Monday, 6 April 2009

Secondary school students representing all the Provinces of Ireland participated in the final of the Debating Science Issues (DSI) competition on Thursday, 2 April, at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin. Students from St Mary's Secondary School in Macroom, Co. Cork emerged as the All-Ireland winners. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the debating competition is coordinated by NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute REMEDI, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET), in conjunction with science research and discovery centres throughout Ireland. The All-Ireland final involved students debating the motion that 'Opposing evidence-based theories such as evolution damages all science'. Other national finalists included St Dominic's High School, Santa Sabina, Sutton, Co. Dublin, Belfast High School, Belfast City, and St Attracta's Community School, Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo. DSI is a dynamic debating competition, which invites young people to engage in debate on the cultural, societal and ethical implications of advances in biomedical science. Open to students in the senior cycle of secondary school, the competition provides a great opportunity for students to expand their communication and scientific skills. Debates in the national finals involved students defending their arguments on the scientific and ethical implications of both embryonic stem cell research and evolution theory. This All-Ireland competition is unique in involving a number of research centres and secondary schools from both the Republic and Northern Ireland; REMEDI, NUI Galway; Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre and TYNDALL Institute, UCC; Biomedical Diagnostics Institute, DCU; Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Dublin and W5 in Belfast. Judges on the day included Lorcan O'Raghallaigh of Discover Science and Engineering; Dr John Denari of IRCSET; Bridget Kelly of CLARITY, UCD; Tom Ziessen, Public Engagement advisor of the Wellcome Trust; Dr Annie Curtis of SFI; Greg Smith of NUI Maynooth; Emily de Grae of the Irish Council for Bioethics; Dr Jennifer Ralph from SFI and Dr Charlotte Holland of DCU. Dr Annie Curtis, Scientific Programme Manager, SFI, commented: "This debate competition is an excellent example of the education and outreach programmes being carried out by the SFI CSETs. This collaborative approach to education and outreach is key to encouraging young people to consider career opportunities in science and engineering. It is important that we attract young people into careers in science and engineering as Ireland's future economic success is dependent on having this highly skilled workforce". Professor Frank Barry, Scientific Director of REMEDI at NUI Galway: "We hope that this collaborative outreach competition will be a useful tool in facilitating increased awareness of the important research taking place in Ireland among young people and the Irish public in general. It is imperative, however, that this is not one-way traffic. While it is important for research centres to communicate to the public, it is equally important for us, as scientists, to listen to what the public, including young people, think of our work. At a time when scientific research itself is taking so many different directions, it is critical that we open the doors for discussion so that we can ensure that everyone has their say on the societal and ethical implications of biomedical research". -Ends-

Monday, 6 April 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway invites members of the public to a Science Research Day on campus on Monday, 20 April. Academics and researchers from the College of Science at NUI Galway will present their latest research in a series of short presentations throughout the day, from 9am to 5.30pm in room IT 125 of the IT Building. The event will showcase some of the cutting edge research being carried out by scientists across several diverse disciplines from chemical, mathematical and physical sciences to the biological sciences. Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh, Vice-Dean of Research, College of Science, NUI Galway, comments: "This is a special day in the University calendar, as scientists across all disciplines in our College will get together to present and debate their research in a forum that is open to the public. Talks will be topical and aimed at a lay-audience. The variety of topics to be discussed will include climate change, marine science, fighting cancer, evolution, genetics and stem cell research. Many of our scientists are leaders in their field and world-renowned. We welcome local industry and the general public to participate in this event". While presentations will take place in the IT Building, a simultaneous Postgraduate Poster Competition will be held in the foyer of the Orbsen Building. For further details and a running order of presentations, check the College of Science website www.nuigalway.ie/science/news or contact Claire Mitchell on 091 493700. Lá Taighde á reáchtáil ag Coláiste na hEolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh don Phobal (View in English) Ba bhreá le OÉ Gaillimh dá mbeadh an pobal in ann freastal ar Lá Taighde Eolaíochta a bheidh ar siúl ar an gcampas Dé Luain, 20 Aibreán. Tabharfaidh idir lucht acadúil agus thaighdeoirí ó Choláiste na hEolaíochta in OÉ Gaillimh léargas ar an taighde is déanaí atá ar bun acu i bhfoirm láithreoireachtaí gairide a bheidh ar siúl idir 9am agus 5.30pm i seomra IT 125 san Fhoirgneamh IT. Tabharfar léargas don phobal ar an taighde ceannródaíoch atá ar bun ag eolaithe sna disciplíní éagsúla lena n-áirítear eolaíocht cheimiciúil, eolaíocht mhatamaiticiúil, eolaíocht fhisiceach agus eolaíocht bhitheolaíoch. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag an Dr Fawaz Aldabbagh, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde, Coláiste na hEolaíochta, OÉ Gaillimh: "Lá speisialta é seo i bhféilire na hOllscoile mar go dtugann sé deis d'eolaithe as na disciplíní ar fad sa Choláiste teacht le chéile chun an taighde atá ar bun acu a chur i láthair agus a phlé i bhfóram atá oscailte don phobal freisin. Ábhar iontach suimiúil a bheidh dírithe ar an bpobal a bheidh faoi chaibidil i gcaitheamh an lae. I measc na n-ábhar a bheidh faoi chaibidil beidh athrú aeráide, eolaíocht mhuirí, dul i ngleic le hailse, éabhlóid, géineolaíocht agus taighde gascheall. Is ceannródaithe ina réimse saineolais féin iad go leor dár n-eolaithe a bhfuil cáil dhomhanda bainte amach acu dóibh féin. Tá fáilte roimh lucht tionscail agus roimh an bpobal páirt a ghlacadh san imeacht seo". Cé go mbeidh na láithreoireachtaí ar siúl san Fhoirgneamh IT, beidh Comórtas Póstaer Iarchéime ar siúl san fhorhalla in Áras Oirbsean. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais agus clár na n-imeachtaí uait, breathnaigh ar láithreán gréasáin Choláiste na hEolaíochta ag www.nuigalway.ie/science/news nó glaoigh ar Claire Mitchell ag 091 493700. -Críoch-

Monday, 6 April 2009

State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy, will open Ireland's first conference to examine the link between forensic science and human rights on Friday, April 24 at NUI Galway. During the two-day conference, experts on war crimes, sexual violence, human identification and forensic investigations will draw on examples from countries including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Burma. Entitled 'Human Rights and Forensic Science', the conference aims to explore the current and future applications of various disciplines of forensic science to the field of human rights. Taking an interdisciplinary approach speakers come from a wide range of backgrounds including law, medicine, science and human rights. The event is being co-hosted by NUI Galway's Irish Centre for Human Rights and the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee. Delegates will be addressed by a range of notable speakers and scholars in addition to State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy. There will be presentations by forensic anthropologist Professor Sue Black, head of the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at the University of Dundee, and Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said: "The investigation of war crimes and large scale violations of human rights poses significant challenges when compared to ordinary criminal investigations. Analysis of crime base evidence and human remains is a key component in such investigations. Linking remote perpetrators to specific crimes and crime scenes requires a multidisciplinary approach involving forensic science, anthropology, and law. International experts attending this conference will provide a unique insight into the role that each discipline plays in the investigation of atrocities". The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway supports the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law at undergraduate, postgraduate and postdoctoral level. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Centre has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy. The Centre of Anatomy and Human Identification is part of the internationally acclaimed School of Life Sciences at the University of Dundee. The unit is the most experienced in the UK regarding human identification, forensic anthropology, facial identification and the study of the human body. 'Human Rights and Forensic Science' will be of interest to law enforcement, medical and legal professionals, as well as those with an interest in human rights. For further information or to book a place contact the organisers Ms Éadaoin O'Brien e.obrien9@nuigalway.ie or Ms Niamh Hayes niamh1@gmail.com at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Alternatively online registration is available at www.conference.ie. -ends-

Friday, 3 April 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Former President of Ireland, Dr Mary Robinson will today (Friday, 3 April) launch a new Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway. The Centre is one of the first of its type in Europe and it is timely given the recent adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which Ireland has signed. The primary purpose of the new Centre is to conduct research on best international practice to assist in the ongoing process of reform taking place here in Ireland and throughout the world. The launch will be followed by a Round Table discussion composed of a panel of distinguished international experts from China, the USA, Hungary, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the European Commission. The experts will discuss the current global challenges in the field of disability followed by commentary from Irish specialists. The advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities was one of the hallmarks of Dr Robinson's presidency and she also played a major role, in her capacity as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in initiating the new UN Convention. According to Dr Robinson: "The Centre for Disability Law and Policy represents the best a university can offer in a democratic society by placing its research assets at the disposal of the process of change. This is nowhere more important than in the field of disability both here in Ireland and abroad". Dr Robinson praised the intention of the new Centre to benchmark Ireland against international best practice as well as for its wide international links, especially with the University of Syracuse and the Harvard Project on Disability. She also noted that the estimated 650 million persons with disabilities are now officially acknowledged as the world's largest minority and that the vast majority of them live in dire circumstances in developing countries. She commended the work done already by the Centre on development aid and disability and urged more efforts by Ireland and other countries in that regard. Dr Robinson gave specific mention to the role played by the Director of the Centre – Professor Gerard Quinn – in helping to negotiate the new Convention and for his longstanding work in this field. The President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, spoke of the broad commitment of the University to 'civic engagement' which includes ensuring that its research prowess assists in the process of change by identifying innovative solutions. He noted that the new Centre will form part of a multi-disciplinary 'lifecycle research alliance' in NUI Galway, dealing with ageing at the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and with families at the Child and Family Research Centre. It is envisaged that the three Centres will work collaboratively to bring their combined strengths to bear on lifecycle policy issues. Dr Browne acknowledged with special thanks the support of Atlantic Philanthropies in establishing the new Centre and indeed the two other Centres involved in the emerging 'lifecycle research alliance'. The current research programme of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy focuses on the individualisation of services as well as the development of a Baseline Study on the state of Irish disability law and policy. It holds important research contracts with the European Commission on eAccessibility for blind people on the internet as well as the mapping of the UN disability Convention in EU law and policy. The Centre already has a vibrant PhD programme and plans a dedicated LLM programme in 2010 as well as an annual Summer School. With its special emphasis on public policy analysis and law, the new Centre will also complement the excellent work of the National Institute on Intellectual Disability at TCD and the UCD Disability Studies Centre. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, says: "This Centre joins a handful around the world. Our aim is to generate research that marks a constructive contribution to the process of change. Ireland was a pioneer in the field of disability discrimination law and its National Disability Strategy shows great promise. Our hope is to make a constructive contribution to the implementation of that strategy to identify policy solutions to current challenges by drawing on a rich vein of comparative experience throughout the world. In this way we hope to enrich policy debates at home and expand the repertoire of policy options available to Government. We will work collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders in Ireland and build our international links to ensure access to legislative and policy solutions that offer promise in Ireland". -ends- (View in English) Seolfaidh iar-Uachtarán na hÉireann, an Dr Mary Robinson, an tIonad Nua um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé hAoine, 3 Aibreán). Tá an tIonad seo ar an gcéad ionad dá leithéid san Eoraip agus tráthúil go leor tá an tIonad á sheoladh go gairid i ndiaidh d Éirinn Coinbhinsiún na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine faoi Mhíchumas a shíniú. Is é príomhchuspóir an Ionaid nua taighde a dhéanamh ar an gcleachtas idirnáisiúnta is fearr d fhonn cur leis an bpróiseas athchóirithe atá ar siúl anseo in Éirinn agus ar fud na cruinne. Reáchtálfar plé Comhchomhairle le painéal saineolaithe aitheanta idirnáisiúnta ón tSín, ó SAM, ón Ungáir, ó Oifig Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine agus ón gCoimisiún Eorpach i ndiaidh sheoladh an Ionaid. Pléifidh na saineolaithe na dúshláin dhomhanda atá ann i láthair na huaire sa réimse míchumais agus ansin labhróidh saineolaithe ón tír seo faoin gceist. Ceann de bhuaicphointí uachtaránacht an Dr Robinson ba ea cearta daoine faoi mhíchumas a chur chun cinn agus bhí ról lárnach aici freisin, mar Ard-Choimisinéir na Náisiún Aontaithe um Chearta an Duine, i gCoinbhinsiún nua de chuid na Náisiún Aontaithe a bhunú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Robinson: "Is ionann an tIonad um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais agus an iarracht is fearr is féidir le hollscoil ar bith a dhéanamh i sochaí dhaonlathach trí acmhainní taighde a dhíriú ar phróiseas seo an athraithe. Baineann an oiread tábhachta leis seo i réimse an mhíchumais anseo in Éirinn agus thar lear agus a bhaineann le réimse ar bith eile". Mhol an Dr Robinson an obair atá beartaithe ag an Ionad nua a dhéanamh, is é sin a chinntiú go bhfuil Éire ag cloí go docht le dea-chleachtas idirnáisiúnta mar aon le naisc idirnáisiúnta a chruthú, go háirithe le hOllscoil Syracuse agus Tionscadal Míchumais Harvard. Chomh maith leis sin, thagair an Dr Robinson don 650 milliún duine faoi mhíchumas ar fud na cruinne – an grúpa mionlaigh is mó ar domhan – agus don chúis náire go bhfuil formhór dóibh ag maireachtáil i gcúinsí mífheiliúnacha i dtíortha i mbéal forbartha. Mhol sí an obair atá déanta ag an Ionad go dtí seo ar chúnamh forbartha agus ar mhíchumas agus dúirt sí gur cheart d Éirinn agus do thíortha eile níos mó a dhéanamh sa réimse seo. Thagair an Dr Robinson don ról tábhachtach atá ag Stiúrthóir an Ionaid – an tOllamh Gerard Quinn – in idirbheartaíocht an Choinbhinsiúin nua agus don obair iontach atá déanta aige sa réimse seo. Labhair Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, ar thiomantas na hOllscoile do 'chomhpháirteachas poiblí' a chinntíonn go gcabhraíonn taighde ceannródaíoch atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh leis an bpróiseas athraithe trí réitigh nuálacha a aithint. Dúirt sé go n-áireofar an tIonad nua mar chuid de 'chomhfhiontar taighde' a bheidh dírithe ar aosú atá ar bun in OÉ Gaillimh – taighde atá ar bun ag Ionad Sheaneolaíocht Shóisialta na hÉireann i gcomhar le teaghlaigh san Ionad Taighde um Leanaí agus Teaghlaigh. Meastar go n-oibreoidh na trí Ionad i dteannta a chéile chun úsáid éifeachtach a bhaint as an saineolas atá acu maidir le ceisteanna beartais. Ghlac an Dr Browne buíochas as tacaíocht The Atlantic Philanthropies an tIonad nua a bhunú, agus ghlac sé buíochas leis an dá Ionad eile a bhfuil baint acu leis an gcomhfhiontar taighde nua. Tá clár taighde reatha an Ionaid dírithe ar indibhidiúlú seirbhísí mar aon le Staidéar Bonnlíne ar staid dhlí agus bheartas míchumais na hÉireann a fhorbairt. Tá conarthaí tábhachtacha taighde eAccessibility bunaithe ag an Ionad leis an gCoimisiún Eorpach do dhaoine dalla agus tá iniúchadh déanta ar Choinbhinsiún Míchumais na Náisiún Aontaithe mar atá i ndlí agus i mbeartas an Aontais Eorpaigh. Tá clár PhD forbartha ag an Ionad cheana féin agus tá sé beartaithe tús a chur le clár ainmnithe LLM in 2010 mar aon le Scoil Samhraidh bhliantúil. Díreoidh an tIonad nua go speisialta ar anailís a dhéanamh agus ar an dlí a bhaineann le beartas poiblí, ach chomh maith leis sin cuirfidh an tIonad nua leis an obair iontach atá ar bun ag an National Institute on Intellectual Disability i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath agus ag Ionad an Staidéir ar Mhíchumais sa Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Ollamh Gerard Quinn, Stiúrthóir an Ionaid um Dhlí agus Beartas Míchumais: "Is beag Ionad den chineál seo atá bunaithe ar fud na cruinne go dtí seo. Is é atá mar aidhm againne taighde fiúntach a dhéanamh a chuirfidh le próiseas an athraithe. Ceannródaí ba ea Éire i réimse an dlí idirdhealaithe míchumais agus tuar dóchais a bhfuil scríofa sa Straitéis Náisiúnta Míchumais. Is é atá mar aidhm againn cur i bhfeidhm na straitéise sin a éascú agus réitigh bheartais a aithint le déileáil le dúshláin reatha trí leas a bhaint as taithí grúpaí eile ar fud an domhain. Ar an tslí seo, tá súil againn a bheith in ann cur le díospóireachtaí beartais in Éirinn agus na deiseanna beartais atá ar fáil don Rialtas a fhorbairt. Oibreoimid i gcomhar le páirtithe leasmhara in Éirinn agus cuirfimid lenár naisc idirnáisiúnta lena chinntiú gur féidir linn rochtain a fháil ar réitigh reachtacha agus bheartais a rachaidh chun tairbhe na hÉireann". -críoch-

Friday, 3 April 2009

Pictured (centre) is the Acting Ambassador of the United States of America, Chargé d'affairs Mr Robert Faucher on a visit to NUI Galway with (left) President of NUI Galway, Dr James J Browne and Ms Jacqueline Hynes. Originally from Drum, Athlone, Co. Roscommon, Ms Hynes is a recent Science graduate from NUI Galway, specialising in anatomy, and recipient of the 2009-10 Fulbright International Science and Technology Award. The Award is one of the most valuable and prestigious in the State Department's scholarship portfolio. Ms Hynes will be on a fully-funded PhD program in neuroscience at one of the top institutions in the US. Since graduating in 2007, Jacqueline has acted a research and teaching assistant in the Department of Anatomy at NUI Galway. Jacqueline carries out her research with Dr Siobhan McMahon in collaborative projects with NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) and the Mayo Clinic of the US. She has presented her work in the area of spinal cord regeneration at a number of scientific meetings and has co-authored a number of recently submitted papers. Jacqueline also dedicates a large portion of her time to the teaching element of her job, where she assists in the education of medical and science students in a range of subjects, from cellular histology and neuroanatomy to microscopy techniques. She is also a registered learning disability worker for students of Anatomy at NUI Galway. The area of research that Jacqueline hopes to pursue for her doctoral studies is one that looks at the interface between the nature of the physical world and mind – human perception, awareness and attention. In the long-term, Jacqueline hopes that her work may also shed light on functional disorders such as Autism, ADD and Aspergers Syndrome. -Ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2009

An internet technology developed at NUI Galway is to be used by President Obama's administration in its new website devoted to the $800 billion economic stimulus package. The administration's 'Recovery.gov' site will employ a web standard, created at NUI Galway's Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the US Government. Researchers at DERI focus on the Semantic Web, which is the next incarnation of the internet which will be more intuitive because data will be defined and linked. One of the outputs of DERI's research is called Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities or SIOC. Aimed at connecting online community sites and internet-based discussions, SIOC is set to be utilised by 'Recovery.gov'. Creator of SIOC and lecturer in Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, Dr John Breslin, said: "The possibilities afforded by deploying semantic technologies such as SIOC for government transparency are very exciting. Semantic technology allows the linking of government funding data, fed in from spreadsheets or forms, to contributions from the public, private organisations or the government themselves. This can be done not just within a single site but with external linked data from other public sources. You could imagine using this to discover the effect of how and where tax dollars and Euros are being spent on statistics for crime, education or innovation in a set of geographic regions". As announced by George Thomas, Chief Architect with the US General Services Administration, the Recovery.gov effort will bring transparency to the government towards allowing citizens and activists to access semantic data about everything from contracts and schedules to training and infrastructure costs. Since 2003, DERI has been supported by Science Foundation Ireland with a Centre for Science, Engineering and Technology grant. During this time, DERI has grown to over 120 members. Professor Stefan Decker, Director of DERI, says: "This is another example showing that investment in science and research has truly propelled Ireland into the forefront of technology. Our technology can bring a greater level of transparency and trust to governments as well as financial institutions - something that becomes increasingly important. The US Government has recognised this already". The SIOC project from DERI at NUI Galway is already being used by a range of applications including Yahoo! SearchMonkey and Drupal. -ends-

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Former Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte T.D. and founder and Chairman of Libertas, Declan Ganley will debate the second Lisbon Referendum on Wednesday, 8 April, in the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin at 7pm. The debate will be hosted by the NUI Galway Alumni Association and moderated by alumni member and Irish Times Political Correspondent Harry McGee. RTÉ Radio presenter and NUI Galway alumni member Sean O'Rourke said of the event: "We're delighted to have these two distinguished speakers; it should make for a very interesting debate". Businessman Declan Ganley is the founder of the Libertas movement which lobbied against the adoption of the Treaty of Lisbon in Ireland in 2008. Mr Ganley recently launched his campaign to contest the European elections in June in the Connacht-Ulster constituency. Referring to the Lisbon Treaty, he said: "We are giving up an enormous amount of control over our own affairs and we are getting nothing in return". Pat Rabbitte T.D., who will speak in favour of the Treaty at the event, recently spoke on the danger of the economic situation and noted that early ratification of the Treaty would help to restore international confidence in Ireland. The NUI Galway Dublin Alumni Group runs several events annually, aimed at bringing together graduates of NUI Galway. Tickets for the event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to graduates of NUI Galway who apply via email to colm.odwyer@nuigalway.ie or by phone on 091 493750. -ends-

Friday, 29 May 2009

A record number of over 430 students from 14 Galway secondary school schools participated in this years' NUI Galway First Year Schools Competition. The competition is part of the University Trail Access Programme designed to encourage an interest in third-level education among students in selected Secondary Schools in Galway City and County. The programme is supported by the HEA targeted funding for special initiatives. For the competition, students were asked to express through Art, Music, Drama and Writing why they believe they would like to study at university and what it would mean to their future. Ashla Ward, of NUI Galway's Access office, commented, "The Access programme is all about enabling secondary school pupils to envisage their future at third-level and to support their studies in secondary school. One of the reasons for the competition's success over the last seven years has been the commitment of the teachers. We also need to thank the NUI Galway students who have volunteered on the schools programme down through the years by meeting with secondary school pupils and encouraging them in their education choices". NUI Galway's University Trail starts with the First Year School Competition and continues in second, third, fifth and on to the Leaving Certificate year, with a series of activities such as campus tours, mentoring and Study Skills Workshops. The main objective is to promote regular interaction between the students and the University. The effectiveness of this initiative has been greatly enhanced by the ongoing support of management and staff in the participating schools. -Ends-

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway researchers, during a recent deep-water expedition, have confirmed the existence of a major new coral reef province on the southern end of the Porcupine Bank off the west coast of Ireland. The province covers an area of some 200 sq.km and contains in the order of 40 coral reef covered carbonate mounds. These underwater hills rise as high as 100m above the seafloor. The deep-water research expedition took place earlier this month aboard the Marine Institute research vessel, the RV Celtic Explorer*. The research used the new national Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Holland I** to survey the seafloor and capture unique video footage. The expedition, led by Dr Anthony Grehan, was a collaboration between NUI Galway and the Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) and involved researchers and students from both institutions. Dr Anthony Grehan, NUI Galway, said: "These are by far the most pristine, thriving and hence spectacular examples of cold-water coral reefs that I've encountered in almost ten years of study in Irish waters. There is also evidence of recent recruitment of corals and many other reef animals in the area suggesting this area is an important source of larvae supply to other areas further along the Porcupine Bank". Dr Grehan suggested that given the rugged terrain, its unsuitability for trawling and its well defined boundaries, that the area would be an excellent additional candidate to the four existing off-shore coral Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). He said that NUI Galway's Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences would in due course provide a copy of all video footage to the National Parks and Wildlife Service to facilitate them in their work of further SAC designations to comply with the European Union s Habitat Directive. The expedition began in French waters with a series of ROV dives in previously unexplored canyons in the Bay of Biscay which confirmed the presence of coral and geogenic reefs that will be notified to the new French Marine Protected Area Agency. Dr Brigitte Guillaumont from the newly established agency, said: "The video and images obtained from the high definition video camera of the Irish ROV are very impressive and will greatly assist us in our work of designating areas for the protection of corals". Moving into Irish waters, the use of high resolution bathymetry charts, provided by the Irish National Seabed Survey, a collaboration between the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute, enabled the identification of new areas likely to support coral reefs. The ROV was then used to dive on one of these areas, the Archipelagos Mounds (or Arc Mounds), to reveal a seascape of spectacular coral reefs. Anna Rensdorf, a Griffith Geoscience PhD student in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway, who had previously worked on tropical corals, said: "I can't believe that coral reefs like these can be found in the cold waters of Ireland. On many of the mounds surveyed, living coral thickets stood up to 2m high where ordinarily they are less than half a metre in height". The NUI Galway study is part of a larger pan-European project funded by the European Commission's 7th research Framework Programme, called 'CoralFISH' that is studying in detail the interactions between corals, fish and fisheries. Dr Grehan, coordinator of the European study, said: "At the recent International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) deep-sea symposium delegates expressed increasing concern about the level of bottom fishing related damage sustained by vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs) in the High Seas (i.e. areas beyond national jurisdiction). Because cold-water corals remain the best example of VMEs, much research is focused on them. One of the key areas in the management of fisheries now appears to be improving our understanding of how fish use habitat. We need to understand what effect damage or removal of that habitat will have on fish stocks and communicating that knowledge to fishermen". Dr Grehan noted that vulnerable marine ecosystems such as coral reefs represent one of the last untapped reservoirs of potentially useful bio-compounds that might support the development of new anti-viral or anti-bacterial pharmaceuticals. Currently, there is a major biodiscovery programme underway at NUI Galway funded through the Marine Institute under Sea Change – A Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013. For more information on the Celtic Explorer survey and the CoralFISH project please visit the project website: http://eu-fp7-coralfish.net Coiréal domhainmhara aimsithe amach ó chósta thiar na hÉireann (View in English) Le linn do thaighdeoirí ó OÉ Gaillimh a bheith ar thuras taiscéalaíochta domhainmhara le déanaí, dhearbhaigh siad go bhfuil limistéar iontach nua de sceir choiréil aimsithe acu ó dheas de Bhanc an Torcáin amach ó chósta thiar na hÉireann. 200 ciliméadar cearnach atá sa limistéar agus tá thart ar 40 mullóg carbónáite faoi chumhdach sceir choiréil ann. Tá cuid de na mullóga fomhuirí seo beagnach 100 méadar os cionn ghrinneall na farraige. Thug taighdeoirí ó OÉ Gaillimh faoin turas taiscéalaíochta taighde domhainmhara níos túisce an mhí seo ar bord bhád taighde Fhoras na Mara – an RV Celtic Explorer*. Nuair a bhí an taighde ar bun baineadh úsáid as an bhFeithicil Chianoibrithe nua náisiúnta (ROV) – Holland I** – chun grinneall na farraige a scrúdú agus na híomhánna a thaifeadadh. Ba é an Dr Anthony Grehan a bhí i gceannas ar an turas taiscéalaíochta seo, comhfhiontar idir OÉ Gaillimh agus an Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), agus ghlac idir thaighdeoirí agus mhic léinn ón dá institiúid páirt sa turas taiscéalaíochta spéisiúil seo. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Anthony Grehan: "Tá beagnach deich mbliana caite agam anois i mbun staidéir ar uiscí na hÉireann agus níl dabht ar bith faoi ach gurb iad seo na samplaí is glaine, is rafaire, agus is spéisiúla de sceireacha coiréil fuaruisce atá feicthe agam in imeacht deich mbliana. Tá fianaise ann freisin de choiréil nua agus go leor ainmhithe sceire eile, rud a thugann le fios gur foinse thábhachtach larbhaí é an limistéar seo le haghaidh limistéir eile atá suite feadh Bhanc an Torcáin". Bhí an Dr Grehan den bharúil ó tharla an tír-raon a bheith chomh garbh, deacrachtaí a bheith ag baint le trálaeireacht agus teorainneacha dochta daingne, go mbeadh an limistéar seo rífheiliúnach mar iarrthóir breise le cur leis na ceithre Limistéar Caomhantais Speisialta coiréil amach ón gcósta atá ann cheana féin. Dúirt sé go mbeadh Roinn Domhaneolaíochta agus Aigéaneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh in ann cóip den fhíseán a rinneadh i rith an turais a thabhairt don tSeirbhís Páirceanna Náisiúnta agus Fiadhúlra d'fhonn cabhrú leo Limistéir Chaomhantais Speisialta nua a ainmniú. Cuireadh tús leis an turas seo in uiscí na Fraince nuair a rinneadh roinnt tumthaí ROV i gcainneoin i mBá na Bioscáine, cainneoin nach raibh mórán taiscéalaithe déanta orthu. Aimsíodh sceireacha coiréil agus geoigineacha agus cuirfear sonraí na sceireacha seo in iúl do Ghníomhaireacht Limistéir Chaomhantais Mhuirí na Fraince. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Brigitte Guillaumont ó IFREMER: "Tá an físeán agus na híomhánna atá ar fhíscheamara ardghléine ROV na hÉireann iontach ar fad agus is cinnte go gcabhróidh an t-ábhar seo linn leis an obair atá ar bun againn limistéir a ainmniú agus coiréil a chosaint". Le linn don bhád a bheith ag tarraingt ar uiscí na hÉireann, baineadh úsáid as léarscáileanna bataiméadracha, a fuarthas ó Shuirbhé Náisiúnta Grinnill Farraige na hÉireann Shuirbhéireacht Gheolaíochta na hÉireann agus Fhoras na Mara, chun limistéir nua ar dócha go mbeadh sceireacha coiréil iontu a aimsiú. Baineadh úsáid as ROV ansin le turas tumtha a thabhairt ar cheann de na limistéir seo, Mullóga Archipelagos (mullóga Arc), limistéar ina bhfuil sceir choiréil iontach le feiceáil. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Anna Rensdorf, mac léinn PhD Griffith sa Gheo-Eolaíocht ó Roinn Domhaneolaíochta agus Aigéaneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh, a chaith seal ag obair ar choiréil thrópaiceacha: "Is deacair a chreidiúint go bhfuil sceireacha coiréil cosúil leis na cinn seo le fáil i bhfuaruisce na hÉireann. Ar fhormhór na mullóg a ndearnadh suirbhé orthu, bhí mothair choiréil bheo a bhí suas le 2 mhéadar ar airde; is gnách go mbíonn mothair choiréil níos lú ná leathmhéadar ar airde". Áirítear staidéar OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de thionscadal mór uile-Eorpach atá á mhaoiniú trí 7ú Clár Creata an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh, clár ar a dtugtar 'CoralFISH' agus a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis mionstaidéar a dhéanamh ar an idirghníomhaíocht a bhíonn idir coiréil, éisc agus iascaigh. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Grehan, comhordaitheoir an staidéir Eorpaigh: "Ag an gComhairle Idirnáisiúnta um Thaiscéalaíocht na Farraige (ICES) léirigh toscairí ón earnáil dhomhainfharraige a bhí i láthair ag an siompóisiam imní maidir leis an leibhéal damáiste a rinne iascaireacht ghrinnill d'éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte sa Mhórmhuir (i.e. limistéir nach n-áirítear sa dlínse náisiúnta). De bhrí gurb iad na coiréil fhuaruisce na samplaí is fearr d'éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte, déantar go leor taighde orthu. Tá an chosúlacht ar an scéal anois gurb é ceann de na príomhréimsí a bhaineann le bainistíocht na n-iascach an tuiscint atá againn ar an úsáid a bhaineann éisc as an ngnáthóg a fheabhsú. Ní mór dúinn tuiscint a bheith againn ar an éifeacht a bheidh ag damáiste a dhéanamh don ghnáthóg nó go deimhin scriosadh na gnáthóige ar stoc éisc agus an méid sin a chur in iúl do na hiascairí". Tharraing an Dr Grehan aird ar an bpointe go n-áirítear éiceachórais mhuirí shomhillte, dála sceireacha coiréil, i measc ceann de na foinsí bith-chomhdhúile a d'fhéadfaí a úsáid i bhforbairt cógaisíochtaí nua frithbhaictéaracha nó frithvíreasacha. I láthair na huaire, tá clár suntasach bithfhionnachtana ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh, clár atá á mhaoiniú ag Foras na Mara faoi Sea Change – Straitéis Eolais, Taighde agus Nuálaíochta Mhuirí d'Éire 2007-2013. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoi shuirbhé an Celtic Explorer agus tionscadal CoralFISH le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin an tionscadail: http://eu-fp7-coralfish.net . -Críoch-

Monday, 25 May 2009

Dr David Finn, Lecturer in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Science Foundation Ireland Principal Investigator and co-director of the Centre for Pain Research at NUI Galway, has received an award from Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ireland as one of Ireland's Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the year aged 18-40. He was awarded winner of the Scientific Development category on the basis of academic and scientific achievements and community service/civic engagement in his research. Dr Finn will now represent Ireland in this category in the World JCI TOYP competition. By recognising the achievements of young people, JCI encourages them and others to seek excellence and serve others. It's just one way that JCI contributes to preparing better leaders, who will create better societies. Awards are made in ten categories, which also include personal accomplishment; cultural achievement; political, legal and/or governmental achievement; and voluntary leadership. Dr Finn, originally from Ballycahill, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, was nominated by JCI Galway for his contribution to neuroscience and pain research. Local JCI president, Brenda Gannon says: "We are delighted to nominate a high calibre scientist and researcher from NUI Galway, and we have great hopes for Dr Finn to succeed at the international event". On receiving the award in Dublin, Dr Finn addressed the audience about his work and gave significant note of thanks to past and present mentors, to NUI Galway colleagues and collaborators, and the members of his research team. Dr Finn also acknowledged research funding received from Science Foundation Ireland, the Health Research Board, the Higher Education Authority, the Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology and the International Association for the Study of Pain. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "On behalf of NUI Galway, I extend warmest congratulations to David Finn on this wonderful distinction. David is a very talented researcher and is committed to sharing his knowledge and skills with the wider community, reflecting NUI Galway's strong ethos of civic engagement. This Junior Chamber Ireland Award is a tremendous recognition of David's work and service to society". -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

NUI Galway invites graduates from the classes of 1999 and 2004 to attend a Reunion BBQ on Saturday, 6 June. The Reunion BBQ will begin at 7pm in the Students' Union Bar overlooking the River Corrib, with entertainment provided by DJ Brick Flanders. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, encourages alumni to come along: "Reunions are a wonderful opportunity for graduates to revisit NUI Galway and renew old acquaintances. Many alumni from the classes of 5 and 10 years ago have already booked their places. You never know who you will meet, so our reunion attendees never regret making the effort". The Alumni Association at NUI Galway serves 70,000 alumni worldwide with an extensive range of programmes administered by the Alumni Office. These include national and international clubs, publications, reunions and alumni awards. Graduates interested in any of these programmes, or those who want to reconnect with their old classmates, are encouraged to contact the Alumni Office for further details. For further information please contact Colm O'Dwyer in the Alumni Office on 091 493750 or email alumni@nuigalway.ie or visit the reunion website www.nuigalway.ie/alumni/reunion09.html -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

Photographs of Irish lighthouses, taken at the turn of the 20th century, feature in an exhibition taking place in the James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway. The maritime-themed exhibition 'Safety for all' coincides with the visit of the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway, and will continue until 30 June. The photographs were taken by the well-known Irish astronomer and mathematician Sir Robert Ball (1840-1913) who was the scientific advisor to the Commissioners of Irish Lights for almost thirty years. Images in the exhibition come from a collection donated by the Commissioners of Irish Lights to the National Photographic Archives. John Cox, Acting-Librarian at the James Hardiman Library, said: "This is a beautiful exhibition. It includes panoramic views of Irish quays, coastlines and islands. It also offers unique insights into early 20th century social life in coastal areas through informal portraits of lighthouse keepers and their families. We also have pictures from the construction work on the Fastnet Lighthouse, which show the dangerous working conditions for those involved". 'Safety for All' also contains photographs depicting the rather unusual landings which had to be undertaken by lighthouse inspectors. In the absence of landing jetties, inspection teams were often lifted ashore from their ships by the lighthouse keepers, using manually operated derricks. Additional aspects of the exhibition include material held by the Special Collections and Archives departments of the James Hardiman Library. These photographs are taken from the Balfour Album of 1892, which was created by folklorist Robert J. Welch as a gift to the former Chief Secretary of Ireland Arthur J. Balfour. Also on view are images from the Ritchie Pickow Photographic Archive taken between 1952 and 1953 by American photographer George Pickow, and the Heinrich Becker Archive which includes photographs taken in Ireland from the 1940s to the 1980s. The James Hardiman Library at NUI Galway is open in the summer month from 8.30am to 5.30pm, but closed on bank holidays, Saturdays and Sundays. The exhibition is free and all are welcome. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

Five Irish universities have come together to form a new network called Campus Engage for the promotion of civic engagement activities in higher education. Campus Engage will hold its inaugural conference 'Higher Education and Civic Engagement Partnerships: Create, Challenge, Change' from 4-5 June in Croke Park. The partners in the network, which is led by NUI Galway, are UL, NUI Maynooth, UCD and DCU. The conference has attracted over 200 international higher education academics and administrators, people involved in community-based organisations, and students. The event will explore how community-university partnerships can be further developed in Ireland by showcasing local and international examples. NUI Galway's Lorraine McIlrath is Principal Investigator with Campus Engage: "The development of Campus Engage has been sparked by other international networks, such as Campus Compact, a coalition formed in the 1980s by US universities. This conference is an opportunity to learn more from international examples and to share what is happening here in Ireland across all campuses. Recent international trends include, for example, President Obama's plan to require undergraduate students to give 100 hours of academic service to communities. Only by cultivating a sense of civic responsibility which permeates throughout all our educational institutions, and only by empowering all students with a sense of social justice and the capacity for civic engagement, can we ensure that our graduates go on to be ethical citizens, and ultimately enhance democratic society". The conference will provide a forum to discuss the rationale of university-community partnerships in the context of Irish higher education, exchange information about international models, and debate practical issues about implementing partnerships. It will also examine the effectiveness of these models of partnership in influencing policy and bringing about social change. The conference will be addressed by international and national experts. Keynote speakers from Ireland include: Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, Life President of Focus Ireland and founder of the Young Social Innovators; Mary O'Malley, poet and member of Aosdána; Fergus Finlay, Chief Executive of Barnardos; Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at NUI Galway; and Professor Alan Smith, UNESCO Chair in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy, University of Ulster, Coleraine. International speakers will come from Argentina, Australia, USA and the UK, and include Professor María Nieves Tapia, Academic Director of the Latin American Centre for Service Learning in South America, and Professor Michael Cuthill, Director of the University of Queensland Boilerhouse for Community Engagement Centre, Australia. Further information is also available at the conference website www.campusengage.ie/conference or from Ann Lyons at the Conference Secretariat, NUI Galway on 091 492228 or info@campusengage.ie. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

American Conference for Irish Studies 2009 Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies 2009 Over four days in June this summer, the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway will host one of the largest conferences in the humanities in Ireland this year. In his note of welcome to conference delegates, Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of Arts at NUI Galway, comments that the range of papers and diversity of plenary events presented at the conference 'bring together momentarily in one place the passion and attentiveness to displacement that marks Irish Studies'. Speakers from a dozen countries, representing over 100 universities will present up to 250 papers examining themes relating to contemporary Irish culture and society. Delegates attending the American Conference of Irish Studies (ACIS) in conjunction with the Second Galway Conference of Irish Studies (GCIS) will consider issues relating to the key themes of the dynamics of immigration and settlement in modern Ireland, and the concept of the 'everyday' in Irish life and culture. The opening evening of the conference will feature a roundtable discussion on inward migration to Ireland over the past decade chaired by Donncha O'Connell, former director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and a member of the Law School at NUI Galway. Donncha will be joined by Des Geraghty, President of SIPTU from 1994 to 2002 and former member of the European Parliament, Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigration Council of Ireland, and Chinedu Onyejelem, editor of Metro Éireann. A highlight of the joint conference is the Public Interview Series with three key figures who have made significant contributions to Irish public life over the past half-century, chaired by renowned RTÉ broadcaster John Quinn. TK Whitaker, whose vision for economic development in the 1950s marked a major shift in Ireland's self-fashioning, Bernadette McAliskey, a central figure in the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland and a trenchant critic of the Good Friday Agreement, and Cardinal Cahal Daly, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, one of the most influential figures in recent history of the Catholic Church in Ireland will be in conversation with John Quinn over the course of three afternoons. One of Ireland's outstanding historians, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, NUI Galway, will examine the dynamics of the Irish experience of emigration in his plenary lecture, 'Unity and Diversity? Considering the Irish Diaspora'. Other keynote events include the launch of the Siobhán McKenna Collection at the James Hardiman Library, and a celebration of sean-nós song and dance hosted by the Raidió na Gaeltachta and TG4 broadcaster, Máirtín Tom Sheáinín. Readings featuring resident and visiting writers co-ordinated by the Over the Edge literary organisation will take place each evening at the Galway City Library and Sheridan's Wine Bar. The conference is free to all members of the public. For further details see www.nuigalway.ie/cis or contact Ms Samantha Williams at 091-492051. -Ends-

Monday, 25 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's ALIVE programme has had a huge response to its call for volunteers for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway. A significant percentage of the 750 volunteers who will be the face of the two-week free festival are NUI Galway students. Earlier this month, NUI Galway was announced as the partner of the Volunteers Programme for the event. The University will bring its considerable experience in the field of volunteering and work with non-profit event organiser Let s Do It Galway to help mobilise the small army of volunteers required. As Ireland s leading University in the development of student volunteering initiatives, NUI Galway supports thousands of students who volunteer with community organisations every year. The volunteering drive for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover is a natural extension of this ethos of civic engagement. Lorraine Tansey is Student Volunteer Coordinator at NUI Galway and runs the University s ALIVE programme: "The response among our students has been phenomenal. On the day we put the official call out we had 200 immediate queries, so the students are really getting behind the ethos of Let s Do It Galway". Volunteers will have a wide range of roles in the event, from working in the media centre, to helping out backstage at the free concerts, to providing information for the hundreds of thousands of visitor expected at the Race Village. Fiona Lawless, NUI Galway graduate and Volunteers Manager with Let s Do It Galway, has said: "Volunteers will be key to the success of the Galway Stopover and are the face of the event to visitors at the Festival's Race Village. During the event volunteers will be the heart and soul of the festivities". Toradh Iontach ar Thóraíocht Oibrithe Deonacha Volvo (View in English) Bhí an-toradh ar an ngairm a rinne clár ALIVE OÉ Gaillimh ar oibrithe deonacha do stad na Gaillimhe de Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is mic léinn de chuid OÉ Gaillimh iad céatadán suntasach den 750 oibrí deonach - 'éadan' na féile coicíse saoir in aisce. Níos luaithe an mhí seo, fógraíodh gurbh í OÉ Gaillimh comhpháirtí Chlár Oibrithe Deonacha na féile. Cuirfidh an Ollscoil an taithí leathan atá aici i réimse na hoibre deonaí ar fáil agus oibreoidh sí le lucht eagair neamhbhrabúsach an imeachta, Let's Do It Galway, le cuidiú leis an mbaicle bheag oibrithe deonacha a bheidh de dhíth. Ós í an Ollscoil seo an ollscoil is gníomhaí sa tír ó thaobh tionscnaimh dheonacha a fhorbairt, tacaíonn OÉ Gaillimh leis na mílte mac léinn a oibríonn go deonach le heagraíochtaí pobail gach bliain. Is céim eile chun cinn in éiteas an chomhpháirteachais phoiblí an bhéim atáthar a chur ar obair dheonach do stad Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is í Lorraine Tansey Comhordaitheoir Obair Dheonach na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sí i mbun chlár ALIVE na hOllscoile: "Tá sé dochreidte an chaoi ar fhreagair na mic léinn don ghairm. An lá a ndearnamar an ghairm oifigiúil fuaireamar 200 fiosrú láithreach bonn, rud a léiríonn go bhfuil na mic léinn ag tacú go hiomlán le héiteas Let's Do It Galway". Beidh róil éagsúla ag oibrithe deonacha san fhéile, idir a bheith ag obair i lárionad na meán, lámh chúnta a thabhairt ar chúl an stáitse ag na ceolchoirmeacha saor in aisce, agus eolas a chur ar fáil do na céadta mílte cuairteoir a bhfuiltear ag súil leo i Sráidbhaile an Rása. Seo an méid a bhí le rá ag Fiona Lawless, céimí de chuid OÉ Gaillimh agus Bainisteoir Oibrithe Deonacha Let's Do It Galway: "Beidh an rath a bheidh ar Stad na Gaillimhe den Rás ag brath go huile agus go hiomlán ar na hoibrithe deonacha mar gurb iad a gcuid 'éadan' siúd a fheicfidh agus a aithneoidh cuairteoirí ar Shráidbhaile an Rása. Cuirfidh na hoibrithe deonacha a gcroí agus a n-anam i gceiliúradh na féile." -Críoch-

Monday, 25 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Cameramen on the cutting edge of sports filming, having just sailed across the Atlantic with the Volvo Ocean Race teams, will take part in an NUI Galway symposium entitled 'Representing Sport'. The international symposium runs from 2-3 June and will bring together leading academics and practitioners concerned with the representation of sport through history and in contemporary life. The symposium is being organised by NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media and its School of Languages, with support from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. On 2 June, at 2pm, the lecture on 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race', supported by Inmarsat, the official technology sponsor for the race, will demonstrate how high-definition television (HDTV) has changed international sailing events and high-octane sports. With HDTV and other technologies has come the introduction of an 11th person, known as the media crewman, onto each of the Volvo Ocean Race boats. Their job during the 37,000 nautical mile trip is to send back a daily quota of words, photos and video via Inmarsat's FleetBroadband from the race route, but they cannot partake in sailing the boat. During the lecture Ian Walker, skipper of Green Dragon, will be joined by media crewmembers from Puma (Rick Deppe), Ericsson (Guy Salter) and Telfonica (Gabriele Olivo) to share their experiences of reporting the race to a potential audience of two billion. Rick Deppe, an experienced British sailor and acclaimed videographer, whose credits include Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel, has said: "My job is to keep the camera rolling and get some great shots over the course of nine months of action". The 'Representing Sport' symposium is jointly organised by Dr Seán Crosson, from NUI Galway's Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and Dr Phil Dine, from NUI Galway's School of Languages. Dr Seán Crosson comments: "From the fine arts, through print and audio-visual culture, sport has been an enduring subject of representation. This has increasingly been the case with the development of the contemporary global media industry, where representations of sport, from soccer to boxing and athletics, constitute one of the most popular subjects. Nowhere is the link between sporting traditions and technological modernity more apparent than in the state-of-the-art broadcasting of the Volvo Ocean Race". As well as considering the representation of sport in Ireland, the two-day symposium will focus on its representation across Europe and around the world. Presentations will be made on various topics from Roy Keane to French surfing culture to German identity. While entry to the symposium is free, prior registration is essential for Inmarsat's 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race' lecture. Please contact Dee Quinn at dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie or call 091 495076. A full programme for the Symposium is available at www.filmschool.ie/ Fir Cheamara ag Triall thar Muir do Shiompóisiam Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Beidh fir cheamara atá ar thús cadhnaíochta i scannánú spóirt agus atá díreach tar éis an tAtlantach a thrasnú le foirne Rás Aigéin Volvo rannpháirteach i siompóisiam de chuid OÉ Gaillimh dar teideal 'Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition and Modernity'. Beidh an siompóisiam idirnáisiúnta ar bun ó 2-3 Meitheamh agus tabharfar lucht acadúil agus cleachtóirí ar spéis leo an léiriú a dhéantar ar an spórt sa stair agus sa saol comhaimseartha le chéile ann. Tá an siompóisiam á eagrú ag Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston agus ag Scoil Teangacha OÉ Gaillimh, le tacaíocht ón gComhairle um Thaighde sna Dána agus sna hEolaíochtaí Sóisialta. Ar an 2 Meitheamh ag 2pm, léireofar sa léacht faoi 'Broadcasting the Volvo Ocean Race', le tacaíocht Inmarsat, urra oifigiúil teicneolaíochta an rása, an bealach a bhfuil an teilifís ardghléine (HDTV) tar éis imeachtaí seoltóireachta idirnáisiúnta agus spóirt ardochtáin a athrú. Le teacht an HDTV agus teicneolaíochtaí eile tá an t-aonú duine dhéag, ar a dtugtar fear criú na meán, curtha ar gach ceann de bháid Rás Aigéin Volvo. Is é an cúram atá orthu le linn an turais 37,000 muirmhíle seo cuóta focal, grianghraf agus fístaifeadta a chur chugainn ó chúrsa an rása trí FleetBroadband Inmarsat, ach ní féidir leo a bheith páirteach sa tseoltóireacht. I dteannta Ian Walker, captaen an Green Dragon, le linn na léachta beidh cuid den chriú ón Puma (Rick Deppe), Ericsson (Guy Salter) agus Telfonica (Gabriele Olivo) lena dtaithí ar thuairisciú an rása do lucht féachana thart ar dhá bhilliún duine a roinnt linn. Bhí an méid seo le rá ag Rick Deppe, mairnéalach Briotanach oilte agus físghrafadóir cáiliúil, a bhfuil Deadliest Catch ar Chainéal Discovery ar cheann de na cláir a rinne sé: "Is é an cúram atá ormsa an ceamara a choinneáil ar bun agus sár-radhairc a thaispeáint i rith na naoi mí aicsin". Tá an siompóisiam 'Representing Sport: Europe, Tradition and Modernity' á eagrú ag an Dr Seán Crosson, as Scoil Scannán agus Meán Digiteach Huston in OÉ Gaillimh, agus ag an Dr Phil Dine, as Scoil Teangacha OÉ Gaillimh. Deir an Dr Seán Crosson: "Tá an spórt á léiriú go leanúnach le fada sna mínealaíona, in ábhar clóite agus sa chultúr closamhairc. Bhí sin amhlaidh de réir mar a d'fhorbair tionscal comhaimseartha domhanda na meán, ina bhfuil léiriú ar gach cineál spóirt idir shacar, dhornálaíocht agus lúthchleasaíocht, ar cheann de na hábhair ar mó spéis an phobail ann. Ní fhéadfaí léiriú níos soiléire a fháil ar an nasc idir na traidisiúin spóirt agus an nua-aoiseacht theicneolaíoch ná mar atá i scothchraoladh Rás Aigéin Volvo". Cé go bhfuil saorchead isteach chuig an siompóisiam, ní mór clárú roimh ré do léacht 'Broadasting the Volvo Ocean Race' Inmarsat. Déan teagmháil, le do thoil, le Dee Quinn ag dee.quinn@nuigalway.ie nó cuir glao ar 495076. Tá clár iomlán an tSiompóisiam ar fáil ag www.filmschool.ie/. -Críoch-

Friday, 22 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) and Leitrim County Council have announced that the third John McGahern International Seminar will take place from 23-25 July, 2009, to commemorate the work and literary achievements of one of Ireland's best known and internationally respected modern writers. Previous International Seminars were held in County Leitrim in 2007 and 2008 and were each attended by more than 100 participants from Ireland and overseas. This year's inaugural lecture will be given by Professor Kevin Whelan of Notre Dame University. Other speakers will include Professor Liliane Louvel of the University of Poitiers, France, Professor Denis Sampson, Canada, Professor Mike Cronin, Boston College and Irish writer Kevin Barry. As in previous years, the Seminar will include guided visits to John McGahern's home places in Aughawillan, Ballinamore and Mohill, Co. Leitrim and Cootehall, Co. Roscommon. As well as appealing to all lovers of McGahern's own work, the International Seminar will be of interest to literary researchers and to book clubs, to readers of contemporary fiction and modern writing, and to all national and international students of Irish literature and culture. This year's Seminar will also see the launch of the second volume of The John McGahern Yearbook. The Yearbook will include proceedings of the 2008 Seminar as well as a range of new articles by writers and critics. Launching the Seminar, President of NUI Galway, Professor James J. Browne, said: "Through the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School we at NUI Galway are working to broaden access to literary scholarship and to share the riches of the McGahern archive with the widest possible audience. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, we feel that the University is holding in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship; for the Irish nation and most especially for this region which we have served for more than 160 years. I wish the 2009 McGahern International Summer School and Seminar every success and I welcome the continued partnership of Leitrim County Council in this culturally important endeavour". John McGahern's work is translated into several languages worldwide. His best- known books include The Dark, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun and Memoir. During the 2008 Seminar, Gerardo Gambolini, Argentinian poet and translator, who plans to introduce McGahern's Collected Stories in Spanish to a wide Latin-American audience, said of the Leitrim writer: "I see John McGahern as a great writer, not as a great Irish writer. His voice is universal; his undeniably Irish tone and topics are made universal by his talent, not by geography. My dominant experience in translating him was the pleasure of reading day after day over a long time remarkable pictures of the greatness and the abjectness of human soul and flesh, pictures always traversed in the end by compassion, by a joyful or painful form of redemption". In addition to the public Seminar, NUI Galway has organised the second intensive Summer School on John McGahern's work and its contexts which will form part of the University's 26th International Summer School in Irish Studies. The Summer School is designed for advanced level students and researchers who are interested in the writings of John McGahern, his life and times in 20thCentury Ireland. The 2008 Summer School was attended by students from Ireland, Slovakia, the United States and England. Speaking at the launch, Leitrim Arts Officer, Caoimhín Corrigan said: "Leitrim County Council is delighted to see this project develop in its third year, establishing its own rhythm within Ireland s literary calendar. While retaining its central focus on the work of John McGahern, this year's engagement with themes of the heroic - from the local, to the universal - and taking account also the 125th anniversary of the GAA, is a strong expression of the confidence and breadth of vision that Leitrim County Council and NUI Galway share for this important event". The Summer School (25 July – 1 August, 2009) will take place at the County Library, Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim and it is directed by Dr John Kenny, John McGahern Lecturer in Creative Writing at NUI Galway. Lecturers at the Summer School will include Professor Denis Sampson, author of Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Ms Belinda McKeon of Columbia University, New York; Dr Frank Shovlin of the Institute of Irish Studies, Liverpool; Dr James Whyte, author of History, Myth, and Ritual in the Fiction of John McGahern; and the writers Mike McCormack and Brian Leyden. For further details on The John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School contact 091-495442 or visit www.nuigalway.ie/iss Tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern Fógartha (View in English) Tá tríú Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern, 23-25 Iúil 2009, fógartha ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma, chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar obair agus ar shaothar liteartha an údair cháiliúil seo atá ar dhuine de na scríbhneoirí comhaimseartha Éireannacha is mó a bhfuil meas idirnáisiúnta air. Bhí na Seimineáir Idirnáisiúnta roimhe seo in 2007 agus 2008 ar siúl i gCo. Liatroma agus d'fhreastail os cionn 100 duine orthu as Éirinn agus as níos faide i gcéin. Tabharfaidh an tOllamh Kevin Whelan as Ollscoil Notre Dame céad léacht na bliana seo. I measc na gcainteoirí eile beidh an tOllamh Liliane Louvel as Ollscoil Poitiers, sa Fhrainc, an tOllamh Denis Sampson, Ceanada, an tOllamh Mike Cronin, Boston College agus an scríbhneoir Éireannach Kevin Barry. Arís i mbliana, beidh turais threoraithe ar fáil chuig áit chónaithe John McGahern in Achadh an Mhuilin, Béal an Átha Móir agus Maothail, Co. Liatroma agus Uachtar Tíre, Co. Ros Comáin. Ar ndóigh, cuirfidh daoine a dtaitníonn saothar McGahern leo suim sa Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta seo, ach chomh maith leo sin, cuirfidh taighdeoirí litríochta agus clubanna leabhar an-suim ann chomh maith le daoine a léann ficsean comhaimseartha agus nuascríbhneoireacht agus mic léinn náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta a bhfuil suim acu i litríocht agus i gcultúr an hÉireann. Seolfar an dara himleabhar de The John McGahern Yearbook ag Seimineár na bliana seo. Beidh cur síos sa Yearbook ar imeachtaí Sheimineár 2008 chomh maith le hailt nua le scríbhneoirí agus léirmheastóirí. Ag seoladh an tSeimineáir, dúirt an Dr James J. Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh: "In OÉ Gaillimh, is mian linn scoláireacht litríochta a mhéadú agus cartlann McGahern a roinnt leis an lucht léitheoireachta is fairsinge trí Sheimineár Idirnáisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern. Agus an chartlann luachmhar seo á coimeád in Iarthar na hÉireann, tá an Ollscoil ag coimeád taisce don scoláireacht litríochta; don tír agus, go speisialta, don réigiún seo a bhfuil an Ollscoil seo ag freastal air le breis agus 160 bliain. Guím gach rath ar Scoil Samhraidh agus Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta McGahern 2009 agus fáiltím roimh chomhpháirtíocht Chomhairle Contae Liatroma sa tionscnamh tábhachtach cultúir seo". Tá saothar John McGahern aistrithe go teangacha éagsúla ar fud an domhain. Is iad na leabhair is cáiliúla a scríobh sé The Dark, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun agus Memoir. I rith Sheimineár 2008, dúirt Gerardo Gambolini, file agus aistritheoir ón Airgintín, a bhfuil sé i gceist aige Collected Stories McGahern a aistriú go Spáinnis do lucht léitheoireachta Mheiriceá Laidinigh, agus é ag trácht ar an scríbhneoir as Liatroim, dúirt sé: "Feicim John McGahern mar shárscríbhneoir, ní mar shárscríbhneoir Éireannach. Is guth uilíoch atá aige; tá an bua aige tuin agus topaicí uilíocha a chruthú cé gur léir gur tuin agus topaicí Éireannacha iad gan dabht. I mo thaithí ag aistriú a shaothair bhí an t-ádh orm lá i ndiaidh lae a chaitheamh ar feadh achar fada ama ag léamh agus ag samhlú an méid a scríobh McGahern". Chomh maith leis an Seimineár poiblí, tá an dara Scoil Samhraidh ina ndéanfar dianstaidéar ar shaothar McGahern agus a chomhthéacsanna á heagrú in OÉ Gaillimh mar chuid de 26ú Scoil Samhraidh Idirnáisiúnta na hOllscoile sa Léann Éireannach. Is ann don Scoil Samhraidh do mhic léinn agus do thaighdeoirí ardleibhéil a bhfuil suim acu i saothar John McGahern, agus a shaol in Éirinn san 20ú hAois. D'fhreastail mic léinn as Éirinn, an tSlóvaic, Stáit Aontaithe Mheiriceá agus Sasana ar Scoil Samhraidh 2008. Ag labhairt ag an seoladh, dúirt Oifigeach Ealaíon Liatroma, Caoimhín Corrigan: "Tá an-áthas orainn i gComhairle Contae Liatroma go bhfuil an tionscadal seo á reáchtáil don tríú bliain as a chéile, agus é go mór chun tosaigh i bhféilire litríochta na hÉireann. Cé go bhfuil an bhéim is mó ar shaothar John McGahern, léiríonn téama gaisce na bliana seo – gaiscí áitiúla agus gaiscí uilíocha – agus CLG ag ceiliúradh 125 bliain, an mhuinín agus an fhís atá ag Comhairle Contae Liatroma agus ag OÉ Gaillimh don ócáid thábhachtach seo". Beidh an Scoil Samhraidh (25 Iúil – 1 Lúnasa 2009) ar siúl i Leabharlann an Chontae, Baile an Átha Móir, Co. Liatroma faoi stiúir an Dr John Kenny, Léachtóir John McGahern le Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh. I measc léachtóirí na Scoile beidh an tOllamh Denis Sampson, údar Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern; Belinda McKeon as Columbia University, Nua-Eabhrac; an Dr Frank Shovlin as an Institute of Irish Studies, Learpholl; an Dr James Whyte, údar History, Myth, and Ritual in the Fiction of John McGahern; agus na scríbhneoirí Mike McCormack agus Brian Leyden. Tá eolas breise ar Sheimineár Idirináisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern le fáil ach glaoch ar 091-495442 nó dul chuig www.nuigalway.ie/iss -Críoch-

Friday, 22 May 2009

A study at NUI Galway into diabetes among pregnant Irish women has entered its final phase with further funding from the Health Research Board. Diabetes is the most prevalent chronic medical condition among pregnant women, with international estimates that it occurs in 2-9% of all pregnancies. The research at NUI Galway is the first prospective study to look at the prevalence and effects of diabetes among pregnant women in Ireland, working with over 10,000 women. The Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic Dip) research programme has been underway for three years and this further funding will support two final years of research. The study is led by Professor Fidelma Dunne, Head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, and also Consultant Endocrinologist with Galway University Hospitals. According to Professor Dunne: "Diabetes can be a serious problem for pregnant women. The outcomes for the mother and infant are less satisfactory when compared with the non-diabetic population. There is an increase in the risk of congenital malformations, stillbirths and neonatal deaths in the offspring. In addition these babies may require care in a neonatal unit because of respiratory and other problems. For the mother there is an increase in the risk of blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and they are more likely to be delivered by caesarian section". Professor Dunne added: "Babies from mothers with diabetes are at increased risk of weighing greater than 4 kg at birth. This in itself increases the risk of obesity and diabetes in their adult lives. Among women who already had diabetes before pregnancy, the study has found that women are poorly prepared for pregnancy with only 28% receiving pre-pregnancy care, 43% having folic acid and 29% achieving good sugar control levels". In addition to what is commonly known as type one and two diabetes, pregnant women can also develop Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM), diabetes occurring after 20 weeks of pregnancy. GDM is also associated with increased risks for the mother and her infant in the current pregnancy. It is associated with a very high life time risk of type two diabetes in the mother. Working with over 10,000 women along the Irish Atlantic seaboard, the Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy (Atlantic Dip) research programme has offered screening for GDM to all pregnant women to establish how many developed Gestational Diabetes (GDM) and its less severe form of impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Of the 4,000 women tested, 130 (3.3%) had GDM and 328 (8%) had IGT. In addition, 50% of the cohort had a body mass index (BMI) in the overweight and obese categories. Professor Dunne says the data generated to date would suggest that universal screening for GDM and IGT should be offered to all pregnant women in Ireland: "Considering the high prevalence of GDM and IGT in the Irish population, a national screening programme should be considered. This would allow the identification of an 'at risk' population where intervention is likely to impact on the health of the infant from the pregnancy in addition to the future health of the mother and offspring". Professor Dunne and her team have also examined the impact of obesity alone on the outcome of pregnancy in 1,441 women in whom all forms of diabetes was excluded. They showed that obesity was an independent risk factor for higher rates of caesarian section, blood pressure, miscarriage, and babies weighing more than 4kg at birth. Professor Dunne says: "Obesity in women of reproductive age is thus a public health concern and requires intervention. Maternal obesity with or without diabetes will impact on the health of future generations". The next two years of this study will build on existing data and will provide greater insight into the prevalence and consequences of GDM and IGT in the Irish population. In particular it will examine the risk of persistent diabetes following GDM and IGT and the factors that increase this risk. Through collaborative work with UK-based Peninsula Medical School the project will explore the genetics behind GDM. There are also plans to develop and test an intervention programme for pre-pregnancy care for women with diabetes to see if the rates of stillbirth neonatal death and congenital malformation rates can be reduced. -ends-

Thursday, 21 May 2009

(View in English) Is cúis áthais do mhic léinn an Dioplóma sna Dána (Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta), OÉ Gaillimh cuireadh a fháil ó eagraithe Rás Aigéin Volvo na Gaillimhe chuig Lá na Gaeilge agus dul ar an ardán ar Ché an Bhreathnaigh an 1 Meitheamh 2009 ó 4i.n.-7i.n. Ag tagairt don chuireadh seo, dúirt an Dr Charlie Lennon, Stiúrthóir Ceoil an chúrsa gur: "Iontach an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag na mic léinn ildánacha seo le bliain anuas agus is iontach an deis atá ann dóibh a gcuid scileanna mar ealaíontóirí sa cheol traidisiúnta a chur os comhair an phobail idirnáisiúnta a bheas i láthair ag an ócáid idirnáisiúnta seo. Is cúis bróid dúinn bheith ag obair leo i gcaitheamh na bliana. Cúis mórtais dúinn go mbeidh muid ag casadh ag an ócáid idirnáisiúnta seo". Beidh blaiseadh den obair atá déanta ag na mic léinn lenár dteagascóirí i gcaitheamh na bliana ó mhí Mheán Fómhair seo caite idir chóiriú, chumadóireacht, chartlannaíocht, stáitsiú agus léiriú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta á léiriú ag an ócáid. Ar ndóigh ní hé seo an chéad uair don ghrúpa seo a bheith ar an ardán. Bhí ceolchoirm mhór na bliana Tonnta acu an mhí seo caite áit a léirigh siad ceol nuachumtha leis an Dr Charlie Lennon agus le deireanas, d'oscail siad Éigse an Spidéil i bpáirt leis an nGaelacadamh. D'eagraigh siad Ceolchoirm na Nollag faoi stiúir Dhiarmuid De Faoite i Seanscoil Shailearna. Ina theannta sin, ghlac siad páirt i gceolchoirm lóin ar an gCeathrú Rua eagraithe ag Subhóró, Cumann Ceoil na Ceathrún Rua. Tá an cúrsa seo á reáchtáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh i gcomhar le Stiúideo Cuan Teo. ar bhonn lánaimseartha thar bhliain amháin agus tá an cúrsa feiliúnach do cheoltóirí, do dhamhsóirí agus d'amhránaithe ar mhaith leo a gcuid scileanna a fhorbairt sna réimsí seo a leanas: teoiric an cheoil, stair an cheoil agus stáitsiú agus léiriú an cheoil thraidisiúnta. Tuilleadh eolais faoin gcúrsa ar fáil ag www.acadamh.ie NUI Galway students to perform in outdoor concert during the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival (Leagan Gaeilge) Students from NUI Galway's Diploma in the Arranging and Staging of Traditional Irish Music (Dioplóma sna Dána: Cóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta) are delighted and honoured to have been chosen to perform at the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival during 'Lá na Gaeilge' and will take to the stage on the Breathnach Quay between 4pm and 7pm on 01 June. The Musical Director of the diploma programme and renowned fiddle player Dr Charlie Lennon, said: "Over the past year, these eleven multi-skilled musicians have come on musically by leaps and bounds both individually and as a group and this invitation to play to an international audience at such a prestigious event has presented them with an ideal opportunity to showcase their talents. We are very proud of their achievements to date and are honoured to have been invited to play at this high profile cultural event". The students will perform a selection of pieces they have worked on since the start of the programme last September. During the year they undertook a wide range of subjects from music arrangement and composition, archiving, sound, to the staging and production of Traditional Irish Music. This is not the first time that the group have performed together publicly. Only last month their aptly titled show 'Tonnta' was on stage in Connemara where they performed both well known and newly composed and arranged music and songs on the theme of the sea under the direction of Dr Charlie Lennon. They were also invited to open the annual 'Éigse an Spidéal' Festival in partnership with the Gaelacadamh. At Christmas, under the direction of Diarmuid de Faoite they played to packed houses with their Christmas Concert in Seanscoil Shailearna, Inverin, Co. Galway and performed a lunchtime concert in Carraroe on the invitation of Subhóró, Cumann Ceoil na Ceathrún Rua. This diploma programme is offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway in partnership with Stiúideo Cuan Teo. on a full-time one-year basis and through the medium of Irish. The course is suitable for musicians, dancers and singers who wish to further develop their skills in the following areas: Music Theory, the History of Traditional Music and the Staging and Production of Traditional Music. For further information log on to www.acadamh.ie -ends-

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A groundbreaking educational programme, which brings teenagers and retirees together in the classroom, celebrated 10 years of success last night. Originating from NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office, 'Living Scenes' is an intergenerational programme of learning involving Transition Year students and local retired adults. It is the pioneering programme of its kind in Ireland and Europe, possibly even worldwide. Through weekly art, music, drama and creative writing workshops, Living Scenes allows teenagers and older adults to learn together, share experiences and build bonds of mutual respect and understanding. A strong emphasis is placed on the holistic development of the participants, promoting equality, personal development and confidence building in both the younger and older adults. The innovative programme was first piloted in Galway City's Presentation Secondary School in 1999, and quickly became established in as part of its Transition Year. Living Scenes has since developed and expanded through partnerships between NUI Galway and five further secondary schools: Calasanctius College, Oranmore, Co. Galway; Millstreet Community School, Millstreet, Co. Cork; St Flannan's College, Ennis, Co. Clare; St Joseph's Secondary School, Charlestown, Co. Mayo; and St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. A major entertainment production was staged in the Ardilaun Hotel last night involving all of the current participants in Living Scenes, representing the six schools. Clíona Ní Néill, Principal of Presentation Secondary School, Galway, praised the programme: "Living Scenes is a highly valued project in Presentation Secondary School. It has taught young people to value an older generation, and conversely it has given the older generation a new and positive lens to understand and enjoy teenagers. Students have benefited hugely in the areas of personal development, communication and confidence building skills. It has enriched our students understanding of life, given them a broader perspective, and it has created a sense of community in the school. We are delighted as a staff and as a school to be associated and involved with NUI Galway in this programme". In the course of its ten year history, the programme has been instrumental in cultivating a strong relationship between the University and schools, older and younger adults, and has a key objective of promoting the school as a focal point for community regeneration. NUI Galway's Dr Mary Surlis is the Living Scenes Programme Director, and the has been involved since its inception: "At a time when there is a serious erosion of social fabric evident in Irish society, Living Scenes aims to respond to the growing need for communication and trust in both the school and in the local community. What we are trying to do is to regenerate relationships both in schools and communities and, perhaps more importantly, between our older and our younger generations". Extensive research has been carried out by Dr Surlis on Living Scenes to evaluate the project in a developmental curricular capacity and to identify its contribution in an overall educational context. Dr Surlis says: "The findings of this research have implications for policy makers, as well as school and community groups interested in initiating change in a curricular and social context". President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne: "NUI Galway is committed to a strong ethos of civic engagement. We develop this by fostering a sense of social responsibility and citizenship amongst students and by working to share the knowledge resources of the University with the wider community. The Living Scenes programme of intergenerational learning is the embodiment of that ethos – reaching from the University into the heart of the community to work with schools and with older people. As President, I am proud of the unique and pioneering work which NUI Galway has led, through Living Scenes, in building social cohesion in Ireland". -ends-

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A nation-wide research study into young carers in Ireland has begun at NUI Galway's Child and Family Research Centre. The research will look at the impact that providing care to a family member has upon a young person's life and will explore ways of better supporting these young carers. The study has been commissioned by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. NUI Galway researchers involved in the study are trying to identify children and young people, aged 5-17, who provide care to a family member in the home, perhaps due to disability or illness. The research team has already begun to interview young carers about their experiences and hope to identify more who would be willing to take part in the study. All information will be treated confidentially according to strict ethical guidelines and interviews should take no more than an hour to complete at a venue to suit the young person. According to Dr Allyn Fives, a member of the research team at NUI Galway: "We don't have accurate data on just how many young people care for a member of their family. While the most recent census tells us that approximately 3,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 17 are carers, it does not give a figure for the many young people below that age group. Also, very little is known about their day to day experiences, or the kinds of help and assistance that would benefit them. This is partly because not many studies have focused on the experiences of young carers in Ireland, and also because there is a wide variety of caring situations and experiences". Dr Fives added: "Young carers are asked to do different kinds of tasks and they have different levels of responsibility. Their caring has different impacts on other parts of their lives, including school work, sports and other recreational activities, and their friendships and family life. These young people contribute so much to their families that we hope this research will show us how they themselves can be supported in their vital role". Those interested in getting in touch with researchers at the NUI Galway Child and Family Research Centre can call Dr Fives on 091 495732 or email allyn.fives@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

To celebrate the arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway a free public talk entitled 'The Making of Galway Bay' will be held at 6pm on Monday, 25 May, in the Cairnes Lecture Theatre, Arts/Science Concourse, NUI Galway. Delivering the lecture will be Professor Mike Williams, Head of Earth and Ocean Sciences at NUI Galway, who has spent many years researching the natural history of Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. According to Professor Williams, "The talk will be a tale of earthquakes, tsunami, great storms and climate change that have, over thousands of years, shaped Galway Bay into what it is today. While Galway Bay has been romanticised in song, natural forces have been far from loving. In 1755, the Lisbon earthquake triggered a tsunami which swept up the Bay, damaging the Spanish Arch and drowning many citizens. Our brave city, perched on the Atlantic coast, also took the brunt of the one of the biggest storms Europe has ever known in 1839. It was referred to at the time, in understated fashion, as 'the night of the big wind'. Much of the Professor's work centres on identifying the sedimentary fingerprints of tsunami and extreme storm waves along Ireland's cliff faces. He comments: "Ridges preserved on the cliffs of the Aran Islands and Co. Clare are up to 50 metres above sea level, and offer a perfect natural laboratory in which to study the natural history of Galway Bay". Professor Williams has published papers on wave, climate, and coastal erosion. During his talk he will outline some recent discoveries on the history of Galway Bay, which stretches back over 15,000 years. As the talk is being held on Africa Day of the Volvo Ocean Race, it is also supporting Zikomo Ireland, a Galway-based African charity group. -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) is organising two free public events to mark 'Say No to Ageism Week', 18-22 May. The ICSG is Ireland's first multi-disciplinary research centre dedicated to the study of the economic and social aspects of ageing in Ireland. Ageism is a set of attitudes and practices that are based on stereotyped, usually negative, assumptions about older people. For example, older people may be assumed to be inflexible in their attitudes, uninterested in their work, physically and/or mentally incapable, unattractive or sexually inactive simply because of their age. These attitudes may be held by key individuals such as employers, managers and service-providers. They may simply be practices that develop over time as opposed to being a deliberate attempt to discriminate. Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG at NUI Galway, says: "Ageism makes no sense economically, culturally or socially. Let's challenge and defeat it so that all citizens can reach their economic and social potential no matter what their age". In terms of employment practices, ageism can mean that older people are not seen as serious contenders for promotion, leading to age discrimination. The idea that people are 'too old to be promoted' at 50, 45 or even 40 is prevalent in some large organisations. Áine Ní Léime is a researcher with the ICSG at NUI Galway, and comments: "There is increasing evidence that ageism exists in Irish society. Ageism was the most common ground for complaint to the Equality Authority, under the Employment Equality Acts, in 2007. The events planned for "Say No to Ageism Week" are designed to highlight awareness of and discussion about attitudes to older people in Ireland, with a view to ultimately helping to combat ageism in Irish society". On Tuesday, 19 May, a seminar in NUI Galway's Moore Institute at 1pm entitled 'An Age-friendly Society in a time of Recession' will feature Niall Crowley, former CEO of the Equality Authority. All are welcome to come along. In the same venue, on 21 May at 11am, a three-hour AgeWise workshop run by trainers from Age & Opportunity will take place. This participatory workshop aims to provide information on older people and ageing in Ireland and to challenge myths and stereotypes. The workshop will enable participants to understand the personal, cultural and structural effects of ageism. It will also serve to identify instances of discrimination against older people and help devise strategies to counter discrimination in their workplace or community. The workshop is organised by the ICSG and the Equality Office at NUI Galway, to register for this free event, please contact NUI Galway's Brenda Fallon by e-mail at brenda.fallon@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 18 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Today (15 May 2009), Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle of NUI Galway, will be admitted as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) in a special ceremony in Dublin. Election to the Royal Irish Academy is the highest honour available to a scholar working on the island of Ireland. Nollaig Ó Muraíle is Senior Lecturer in the School of Irish at NUI Galway. He has made a unique contribution to the study of Irish genealogies through his edition and translation of Leabhar Mór na nGenealach or "The Great Book of Irish Genealogies", which has been described as one of the most unique contributions to Irish history ever. Professor Nicholas Canny, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said: "The Academy s new members are amongst a small group of academics in Ireland that set the international hallmark of excellence in their fields of study". Professor Canny is former Vice President for Research at NUI Galway (2005-2008). Dr Noel Dorr was also admitted as a Member of the RIA today. Dr Dorr is Chair of the NUI Galway Governing Authority and former Secretary General of the Department of Foreign Affairs (1987-1995). He received an honorary doctorate from NUI Galway in 2001. Interestingly, both Dr Ó Muraíle and Dr Dorr are former pupils of St Nathy's College, Co Roscommon. The criterion for election to membership is a significant contribution to scholarly or scientific research as shown in the candidate's published academic work. Membership of the Academy, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to those scientists and scholars normally resident in Ireland. About the Royal Irish Academy The Royal Irish Academy is an all-Ireland, independent, academic body that promotes study and excellence in the sciences, humanities and social sciences. It is the principal learned society in Ireland. For 224 years membership of the Royal Irish Academy has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland and a public recognition of academic achievement. There are now over 420 Members of the Academy, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Those elected are entitled to use the designation MRIA after their name. Among the membership of the Academy are many of Ireland s leading scholars, the best known of whom include: Professor Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate; Professor Patrick Cunningham, geneticist and the government s Chief Scientific Adviser; Professor Frances Ruane, economist; Dr Garret FitzGerald, economist and former Taoiseach; and Dr Peter Harbison, archaeologist. The Academy has also more than 60 distinguished Honorary Members, who in the past have included J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein and Max Born. Today the Honorary Members include Nobel Laureates, Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg and Sir Andrew Huxley. Further information can be found on www.ria.ie Comhalta Foirne OÉ Gaillimh ina Bhall Nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (View in English) Inniu (15 Bealtaine 2009) ag searmanas speisialta i mBaile Átha Cliath glacfar leis an Dr Nollaig Ó Muraíle ó OÉ Gaillimh mar Bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann (RIA). Is é seo an onóir acadúil is mó is féidir a bhronnadh ar scoláire atá i mbun oibre ar oileán na hÉireann. Tá Nollaig Ó Muraíle ag obair mar Léachtóir Sinsearach i Scoil na Gaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh. Chuir saothar an Dr Ó Muraíle Leabhar Mór na nGenealach go mór lenár dtuiscint ar ghinealas na hÉireann agus go deimhin deirtear go bhfuil an leabhar áirithe seo ar cheann de na saothair is tábhachtaí a foilsíodh riamh i stair na hÉireann. Ba é an Dr Ó Muraíle a chuir an saothar in eagar agus a rinne an t-aistriúchán. Dúirt an tOllamh Nicholas Canny, Uachtarán Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann: "Áirítear baill nua an Acadaimh i measc grúpa beag acadóirí atá ag obair in Éirinn, daoine a bhfuil ag éirí leo saothar ar ardchaighdeán a sholáthar ina réimsí léinn féin". Bhí an tOllamh Canny ag obair mar Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh idir 2005-2008. Glacadh leis an Dr Noel Dorr mar bhall d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann inniu freisin. Is é an Dr Dorr Cathaoirleach Údarás na hOllscoile in OÉ Gaillimh agus chaith sé na blianta idir 1987-1995 ag obair mar Ard-Rúnaí sa Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha. Bhronn OÉ Gaillimh dochtúireacht oinigh air in 2001. Spéisiúil go leor, is iarscoláirí de chuid Choláiste Nathaí i gCo. Ros Comáin an Dr Ó Muraíle agus an Dr Dorr. Roghnaítear baill d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann bunaithe ar shaothar scolártha nó ar thaighde eolaíoch a léirítear in obair acadúil foilsithe an iarrthóra. Eolaithe agus scoláirí a bhfuil cónaí orthu in Éirinn a bhíonn ina mbaill den Acadamh, agus is bunaithe ar ainmniúchán ó phiaraí agus toghchán a roghnaítear baill nua d'Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann. Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann Comhlacht neamhspleách, acadúil, uile-Éireann é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis staidéar agus ardchaighdeán a chothú sna heolaíochtaí, sna daonnachtaí agus sna heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Is é Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann príomhchumann léannta na hÉireann. Le 224 bliain anuas tá iomaíocht ghéar ann le ballraíocht a bhaint amach in Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, agus is ionann ballraíocht san Acadamh agus an onóir acadúil is airde is féidir a fháil in Éirinn mar aon le haitheantas poiblí ar éachtaí acadúla. Tá breis is 420 Ball ag Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann anois, scoláirí a bhfuil a gcuid taighde dírithe ar na heolaíochtaí, ar na daonnachtaí nó ar na heolaíochtaí sóisialta. Tá cead ag baill thofa Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann 'MRIA' a scríobh i ndiaidh a n-ainm. Áirítear go leor de scoláirí mór le rá na hÉireann i measc bhaill Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, An tOllamh Seamus Heaney, Buaiteoir Duais Nobel; An tOllamh Patrick Cunningham, géineolaí agus Príomhchomhairleoir Eolaíochta an Rialtais; An tOllamh Frances Ruane, eacnamaí; An Dr Garret FitzGerald, eacnamaí agus iar-Thaoiseach; agus an Dr Peter Harbison, seandálaí, ina measc. Tá breis is 60 Comhalta Oinigh ag an Acadamh, J.W. Von Goethe, Maria Edgeworth, Albert Einstein agus Max Born ina measc in imeacht na mblianta. I measc na gComhaltaí Oinigh reatha tá Buaiteoirí Duais Nobel Murray Gell-Mann, Steven Weinberg agus Sir Andrew Huxley. Tá tuilleadh eolais le fáil ag www.ria.ie -Críoch-

Friday, 15 May 2009

The Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway to Support New Product Development BioSpark, the newly-formed joint venture between Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable BioPolymers Ltd, is today announcing its intention to invest €40 million in the development of a next generation bio-processing research, innovation and manufacturing centre at Claremorris, County Mayo, which will create 180 new high value jobs within the local and regional economy with the realistic potential to grow to 300 jobs within three years. The BioSpark development, which is to be located at a 22-acre site close to the town of Claremorris, will incorporate the following elements: 20,000 tonne per annum bio-processing facility, utilising next generation technologies and techniques for the conversion of organic material such as straw and wood biomass into multiple high value bio-based products such as ethanol, lactic acid, lignin, methane and hydrogen state-of-the-art laboratory facilities for bio-processing research and innovation 60,000 tonne per annum wood pellet production facility, which will be the largest and most advanced on the island of Ireland 20MWth/5MWe CHP plant which will be fired on biomass and connected to the national grid via a sub-station in close proximity to the site 17 commercial units to house a cluster of related business ventures. The co-location of all of these elements is specifically designed to extract the maximum value from locally produced biomass in a model that is completely sustainable from both an environmental and an economic point of view. The biomass is used to produce industrial bulk and speciality bio-based compounds, which today are predominantly derived from the refining of oil, and which form essential inputs for a wide range of major global industries from pharmaceuticals to paints and plastics. At the same time, the biomass is also used to generate large quantities of renewable heat and power, making the whole facility not only completely self-sufficient in terms of its energy use, but also providing enough green energy to support district heating and cooling systems for the Claremorris area. Making the announcement The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., said: The impact of 180 high level jobs in County Mayo cannot be over emphasised. Certainly the construction jobs during the building phase will be a boost to the local economy; however, it is the sustainable jobs of the ultimate workforce that will be a real driver to the local and regional economy." "The BioSpark project is not just impressive at a County Mayo level, this is a project that will impress on an international scale and sends a strong message that the conditions are right for new businesses to setup in Ireland. Bioprocessing has been talked about for some time but this is the first real manifestation of a commercial scale facility with such a strong focus on innovation and R&D", the Tánaiste added. The total development will cost €40m and will be constructed over the next two years, subject to planning approval. The regional and national impact of the development will be: 120 jobs during construction 80 full-time positions post-construction – mostly high skilled, engineering roles engaged in R&D, manufacturing and operations management 100 upstream jobs in harvesting, transportation and supply chain management a further potential 120 high value jobs at the BioSpark Claremorris centre within three years of its completion, as new business ventures are spun off €18m yearly spend on locally sourced goods and services significant Intellectual Property (IP) relating to process enhancements as well as new product developments, which will be primarily coordinated through the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway significant displacement of imported fossil fuels and fossil fuel derived products ready availability of green energy to the Claremorris area to support further inward investment in commercial, industrial and residential developments, similar to well-established district heating schemes in countries like Sweden and Finland. Professor Vincent O'Flaherty is Director of the Energy Research Centre at NUI Galway and says there are many future returns to be had from today's announcement: "Ireland's geographical location, our natural resources and our existing research base put us in a very strong position to take full advantage of the emerging green knowledge economy. This project is world-class and the ideal platform for Ireland to develop high-tech solutions for the global sustainable energy market. Our research centre's multi-disciplinary team looks forward to working with BioSpark to maximize its R&D potential". Bio-processing builds on one of Ireland's natural competitive advantages – our ability to grow biomass quicker and more productively than anywhere else in Europe – and BioSpark is designed to maximise the value that be gained from that fact. The BioSpark development at Claremorris is the first of a number of similar facilities that the promoters of the project – Imperative Energy Ltd and Sustainable Biopolymers Ltd - are planning to replicate across Ireland, the UK and North America. -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Four NUI Galway students have managed to secure all of this year's Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport national awards. The national awards are presented to the originators of the most innovative ideas which could make the most significant contribution to some aspect of the transport industry in Ireland. The winners were announced at a special ceremony at NUI Galway and presented by Senator Rónán Mullen. The winners announced were: · Natasha O'Farrell from Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, winner of the Safety & Environment Category. · Lt. David Kiely a serving Army Officer from Dromree, Macroom, Co Cork, winner of the Logistics and Transport Category. · Lauren Paul from Marquette University, winner of the Air Category. · Tristin Hatch, from University of Southern California, winner of the Road Category. Both Lauren and Tristin are international students participating in a European study programme. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway, said: "I would like to warmly congratulate all four winners of these prestigious awards. This reflects well on the quality of the student body at NUI Galway, the supervision of the lecturing staff and the range of relevant educational programmes that we provide. It is particularly noteworthy that two of the winners are visiting students from well known US universities and this illustrates the international nature of the educational experience at NUI Galway". Ms Mary Dempsey, College of Engineering and Informatics, who taught the Logistics and Transportation module taken by the winning students said: "The students' abilities to innovate are reflected in the attainment of these prestigious Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport awards. I am extremely proud of our students and I acknowledge the hard work, dedication and commitment that each student makes in the Logistics and Transport area. University education continues in its mission to develop innovative skills and talent which is vital to the development of our economy". -ends-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway's Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh has been awarded the very first annual Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation by Engineers Ireland. A part-time Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at NUI Galway, Dr Ó Brádaigh is also Joint Managing Director of ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. Galway. The Crossland Medal was presented to Dr Ó Brádaigh by Sir Bernard Crossland in recognition of his outstanding and innovative contribution to manufacturing processes within the aerospace and energy generation industries. The award was presented at a special event held recently at Queen's University Belfast. In presenting the Medal, Sir Bernard Crossland stated that Dr Ó Brádaigh was a worthy recipient of the First Crossland Medal for Engineering Innovation which is named in his honour. Sir Crossland noted that he has a proven track record of exploiting research in developing hi-tech industry in Ireland and his achievements are an example to young entrepreneurs. Following the presentation, Dr Ó Brádaigh delivered a keynote lecture on his work, entitled 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Dr Ó Brádaigh holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Centre for Composite Materials at the University of Delaware, USA, and M.EngSc. and B.E. degrees from NUI Galway. The focus of ÉireComposites Teoranta, which he jointly founded and developed, is the manufacture of thermoplastic composite components for the industrial sector and today it employs some 60 people including 20 graduate engineers. Dr Ó Brádaigh's innovations in the manufacture of large scale wind turbine blades are highly significant in the rapidly expanding area of energy generation by wind power that is of huge industrial and environmental importance to the west of Ireland. He has also made a very strong contribution to the field of mechanical engineering generally and to the development of strong and productive alliances between industry and academia, in particular NUI Galway. President of NUI Galway Dr Jim Browne, who is also President of Engineers Ireland, congratulated Dr Ó Brádaigh on this well deserved honour, saying that it reflects very well on the University. Sir Bernard Crossland, who sponsored the award, is former Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Queen's University Belfast, and has himself made an enormous contribution to the development of the mechanical engineering field in academia and in industry in Ireland, both north and south. An Chéad Bhonn Bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ar Léachtóir as OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá an chéad bhonn bliantúil Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta bronnta ag Innealtóirí Éireann ar an Dr Conchúr Ó Brádaigh ó OÉ Gaillimh. Oibríonn an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar Léachtóir Sinsearach páirtaimseartha le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in OÉ Gaillimh agus tá sé ag obair mar Chomhstiúrthóir Bainistíochta ar ÉireComposites Teoranta in Indreabhán, Co. na Gaillimhe freisin. Ba é Sior Bernard Crossland a bhronn Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh mar aitheantas ar an tsárobair agus ar an nuálaíocht atá léirithe aige i ndáil le próisis déantúsaíochta sa tionscal aeraspáis agus sa tionscal ginte fuinnimh. Bronnadh Bonn Crossland ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh ag searmanas speisialta a bhí ar siúl in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste le déanaí. Dúirt Sior Bernard Crossland go raibh an-áthas air an Chéad Bhonn Crossland do Nuálaíocht Innealtóireachta a bhronnadh ar an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Ainmníodh an gradam áirithe seo in onóir Sior Bernard Crossland. Dúirt Sior Crossland go n-éiríonn leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh taighde a spreagadh agus tionscal ardteicneolaíochta a fhorbairt in Éirinn agus gur dea-shampla d'fhiontraithe óga a bhfuil bainte amach aige go dtí seo. I ndiaidh an tsearmanais, thug an Dr Ó Brádaigh léacht faoina chuid oibre dar teideal 'Development of thermoplastic composite manufacturing processes for aircraft and large wind turbine blades'. Tá Ph.D. in Innealtóireacht Mheicniúil ó Ionad na nÁbhar Ilchodach in Ollscoil Delaware, SAM, agus M.EngSc. agus B.E. ó OÉ Gaillimh ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh. Tá ÉireComposites Teoranta, a raibh sé ina chomhbhunaitheoir agus ina chomhfhorbróir air, dírithe ar ilchodaigh ilchodacha theirmeaplaisteacha a dhéanamh don earnáil thionsclaíoch agus tá 60 duine fostaithe ag an gcuideachta anois, 20 céimí innealtóireachta san áireamh. Ábhar suntais go háirithe an dul chun cinn atá déanta ag an Dr Ó Brádaigh i ndéantús lanna tuirbíní gaoithe móra ó tharla borradh a bheith faoi ghiniúint fuinnimh ó chumhacht na gaoithe i láthair na huaire agus tábhacht thionsclaíoch agus chomhshaoil a bheith ag baint leis seo in iarthar na hÉireann. Chomh maith leis sin, d'éirigh leis an-dul chun cinn a dhéanamh san innealtóireacht mheicniúil go ginearálta agus d'éirigh leis comhpháirtíochtaí láidre, bisiúla a fhorbairt idir an saol tionsclaíoch agus an saol acadúil, le OÉ Gaillimh go háirithe. Thréaslaigh Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh agus Uachtarán Innealtóirí Éireann, an Dr Jim Browne, leis an Dr Ó Brádaigh agus dúirt sé go gcuireann a leithéid d'aitheantas le dea-cháil na hOllscoile freisin. Iar-Ollamh le hInnealtóireacht Mheicniúil in Ollscoil na Banríona, Béal Feirste é Sior Bernard Crossland, urraitheoir an ghradaim, fear a chuir go mór le forbairt na hinnealtóireachta meicniúla sa saol acadúil agus sa saol tionsclaíoch in Éirinn, ó thuaidh agus ó dheas. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The winner of this year's Inter-college Technology Development Competition is Eoghan Clifford, Research Engineer from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics. The winning technology is based on developing a novel integrated process technology to convert organic carbon, solids, nitrogen, phosphorus, odours and greenhouse gases (present in municipal, industrial and agricultural biosolids) to high-value useful products in a market worth about € 3.5 billion per annum in Europe alone. The Inter-College Technology Development Competition is a collaborative programme between NUI Galway, TCD and UCC and is funded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) which includes multidisciplinary teams and cross-university teams working together on the commercialisation of research and technology transfer. One of the competition organisers Fiona Neary of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway said: "The standards were very high and the expert panel made up of Venture Capitalists, funding agencies, business and academic professionals were extremely impressed by the level of technologies showcased. It was an exciting event where feedback from the experts revealed that more entrepreneurial training with a strong focus on market validation and financial strategy is critical to deliver successful commercial opportunities". Throughout the programme participants from NUI Galway, TCD and UCC were given training and mentoring to assist them prepare and present their commercial opportunities to an experienced panel. The variety of technologies ranged from a bartering system for online services, the next Google, solar technologies, knowledge transfer algorithm and minute batteries. Ms Neary added: "These emerging technologies with the convergence of innovation, training and commercialisation will help deliver Irelands Smart Economy of the future". Dr Michael Rodgers from NUI Galway's College of Engineering and Informatics, and supervisor for the winning project, said: "It is very exciting to be part of the winning team. There is an urgent need to develop new technologies that can sustainably process increasing volumes of biosolids generated during the treatment of municipal, agricultural and industrial wastes. I would like to extend my congratulation to Eoghan and the other members of the team, Edmond O'Reilly, Eimear Ruane, Kathy Carney and Dr Aoife Keady". -ends-

Monday, 11 May 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) NUI Galway has announced details of a new spin-off company, Qpercom Ltd. The software and services company, based in the University's business incubation facilities, provides an online assessment tool to replace any kind of paper-based form or check list. The company's initial target market is medical schools across Europe, of which there are almost 140, with well over one million students. Qpercom Ltd. has already secured as customers the Medical School at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and NUI Galway's School of Medicine and its School of Nursing and Midwifery. NUI Galway's Dr Thomas Kropmans is one of the founders of the company and developed the technology with his colleagues at the University's Medical Informatics and Education group in the School of Medicine. He comments: "Quality assurance in medical education and assessment is an absolute necessity. This innovative web platform allows electronic data capturing and real-time data analysis. Therefore, improved quality assurance and appropriate educational decision making can be achieved. The financial benefits are also very compelling, as our customers are realising savings of up to 70% in administrative costs, not to mention savings on paper and printing". Until now, the performance of medical students during their clinical examinations has been recorded on paper forms by the assessor. A cohort of 600 medical students produces at least 8,600 forms. Those forms would then have to be compiled, manually calculated and keyed into a database, resulting in a delay before results could be viewed. Such paper marking sheets can now be replaced by Qpercom's online Assessment Management System* with results compiled instantly. Last month, medical students at NUI Galway were successfully examined using Qpercom's technology. NUI Galway's Dr Barry O'Donovan, a lecturer in General Practice, said: "This is a really exciting development. The innovative software was a complete success and the laborious tick boxing is now all gone. Even more importantly, we can now analyse station and examiner performance. We can now ensure that the only variable in the exam is the student. This software is going to be of great interest to medical schools in Ireland and internationally". Qpercom's products and services also have huge potential in other markets where instantaneous results from forms or check-lists would be of benefit. Such markets include industrial education, sports education, agriculture and health and safety. Reflecting Qpercom's broad appeal, the new company has secured In Tense Safety Training & Assessment in the Netherlands as a customer. Radmer de Jong of In Tense comments: "Qpercom has delivered a great custom-made product to meet our requirements, because they took the time to investigate the demands needed in our field and specified by our company. An online interface was designed to score our outdoor training sessions to ensure validation of our assessment tool". NUI Galway has a long standing involvement with the promotion of indigenous enterprise and a strong record of start-up companies. Other innovative spin-out companies are in the pipeline and are currently at late stage negotiation. Seach-Chuideachta Bogearraí Nua Bunaithe in OÉ Gaillimh (View in English) Tá sonraí fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh maidir le seach-chuideachta nua, Qpercom Ltd. Soláthraíonn an chuideachta bogearraí agus seirbhísí seo, atá lonnaithe i ngorlann ghnó na hOllscoile, uirlis measúnachta ar líne a bheidh in úsáid in ionad foirmeacha agus seicliostaí páipéir. Is iad scoileanna leighis ar fud na hEorpa an spriocmhargadh a bheidh ag an gcuideachta ag an tús. Tá beagnach 140 scoil leighis ar fad ann, agus breis is milliún mac léinn. I measc na gcustaiméirí atá aimsithe ag Qpercom Ltd. cheana féin tá Scoil Leighis Ollscoil Erasmus in Rotterdam, Scoil an Leighis, agus Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais in OÉ Gaillimh. Tá an Dr Thomas Kropmans ó OÉ Gaillimh ar dhuine de bhunaitheoirí na cuideachta agus d'fhorbair sé an teicneolaíocht seo i dteannta a chomhghleacaithe i nGrúpa Ionformaitice agus Oideachais Leighis na hOllscoile, Grúpa atá lonnaithe i Scoil an Leighis. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá aige: "Tá géarghá le dearbhú cáilíochta in oideachas agus i measúnacht leighis. Ciallaíonn an t-ardán gréasáin nuálach seo gur féidir sonraí a ghabháil go leictreonach agus gur féidir anailís fíor-ama a dhéanamh ar shonraí. Is é an buntáiste a bhaineann leis seo gur féidir dearbhú cáilíochta a fheabhsú agus cinntí oideachais cuí a dhéanamh. Baineann buntáistí suntasacha airgeadais leis seo freisin, tuigeann ár gcustaiméirí gur féidir suas le 70% a shábháil ar chostais riaracháin, le cois airgead a shábháil ar pháipéar agus ar phriontáil". Go dtí le blianta beaga anuas, ba é an measúnóir a choimeád taifead ar pháipéar d'obair na mac léinn leighis le linn dóibh a bheith i mbun scrúduithe cliniciúla. Bíonn thart ar 8,600 foirm i gceist le cohórt 600 mac léinn leighis. Ansin bheadh na foirmeacha ar fad le tiomsú, na marcanna le suimiú agus le hiontráil ar bhunachar sonraí. Thógfadh sé seo ar fad roinnt ama sula mbeadh na torthaí ar fáil. Is féidir Córas Bainistíochta Measúnachta ar líne Qpercom* a úsáid anois in ionad na mbileog marcála páipéir rud a chiallaíonn go mbíonn torthaí ar fáil láithreach bonn. An mhí seo caite, baineadh leas as teicneolaíocht Qpercom le mic léinn in OÉ Gaillimh a chur faoi scrúdú. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Barry O'Donovan, léachtóir ó Roinn na Dochúireachta Teaghlaigh: "Is cinnte gur forbairt thar a bheith spéisiúil é seo. D'éirigh thar cionn ar fad leis an mbogearra nuálach seo agus tá deireadh anois le ré na mboscaí beaga agus na dticeanna. Níos tábhachtaí ná sin, táimid anois in ann anailís a dhéanamh ar obair stáisiúin agus ar fheidhmiú na scrúdaitheoirí. Féadaimid a chinntiú anois nach mbeidh ach athróg amháin sa scrúdú feasta – an mac léinn. Níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh an-spéis ag scoileanna leighis in Éirinn agus scoileanna leighis ar fud na cruinne sa teicneolaíocht seo". Tá neart deiseanna eile ann freisin táirgí agus seirbhísí Qpercom a fhorbairt i margaí eile ina mbainfeadh tairbhe le torthaí a fháil láithreach bonn ó fhoirmeacha agus ó sheicliostaí. I measc na margaí sin tá oideachas tionsclaíoch, oideachas spóirt, talmhaíocht, agus sláinte agus sábháilteacht. Cruthúnas eile fós ar an tóir a bheidh ar an gcuideachta nua seo is ea gur éirigh le Qpercom cuideachta atá lonnaithe san Ísiltír ar a dtugtar In Tense Safety & Assessment a fháil mar chustaiméir. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Radmer de Jong ó In Tense Safety & Assessment: "Tá táirge shaincheaptha den chéad scoth deartha ag Qpercom a chomhlíonann na riachtanais atá againn mar go raibh siad sásta an t-am a chaitheamh i mbun scrúdaithe ar ár riachtanais agus ar na riachtanais a shonraíomar. Dearadh comhéadan ar líne a chur ar ár gcumas scóir a choinneáil dár seisiúin oiliúna allamuigh d'fhonn a chinntiú go raibh ár n-uirlis measúnachta oiriúnach". Tá baint ag OÉ Gaillimh le fada an lá le fiontar dúchasach a chur chun cinn agus cuidiú le cuideachtaí nua. Tá seach-chuideachtaí nuálacha eile á bhforbairt i láthair na huaire agus críoch curtha beagnach leis na hidirbheartaíochtaí ina lán cásanna. -Críoch-

Thursday, 7 May 2009

RTÉ Sport presenter Colm Murray will host a history lecture to celebrate the GAA's 125th birthday in Dublin on Tuesday, 12 May at 7.30pm at the Davenport Hotel, Merrion Square, Dublin 2. Murray will introduce the passionate GAA enthusiast and celebrated academic, Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh from NUI Galway, who will deliver a lecture entitled 'The GAA at 125 - The Challenges of Change'. The event is organised by the NUI Galway Dublin Alumni Group. Professor Ó Tuathaigh will look back at the success of the association and the challenges it now faces. He will make the case that the secret of the GAA s success as a social force in Ireland for 125 years lies in its capacity (at leadership and rank and file levels) to adapt to changes in the wider society. Professor Ó Tuathaigh argues, "Its adaptability - and its ability to manage change - rather than any deep conservatism inherent in the organisation; this is its key characteristic". The lecture will also consider some of the main challenges facing the GAA at the present time, and those likely to challenge it during the next decade. These include; globalisation (sport as a product in a global entertainment market), urbanisation, professionalism and the amateur ethos, and the role of women at all levels of the Association. Paraic Duffy, Director General of the GAA, will provide his response to Professor Ó Tuathaigh's points of view at the end of the lecture. Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh is an alumnus of, and Professor of History at, NUI Galway. He has lectured and been a visiting professor at numerous universities in North America, Britain, Australia, and continental Europe. In addition to his many publications (in modern Irish and British history), he is an experienced broadcaster (in Irish and English) in the main media in Ireland and Britain. Tickets for the event will be allocated on a 'first-come, first-served' basis to graduates of NUI Galway who apply via email to colm.odwyer@nuigalway.ie or phone Colm O'Dwyer on 091 493750 -ends-