, and include an Energy Engineering degree and a Maths and Education degree. NUI Galway's popular four-year Arts degree, BA CONNECT, allows students to specialise in certain areas and includes a year of placement in Ireland or abroad. There are eight programmes to choose from, including Human Rights, Creative Writing, and Theatre and Performance, all areas where NUI Galway is leading the way. The traditional Commerce degree now offers a new module where business and community leaders directly mentor students, developing a creative and innovative approach to business and providing a taste of the business world. NUI Galway is Ireland's leading university for Biomedical Science, so students have access to top researchers and the very latest facilities. As the University is at the heart of the medical device industry hub in Galway, graduates have excellent opportunities for ongoing employment in the field. At present, NUI Galway is the only Irish university offering a denominated degree in marine science, which includes time on board national training vessels in the third year of study. Visitors can book a place at the Spring Open Day and receive a programme in advance by logging on to www.nuigalway.ie/opendays, calling 091 494145 or emailing visit@nuigalway.ie. -Ends-

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

NUI Galway will host a photographic exhibition entitled We Volunteer! to celebrate and recognise student volunteering across Ireland from 28 March to 1 April. Third-level institutions from north and south have come together to develop the exhibition in celebration of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 and to recognise the tremendous contribution which student volunteers make to the lives of their communities. The steering group for the exhibition consists of NUI Galway, UL, LIT, DIT, TCD and DCU. We Volunteer! will provide an opportunity to showcase the wealth and diversity of volunteering and community organisations across Ireland. The exhibition will also highlight the myriad of benefits students experience from volunteering and inspire more people to volunteer. The exhibition is travelling around Ireland to college campuses and internationally during the European Year. The exhibition showcases the work of student volunteers from twenty Higher Education Institutions across Ireland with diverse organisations ranging from the Christina Noble Foundation in Vietnam, to Chrysalis Community Drug Project in Dublin, from the Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to community enterprise in Belfast, from peer mentoring programmes in Limerick and Cork, to Karate coaching in Newry. Speaking about the exhibition, Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway, said: "This collaborative exhibition is a great opportunity to visually demonstrate how volunteers get involved, make a commitment and bring about change as well as making an impact in Galway and beyond." The exhibition will be the main feature of this year's ALIVE Certificate Ceremony, which will see 1,000 NUI Galway students receive Certificates from the President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, for their volunteering with Childline, Youth Work Ireland, Foróige, and Positive Mental Health, to mention a few. Nicola Brassil, NUI Galway student volunteer with the GSPCA and Clare Youth Service, features in the exhibition and said: "I learned that people of all ages can come up with very real and useful ways by which to make their community and country a better place." Members of the public are welcome to visit the We Volunteer! exhibition in the Foyer, Áras na Mac Léinn, NUI Galway. For more information on the exhibition visit www.wevolunteer.ie. -emds-

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The third international conference, Building and Promoting Excellence in Practice, organised by the School of Nursing and Midwifery at NUI Galway, will bring together leaders in the field of nursing and midwifery to share their experiences of clinical care and research. The conference will be held from 4 to 5 April, in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. The conference will cover topics relevant to the fields of chronic illness, mental health, older people, maternity care and women's health, and teaching and learning in practice. "This year's conference is particularly important", said conference chair, NUI Galway's Dr Declan Devane. "Faced with rapidly changing health care contexts, new research initiatives and demanding resource constraints, the opportunity for health care professionals to come together to discuss best practice is vital. Thoughtful practice is at the heart of making a difference to those accessing our health care services; this conference supports thoughtful practice by sharing ideas research and innovations". The keynote speaker will be Margarete Sandelowski, Distinguished Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Sandelowski's research has been in the areas of technology and gender, and qualitative and mixed research methodology. She just completed a National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Nursing Research study to develop methods to synthesize qualitative and quantitative research findings in systematic reviews of empirical research. She has numerous publications in both nursing and social science venues, including award-winning ethnographic work. The keynote speech will address 'The Challenges of Conducting Mixed Research Synthesis Studies for Evidence-Based Practice and Practice-Based Evidence'. The conference will also feature a keynote discussion from Professor Phil Race, the renowned educationalist who has a particular interest in how people learn best. He specialises in assessment, learning and teaching. His passion and focus for this conference will be on 'Making Learning Happen'. Professor Race's work was recognised in 2007 by the Higher Education Academy UK awarding him a National Teaching Fellowship, and the status of Senior Fellow of the Academy. The inspirational speaker John Lonergan, former governor of Mountjoy Prison, will also give a keynote address based on his personal experiences of personhood and humanising care in the prison services. He argues that our first responsibility as a society is to care for its most vulnerable people, the young, the old, the sick, the unemployed, the lonely and the poor. It is estimated that over 200 delegates will attend this conference which will feature over 100 presentations from national and international speakers. The conference will be of interest to all health professionals working in nursing or midwifery. For more information visit www.nursingmidwifery.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) at NUI Galway will host Professor Peter Kelly of Aalto University in Finland, who will be delivering this year's InterTradeIreland Innovation Lecture on the topic of 'Rethinking Business Models: Creativity Inspired Innovation'. The lecture will take place in Áras Moyola, NUI Galway on Thursday, 24 March at 6.30pm. Professor Kelly's innovation lecture will challenge conventional wisdom about developing a business, and also provide practical guidance on how to succeed in the current economic climate. He will also offer some concrete suggestions of how we can instil more creativity into our innovation system. Professor Kelly argues that Europe and Ireland have all the ingredients to be in a better innovative space and states that we just need the creative courage to explore it. Aidan Gough, Director of Strategy and Policy at InterTradeIreland says, "Innovation is not the preserve of high tech or R&D intensive businesses. Identifying and harnessing creative ideas is a learned process that all aspiring companies must embrace. All businesses need to continually innovate to remain competitive." Over the past 15 years, Professor Kelly has worked with entrepreneurs in Finland, Sweden, UK, Portugal, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Switzerland, and Canada. Since arriving in Finland in 1998, he has been the driving force behind entrepreneurship education at Aalto University, heading up the Helsinki School of Creative Entrepreneurship (HSCE). Professor Kelly is a leading international authority on business angels and was directly involved in the creation of Europe's first University pre-seed fund and an associated angel network. This event is part of The InterTradeIreland All-Island Innovation Programme, which aims to promote and encourage innovation across the island of Ireland. This lecture will appeal to the entrepreneurial academic community, entrepreneurs, companies and catalysts. All are welcome to attend. Pre-registration is required, visit www.conference.ie for full details. For more information, please contact Valerie Parker at CISC, valerie.parker@nuigalway.ie, 091 495971. -Ends-

Monday, 14 March 2011

NUI Galway has recently registered for The Green Campus Programme aiming to empower students and staff to create a more balanced campus community by actively preventing and reducing environmental impacts and associated costs. The seven-step Green Campus Programme is based on the successful Green Schools Programme and provides an ideal way for fostering environmental awareness in a third level institution in a way that links to everyday activities and study, and ties in with operational requirements of a complex multi-use facility. Green Campus aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life and ethos of a school or college. The initiative includes the students, lecturers, non-teaching staff, and parents, as well as the Local Authority, the media, and local business. The Green Campus initiative mirrors the principles of Green-Schools and endeavours to extend learning beyond the classroom and lecture theatre and develop responsible attitudes and commitment, both at home and in the wider community. The programme, which is operated by An Taisce, has a seven-step operational plan which the University is required to complete. Dr Aoife Collins, Chairperson of the Environmental Committee for the Green Campus Project at NUI Galway, says: "The participation of staff and students in Green Campus is an ideal way of harnessing the enthusiasm and knowledge they have vis-à-vis environmental enhancement. The Green Campus Committee will be involved in spreading information to the wider University audience on issues varying from biodiversity to car-sharing. We are working towards attaining a Green Flag which will act as a visual sign of the committee's achievements." -Ends-

Monday, 14 March 2011

The School of Law at NUI Galway, in association with Mason Hayes + Curran solicitors, will host a conference on 26 March entitled Executive Accountability and Parliamentary Democracy. The conference theme is especially topical, and will be discussed in the context of a new Government and the beginning of a new era in Irish Politics and Public Law. Emily O'Reilly, Ombudsman, will provide the keynote speech, with panel presentations by Donncha O'Connell from NUI Galway's School of Law; Catherine Allen, a Partner with Mason Hayes + Curran solicitors; and the political analyst and TCD lecturer, Elaine Byrne. The half-day conference will be introduced by Marie McGonagle, Director of the LLM in Public Law at NUI Galway, and Judge Catherine McGuinness, Adjunct Professor of Law, NUI Galway. Commencing on campus at 9.15am in Áras Moyola, the event also marks the 5th anniversary of the LLM in Public Law at NUI Galway. According to NUI Galway's Donncha O'Connell: "At a time of heightened public awareness of political dysfunction as a contributory factor to current economic woes in Ireland, some attention is beginning to focus on the need for constitutional reform aimed at making the Executive more accountable to Parliament. This is a welcome departure from a quiescent acceptance of the constitutional scheme of things as just the way things are towards a more radical questioning by citizens, who now appreciate that there is a connection between the Constitution and the condition in which real people live". Donncha O'Connell, an expert in Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Law Reform, added: "Offices like that of the Ombudsman struggle to make the Executive - in its many emanations - accountable, but without a clearer connection to Parliament, with appropriate constitutional protection, it is difficult for such accountability to have the necessary level of political impact". The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited and anyone wishing to attend must register online at www.conference.ie. -Ends-

Friday, 11 March 2011

A new initiative which gives teachers an opportunity to use digital resources in the classroom was officially launched last evening in NUI Galway. Students of the Dioplóma Iarchéime san Oideachas (DIO) at the School of Education, NUI Galway have created interactive multimedia lessons as Gaeilge using Matchware Mediator. This one of a kind technology is sponsored by COGG (Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta), and will be available for both students and teachers nationwide to use. They afford teachers the opportunity to use digital resources in the classroom in an exciting, creative way. They target both the teaching of Irish and the teaching of other subjects across the curriculum through the medium of Irish. This dovetails with COGG's vision of serving the educational needs of Gaeltacht and Irish medium schools. Muireann Ní Mhóráin, CEO of COGG officially launched the initiative last night. Head of School of Education, Professor Chris Curtin, said, "This development will deliver meaningful and engaging experiences to help students learn in exciting ways." -Ends-

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Welcoming the formation of the 31st Dáil, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne extended congratulations former NUI Galway students, who will play key roles in Government. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore; Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte; Attorney General Máire Whelan and Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills with responsibility for Research and Innovation, Seán Sherlock are all former students of the University. Eamon Gilmore graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in 1976 while Enda Kenny, T.D. was a student at the University from 1974 to 1975. Pat Rabbitte graduated three times from the University, with a BA in 1970, a Higher Diploma in Education in 1972, and a LLB in 1977. Máire Whelan holds both a BA 1978 and LLB 1980 and Seán Sherlock holds a BA 1998. "On behalf of NUI Galway, I wish Enda Kenny, Eamon Gilmore, Pat Rabbitte, Máire Whelan and Séan Sherlock every success in addressing the challenges of national leadership which lie ahead. I congratulate both leaders on their parties election performance and I assure them of the support of their alma mater as they begin their terms of office." The University looks forward to welcoming the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Ministers and the Attorney General back to campus in the not too distant future. NUI Galway has a network of alumni numbering more than 80,000 worldwide. -Ends-

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Botany students and scientists can now avail of a new book which explores plant cell walls. The book is edited by Dr Zoë Popper, lecturer in Botany and Plant Science, School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway. The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols consists of chapters, written by experts in the field, which detail current and state-of-the-art methods applied to investigate the many aspects of the plant cell wall. These include its structure, biochemical composition, and metabolism. Plant cell walls control nearly all plant processes including their growth and development, and ultimately how plants interact with their environment. However, understanding the cell wall is not only fundamental to the plant sciences but is also pertinent to aspects of human and animal nutrition and health, as dietary fibre is derived from cell walls. This area is also a major focus for agricultural research as cell walls are a target of many herbicides and biofuel research as cell wall components are the major deposit of useable renewable energy. Many familiar everyday products are derived from cell wall components, such as paper and cotton, are almost entirely cellulose and jams and jellies are set using pectins. Dr Zoë Popper, Lecturer with the School of Natural Sciences, NUI Galway, said: "The increased interest in Plant Cell Wall research is just one aspect of Botany and Plant Sciences. Technological advancements, as well as specific government and EU policies, have led to a huge increase in the range and number of job opportunities within Botany and Plant Science. The teaching programme at NUI Galway is aimed at giving students opportunity and support to find out what aspects of this discipline most interest them whether it be algal and plant evolution and diversity, the industrial uses and applications of algae and plants, conservation and environmental protection, or the application of biotechnologies to these organisms". Dr Popper also pointed out that the NUI Galway Discipline of Botany has a flourishing seminar series and a student-run Botany Society (BotSoc) which will visit Poland this summer, and has strong collaborations with other disciplines within the School of Natural Sciences, College of Science, and National and International research groups. The Plant Cell Wall: Methods and Protocols is written in Methods in Molecular Biology series format. For over 20 years, biological scientists have come to rely on the research protocols and methodologies in the Methods in Molecular Biology series. The series was the first to introduce the step-by-step protocols approach that has become the standard in all biomedical protocol publishing. For further information on Botany and Plant Science at NUI Galway visit www.nuigalway.ie/botany. -Ends-

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Traditional Irish Musician and honorary graduate of NUI Galway, Máirtín Ó Connor, will launch his first book of tunes on Tuesday, 22 March at 6pm in the College Bar at the University. It will be launched by Director of the Arts Council, Mary Cloake. The beautifully illustrated book entitled, 'Inside the Box, Outside the Box' has been compiled by Máirtín himself and its composition reflects the depth of his connection to Irish Music. It includes transcriptions of some of Máirtín's popular tunes as well as some tunes that have not previously been recorded. The tunes range from those that are easy-to-play and some that are more technically demanding. The book stems from a demand from fans and followers of Máirtin's music who have requested sheet music from the music spanning his distinguished musical career. It is hoped that the book will be an educational resource for musicians and teachers across the country. The book presents many insights into Máirtín's style of playing. Described as being technically brilliant with an infectious flamboyant style, Mairtin's first book is a must for anyone with an interest in the man and his music. Máirtín began playing the accordion at the age of nine and his remarkable career has seen him work with many musicians nationally and internationally. He has worked as a session musician on many recordings with bands such as The Chieftans, The Dubliners, Mark Knopfler and as a member of the bands De Danann and Skylark. Máirtín Ó Connor says: "This book has given me the opportunity to write down tunes that I relish in playing, so that other musicians can enjoy them as much as I do. I am delighted it is being launched and I would like to thank Mary Cloake for making the trip to do so. I owe a debt of gratitude to all the wonderful musicians I have worked with down through the years and I am privileged to work with so many of them. I would also like to thank my wife and family for their support and of course to all involved with the book including, Garry O Bríain, Tony Corr and Joe Boske." The book is funded by Deis, an Arts Council initiative aimed at supporting traditional music initiatives throughout the country. The launch will be followed by a reception. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

RTE news correspondent Tommie Gorman will present two awards to NUI Galway journalism graduates at the University on Monday, 21 March at 12pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The Fourth Annual Donna Ferguson Memorial Award and the Connacht Tribune Medal will be presented to the top achieving students in the MA Journalism class of 2010. Lorraine O'Hanlon will receive the Donna Ferguson Award for achieving the highest mark in the broadcasting module of the MA programme. The Connacht Tribune Medal will be presented to Antoinette Giblin who achieved the highest overall mark in the MA in Journalism at NUI Galway. Donna Ferguson was posthumously conferred with an MA in Journalism at NUI Galway, following her untimely death in a car accident in December 2006. The Donna Ferguson Memorial Award was initiated by her family and community in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, and commemorates Donna's achievements while she was a student on the journalism programme in 2006. Tommie Gorman, Northern Editor for RTE News, was conferred with an Honorary Degree from NUI Galway in 2009 for his dedication and accomplishment in the profession of Journalism. He began his career at the Western Journal based in Ballina, Co Mayo and has since become a household name having been RTE Europe Editor and carried out many high profile television interviews including one with Roy Keane in 2002. He has also reported extensively on issues pertaining to Northern Ireland. Claregalway native Lorraine O Hanlon graduated from the MA in Journalism with first class honours and now works as a journalist with the Galway Independent Newspaper. Antoinette Giblin from Elphin in Co Roscommon also graduated with first class honours from the MA in Journalism and now freelances with Shannonside Radio. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Music and medicine will come together at NUI Galway on Tuesday, 22 March when the Medical Orchestra is unveiled at the Arts in Action Traditional Concert. The School of Medicine at NUI Galway is the first to launch this exciting initiative which is giving its multi-talented medical students an opportunity to showcase their musical skills. The 25-piece orchestra will open the concert, which is being headlined by renowned traditional musician Mairtin O'Connor and his five-piece band. Preparations are well underway for the orchestra's first concert under the guidance of Mary McPartlan, Professional Singer and Creative Director of the Medicine and the Arts Module at NUI Galway and Musical Director Carl Hession, a music teacher at Colaiste Iognaid in Galway City. Many of the students who volunteer their time are accomplished musicians who are thrilled to work together under the guidance of Mary McPartlan and Carl Hession, who has composed and arranged the music for their performance. The students have been rehearsing on a regular basis and have been joined by a recent medical graduate, Dr Lisa McAnena, who will be the soloist when the orchestra first performs in public. Third-year Medical student, 22-year-old Julianne Harte is looking forward to the concert. The Loughrea student began learning the viola when she was seven. She has also played with the National Youth Orchestra and the Galway Youth Orchestra. "I am really looking forward to it. It is an interesting project to be part of," she said. One of the highlights of their performance will be an arrangement for the uileann pipes, which will be played by second year Medical student, 20-year-old Elvin Moynagh. Elvin, from South Dublin, has grown up listening and playing traditional music. "My mum plays the button accordion and my father plays the banjo. Traditional music has always been a part of life at home." The Medical School hopes to receive support to invest in a piano and music stands, which would greatly facilitate the orchestra's rehearsals. Dr. Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway, and Chairperson of the Medical School's new Arts committee, said: "Patients benefit greatly from music as they try to cope with and recover from illness. I firmly believe that music can be the medicine of the mind. Our new orchestra will showcase the wonderful, but sometimes hidden talents of our medical students, and bring some joy to the wider community through their public performances. We are indebted to both Mary McPartlan and to Carl Hession for bringing this idea to life. Both School Administrator, Therese Dixon, and College Director of Strategic Development, Declan Ashe, have provided tremendous support to the project from the outset." Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, has been strongly supportive of the integration of the arts into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Her daughter, Jennifer Scott, will play violin in the new orchestra. The concert promises to be an exciting evening for lovers of music. Following the first performance of the Medical Orchestra, Mairtin O'Connor and his band (Jimmy Higgins on percussion, Steve Hanks on saxophone, Seamie O'Dowd on guitar, Cathal Hayden on fiddle and banjo and Gary O'Briain on mando cello and piano) will take to the stage. The concert takes place on Tuesday March 22 at 8pm (Doors open at 7.30pm) in the Bailey Allen Hall at NUI Galway. Tickets for this concert are available from the Societies Box at Aras na Mac Leinn, NUI Galway or by calling 091 492852/ 091 492088. Tickets are €10, €5 for students. -Ends-

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

The series of public lectures by the NUI Galway Centre of Astronomy will continue with a free lecture, entitled 'Cosmology', taking place on Wednesday, 16 March, in the Larmor Lecture Theatre at NUI Galway at 7.30pm. The lecture will be given by Dr Iain MacLaren, Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at NUI Galway. During his lecture, Dr MacLaren will give an overview of what we know about the origin and structure of the universe, describing a number of key observations and discoveries that led to the standard Big Bang model and highlighting some of the areas which dominate modern cosmological research. The talk will be suitable all and particularly for students thinking of studying Physics at University. Speaking about the upcoming lecture, Dr Andrew Shearer, Director of the Centre of Astronomy at NUI Galway, said: "One of the most fundamental questions we can ask is where does the universe come from? How did it start? Dr MacLaren's lecture will illustrate our current understanding of coslmology." For more information contact Dr Andy Shearer in the Centre of Astronomy at andy.shearer@nuigalway.ie or 091 493114. -Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2011

Neuroscience researchers at NUI Galway will host a public event during Brain Awareness Week on Thursday, 10 March from 10am to 4pm. The event will give participants the opportunity to learn about the workings of the human brain and about specific neuroscience research that is underway in NUI Galway. Throughout the day, participants will be able to test their hand-eye coordination and challenge their brain with mirror writing which highlights the processes of cognitive functioning. There will be a variety of exhibits, questionnaires and images on display in the museum, depicting the benefits of research for aspects of neuroscience such as brain injury, brain disease and the effects of aging on the brain. Brain Awareness Week was founded and is coordinated by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in the US and European Dana Alliance for the Brain. Since 1996, more than 2,600 groups have staged events aimed at making the public more aware of the benefits and promises of brain research. Dr Una FitzGerald, Event Coordinator and member of the Neuroscience Research Cluster of the National Centre for Biomedical Science and Engineering at NUI Galway says: "People of all ages are naturally interested in how the brain functions and what can go wrong during brain injury, disease, or through aging. This event will have a broad appeal and it will be interesting fun and interactive. With a wide variety of exhibits, there will be an opportunity for everyone to learn something new about themselves and about the brain in general, and we are very proud to play our part in an important international campaign." The Galway Neuroscience Group is made up of researchers from the NCBES, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physiology. Diseases and disorders being investigated include multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, pain, depression, spinal cord injury and bi-polar disorder. Researchers have contributed materials for this event and are delighted to have the chance to share their enthusiasm for brain research and all topics related to the brain, with the public. -Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2011

The next generation of theatrical talent has arrived in Galway for the Irish Student Drama Association Festival, which runs until 12 March. This is the largest event ever in the festival's 63 year history, with NUI Galway Dramsoc hosting 45 events over nine days. The festival productions are a combination of the work of emerging student writers as well as works by the likes of Brian Friel, William Shakespeare, Tom Murphy, Conor McPherson, Martin McDonagh and Harold Pinter. The Irish Student Drama Association (ISDA) is the umbrella organisation of Ireland's third-level drama societies. Featuring 25 plays from 13 colleges around the country, the event has daily performances in the Druid Theatre, Nun's Island Theatre, and the Bank of Ireland Theatre on campus. Since 1947, the ISDA festival has hosted the finest works of student drama and launched the careers of leading figures such as Garry Hynes, Conor McPherson, Neil Jordan and Jim Sheridan. Outstanding performers have included Pauline McLynn, Marie Mullen, Fiona Shaw and Brendan Gleeson. Festival organiser Neasa O'Callaghan, who is studying BA Connect with Creative Writing at NUI Galway, says the event has a fantastic pedigree: "For those who were involved in drama societies or groups at college, mention of ISDA will revive fond memories. Stimulating, diverse, great training grounds and terrific fun, college and university drama societies have long been the seedbed for people who go on to make their careers in performance arts". As a result of the recently announced partnership between NUI Galway and Druid Theatre Company, the Druid Lane Theatre will serve as a main venue for the festival, with plays being performed at 8pm each evening. Neasa O'Callaghan adds: "Druid Lane has never been an ISDA Festival venue before, and its inclusion in the Festival reflects the company's commitment to promoting drama in the University. Moreover, Thomas Conway, Literary Officer for Druid also served as an Internal Adjudicator for the Drama Society this year - as a means of selecting the three plays which will represent NUI Galway at the Festival this year. He has been very supportive of the society as a whole and is always willing to give advice and feedback to students, which is invaluable." As well as the 25 main shows, there is also an ISDA Fringe Festival, running concurrently with the main festival, featuring daily comedic and musical performances. Moreover, newly written plays from NUI Galway, UCD, UCC, Trinity College Dublin and NUI Maynooth will be performed daily at 1pm in Kelly's Bar, as part of the Fringe Festival. Workshops in Juggling, Stage-combat, stand-up comedy, and acting will be held at 6pm in various venues in the city. The ISDA Festival is supported by the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway Advertiser, Galway City Council, NUI Galway, Kelly's Bar, NUI Galway College Bar, Tigh Neachtain's and Barnacles. The 2011 ISDA Festival, began on the 4 March and runs until 12 March. For full information, please visit www.isdafestival.ie-Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2011

A celebration of the achievements of NUI Galway's alumni took place in the Bailey Allen Hall on campus Saturday night. Over 450 people gathered for the 11th Annual Gala Banquet, a glamorous occasion hosted by RTE's Siún Nic Gearailt. Among the guests were alumni, staff, students and friends of the University. The feature of the night was the presentation of the Annual Alumni Awards to: • Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO Bord na Móna, who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Business, Public Policy and Law • Michael Conroy, General Manager, Cisco Product Group, Ireland who received the Bank of Ireland Award for Engineering and Informatics • Dr Gerald Farrell, Managing Director of Eli Lilly (ROI) and former President of Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) who received the Seavite Alumni Award for Science • John Walshe, Education Editor, Irish Independent who received the AIB Award for Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies • Dr Brian Griffin, Cleveland Clinic, USA, Director, Cardiovascular Disease Training Programme and The John and Rosemary Brown Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine; US Associate Editor, Heart who received the Medtronic Award for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and • Colm Murray, RTÉ Sports Presenter who received the Aer Arann Alumni Award for Sports Achievement and Leadership Addressing the assembled guests, NUI Galway President, Dr James J. Browne, said: "The people we honour tonight have made a difference. They have distinguished themselves as individuals and in doing so they add lustre to the reputation of NUI Galway". A special message from former NUI Galway student, Enda Kenny T.D., was also read out to the guests, citing how "education is at the very heart of Irish society" and how the evening "highlights the importance and indeed the calibre of Irish graduates". Reflecting the cultural focus of the Bailey Allen Hall venue, entertainment was provided by internationally recognised mezzo soprano, Imelda Drumm, and by Youth Ballet West, a registered charity offering young dancers in the West of Ireland the opportunity to perform in professionally choreographed ballets. The Annual Alumni Awards celebrate the life-long value of an NUI Galway education and recognise individual achievements among the University's more than 80,000 graduates worldwide. -Ends-

Monday, 7 March 2011

A digital media exhibition will be held on Thursday, 10 March, to showcase projects from NUI Galway's MA in Digital Media programme. The MA in Digital Media was shortlisted for the 'gradireland postgraduate course of the year' in 2010. It attracts bright, creative and students with a strong sense of identity and individuality from a variety of undergraduate disciplines. In recent years, a number of projects have gone on to win national Digital Media awards. The categories and projects to be exhibited are in e-learning, interactive media and animation. In the e-learning section, student Claire McNelis, has created a website called SpellingRules.ie that teaches spelling in a dyslexia-friendly way. Aengus Bates has created heritagetreehunt.ie, an interactive map of heritage trees in Ireland, which is part of a larger Tree Council of Ireland survey. These and many more diverse and innovative projects will be showcased. In the animation category, four short animated films explore themes including conflict in Israel, a sci-fi dystopian future, computer gaming and nature. The MA programme is run by the Huston School of Film and Digital Media in conjunction with the discipline of Information Technology, and the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI). The exhibition is part of the NUI Galway Arts in Action 2010-2011 initiative, which aims to cultivate awareness of the creative arts across campus. According to Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action Programme at NUI Galway: "It is vitally important that students at NUI Galway are aware of the benefits of Arts in Action and attend free events like the Digital Media Exhibition on Thursday. It affords them the opportunity to explore the high professional quality of knowledge and skills generated within the university." The exhibition will open from 2pm at The View in Áras na MacLéinn, NUI Galway. At 6pm Paul Cummins, CEO of Telegael, will launch the event and show some award winning pieces produced by his company. From 7 to 8pm, the animation section of the Digital Media exhibition will be screened followed by a reception and an opportunity to network. Admission is free and all are welcome. For further information contact Valerie.Butler@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Friday, 4 March 2011

An online visibility tracking website created by postgraduate student of NUI Galway, David Dolphin, has shown that the fifteen independent candidates elected to the 31st Dáil, topped web visibility rankings in their constituencies, highlighting the importance of having a web presence during the recent General Election. The website td2011.com monitored the number of news articles, blog posts and websites which mentioned each candidate's name in the week running up to the election. According to the results, twelve of the elected independents were the most visible independent candidate in their constituency, while three others had the second most visible web presence. All elected independents were one of the top five most visible candidates in their constituency. In order to determine candidates positions, David wrote an algorithm to rank all 566 candidates based their web presence. Web visibility then was monitored for the candidates from 1 February until the day before the election Thursday, 24 February. David Dolphin, creator of td2011.com says: "The results extracted from the website show that the internet is a useful tool independents can use to inform the electorate of the issues they stand for. It highlights the growing role of internet presence as a factor in Irish elections. The Web is particularly important for independent candidates as it gives them a voice when they don't have the brand recognition that comes with party membership." Full rankings for all independent candidates can be found online at: http://www.td2011.com/indy. -ends-

Friday, 4 March 2011

The folklore and philosophy of the West of Ireland was explored by NUI Galway's Dr Tom Duddy in Castlebar yesterday (3 March). In a free, public talk, Dr Duddy spoke about 'From Folklore to Philosophy: the life and work of William Larminie of Castlebar'. William Larminie was born in Castlebar in 1849. A poet and collector of folklore, he also translated the work of the great Irish-born philosopher, John Scottus Eriugena. The talk, which took place in the Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, gave an account of Larminie's own life and discussed his contribution to Irish cultural life. Dr Duddy's lecture was part of the 'Humanities in the West' series of talks, sponsored by the School of Humanities at NUI Galway. Throughout this series, University lecturers visit different regional centres (Castlebar, Roscommon and Sligo) to lecture on a range of topics from philosophy to Gaelic games to ideas of space and mobility in contemporary Ireland. 'Humanities in the West' is an initiative of the Civic Engagement Committee in the School of Humanities and is one of a number of annual initiatives designed to publicise the teaching and research that takes place in Humanities at NUI Galway. Further talks are planned in Roscommon on 29 March, where Dr Seán Crosson of NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, will discuss 'Representing the Nation through Sport: The National Film Institute's Gaelic Games Films, 1948 – 1968'. His presentation will consider a series of films made in Ireland during the period that were centrally concerned with representing and promoting the nation through sport. The talk, which will include rare highlights footage of Roscommon competing in the all-Ireland football finals of 1943, 1946 and 1962, takes place in the Roscommon Arts Centre at 8pm. In Sligo on 5 April, Dr Nessa Cronin of the Centre for Irish Studies, will talk about 'Haunted Landscapes: Place, Space and Mobility in 21st Century Ireland'. This illustrated talk will look at the changing face of the Irish landscape from 1993 to the present day. In particular, it will focus on issues relating to the legacy of urban sprawl and rural 'development' in contemporary Ireland and how such changes have been represented in the Irish literary sphere. Of interest to a wide audience, from local community development groups to individuals interested in Irish heritage and contemporary literature, the talk takes place in The Model, Sligo, at 8pm. Further information is available from Karen Walsh 091 495689. For more information on the work of the School of Humanities (including podcasted lectures), visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/humanities/. -Ends-

Thursday, 3 March 2011

NUI Galway researchers have won a prestigious award for their work on the development of guidelines to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. Dr. Anne MacFarlane, Lecturer in Primary Care, Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine has led the Health Research Board Partnership Award with colleagues Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún, Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Galway and Alice O'Flynn and Diane Nurse of the HSE Social Inclusion Unit. This research has used innovative participatory research methods to enable the meaningful involvement of health service users from the migrant community and health service providers in the development of a guideline to support communication in cross-cultural general practice consultations. This research was recently awarded the Professor James McCormack medal for best research presentation at the Association of University Departments of General Practice Annual Scientific Meeting. This is important research for service users with limited English and their general practitioners who face significant challenges on a daily basis in their consultations because they do not have a shared language or cultural background which results in frequent misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. According to Dr. MacFarlane; "A key finding from the research is that all those involved with the research do not think the current status quo of using family members including children and friends as interpreters, is acceptable. They wish to have access to formal, trained interpreters who are monitored and evaluated in practice." Members of the migrant community from Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Urdu, French Congolese speaking and Nigerian communities in the Galway region, who participated in the research last April, were invited back to the University recently to hear details of the key findings and to provide feedback about the emerging content of the guideline to the research team. Seven representatives of the migrant community have formed a research team with academic researchers. The Service User Peer Researchers (SUPERS) are Khalid Ahmed, Jean Samuel Bonsenge Bokanga, Maria Manuela De Almeida Silva, Aga Mierzejewska, Lovina Nnadi, Florence Ogbebor and Katya Okonkwo. They trained in participatory research methods with the Centre for Participatory Strategies, Galway and this training enabled them to give members of their wider communities an opportunity to 'have a voice' in the development of the guideline, working in their own languages and with SUPERS from their own cultural backgrounds. As one SUPER (Florence Ogbebor) remarked, "This type of research actually brought the voices of the people upstream to the policy makers, where their voices could be heard". The use of participatory research approaches for research based on academic-community partnerships is very innovative in Irish primary care and the involvement of the Centre for Participatory Strategies has been instrumental in the design and delivery of the project. Directors of the Centre for Participatory Strategies (CPS), Mary O'Reilly-de Brún and Tomas de Brún said, "In this research project, we found it very exciting to experience the enthusiasm and creativity of the SUPERS. Together, we co-designed the research process, and culture-proofed all the research materials - this ensured that no migrant participants would be offended by the visual images we use with groups where not everyone readily reads and writes. This is one of the strengths of the participatory approach used, no one is disenfranchised and everyone's voice counts." -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The general public are invited on a trip down theatrical memory lane at NUI Galway, as images from the archive of the Abbey Theatre actor Arthur Shields (1896-1970) are exhibited. The selection of photographs from the Shields Family Archive will be on display in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library until 18 March with many more images featuring in a powerpoint display. John Cox, Librarian at James Hardiman Library, says this is a fascinating display: "As well as photographs, visitors will also be able to view correspondence and publicity material from the Abbey Theatre's tours of North America, which were managed by Arthur Shields in the 1930s. As an interesting footnote, in Easter 1916, Arthur Shields fought with the Citizen Army in the GPO when he was just 19 years old, and several items relating to the uprising are on display." The exhibition is just part of the Shields Family Archive collection which is housed at the James Hardiman Library, and includes posters, programmes and playscripts. In addition, there is a large audio-visual collection of tapes and video, including around fifty hours of interviews with Abbey players recorded in the 1970s. Also in the Archive are the papers of Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur's brother. Both brothers had successful acting careers in Hollywood, each appearing in more than fifty films, beginning with John Ford's production of The Plough and Stars in 1936. The exhibition takes place in the foyer of the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway until 18 March (closed on 17 March). The Library is open until 10pm Monday to Friday, and until 5.30pm at weekends. Admission to the exhibition is free. The University has also made over 150 images from the Shields Family Archive available online at http://archives.library.nuigalway.ie/shields. -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

NUI Galway's Professor Pat Dolan will participate in the United Nations Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on 'Dialogue and Mutual Understanding across Generations' in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday, 8 and Wednesday, 9 March. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the UN Member States and the UN Secretariat with expert opinion on dialogue and mutual understanding as it relates to generations. In doing so, it seeks to explore the family structure as a framework for enhancing intergenerational dialogue between younger and older persons and exploring its impact in a broader context including, community, education and the workplace. The event will endeavour to review the existing policies and good practices in the area of intergenerational dialogue. It will develop recommendations on how strategic investment in activities and initiatives aimed at promoting intergenerational dialogue can help further youth development and social integration policies. Professor Dolan, who is UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement and Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research at NUI Galway, was invited to participate in the meeting by the United Nations on the Family and the United Nations Programme on Youth, in the Division for Social Policy and Development of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Professor Dolan's address will focus on "lessons learnt from existing approaches to promote dialogue and understanding and enhance youth involvement". Professor Dolan adds, "Civic engagement ranging from community based charity work to social justice/cause led action, enables new friendships and coping capacity for youth in need in Ireland and globally. This UN Forum will explore how Ireland can help move this from a vision to a reality." The meeting is being convened in observance of the International Year of Youth 2010 to 2011 and as part of the preparations for the Twentieth Anniversary of the International Year of the Family, which will take place in 2014. The event is being held in cooperation with Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development (DIIFSD). -Ends-

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The 100th anniversary of International Women's Day on Tuesday, 8 March, will be marked by a series of events at NUI Galway. International Women's Day was first celebrated in 1911, when more than one million women and men attended rallies around the world campaigning for women's rights. Now a well established worldwide event, International Women's Day has become an annual fixture at NUI Galway. The Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway will be co-hosting a series of events throughout the week of 7 to 11 March. According to Dr Niamh Reilly, of the Global Women's Studies Programme at NUI Galway: "Over the last hundred years many gains have been made that have transformed the position of women in Ireland and around the world. However, there remain persistent and serious gender gaps that must be addressed before we can say that gender equality has been truly achieved. On average male workers and professionals continue to enjoy higher earnings and to occupy more senior positions in both the private and public sectors than women do. In Ireland especially, women are severely under-represented in formal politics and decision making positions, women continue to carry an unfair burden of responsibility for unpaid caring work in the home, and women are many times more likely than men to be subjected to domestic violence, rape and sexual exploitation." Events at NUI Galway will begin on Monday, 7 March, at 12.30pm in Áras Moyola with a seminar by Inez McCormack, women's and human rights activist, first female President of the Irish Congress of Trade Union and Chair of the Participation and Practice of Rights project, on 'Women, Power and Powerlessness'. On Tuesday, 8 March, at 8pm in the O Flaherty Theatre, the Galway Film Society will screen 'Women without Men'. The film brings together, on screen, the personal and the political in the story of four women and the way their lives are affected by the turbulence of the anti-Mossadeq coup in Iran. Directed by Shirin Neshat, it was the winner of Best Director Silver Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival 2009, and will be preceded by an introduction from NUI Galway's Niamh Reilly. A celebration of the life and work of Diana Leonard (1941-2010), Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education and Gender at the University of London, and founder of the Centre for Research on Education and Gender, takes place on Wednesday, 9 March, at 12.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building. Finally, on Friday, 11 March, a public seminar of the Gender Arc Research Alliance, which is part of the NUI Galway-UL Strategic Alliance, will examine Historical Perspectives on International Women's Day. Speakers will include Caitríona Clear, Senior Lecturer in History, NUI Galway and Bernadette Whelan, Senior Lecturer in History, University of Limerick. This event takes place at 1pm in Áras Moyola. Dr Nata Duvvury, also with Global Women's Studies Programme, notes that: "Persistent underlying patterns of discrimination against women in most societies make women and girls disproportionately vulnerable to an array of harms from extreme poverty and wartime sexual violence to human trafficking and exposure to HIV/AIDS. Thankfully, there are many men and women the world over who are ardent defenders of women's human rights and gender equality. The centenary of International Women's Day offers a welcome opportunity to celebrate their successful efforts to challenge inequalities to date and to remind ourselves that no country yet can boast a perfect record on achievement of genuine gender equality for all groups of women and for sexual minorities." The events at NUI Galway are hosted by the Global Women's Studies Programme in conjunction with the Galway Film Society, the Gender Arc Research Alliance (NUI Galway-UL), and NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights, and Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. All are welcome to these free events, for further information contact Gillian Browne at gillian.browne@nuigalway.ie -Ends-