Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Fógraíonn an tIonad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh tuarascáil nua na hEagraíochta Domhanda Sláinte dar teideal "Health Inequalities in Young People's Health". Seo an tuarascáil idirnáisiúnta is deireanaí faoin suirbhé HBSC ar Iompraíocht Sláinte i measc Leanaí ag Aois Scoile www.euro.who.int Tá torthaí le fáil sa tuarascáil seo maidir le bearta sláinte agus leasa daoine óga i 41 tír san Eoraip agus i Meiriceá Thuaidh. Chomh maith le patrúin thrasnáisiúnta, léiríonn an tuarascáil na hathruithe sláinte ag aoiseanna áirithe agus scrúdaítear an difríocht idir buachaillí agus cailíní agus an difríocht idir leanaí ó theaghlaigh bhoichte agus shaibhre. Bailíodh an t-eolas ó bhreis agus 200,000 dalta 11, 13 agus 15 bliana d'aois. Is é an chiall is leithne atá le sláinte sa tuarascáil i.e. leas fisiciúil, sóisialta agus mothúchánach. Tá torthaí le fáil sa tuarascáil chomh maith ar chomhthéacs sóisialta na sláinte cosúil le caidreamh piaraí agus teaghlaigh, an timpeallacht scoile agus deitéarmanaint shocheacnamaíocha. Ba í an Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, ón Ionad Taighde um Chothú Sláinte san Ollscoil a bhí mar Phríomh-Imscrúdaitheoir in Éirinn agus mar chomhúdar ar an tuarascáil. Dúirt an Dr. Nic Gabhainn, "Is é seo an chéad uair a rinneadh taifead córasach ar éagothroime i sláinte daoine óga agus aois, inscne, saibhreas agus tíreolaíocht curtha san áireamh san oiread seo tíortha – cloch mhíle atá ann sa tuiscint atá againn ar shláinte daoine óga. Tá an t-aoisghrúpa atá i gceist ar tí a bheith ina n-ógánaigh, agus athruithe fisiciúla agus mothúchánacha rompu, agus cinntí tábhachtacha saoil agus gairme le déanamh acu". I gcomparáid leis na 40 tír eile san Eoraip agus i Meiriceá Thuaidh, d'éirigh go maith le leanaí na hÉireann, ó thaobh gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil (an 10 is fearr) agus bricfeasta a ithe (an 10 is fearr) agus thuairiscigh siad leibhéal sách íseal tinnis (an 10 is ísle) agus gortaithe (an 10 is ísle). Tá leanaí na hÉireann sa chúig is fearr ó thaobh dlúthchairde agus an chaoi a n-éiríonn leis na haoisghrúpaí ar fad ag an scoil. Tá leanaí bunscoile (11 bhliain d'aois), in íochtar ó thaobh iompraíocht dhiúltach cosúil le troid (37ú háit) agus bulaíocht (33ú háit) agus tá Éire sa deich dtír is fearr ó thaobh sástacht saoil. Dúirt an Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, "Dea-scéal é seo don tír seo, táimid fós chun cinn ó thaobh gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil, agus tá feabhas tagtha orainn ó thaobh milseáin a ithe agus deochanna boga a ól, chomh maith le fiacla a ní, áit nach raibh ag éirí go maith linn i suirbhéanna trasnáisiúnta an HBSC roimhe seo". Tháinig laghdú ar líon na ndaoine a chaitheann agus a ólann ó staidéir HBSC roimhe seo i 1998 agus in 2002. Ag leibhéal ar an meán atá leanaí 15 bliana na hÉireann maidir le caitheamh tobac go seachtainiúil (19%, sa 16ú háit), agus a bheith ar meisce faoi dhó, ar a laghad, (33%, sa 20ú háit), agus beagán os cionn an mheáin maidir le cannabas a chaitheamh sna 30 lá roimh an suirbhé (9%, sa 12ú háit). San Eoraip agus Éire san áireamh, is léir go bhfuil éagothroime i measc leanaí bunaithe ar inscne agus saibhreas agus caithfear díriú air seo. Inscne: Tá difríochtaí móra inscne le sonrú, go háirithe sna haoisghrúpaí níos sine. Ag 15 bliana d'aois, is mó seans go n-íosfaidh buachaillí bricfeasta ná cailíní (70% vs. 57%), go ndéanfaidh said gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil (27% vs. 13%), gur úsáid said cannabas le gairid (11% vs. 7%) agus go raibh siad ag troid (19% vs. 7%). Is mó seans a bhí ann chomh maith gur chaith buachaillí am lena gcairde sa tráthnóna (43% vs. 33%), gur gortaíodh iad (50% vs. 34%) agus gur tharraing siad go maith lena n-aithreacha (66% vs. 50%). Aois: Ag 15 bliana déag, is mó seans go ndéarfadh cailín ná buachaill go raibh ag éirí go maith léi sa scoil (71% vs. 61%), go raibh tacaíocht aici óna comhghleacaithe sa rang (65% vs. 53%), ach gur bhraith sí faoi bhrú ag obair scoile (60% vs. 47%). Tuairiscíonn cailíní nó mó fadhbanna sláinte (40% vs. 25%) agus ceapann níos mó cailíní ná buachaillí go bhfuil siad ró-ramhar (45% vs. 22%). Maidir le hiompraíocht sláinte, is mó seans go n-íosfadh cailíní torthaí gach lá (39% vs. 29%), go nífidís a gcuid fiacla gach lá (76% vs. 52%) agus go mbeidís ar aiste bia (19% vs. 8%). Saibhreas Teaghlaigh: Bíonn patrúin itheacháin níos fearr ag leanaí ó theaghlaigh níos saibhre – is mó seans atá ann go n-íosfaidh siad bricfeasta agus torthaí agus is lú seans atá ann go n-ólfaidh siad deochanna boga. Is túisce go ndeir leanaí níos saibhre go dtarraingíonn siad go maith lena n-aithreacha agus lena gcairde agus go n-éiríonn go maith leo ar scoil. Is mó seans go mbeidh leanaí ó theaghlaigh níos boichte ag caitheamh tobac, ag fanacht amuigh san oíche le cairde agus ag breathnú ar an teilifís níos faide ná 2 uair an chloig mar a mholtar. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire do Chothú Sláinte agus Sábháilteacht Bia, Mary Wallace T.D., "Fearaim fáilte roimh an Tuarascáil Idirnáisiúnta ar Iompraíocht Sláinte i Measc Leanaí Scoile. Tá go leor sonraí sa Tuarascáil ar iompraíocht sláinte leanaí as 41 tír. D'éirigh go maith le leanaí na hÉireann i gcomparáid le sláinte agus leas na leanaí idirnáisiúnta. Léirítear sa staidéar go bhfuil dúshlán roimh gach tír maidir le hiompraíocht sláinte a n-ógánach ó thaobh aiste bia, caitheamh tobac, ól alcóil agus gníomhaíocht fhisiciúil. Cabhróidh na sonraí a foilsíodh inniu le beartas agus forbairt seirbhíse sna blianta beaga amach romhainn." Léiríonn na torthaí seo go bhfuil neart oibre le déanamh chun cothromaíocht a fháil do dhaoine óga in Éirinn agus san Eoraip. Beidh an t-eolas sa tuarascáil seo riachtanach don lucht déanta beartais, straitéise agsu cleachtais i sláinte na hóige. Leanfaidh an fhoireann HBSC in OÉ Gaillimh uirthi ag déanamh anailíse ar na patrúin seo ionas tuiscint a fháil orthu. - críoch -

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Almost 200 students will graduate from NUI Galway today during the Summer Conferring of Degrees and Diplomas. For these students, their academic efforts will culminate at the conferring ceremony today as they receive their parchments from Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President. All Colleges of the University are represented at the ceremony, with graduands from the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences; College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Faculty of Commerce; College of Engineering and Informatics: Faculty of Law; and College of Science. The largest cohorts of students to graduate today will be eighty-eight Honours Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and Bachelor of Obstetrics (MB, BCh, BAO) students. Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, said, "The University congratulates our graduands and issues a warm welcome to their parents and families. Since it opened its doors in 1849, over 77,000 graduates have benefited from a higher education in this University, the quality of which is attested to by the eminent positions they held, and continue to hold, not only in Ireland but across the globe." Students from across Ireland will receive Diplomas, Degrees, Masters, and PhDs. These include twin brothers James and John McDonald from Ballylongford, Kerry, who will each receive a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the College of Science. International students are also well represented, with the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences welcoming graduates from, among other countries, Malaysia and Kuwait. The next conferring to take place at NUI Galway will be the conferring of Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June, 2008. -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

On Thursday, 19 June, NUI Galway will hold a symposium to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, located on the west coast near Carna, Co. Galway. Beginning within the modest confines of a refurbished World War II coastal look-out post in 1958, Mace Head has grown to become one of the most important sites for atmospheric research in the Northern hemisphere. Data from Mace Head is used by climatologists and modellers around the world to predict global climate change. As Mace Head is the globally acknowledged western European station for clean air data, it provides key baseline input for inter-comparison with levels elsewhere in Europe. Since 1994, Mace Head has been a baseline station for the Global Atmosphere Watch of the World Meteorological Organization (an agency of the UN). One of the first scientists to collect data at Mace Head in 1958, Dr. Thomas O Connor of the University's School of Physics, is very familiar with the development of the station. "Fifty years ago, global warming was not a household phrase. However, with Mace Head we were already following a scientific path which would put us centre stage when environmental change became a globally acknowledged issue. Mace Head has not only given us a unique legacy of data spanning half a century, but the station is poised to play a critical role over the next 50 years in understanding and tackling climate change". Mace Head station is widely used for numerous national and international projects and has served scientists from over 100 universities and institutions in 20 countries over the years. Mace Head also contributes, through ongoing climatic monitoring, to meeting Ireland's environmental commitments under international treaties. Data such as wind speed, wind direction, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, rainfall as well as aerosol particulate parameters are continuously recorded and webcast in real time. Professor Gerard Jennings of NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute, believes the station is very special, "Mace Head is unique in European atmospheric research. Air masses arrive via the 'clean sector' spanning 110 degrees are ideal for carrying out background aerosol and trace gas measurements. The station has been the perfect setting for a series of scientific projects over the years, such as measuring chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when their impact on the earth's ozone came to the fore in the 1980s. Now, Mace Head is involved in tackling the much greater challenge of global environmental change." At the symposium on 19 June, which takes place in the Cairnes Theatre at NUI Galway from 9am-6pm, principal leaders of scientific projects at Mace Head will outline the achievements of the work there and the importance of these results for policy makers in the area of global climate change, air quality and other environmental conditions in Ireland. The jubilee celebrations will continue on Friday, 20 June with an Open Day at the station. Operated by staff from the Department of Physics at NUI Galway, Mace Head is the main location of experimental research carried out by the University's Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies – a centre within NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute. Led by one of Ireland's foremost environmental physics scientists, Dr. Colin O'Dowd, the group concentrates on the physical and chemical properties of aerosols, clouds, and gaseous species in the marine environment and their ultimate role in global climate change. According to Dr. O'Dowd, "Mace Head complements hugely to the strategic geographic importance of Ireland and our coupled atmosphere-marine environment in studying the dynamics of the impacts of climate change. It is a world class infrastructure research facility which is available to support Irish research groups in winning leading roles in high profile international research projects". For further information on the Mace Head visit on June 20th: www.macehead.org -ends-

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

The Health Promotion Research Centre, National University of Ireland, Galway announce the publication of a new World Health Organisation report "Health Inequalities in Young People's Health". This is the latest international report of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey: www.euro.who.int This report presents findings on key health and well-being measures in young people in 41 countries across Europe and North America. As well as cross-national patterns, it highlights transitions in health at certain ages and examines differences between boys and girls and between children from more and less affluent families. Information is presented from more than 200,000 students aged 11, 13 and 15 years. Health is considered in its broadest sense, as physical, social and emotional well-being. Findings on the social context of health such as peer and family relationships, the school environment and socio-economic determinants of health are also included in the report. Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, from NUI Galway's Health Promotion Research Centre, was Principal Investigator for Ireland and co-author of the report. According to Dr. Nic Gabhainn, "This is the first time that inequalities in youth health have been systematically documented by age, gender, affluence and geography across so many countries – it is a landmark in our understanding of the health of young people. The age groups involved represent the onset of adolescence, a time when young people face the challenges of physical and emotional changes, and the years when important life and career decisions are beginning to be made". In comparison to the other 40 countries across Europe and North America, Irish children rank highly on many positive health indicators, including physical activity (top 10) and breakfast eating (top 10) and report relatively low levels of health complaints (bottom 10) and medically attended injuries (bottom 10). We are also in the top five for number of close friends and for perceived school performance in all age groups. Children in primary school (11 year olds) are near the bottom of the league, with relatively low levels for some negative behaviours such as fighting (37th) and being bullied (33rd) and are also in the top ten countries for reported high life satisfaction. Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn says "This is good news for Ireland, we have held on to our position near the top of the physical activity league, and have improved on sweets and soft drink consumption, as well as tooth brushing, where we had performed poorly in previous cross-national HBSC surveys". Irish rates of smoking and drinking have decreased since previous HBSC studies in 1998 and 2002. Irish 15 year olds are average for smoking tobacco at least weekly (19%, rank 16th), and having been drunk at least twice (33%, rank 20th), and just above average for cannabis use in the last 30 days (9%, rank 12th). Across Europe, including Ireland, consistent inequalities between children based on gender and family affluence are evident and will require further attention. Gender: There are important gender differences, particularly in the older age groups. At age 15, boys are more likely than girls to eat breakfast (70% vs. 57%), undertake physical activity (27% vs. 13%), to have used cannabis recently (11% vs. 7%) and to have been fighting (19% vs. 7%). Boys are also more likely to spend time with friends in the evening (43% vs.33%), to have been injured (50% vs. 34%) and to get on well with their fathers (66% vs. 50%). Age: At age 15, girls are more likely than boys to report that they're doing well in school (71% vs. 61%), to feel supported by their classmates (65% vs. 53%), but to feel pressured by their schoolwork (60% vs. 47%). Girls report more health complaints (40% vs. 25%) and are more likely to think they are too fat (45% vs. 22%). In terms of health behaviours, girls are more likely than boys to eat fruit every day (39% vs. 29%), to brush their teeth at least daily (76% vs. 52%) and to diet (19% vs. 8%). Family Affluence: children from more affluent families have more positive eating patterns – they are more likely to eat breakfast, to eat fruit and less likely to consume soft drinks. More affluent children also report better relationships with their fathers and their friends and get on better in school. Those from less affluent families are more likely to smoke cigarettes, spend more time out at night with friends and watch more than the recommended 2 hours of television per day. Minister for Health Promotion and Food Safety, Ms Mary Wallace T.D. said "I welcome the publication of the International Report on the Health Behaviours of School-Aged Children (HBSC) Survey. The International Report contains a wealth of data on the health behaviours of children across 41 countries. The health and well-being of Irish children compares very favourably internationally. The study shows that all countries face challenges in relation to the health behaviours of their young population in such areas as diet, smoking, drinking alcohol and physical activity. The data published today will continue to inform policy and service development in the coming years." These findings illustrate that there is much work to be done in creating a level playing field for young people in Ireland and across Europe. The information in this report will prove vital to those developing policy, strategy and practice in the area of youth health. The HBSC team in NUI Galway will continue to work on analysing and understanding these patterns. - ends -

Monday, 16 June 2008

A leading Irish health promotion expert has today called for a significant investment in the training and education of health promotion practitioners, and other health workers. Professor Margaret Barry, Director of the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway, was speaking at the opening of the first Consensus Meeting of international leaders from health promotion and population health, which takes place this week at NUI Galway. Professor Barry said, "Health promotion is a complex and challenging field. We need to make sure our professionals have the required competencies and skills to address complex health issues within rapidly changing social and political contexts. Government investment, international co-operation and consensus will be required to improve population health worldwide." The meeting's focus is the development of professional standards and accreditation for health promotion professionals globally. Participants include representatives from the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE); the Society for Public Health Education, (SOPHE), USA; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), USA; American Association for Health Education; Council on Education for Public Health, USA; National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, USA; and the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, UK. The outcome of the Consensus Meeting will be discussed at the 12th annual Health Promotion Conference which takes place later this week at NUI Galway, from 19-20 June 2008. The event, entitled "Capacity Building for the Future: Health Promotion Competencies and Professional Standards", will be opened by Minister Mary Wallace T.D., Minister for Health Promotion and Food Safety. Speaking about the upcoming conference, Professor Barry said, "Capacity building to support the development and implementation of policy and best practice is key to the future growth and development of health promotion globally and nationally. Workforce development is critical to building capacity for the effective improvement of population health." Speakers at the conference include Professor David McQueen (CDC & IUHPE President), who will highlight the sense of urgency in the need for global capacity building for health promotion and Professor Maurice Mittelmark (University of Bergen & IUHPE Vice President for Communications), who will consider what we have and what we lack in infrastructural supports for the development of health promotion. Professor Margaret Barry, NUI Galway, is also presenting at the conference. The event will provide a unique opportunity for delegates to discuss and debate how the ideas from the consensus report can be used to strengthen health promotion practice and training in Ireland. Participants will include practitioners, managers, policy makers, academics and researchers from the fields of health promotion and population health. -ends-

Monday, 16 June 2008

The International Criminal Court Summer School takes place at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, from 21-26 June. Now in its ninth year, the summer school has established itself as one of the premier intensive courses offered internationally on the important subject of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is aimed at combating impunity for atrocities and it is at the forefront of a broader movement of achieving accountability. During the five days of lectures, delivered by leading specialists in the field, students are provided with a detailed knowledge of the establishment of the Court, its applicable law, its structures and its operations. Lectures will also address related issues in international criminal law, including universal jurisdiction and immunities. A host of key international experts in criminal law, including Judge Nsereko of the ICC, will address the International Criminal Court Summer School. Other prominent speakers include Professor David Scheffer who served as the first United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, and Judge Richard Goldstone who served as the chief prosecutor of the United Nations International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda from 1994-1996. Commenting on the summer school, Dr. Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said, "The ICC is arguably one of the most important international institutions after the creation of the United Nations. This year the Summer School welcomes a number of the most well-respected experts in this field and we look forward to discussing some of the continuing challenges facing the ICC in countries including Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Central African Republic". Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, will also address the school. The Summer School culminates in a simulated trial before the ICC. -ends-

Friday, 13 June 2008

NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office has issued a final reminder to members of the public interested in undertaking part-time degree programmes in the autumn. Application deadlines for some degree programmes are at the end of June. Conscious of the many demands placed on adult learners from a work and family perspective, all new courses are developed on a modular basis. This provides students with manageable, bite-sized chunks of learning, enabling them to combine their work and family commitments with the demands of a programme of study. Most courses are taught using blended learning which combines classroom and online study. Some newer courses are also flexible in terms of payment, such as the modular BSc in Science and Technology Studies, delivered via blended learning by the Atlantic University Alliance (AUA) member universities, NUI Galway and University of Limerick. Payment for the course is per module on a semester by semester basis, making it an affordable option to anyone considering further education. Niamh Nolan, Programme Co-ordinator of the modular BSc in Science and Technology Studies at NUI Galway, says the course could prove very beneficial to people already employed but who had hit a glass ceiling in terms of their career progression. "With the economic forecast growing gloomier, employment security is important and upskilling is paramount. The flexibility offered by these new programmes allows professionals to combine work with part-time education". NUI Galway also offers a Bachelor of Arts programme including subjects such as English, History, French and Information Technology. The programme is available over four years with students attending class up to three evenings per week. Students who have previously undertaken a certificate or diploma programme at NUI Galway or another third-level institution may also be eligible for exemptions on the programme. Students are encouraged to contact the programme co-ordinator for further details. Other new part-time degree courses this year include a BA in Social Care, which builds on the existing Diploma in Social Care. The University's BA in Community and Family Studies continues to prove popular as does the BSc in Rural Development. Students should note that later closing dates apply to these programmes. Nuala McGuinn, of NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Office, comments, "September may seem like a long time away, but the application deadlines are upon us. We try to be as accommodating as possible with our applicants, but there is such a wide variety of courses and varying deadlines, so we want to encourage people to make up their minds as soon as they can". The full list of part-time degree programmes, some of which are also offered at diploma level, include: Blended learning programmes: Bachelor of Science in Science and Technology Studies Bachelor of Arts Social Care Bachelor of Arts in Community and Family Studies Bachelor of Science in Rural Development Bachelor of Arts in Training and Education Classroom-based programmes Bachelor of Arts (classroom-based) For those not necessarily interested in pursuing a course to degree level, there is a wide range of courses available at certificate and diploma level at NUI Galway. These include English Literature, History, French, German, Italian, Social Gerontology, Gemmology, Women's Studies, Irish Music Studies, Gaeilge and Geology and many others. For more information on all programmes visit http://www.nuigalway.ie/adulteducation/ or email adulteducation@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Friday, 13 June 2008

An expert on EU Law has said that the Irish may well have condemned the Lisbon Treaty to the dustbin of history and that the Government must carefully consider the various options now open to it. Dr. Laurent Pech, a Lecturer in European Union Law at NUI Galway, was speaking as the referendum count for Galway West was being tallied. According to Dr. Pech, author of The European Union and its Constitution - From Rome to Lisbon, "18 Member States have ratified the Treaty. However, from a legal perspective, the rules governing the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty are clear-cut: unanimous ratification is required. No matter how practically absurd in a Union of 27 Member States, such unanimity has regularly led to ratification crises in some Member States. As the main points raised by the No side had nothing do to with the Treaty or misrepresented its actual contents, it may well be impossible to renegotiate the Treaty. Indeed, not only did the Lisbon Treaty accommodate Irish concerns and special interests, the No groups actually offered contradictory arguments. Accordingly, it will be almost impossible to take all these arguments into account." Dr. Pech suggests that there are various options for both the Irish Government and the European Union. "The EU can certainly continue to work on the basis of the Nice Treaty and seek to implement the most consensual provisions of the Lisbon Treaty on an ad hoc basis. Furthermore, if some Member States are willing to deepen European integration in certain areas, they may rely upon the provisions governing "enhanced cooperation" (Art. 43 of the Treaty on European Union). Another option is to let the ratification process follows its path. This is the worst scenario for Ireland as it may lead to its political marginalisation." He continued, "More realistically, the Irish government could seek to negotiate special arrangements and/or a new protocol which clearly states that Lisbon does not pose any threat to its neutrality, taxation regime, etc. This protocol would only restate the obvious but it might make it easier to convince Irish people to revote on the Treaty. In my view, it is also imperative that we, in Europe, agree that two new indispensable conditions should govern the ratification of any new European Treaty: Member States must accept its ratification on a super-majority basis rather than unanimity; and The new text must clearly articulate what would happen to the Member State(s) which will be unable to ratify it." -ends-

Friday, 13 June 2008

Over one hundred Electronic Engineering researchers from academia and industry will convene in Galway next week for the 16th IET Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC 2008). The conference, which takes place from 18-19 June, will focus on the latest developments in the fields of Digital Signal Processing, Control, and Communications. The field of Signals and Systems research develops methods of understanding and manipulating complicated patterns of signals, sensed from the environment. It also develops methods for designing practical embedded electronic and computing systems to perform tasks such as Biomedical, Audio and Image Signal Processing, Cryptography, Wireless Communications and Control Engineering. The annual ISSC conference makes an important contribution to the advancement of related ideas and research, bringing together Irish and international researchers from industry and universities. Presenters at the ISSC 2008 conference will highlight methods developed to use integrated circuit technology advances, along with efficient signal processing, to more effectively perform engineering tasks. Dr. Fearghal Morgan of NUI Galway's Electronic Engineering Department and Conference Chair, "Ireland has a very successful, 25 year track record in the microelectronics industry and has a well established research infrastructure. Most of the world's top microelectronics design companies, including Intel, Cypress Semiconductor, Analog Devices and Xilinx, are located in Ireland. World-wide semiconductor revenue in 2007 was $257bn. This is predicted to rise to $321bn by 2010. Ireland has an expanding number of related start-up companies with global ambitions. Importantly, post-graduate research funding for Electronic Engineering and ISSC-related topics has never been better". ISSC 2008 will be hosted by the Department of Electronic Engineering and co-sponsored by the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES). Conference proceedings are published by co-sponsor The Institute of Engineering and Technology (The IET). ISSC 2008 is also supported by MIDAS Ireland, Intel, Cypress Semiconductor, Analog Devices, Xilinx, Starlight Solutions and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. Dr. Morgan concludes, "We look forward to a successful ISSC 2008 conference, which will be a very important gathering in Galway for the network of Electronic design and research professionals. Hosting ISSC 2008 in Galway also gives us an opportunity to showcase the new NUI Galway Engineering building, which is due for completion in 2010. Planning permission has recently been obtained for this exciting €60m building project which will accommodate all of the NUI Galway Engineering departments." For further information on the ISSC 2008 conference, visit the website at www.issc.ie -ends-

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will host its 8th annual 'Minority Rights, Indigenous People and Human Rights Law Summer School' from 15-20 June, 2008. Almost 50 attendees will travel to Galway for the summer school from 15 countries to receive an overview of the legal, political and philosophical issues pertaining to international human rights law. Relationships between those issues, minority rights, and the rights of indigenous peoples, will then be explored and debated during the course of the five days. Attendees of the school will be addressed by a host of notable speakers led by Professor Joshua Castellino, Professor of Law and Head of the Law Department at London's Middlesex University, and Adjunct Professor of Law at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor Patrick Thornberry, a member of the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, will also teach at the school. Commenting on the upcoming event, Dr. Ray Murphy, of the Irish Centre for Human Rights said, "This summer school has grown in reputation over the years to become an important annual event for those interested in global affairs and human rights. This year we look forward to learning from each others experiences, whether it's that of Travellers in Ireland, aboriginal Canadians, or indigenous peoples in Chile." Other prominent lecturers include Martin Collins, who is a member of the Irish Human Rights Committee and a founding member and current Assistant Director of Pavee Point Travellers Centre. Two speakers will travel from South America specifically to join the faculty of the summer school, Dr. César Rodríguez Garavito from Colombia, and Dr. Nicolas Espejo from Chile, both of whose participation is being funded by the Latin American European American Human Rights Network (LAEHR). The Irish Centre of 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. -ends-

Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Alumni Association Board is pleased to announce New England as the winner of the inaugural 2008 Alumni Club Award. The Award provides recognition and financial support to alumni groups who are considered to have best represented NUI Galway in alumni club activity. The presentation to New England was made in Boston by Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, Professor Gerard Hurley, and announced during the recent Alumni Reunion 2008 in Galway. Three alumni clubs were short listed for the 2008 Alumni Club Award: Arts-Media (Dublin), Beijing and New England. The Award aims to encourage new ideas from NUI Galway alumni to create positive change for the University and its constituents. It also seeks to encourage existing NUI Galway alumni groups to increase the scale of their activities and supports the University's strategic priorities through increased alumni participation Alumni Clubs reflect regional, faculty and special interest groups within the graduate population and affords individuals the opportunity to stay connected with fellow graduates and the University. Clubs are the heart of the Association, bringing together communities of graduates throughout Ireland and the world. Active Regional Clubs are currently located in the USA (New England and the Tri-State area), Ireland, Japan, Korea, London and in China. Affinity Clubs in Ireland include: (Arts & Media – Dublin Club, and the Law Club - Dublin).

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, has announced the appointment of Conor Newman as Chairman of the Heritage Council. Conor is a lecturer with NUI Galway's Archaeology Department and will continue to teach there while undertaking the new chairing role. The Heritage Council is an advisory body to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Minister Gormley congratulated Conor Newman, commenting that he has a "very considerable wealth of heritage experience and expertise which will greatly benefit the State in the role of Chairman of the Heritage Council". Newman's research interests include the archaeology of the 4th-6th century transition from Pagan to Christian Ireland and later prehistoric 'royal' centres, in particular the archaeology and landscape of Tara. He was director of the Discovery Programme Tara Survey and his work has been extensively published. According to Professor John Waddell, Head of NUI Galway's Department of Archaeology, "Conor Newman is a strong advocate of best practice and a dedicated professional archaeologist. His appointment to this important position is an acknowledgement of his undoubted expertise in heritage matters and is also recognition of the principled stand he and others took in opposing the present route of the M3 motorway and its incalculable damage to the landscape of Tara." Along with NUI Galway's Dr Mark Stansbury, Conor Newman is co-Director of a research project 'Columbanus: Life and Legacy'. Funded under the Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI-4), this project is investigating the textual and visual evidence of the life and work of the medieval Irish missionary Columbanus, whose striking impact on European culture is still insufficiently documented and understood. The project will result, among other things, in the creation of new digital editions and archaeological surveys. Newman has pursued postgraduate research in Britain, France and Italy and was visiting professor of Celtic Archaeology at the University of Toronto. He is currently the editor of the Journal of Irish Archaeology. Conor Newman teaches late prehistoric and early medieval archaeology at NUI Galway. At the University, archaeology is offered as an option to undergraduate Bachelor of Arts students, covering theoretical aspects and including field trips and practical learning. Four postgraduate study programmes are available, as well as part-time diplomas for adult learners, taught in Galway and Roscommon. -ends-

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

NUI Galway's Department of Surgery will hold an inaugural International Breast Cancer Conference on 19–21 June. The main theme of the conference is multidisciplinary breast cancer care, which will be of interest to all professionals involved in breast cancer management including Surgeons, Medical Oncologists, Radiation Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists and Breast Care Nurses. Several of the key speakers are well-known internationally and include Professor Joe Ragaz, from McGill University in Canada, and Professor Carsten Rose, from Lund University Hospital in Sweden. From the UK, speakers include Professor Carlos Caldas, University of Cambridge; Mike Dixon, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh; and Professor Ian Ellis, NHS Trust City Hospital, Nottingham. Professor Roger Blamey, Emeritus Professor (Surgery) and Consultant Surgeon, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, will deliver a keynote lecture entitled 'Lifetime Experience of Breast Cancer Management: Changing Times'. According to Professor Michael Kerin, Professor of Surgery, NUI Galway and Conference Convener, "Breast cancer therapy is entering into a new era of individualised, patient-centered care. Each cancer has particular characteristics requiring individual approaches to therapy whether it is local surgery, radiotherapy, or newer biological targeted treatment. Some particular cancers pose major difficulties for diagnosis and some occur in patients who have a genetic predisposition or family history." Professor Kerin continued, "All of these issues will be discussed at the conference and we will also have an overview of changes in therapy from Roger Blamey and Joe Ragaz, two well established international experts. The University is proud to be associated with this meeting and is delighted that this prestigious international conference of this magnitude is bringing so much expertise to the city." National delegates and speakers features a 'Who's Who' of Irish Breast Cancer Management including Professor John Crown, St. Vincent's University Hospital; Dr. Ann O'Doherty, BreastCheck; Dr Fidelma Flanagan, Mater Hospital; Professor Tom Gorey, Mater Hospital; Dr. John Kennedy, St James's Hospital; and Professor Paul Redmond, Cork University Hospital. Local Galway contributors, apart from Professor Kerin, include Dr. Irene Sweeney, Dr. Maccon Keane, Mr Ray McLaughlin, Dr. Maeve Pomeroy, Mr Karl Sweeney and Professor Grace Callagy. The conference is being held in conjunction with the Nottingham series of meetings which take place on alternate years. For 20 years, the Nottingham meeting has been the best attended and most influential breast cancer meeting on these islands and the Galway meeting aims to ensure that these meetings are now annual events. The three-day conference takes place in the Arts Millennium Building on the NUI Galway campus. For further information on the International Breast Cancer Conference, please contact Grace Clarke at 091-524390 or grace.clarke@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Former President of NUI Galway, Professor Pat Fottrell, has been honoured by the National University of Ireland during a ceremony to confer honorary doctorates at University College Cork. Professor Fottrell was President of NUI Galway from 1996 to 2000, leading the University through a period of major change. Prior to becoming President he was Registrar and Deputy President of NUI Galway, having served as a Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Established Professor of Biochemistry with the University. Under his research leadership, NUI Galway developed a widely recognised expertise in rapid diagnostic technology, which in turn led to the creation of one of the first campus companies, Noctech, which later became Cambridge Diagnostics. Speaking at the Honorary Conferring Ceremony, Dr. James Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented, "Pat Fottrell has a tremendous record of achievement and innovation across a range of activities including teaching and research, the commercialization of research, university management and leadership and the development and implementation of public policy. Under his innovative and energetic direction, NUI Galway developed its first strategic plan, defined and agreed its research priorities, created major research institutes including the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and the Irish Centre for Human Rights, and increased student intake by over 30%." Dr. Browne added, "It is entirely appropriate that the National University of Ireland, in this its centenary year, should honour Pat Fottrell. Nobody better embodies the spirit and the achievement of the National University of Ireland." Following his retirement from the Presidency of NUI Galway, Pat Fotrell was invited to Chair the Board of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Under his leadership SFI has allocated almost €1 billion in research funding and has created a series of innovative programmes to support the highest quality research in universities. Professor Fottrell also serves on the Board of Teagasc and chairs its Research Committee. He is a member of the Board of Curators and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland and of the Galway Hospice Foundation. -ends-

Friday, 6 June 2008

Over 400 delegates from 32 countries will visit NUI Galway from 9-11 June for the '16th European Conference on Information Systems'. The conference is being hosted by the University's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC) and will address emerging technology trends in business and society. A key conference topic will be 'virtual worlds' and the extent to which such computer-based simulated environments present real opportunities for businesses and educational institutions. IBM and IRCSET (The Irish Research Council for Science and Engineering Technology), in conjunction with researchers at CISC in NUI Galway have recently embarked on a new project to leverage virtual world technology. The project's aim is to link academic researchers and industrialists for value creation through innovation and collaboration. One of the researchers on this project will be Johan Gorecki, who was a member of the start-up team at Skype, and is now pursuing a PhD within CISC at NUI Galway. Speaking about the upcoming event, conference chair Dr. Willie Golden, Director of NUI Galway's CISC, commented, "Virtual technology is a truly exciting research area as it becomes increasingly sophisticated, moving from online games such as Second Life to use in an organisational setting. Companies such as Reebok, Wells Fargo, and Toyota have begun to explore virtual worlds as a potential space for open innovation. Bringing a prestigious international conference of this magnitude to NUI Galway will help facilitate the exchange of leading edge research and ideas". According to Brian O'Donovan, Program Director of the IBM Dublin Centre for Advanced Studies, and a participant at the conference, over 20,000 IBM staff are already active in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenWorlds. These worlds are used as collaborative environments for learning, training, corporate announcements, conferences, alumni meetings, commerce – 'vBusiness', recruitment, simulation, visualisation, and modelling. The keynote address at the conference will be by Richard Schroth, a 2008 Fulbright Senior Scholar, Information Sciences and one of the top 25 consultants globally as named by Consulting Magazine. For further information about the conference visit http://www.ecis2008.ie/ -ends-

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Environmental Change Institute (ECI) at NUI Galway is opening its doors to the public on Wednesday, 11 June, from 2-5.30 pm, for its second annual 'ECI Research Day'. A series of short talks will address subjects such as heavy metal pollution, storm surge extremes in Irish coastal waters, and bioelectrochemical fuel cells. Throughout the afternoon, over 40 ECI researchers will display specially prepared posters on their research in areas such as Climate Change, Energy, Biodiversity, Environment and Health, Environmental Technologies, Environmental Informatics, and the Social and Economic Impacts of Environmental Change. Because of its location on the North Western periphery of Europe, adjacent to the North Atlantic Ocean, ECI is uniquely positioned to address this very challenging field of science. The rich variety of habitats and ecosystems, recognised as being of value in a European and global context, lends itself to the study of biodiversity and of ecological interactions in a variety of pristine terrestrial and aquatic environments. At the same time, demographic, socio-economic and human impacts in recent years are affecting the rate of environmental change in ways that urgently need to be researched. Professor Gerard Jennings, Director of the ECI at NUI Galway, says, "Galway is home to a Research Centre of national importance in the field of Environmental Change, and at the ECI we are always looking to involve the local community in the work that we do here. We see the ECI Research Day as another opportunity to bridge the gap that sometimes can exist between research and society. In the area of environmental change it is essential that we all continue to learn from each other, and we welcome the chance to get feedback, and to exchange ideas, with interested members of the public." While much of the work of ECI takes place on campus, there is also a wide range of research projects happening around the country. External facilities include the Carron Field Research Station in the Burren, County Clare and the Mace Head Atmospheric Research Station, near Carna, County Galway. For more information on the ECI please visit www.nuigalway.ie/eci, and if you wish to attend the ECI Research Day please contact Dr. Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer at ECI, at sarah.knight@nuigalway.ie or on 091 495061. -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

NUI Galway has announced the graduands to be conferred with Honorary Degrees on Friday, 27 June, 2008. Ms Fionnula Flanagan is an Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Irish actress. She trained in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin and has appeared in numerous films including, The Others with Nicole Kidman, Transamerica and Waking Ned Devine, as well as television series and stage productions. She also recently guest starred in the episode "Flashes Before Your Eyes" of Lost. She came to prominence in Ireland in 1965 as a result of her role as Máire in the Teilifís Éireann production of the Irish Language play, An Triail. Ms Flanagan established herself as one of the foremost interpreters of James Joyce in the 1967 film version of Ulysses. Justice Richard Goldstone served as a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa; as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda; and as Chancellor of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. He has taught at New York University, Harvard, and Fordham Law Schools. He is presently a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center. In 2006 Goldstone taught at the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Professor Deirdre McCloskey, UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago, is a leading economist, rhetorician, scholar and public intellectual. McCloskey has written 14 books one of the latest being The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce which is the first of a projected five-volume magnum opus. Before The Bourgeois Virtues her best known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) and Crossing: A Memoir, published in 1999, which was a New York Times Notable Book. Mr Eugene Murtagh is the founder and Chairman of Kingspan Group Plc. Since starting in the 1960s as a small family business Kingspan has grown to become one of Ireland s most successful companies. With a turnover in excess of €1.8 billion, the Group has 43 manufacturing plants in 28 countries around the world, employing over 6,500 people. Murtagh was appointed in 2000 by the Irish and British governments as a director of the International Fund for Ireland, which has invested €849 million in projects across the island of Ireland. Mr Donagh O'Donoghue is a prominent member of the Galway business community and a member of NUI Galway Governing Authority. O'Donoghue succeeded his father as Group Managing Director of Thomas McDonagh & Sons Ltd. in 1975 and grew the company significantly over a twenty-five year period. His catalogue of directorships includes Bord na Móna, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland and Galway Airport. He has also served as board member of IBEC, Galway Chamber of Commerce and Druid Theatre Company. Mícheál Ó hUiginn, Uas. is a member of NUI Galway s Governing Authority and director of Ó hUiginn Teoranta, Galway. He has served successive terms on Galway City Council from 1964 until his retirement in 2004. During these forty years of service to the city of Galway, Mícheál Ó hUiginn has been Mayor of Galway for three terms and has made significant contributions to all aspects of civic life and local government, particularly in the area of education. Governor Martin O'Malley is the 61st Governor of Maryland. An American Democratic politician he previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007. During his two terms as Mayor, Baltimore became a national model for improvement in public safety, government efficiency, education and economic development. As Governor he is now applying his experience to the State of Maryland and has been described by The Washington Post as a "governor unafraid of government". In 2005 Business Week listed O'Malley as one of "Five Fresh Faces" to lead the Democratic Party. Commenting on the announcement of this year's graduands, Dr. James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, said, "We are delighted to confer honorary degrees on seven outstanding individuals: Fionnula Flanagan, Justice Richard Goldstone, Professor Deirdre McCloskey, Eugene Murtagh, Donagh O Donoghue, Mícheál Ó hUiginn and Governor Martin O Malley. This University is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Their contributions in many spheres – business, the arts, public service, education and justice – have been remarkable and NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals." -ends-

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Tá eolas fógartha ag OÉ Gaillimh faoi na Céimeanna Oinigh a bhronnfar Dé hAoine, an 27 Meitheamh 2008. Aisteoir Éireannach í Fionnula Flanagan a bhfuil Gradam Emmy bronnta uirthi agus ainmniúchán do Ghradam Tony faighte aici. Is in Amharclann na Mainistreach a d'fhoghlaim sí a ceird agus i measc na scannán ar ghlac sí páirt iontu tá The Others le Nicole Kidman, ,Transamerica agus Waking Ned Devine, mar aon le sraith teilifíse agus léiriúcháin ar stáitse. Chomh maith leis sin, ghlac sí páirt in eagrán den tsraith teilifíse Lost – eagrán dár teideal "Flashes Before Your Eyes". Thuill sí clú agus cáil in Éirinn den chéad uair sa bhliain 1965 tráth ar thug sí léargas iontach ar a cumas aisteoireachta i bpáirt Mháire i léiriú Theilfís Éireann den dráma Gaeilge – An Triail. Léirigh Fionnula Flanagan a cumas mar aisteoir a raibh sárthuiscint aici ar scríbhinní James Joyce sa scannán a rinneadh de Ulysses sa bhliain 1967. D'oibrigh an Breitheamh Richard Goldstone mar Bhreitheamh ar Chúirt Bhunreachtáil na hAfraice Theas; mar Phríomh-Ionchúisitheoir ar Bhinsí Coiriúla Idirnáisiúnta na Náisiún Aontaithe don iar-Iúgslaiv agus Ruanda; agus mar Sheansailéir ar Ollscoil Witwatersrand, An Afraic Theas. Chaith sé tamall ag teagasc i Scoileanna Dlí Ollscoil Nua-Eabhrac, Ollscoil Harvard agus Fordham. I láthair na huaire, tá sé ag feidhmiú mar ollamh ar cuairt in Ionad Dlí Ollscoil Georgetown. In 2006, chaith Goldstone seal ag teagasc san Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine in OÉ Gaillimh. Is Ollamh Oirirc le hEacnamaíocht, Stair, Béarla agus Cumarsáid in Ollscoil Illinois, Chicago í An tOllamh Deirdre McCloskey. Tá sí ar cheann de na heacnamaithe, reitricithe, scoláirí agus intleachtóirí poiblí is mó cáil sna Stáit Aontaithe. Tá 14 leabhar scríofa ag McCloskey, ina measc The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Commerce – an chéad leabhar as magnum opus cúig imleabhar. Sular foilsíodh The Bourgeois Virtues ba iad na leabhair ba mhó cáil a scríobh sí The Rhetoric of Economics (1985) agus Crossing: A Memoir, a foilsíodh i 1999, leabhar ar tagraíodh dó sa New York Times mar Notable Book. Is é ,an tUasal Eugene Murtagh bunaitheoir agus Cathaoirleach Kingspan Group Plc. Ó cuireadh tús le Kingspan an chéad lá riamh sna 60idí mar ghnó beag teaghlaigh tá fás agus forbairt dhochreidte tagtha ar an ngnó agus anois tá sé ar cheann de na cuideachtaí is bisiúla in Éirinn. Tá láimhdeachas de bhreis is €1.8 billiún ag an nGrúpa anois, lena n-áirítear 43 monarcha dhéantúsaíochta i 28 tír ar fud an domhain. Tá breis is 6,500 duine fostaithe ag an nGrúpa ar fud na cruinne. Cheap Rialtas na hÉireann agus Rialtas na Breataine Murtagh mar stiúrthóir ar an gCiste Idirnáisiúnta d'Éirinn in 2000. Tá os cionn €849 milliún infheistithe ag an gCiste seo i dtionscadail ar fud na hÉireann. Duine aitheanta i measc phobal gnó na Gaillimhe é an tUasal Donagh O'Donoghue mar aon le comhalta d'Údarás Bainistíochta OÉ Gaillimh. Tháinig O'Donoghue i gcomharba ar a athair mar Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta Grúpa Thomas McDonagh & Sons Ltd. sa bhliain 1975 agus chinntigh sé gur tháinig fás agus forbairt ar an gcuideachta thar thréimhse 20 bliain. I measc na gcuideachtaí a raibh ról stiúrthóireachta aige iontu tá Bord na Móna, Coimisiún Craolacháin na hÉireann agus Aerphort na Gaillimhe. Chomh maith leis sin, bhí sé ina chomhalta boird de IBEC, Cumann Tráchtála agus Tionscail na Gaillimhe agus Amharclann Druid. Comhalta d'Údarás Bainistíochta OÉ Gaillimh agus stiúrthóir ar Ó hUiginn Teoranta, Gaillimh é an tUasal Mícheál Ó hUiginn. Bhí sé ina chomhalta de Chomhairle Cathrach na Gaillimhe ó 1964 go dtí go ndeachaigh sé ar scor in 2004. Chaith sé daichead bliain ag obair ar son chathair na Gaillimhe, toghadh é mar Mhéara na Gaillimhe trí théarma éagsúla agus rinne sé an-obair ar mhaithe le cur le gach gné de shaol na cathrach agus an rialtais áitiúil, go háirithe sa réimse oideachais. Is é an Gobharnóir Martin O'Malley 61ú Gobharnóir Maryland. Le linn dó a bheith ag feidhmiú mar pholaiteoir Daonlathach i Meiriceá bhí sé ina Mhéara ar Baltimore ó 1999 go dtí 2007. Le linn an dá théarma a chaith sé mar Mhéara, ainmníodh Baltimore mar shamhail náisiúnta d'fheabhas i sábháilteacht phoiblí, éifeachtacht rialtais, oideachas agus forbairt gheilleagrach. Tá sé ag feidhmiú mar Ghobharnóir anois agus ag baint leasa as an taithí atá aige chun dul chun cinn a dhéanamh i Stát Maryland. Scríobhadh in The Washington Post gur "governor unafraid of government" é Martin O'Malley. Sa Business Week in 2005, liostaíodh O'Malley mar dhuine den "Five Fresh Faces" a chinnteodh dul chun cinn an Pháirtí Dhaonlathaigh. Le linn don Dr James J. Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, a bheith ag trácht ar ócáid na bliana seo dúirt sé go bhfuil "an-áthas ar OÉ Gaillimh céimeanna oinigh a bhronnadh ar sheachtar den scoth: Fionnula Flanagan, An Breitheamh Richard Goldstone, An tOllamh Deirdre McCloskey, Eugene Murtagh, Donagh O'Donoghue, Mícheál Ó hUiginn agus an Gobharnóir Martin O'Malley. Tá an t-ádh ar an Ollscoil seo go bhfuil an oiread sin céimeanna oinigh bronnta ar chéimithe den scoth le blianta fada anuas, agus is cinnte gur grúpa ar leith iad an seachtar atá roghnaithe i mbliana. Tá an t-uafás oibre déanta acu san iliomad réimse – gnó, na healaíona, seirbhís phoiblí, oideachas agus ceartas – agus cúis áthais dúinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh aitheantas a thabhairt don sárobair atá déanta ag na daoine seo." - críoch -

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A new and innovative Irish-medium degree programme has just received a major boost with the news that it has received recognition from the Teaching Council of Ireland. The BA Riarachán Gnó (BA Business Administration) was launched by NUI Galway and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) earlier this year. The programme will run at the Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge centre in Gaoth Dobhair, Co Donegal, starting in September 2008. Commenting on this new development, Éamonn Mac Niallais, Administrator of Ionad an Acadaimh i nGaoth Dobhair, said: "In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the employment opportunities that are available in organisations functioning through the medium of Irish or bilingually, both inside and outside the Gaeltacht. Graduates of this degree course can therefore realistically expect to have access to excellent employment opportunities. This latest development means that the programme fulfills the degree requirements for teachers seeking to register with the Teaching Council for the purpose of teaching Business at post-primary level. This will give graduates further options in their career prospects and increases the attractiveness of the course for prospective students". The BA Riarachán Gnó will be the first degree programme to be run at the NUI Galway centre in Gaoth Dobhair and it aims to provide graduates with the practical and analytical skills needed to work in a bilingual business and administration environment. President of NUI Galway, Dr James Browne, welcomed the news and added: "We are particularly delighted to be offering the BA sa Riarachán Gnó in conjunction with the Letterkenny Institute of Technology. In effect we are pooling our resources in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to provide a very attractive Irish-medium degree programme for the North-West". Mr Paul Hannigan, President of LYIT, also emphasized the importance of the collaboration between both third-level institutions in developing this new programme: "The LYIT School of Business has steadily gained widespread recognition for the excellence of its business courses and we currently have over 1,000 students between our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Donegal has one of the largest Gaeltacht areas in the country and we are delighted to be collaborating with NUI Galway in providing a new Irish-medium business course, at degree level". Pádraig Ó hAoláin, Chief Executive of Údarás na Gaeltachta who are supporting the programme, said that this course was further evidence of the Údaras' commitment to the economic and linguistic development of the Gaeltacht. "We have seen a steady shift away from the traditional manufacturing industries, and employment in the Gaeltacht regions has suffered heavily as a result. We have to compete now in a global environment where higher levels of knowledge and skills are the key to success. Initiatives such as this degree course will enable Gaeltacht people to better equip themselves to face these new challenges, and to not only attract higher level industries but also to set up in business themselves." The fact that the course is available locally and is supported by Údarás makes it a lot easier for people to take on the challenge of obtaining a primary degree. Éamonn Mac Niallais has seen the evidence of this so far: "The course has proven to be particularly attractive for mature students who may not have had the chance to pursue third-level education earlier in life, or who want a change of career but lack the necessary qualifications. The support provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the advantages of living at home while studying for a degree programme, makes this a great opportunity for people to get their third-level degree and is of particular benefit to mature students with young children". Further information about the BA sa Riarachán Gnó can be attained at www.acadamh.ie or by contacting Ionad Ghaoth Dobhair at 074 9531919 or email gaothdobhair@oegaillimh.ie . ENDS

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Tá Comhairle Mhúinteoireachta na hÉireann i ndiaidh aitheantas a thabhairt do chlár nua céime a bheas á reáchtáil trí Ghaeilge, rud a chuireann go mór leis an gcúrsa. Sheol Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh agus Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Leitir Ceanainn (LYIT) an B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) ní ba luaithe i mbliana. Beidh an cúrsa ar siúl in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Gaoth Dobhair ó Mheán Fómhair 2008 ar aghaidh. Agus é ag caint faoin bhforbairt nua seo dúirt Éamonn Mac Niallais, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh i nGaoth Dobhair, go bhfuil, "méadú suntasach tagtha ar na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil in eagraíochtaí atá ag feidhmiú trí mheán na Gaeilge nó go dátheangach, sa Ghaeltacht agus sa Ghalltacht le blianta beaga anuas. Dá bhrí sin, féadfaidh céimithe an chúrsa seo a bheith ag súil le deiseanna iontacha fostaíochta amach anseo. Ciallaíonn an t-aitheantas seo go gcomhlíonann an chéim na riachtanais acadúla atá de dhíth ar mhúinteoirí le clárú leis an Chomhairle Mhúinteoireachta le Gnó a theagasc i meánscoileanna. Cuirfidh sé sin le líon na ndeiseanna fostaíochta a bheas ag céimithe agus ciallaíonn sé go bhfuil an cúrsa i bhfad níos tarraingtí do mhic léinn." Is é an B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) an chéad chlár céime a bheidh á reáchtáil in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Gaoth Dobhair agus tá sé mar aidhm ag an gcúrsa scileanna praiticiúla agus anailíseacha a thabhairt do mhic léinn le cur ar a gcumas feidhmiú go héifeachtach i dtimpeallacht dhátheangach gnó agus riaracháin. D'fháiltigh Uachtarán nua-cheaptha OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr. James Browne, roimh an dea-scéala seo agus dúirt sé go bhfuil, "áthas ar leith ar OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil an B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) á thairiscint i gcomhar le LYIT. Táimid ag comhoibriú lena chéile agus ag úsáid ár n-acmhainní i gcomhphairtíocht lena chéile chun cúrsa tarraingteach trí Ghaeilge a sholáthar don phobal san Iarthuaisceart." Leag an tUasal Paul Hannigan, Uachtarán LYIT, béim ar thábhacht na comhoibre idir an dá institiúid tríú leibhéal freisin agus an clár nua seo á fhorbairt. "Tá aitheantas forleathan bainte amach ag Scoil Ghnó LYIT as feabhas a cúrsaí gnó agus i láthair na huaire tá breis is 1,000 mac léinn ag freastal ar chúrsaí fochéime agus iarchéime san Institiúid. Tá ceann de na ceantair Ghaeltachta is mó sa tír i nDún na nGall agus cúis áthais dúinn deis a fháil comhoibriú le hOllscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh chun cúrsa nua gnó a reáchtáil trí mheán na Gaeilge." Tá Údarás na Gaeltachta ag tacú leis an gclár agus dúirt Príomhfheidhmeannach an Údaráis, Pádraig Ó hAoláin, go léiríonn an cúrsa cé chomh tiomanta agus atá Údarás na Gaeltachta d'fhorbairt eacnamaíoch agus theangeolaíoch na Gaeltachta. "Níl an oiread béime anois is a bhí ar na tionscail thraidisiúnta déantúsaíochta agus is cinnte go raibh éifeacht shuntasach aige seo ar chúrsaí fostaíochta sna ceantair Ghaeltachta. Caithfimid dul san iomaíocht i ré an domhandaithe agus tá géarghá le hardleibhéil eolais agus scileanna chun dul chun cinn a dhéanamh. Cabhróidh tionscnaimh cosúil leis an gcúrsa céime seo le muintir na Gaeltachta aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin nua seo agus ní hamháin tionscail ardleibhéil a mhealladh, ach gnóthaí dá gcuid féin a bhunú freisin." De bhrí go bhfuil an cúrsa seo á reáchtáil go háitiúil agus siocair go bhfuil Údarás na Gaeltachta ag tacú leis, beidh sé níos fusa do dhaoine tabhairt faoi bhunchéim a bhaint amach. Is léir d'Éamonn Mac Niallais go dtuigeann daoine gur deis iontach í seo chun céim a fháil, "Tá an-suim léirithe ag mic léinn lánfhásta sa chúrsa seo – daoine nach raibh deis acu oideachas tríú leibhéal a bhaint amach roimhe seo nó daoine ar mian leo tabhairt faoi ghairm nua ach níl na cáilíochtaí cuí acu. Ciallaíonn an tacaíocht fhlaithiúil atá á tabhairt ag Údarás na Gaeltachta don chlár seo, mar aon leis na buntáistí a bhaineann le maireachtáil sa bhaile agus clár céime á dhéanamh, gur deis iontach atá ann do dhaoine céim tríú leibhéal a bhaint amach. Tá an clár seo feiliúnach go háirithe do mhic léinn lánfhásta a bhfuil leanaí óga acu". Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin B.A. (Riarachán Gnó) le fáil ag www.acadamh.ie nó trí theagmháil a dhéanamh le hIonad an Acadaimh i nGaoth Dobhair ag 074 9531919 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig gaothdobhair@oegaillimh.ie. -Críoch –

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Leading researchers in pain medicine and health economics at the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway will supervise two Health Research Board-funded summer scholars in projects on Chronic Pain over the coming months, following a highly competitive awards scheme for summer research scholarships. Edel Smith, a second year economics and maths students and Gerard Healy, a second year medicine student will be supervised by Dr Brenda Gannon, Senior Researcher, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) and Drs Brian McGuire and David Finn, Co-Directors of the Centre for Pain Research, NUI Galway, respectively. Efficient expenditure on health services requires detailed information on the costs of various medical conditions. The first project deals with health economics and seeks to explore the costs in one Pain Clinic in order to build a platform model of detailed costs among the most severely affected population, i.e. those attending a regional Pain Clinic. The project aims to collect data on the economic cost of chronic pain among patients attending Pain Clinics. Those attending specialised Pain Clinics tend to be at the most "chronic" end of the pain spectrum and frequently have a high level of disability and associated costs. The second project will evaluate whether variation in the psychological status of chronic pain patients undergoing an interventional pain management procedure, significantly influences the pain relief following the procedure. Chronic pain is a complex biopsychosocial phenomenon and psychosocial factors are known to influence the onset, course and response to treatment. This study will examine whether variation in the outcome of interventional pain management can be explained by pre-treatment psychological factors, such as anxiety, pain-related beliefs and treatment expectations. This research hopes to highlight the importance of optimization of a patient's psychological status prior to embarking on expensive invasive treatments and may suggest a potential cost saving benefit of multidisciplinary care for all patients in the management of chronic pain. Dr Brenda Gannon, said: "These two innovative projects will provide important data for clinicians and service planners. With the increasing need for transparency in health policy and expenditure, these projects will highlight critical health outcomes of treatments and relevant costs incurred by chronic pain sufferers. These studies will play an important role in advocacy for patients with chronic pain". The projects are being carried out in collaboration with Dr David O'Gorman, Consultant in Pain Medicine and Nancy Ruane, Pain Nurse at UCHG. ENDS

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The era of grand estates in western Ireland has been captured in a unique project by a team of researchers at NUI Galway. The comprehensive electronic database and archive devoted to landed estates and gentry houses in Connacht, c. 1700-1914, was launched recently at the University by Minister of State, Dr Martin Mansergh, T.D. The database contains references to over 1450 houses and some 1,650 estates. The aim of the resource is to assist and support researchers working on the social, economic, political and cultural history of Connacht from c.1700 to 1914. The project involved the distillation and collation of data from a broad range of historical sources, and its concise codification on an estate/name basis. According to NUI Galway's Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, who was Project Principal: "For the first time ever researchers will have ready access to a comprehensive database of sources relating to the world of the landed society of Connacht from the end of the seventeenth century to the beginning of the break-up of the large landed estates under the land purchase schemes that followed the Irish 'land war' of the late Victorian and Edwardian period. This is the world of landed estates and gentry houses that dominated rural society from the era of the penal laws until the eve of the great war". The project, whose senior researchers were Marie Boran and Brigid Clesham, was hosted by the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences at NUI Galway and funded by the Irish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS). The Project is one of the first of its kind to be completed under the Research Infrastructure Grants scheme of the IRCHSS. For more information visit www.landedestates.ie ENDS

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway will be running a unique competition from August to September in conjunction with boards.ie, Ireland's largest discussion forum site. The competition is an open contest in which entrants can win over €4000 in prizes by submitting an interesting creation based on a data set of discussion posts from boards.ie. The data reflects ten years of Irish online life, collected from between 1998 and 2008. boards.ie is one of Ireland's busiest websites, with over a million unique visitors a month. The most popular discussion areas are 'after hours', soccer, motors, poker, and computers. Popular topic threads include: a virtual pub (over 4000 pages); member discussions (2800 pages); poker stories (1800 pages); Liverpool rumours (1250 pages); recruitment in the Gardaí (800 pages long); and a freebie list (250 pages). Ten years of discussion data from boards.ie (approximately 9 million documents) has been represented in the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) open data format, developed by DERI at NUI Galway for expressing the information contained in social websites (forums, mailing lists, blogs, etc.). Dr John Breslin, a researcher with DERI and co-founder of the boards.ie site said: "Entrants may create whatever they feel is interesting based on this data: it could be a novel web application that makes use of the data set, a report on analyses performed on the data, a tool that allows one to visualise or browse the semantic structure, or whatever else the imagination can come up with!" To enter the competition, go to http://data.sioc-project.org to access the data sets and guidelines. There will be three prizes for the top entries, as judged by an independent panel of three experts: First prize is an Amazon voucher for €2500; second prize is a voucher for €1250; and third prize is a voucher for €625. One person may make multiple entry submissions. The closing date for entry is 30 September, 2008. ENDS

Monday, 28 July 2008

The second John McGahern International Seminar will be officially opened tonight (Thursday, 24 July), by Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President, NUI Galway, in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. The John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School is organised annually in Co. Leitrim to commemorate the work and literary achievements of this distinguished author. The opening address, 'John McGahern's Irelands' will be given by Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Department of History, NUI Galway. Speaking in advance of the opening address, Professor Tuathaigh said: "It is for his distinction as a writer, mainly of prose fiction, that John McGahern is honoured, and it is as a truly exceptional writer that he will be remembered. Even allowing for the austerity of this dedication to his primary vocation, the full corpus of McGahern's writing also offers a rich representation and a critique of key forces of continuity and change in Irish society (in particular the rural society of the West) in the decades between the 1940s and the early years of this century". The first volume of the John McGahern Yearbook will also be launched at the 2008 Seminar by Kevin Reynolds of RTÉ. The annual hardback volume, compiled and edited by Dr John Kenny, Department of English, NUI Galway, includes contributions from Séamus Heaney, Declan Kiberd, Joseph O'Connor, and Belinda McKeon. Professor Ger Hurley, Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, NUI Galway, said: "The name of John McGahern is synonymous with the Summer School of NUI Galway. For over a quarter of a century, up to his untimely death, John contributed each year to many academic programmes at our University, but especially to its Summer School in Irish Studies and workshops in Creative Writing. NUI Galway is, therefore, pleased to cooperate again this year with Leitrim County Council, and especially its Arts Office, in organising this Seminar and Summer School here in Leitrim to mark the lifetime of artistic and literary achievement of John McGahern". Speakers during the International Seminar include: Professor Christopher Murray, UCD; Gerardo Gambolini, Argentinian poet and translator; and David Malcolm, University of Gdansk, Poland. Panel discussions and readings will also take place throughout the programme. In addition to this year's Seminar, NUI Galway has organised an intensive one week International Summer School on John McGahern's work and its contexts. This summer programme will form part of the 25th International Summer School in Irish Studies at NUI Galway. To commemorate the 25th International Summer School in Irish Studies (1984-2008), NUI Galway will present each student of the 2008 Summer School with a US first edition of John McGahern's memoir, All Will Be Well. ENDS

Monday, 28 July 2008

Two NUI Galway academics will be honoured by the National Academy for the Integration of Research & Teaching and Learning (NAIRTL) in their new programme of awards honouring exemplary teachers who are also innovative researchers in higher education in Ireland. Dr Peter Cantillon, Department of General Practice and Dr Ray Murphy, Irish Centre for Human Rights, were selected for two of the five national awards. Dr James Browne, President of NUI Galway, said: "It is very good news that two members of NUI Galway academic staff have been recognised by NAIRTL as exemplary teachers, and for NUI Galway to win two of the five awards is a huge achievement and a testament to the quality of the nominations put forward from this institution. Both Dr Cantillon and Dr Murphy were recipients of our internal awards for teaching excellence in 2006-2007, which recognises the outstanding efforts academic staff make to ensure NUI Galway students receive the highest quality learning experience. We look forward to continued collaboration with NAIRTL and to further success in the national awards scheme in 2009". Teaching and research are both central to the role of academic staff, and excellence in teaching and in creative and scholarly work go hand in hand. The NAIRTL Awards aim to acknowledge and reward academic staff that are successful in uniting these two roles. The awards are intended to recognise teaching accomplishments and to promote public recognition and celebration of the teaching profession. Nominations were invited from the NAIRTL partner institutions, (CIT, NUIG, TCD, UCC and WIT). The awards ceremony will be held later this year. For details of all award recipients nationally check out the NAIRTL website http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=68 From 2009 it is envisaged that this initiative will be open to all higher education institutions in the Republic of Ireland. ENDS

Monday, 28 July 2008

Cuireann Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh fáilte roimh an maoiniú ón Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta don chúrsa nua MA Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála, an chéad chúrsa dá shórt in Éirinn. Agus an scéala á fhógairt inniu aige, dúirt Éamon Ó Cuív T.D., Aire Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta, go bhfuil deiseanna iontacha ar fáil anois do dhaoine le Gaeilge san Eoraip de bharr stádas a bheith ag an nGaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil agus oibre de chuid an AE: "Molaim an cúrsa seo d'éinne atá ag iarraidh slí bheatha spéisiúil agus thairbheach le Gaeilge a bhaint amach. Cruthóidh cáilíocht mar ateangaire le Béarla agus Gaeilge féidearthachtaí do dhaoine óga agus don teanga nach raibh ar fáil dúinn roimhe seo". Tá an clár seo á bhunú ar an gCéim Mháistreachta Eorpach in Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála (European Masters in Conference Interpreting) – clár a forbraíodh i gcomhar le hinstitiúidí an Aontais Eorpaigh agus atá á chur ar fáil in 18 dtír san Eoraip. Díreofar i rith an chúrsa ar úsáid na Gaeilge agus an Bhéarla mar theangacha gníomhacha agus éighníomhacha ateangaireachta, agus ar úsáid na Fraincise mar theanga éighníomhach. Féadfar teangacha Eorpacha eile a úsáid i rith an chúrsa má bhíonn dóthain éilimh orthu sin. Ar mhaithe le mic léinn a ullmhú don saol gairmiúil atá rompu, díreofar ar ghnéithe mar scileanna cumarsáide ar nós glóroiliúint, óráidíocht phoiblí, chomh maith le dianchleachtadh ar an ateangaireach leantach agus an ateangaireacht chomhuaineach. Eagrófar seachtain staidéir chuig Coimisiún na hEorpa agus Parlaimint na hEorpa chun léargas a thabhairt do na mic léinn ar obair na n-ateangairí comhdhála sna hinstitiúidí sin. Beidh seans ag mic léinn ar mian leo an Fhraincis a úsáid ar an gcúrsa dianchúrsa Fraincise a dhéanamh i bPáras i mí Mheán Fómhair faoi na scoláireachtaí atá á maoiniú ag an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta. Dúirt Eoin Ó Droighneáin, stiúrthóir an chúrsa: "Cuirim fáilte roimh an tionscnamh seo ón Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta agus ceapaim go gcuideoidh an dianchúrsa Fraincise go mór le mic léinn barr feabhais a chur ar a gcuid Fraincise agus iad ag teacht isteach ar an gcúrsa MA in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh." Dúirt sé: "Tá géarghá ag an Aontas Eorpach le hateangairí oilte, cáilithe le Gaeilge. Is é seo an t-aon chúrsa MA dá leithéid sa tír agus ullmhóidh sé mic léinn le slí bheatha a bhaint amach mar ateangairí comhdhála gairmiúla. Bainfidh na mic léinn úsáid i rith an chúrsa as trealamh faoi leith a bhíonn in úsáid ag ateangairí gairmiúla san Eoraip; fágfaidh an cleachtadh a gheobhaidh siad anseo go mbeidh an-seans ag mic léinn ar phostanna gradamúla a fháil mar ateangairí gairmiúla ach a gcríochnóidh siad an cúrsa". Tá an MA (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) á chur ar fáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, institiúid lán-Ghaeilge na hOllscoile le haghaidh cúrsaí tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge, agus beidh sé ar siúl san Ionad atá ag an Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua i nGaeltacht na Gaillimhe. Tá an cúrsa féin á mhaoiniú ag Údarás na Gaeltachta agus dá bharr seo ní bheidh táille ar bith le híoc ag mic léinn a gheobhaidh áit ar an gcúrsa. Tá iarratais á nglacadh le haghaidh áiteanna ar an gcúrsa faoi láthair agus is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le Siobhán Ní Chualáin ag + 353 91 495428 nó ar an ríomhphost ag aistriuchan@oegaillimh.ie má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolas breise ina thaobh. CRÍOCH

Monday, 28 July 2008

Tabharfaidh An tAcadamh Náisiúnta um Chomhtháthú Taighde & Teagaisc & Foghlama (NAIRTL) aitheantas do bheirt chomhaltaí acadúla foirne OÉ Gaillimh faoina gclár nua gradam a thugann aitheantas do theagascóirí den chéad scoth ar taighdeoirí nuálacha freisin iad san earnáil ardoideachais in Éirinn. Roghnaíodh an Dr Peter Cantillon ó Roinn na Dochtúireachta Teaghlaigh agus an Dr Ray Murphy ón Ionad Éireannach um Chearta an Duine mar bhuaiteoirí gradam. Cúig ghradam ar fad a bhronntar. Dúirt an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh: "Dea-scéala é go bhfuil aitheantas mar theagascóirí den chéad scoth faighte ag beirt chomhaltaí acadúla foirne OÉ Gaillimh ó NAIRTL. Éacht suntasach do OÉ Gaillimh dhá ghradam as cúig ghradam a fháil; léargas eile fós ar chaighdeán na n-ainmniúchán curtha faoi bhráid NAIRTL ag an institiúid seo. Bronnadh Gradaim an Uachtaráin don Fheabhas Teagaisc 2006-2007 – scéim inmheánach gradam OÉ Gaillimh – ar an Dr Cantillon agus ar an Dr Murphy. Tugann Gradaim an Uachtaráin don Fheabhas Teagaisc aitheantas don obair iontach atá ar bun ag comhaltaí acadúla foirne ar mhaithe le cinntiú go mbaineann mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh tairbhe as taithí foghlama ar ardchaighdeán. Táimid ag súil le hoibriú i gcomhar le NAIRTL amach anseo agus le tuilleadh gradam a fháil i scéim náisiúnta gradam 2009". Gnéithe bunúsacha de ról na gcomhaltaí acadúla foirne iad teagasc agus taighde, agus is ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann teagasc den chéad scoth agus obair chruthaitheach agus léannta. Is é atá mar aidhm le Gradaim NAIRTL aitheantas agus gradam a thabhairt do chomhaltaí acadúla foirne a bhfuil ag éirí leo an dá ról seo a nascadh. Is ann do na gradaim seo le haitheantas a thabhairt d'éachtaí teagaisc agus aitheantas agus ceiliúradh poiblí a dhéanamh ar ghairm na múinteoireachta. Fáiltíodh roimh ainmniúcháin ó institiúidí comhpháirtíochta NAIRTL, (CIT, OÉ Gaillimh, UCC agus WIT). Beidh an searmanas bronnta ar siúl níos faide anonn sa bhliain. Tá eolas maidir leis na buaiteoirí ar fad le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin NAIRTL http://www.nairtl.ie/index.php?pageID=68 Ón mbliain 2009 ar aghaidh, meastar go mbeidh cead ag na hinstitiúidí ardoideachais ar fad i bPoblacht na hÉireann páirt a ghlacadh sa tionscnamh seo. CRÍOCH

Friday, 25 July 2008

NUI Galway was host this week to the 47th summer conference of the Ecclesiastical History Society. The conference theme this year was 'God's Bounty? The Churches and the Natural World', and over 75 delegates attended the four-day conference. With some 950 members, the UK based Ecclesiastical History Society (EHS) aims to foster interest in, and to advance the study of, all areas of the history of the Christian Churches. Membership of the Society is open to any scholar or scholarly institution. According to the President of the EHS, Dr Bill Sheils from the University of York: "As concerns about our use and abuse of natural resources increase, this year we have chosen the impact of scientific knowledge on religious understanding as a central conference theme. The question of 'stewardship of the world' has exercised some of the finest theological and philosophical minds in the past, and continues to inform contemporary discussion of mankind's global responsibilities and the development of 'a social gospel of mutual dependence". Dr Alison Forrestal, Lecturer in History at NUI Galway, and a board member of the EHS, stressed the importance of understanding this particular area of history. "The Christian Churches shaped so many aspects of political, social and religious history, and played an integral part in many social and societal movements. The conference offers the opportunity to explore topics ranging from the interpretation of omens in medieval England, to early Irish Christian interpretations of creation, and to Jesuit conversions in the Americas in the 1600s, and through modern understandings of the environment". For further information on the Ecclesiastical History Society visit http://www.ehsoc.org.uk/ -ends-

Friday, 25 July 2008

Graduates of the MA in Screenwriting at NUI Galway have now scooped three Pitching Awards at the Galway Film Fleadh, since the award's inception in 2004. The most recent winner is Barbara Deignan (MA Screenwriting 06), from Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. The competition takes the format of a ten minute movie idea pitch to a public audience and experienced judging panel, followed by questions from both. This year the panel included: US actor Bill Pullman; founder of Magma Films, Ralph Christians; former President of United Artists, Bingham Ray: and acclaimed film maker, broadcaster and teacher, Lelia Doolan. Will Collins (MA Screenwriting 06) won the award last year and has expanded his pitch into a completed script which has attracted much interest from film producers and financiers. The 2005 winner, Keith Bogue (MA Screenwriting 05), subsequently secured development funding from the Irish Film Board. According to Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway: "The Galway Film Fleadh continues to support and promote promising talent on the Irish film scene through this popular award. Previous winners Will Collins and Keith Bogue are well on the road to a completed feature film. Huston School congratulates Barbara Deignan on winning this year and we also commend Hugh Travers (MA Screenwriting 06) on his place in the final." The MA in Screenwriting was the inaugural programme of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media at NUI Galway. The one-year, full-time programme offers training in screenplay writing, integrated with courses in film history and analysis, supported by regular film screenings and workshops. For further information on the MA Screenwriting please contact info@filmschool.ie -ends-

Friday, 25 July 2008

Sheol an tOllamh Ger Hurley, Leas-Uachtarán, OÉ Gaillimh, dara Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta John McGahern aréir (Déardaoin, 24 Iúil), in Óstán Bush, Cora Droma Rúisc, Co. Liatroma. Reáchtáiltear Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta agus Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern gach bliain i gCo. Liatroma chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar obair agus saothar liteartha an údáir cháiliúil seo. Is é an tOllamh Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Roinn na Staire, OÉ Gaillimh, a thug an óráid 'John McGahern's Irelands' ag an seoladh. Dúirt an tOllamh Ó Tuathaigh: "Is as a chumas mar scríbhneoir, scríbhneoir ficsean próis den chuid is mó, a thugtar aitheantas do John McGahern, agus mairfidh sé inár gcuimhne mar scríbhneoir den chéad scoth. In ainneoin dáiríreacht a dhílseachta dá ghairm, tá léargas agus crític iontach ar phríomhfhórsaí leanúnachais agus athrú i sochaí na hÉireann le fáil freisin i gcorpas iomlán McGahern (go háirithe sochaí tuaithe an Iarthair) idir na 1940idí agus blianta tosaigh an chéid seo". Sheol Kevin Reynolds ó RTÉ an chéad imleabhar de John McGahern Yearbook ag Seimineár 2008 freisin. I measc na scríbhneoirí a bhfuil saothar dá gcuid le fáil san imleabhar bliantúil seo atá faoi chlúdach crua, tiomsaithe agus curtha in eagar ag an Dr John Kenny, Roinn an Bhéarla, OÉ Gaillimh, tá Séamus Heaney, Declan Kiberd, Joseph O'Connor, agus Belinda McKeon. Dúirt an tOllamh Ger Hurley, Leas-Uachtarán um Thionscnaimh Straitéiseacha agus Gnóthaí Seachtracha, OÉ Gaillimh: "Tá clú agus cáil ar Scoil Samhraidh John McGahern – scoil samhraidh a bhíonn ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh. Le breis is 25 bliain anuas, go dtí gur cailleadh é gan choinne, chuir John go mór le cláir éagsúla acadúla san Ollscoil, ach bhí spéis ar leith aige sa Scoil Samhraidh sa Léann Éireannach agus ceardlanna Scríbhneoireacht Chruthaitheach. Tá an-áthas anois ar OÉ Gaillimh, comhoibriú arís i mbliana le Comhairle Contae Liatroma, agus Oifig Ealaíon na Comhairle sin, chun an Seimineár agus an Scoil Samhraidh a eagrú anseo i Liatroim in onóir éachtaí ealaíona agus liteartha John McGahern". I measc na gcainteoirí a bheidh i láthair ag an Seimineár Idirnáisiúnta beidh: An tOllamh Christopher Murray, Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath; Gerardo Gambolini, file agus aistritheoir ón Airgintín; agus David Malcolm, Ollscoil Gdansk, An Pholainn. Beidh plé painéil agus léamha ar siúl i rith an chláir freisin. Le cois an tSeimineáir i mbliana, tá Scoil Samhraidh Idirnáisiúnta – seachtain dianstaidéir ar shaothar John McGahern agus comhthéacsanna na hoibre sin – eagraithe ag OÉ Gaillimh. Áireofar an clár samhraidh seo mar chuid den 25ú Scoil Samhraidh Idirnáisiúnta sa Léann Éireannach in OÉ Gaillimh. Mar chomóradh ar an 25ú Scoil Samhraidh Idirnáisiúnta sa Léann Éireannach (1984-2008), bronnfaidh OÉ Gaillimh Céad Eagrán na Stát Aontaithe de chuimhní cinn John McGahern, All Will Be Well ar gach mac léinn a fhreastalaíonn ar Scoil Samhraidh 2008. Is féidir sceideal mionsonraithe den Seimineár a íoslódáil ó www.nuigalway.ie/iss/ CRÍOCH