Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Two individuals who have made outstanding contributions to delivering peace and prosperity on the island of Ireland over the past two decades will be guests of honour at this year's NUI Galway gala dinner in the Metropolitan Club, New York on Monday, 24 November. NUI Galway's US Board has announced that the unique contributions made by both Loretta Brennan Glucksman, Chairperson of the American Ireland Fund, and former President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, will be recognised at this year's event. Ms. Brennan Glucksman has been selected as the Honoree at this year's dinner in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Ireland through the American Ireland Fund and a range of other organisations and educational bodies. A third generation Irish-American, from Pennsylvania, Ms. Brennan Glucksman has served as Chairman of the American Ireland Fund since 1995 and spearheaded the Fund's successful "Hope & History" $100 million campaign. She is Co-Chair of Glucksman Ireland House, the centre for Irish Studies at New York University, which she and her husband Lew established in 1993. President Clinton will be recognised as Distinguished Guest at this year's NUI Galway New York Gala for his outstanding contribution to Ireland, north and south, during his eight years of service as President of the United States, and in subsequent years since he left office. In making the announcement, the Chairman of NUI Galway's US Board of Directors, Mr Declan Kelly, stated: "We are truly honoured to be able to recognise the remarkable contribution to Ireland and its people that both Loretta Brennan Glucksman and President Clinton have made in so many different ways over the past two decades. Loretta is indeed a most worthy honouree given her unique contribution to Irish academic life not only in Ireland itself but through the establishment and development of Glucksman Ireland House at New York University. President Clinton's commitment to the securing of peace in Northern Ireland, and his friendship to Ireland as a whole throughout his political career, has been absolutely remarkable and we are deeply honoured to have been given the opportunity to recognise that contribution with his attendance at this year's event". NUI Galway Board Dinner Chairman, Michael Higgins, added: "Last year's dinner, where we honoured Gabriel Byrne, was one we shall all remember for a very long time for so many great reasons. This year's dinner is truly unique – recognising two wonderful ambassadors of everything that is at the centre of Irish life and Irishness itself – hard work, dedication, selflessness and perseverance. We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize all Loretta Brennan Glucksman and President Clinton have done for Ireland both in Ireland itself and here in the United States". As one of Ireland's foremost centres of academic excellence, NUI Galway has emerged as a powerful engine for economic growth in the West of Ireland. NUI Galway is a leader among Irish Universities in several key areas with global impact – including Bioengineering, Medical Research, Marine Science and Law and Human Rights. In addition, the University has a distinguished reputation for research in the humanities, particularly in the fields of Irish Studies, Film and Literature, contributing to the cultural vibrancy and artistic richness of the region. For further details please contact: Ireland - Margaret Wright +353 91 493536 US - Sarah Kelly +1 347 623 3866 -ends-

Monday, 29 September 2008

The Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) Support Service and the Health Promotion Research Centre at NUI Galway are pleased to announce the launch of a report entitled The Implementation of SPHE at post-primary school level: A case study approach commissioned by the Management Committee of the SPHE Support Service (Post Primary). The research for the report The Implementation of SPHE at post-primary school level: A case study approach was carried out by the Health Promotion Research Centre, Department of Health Promotion, NUI Galway, led by Dr. Saoirse Nic Gabhainn and Professor Margaret Barry. The overall aim of the study was to examine the contribution of SPHE to the experience of Junior Cycle students and to the Junior Cycle curriculum. In addition to the views of teachers, SPHE Coordinators, Principals and Regional Development Officers from the SPHE Support Service it also includes the views of two significant stakeholders in the SPHE process: students and parents. Dr Saoirse Nic Gabhainn, of NUI Galway s Health Promotion Research Centre, said: "Schools and teachers are an important part of children s lives and together with parents and families play a key role in improving health and well-being". This research illustrates the value and of us all working together to help improve children s lives". SPHE is concerned with enabling young people to reflect on their attitudes and values and to adopt appropriate behaviours that will assist them in coping with life's challenges. One of the key aims of the SPHE programme is to develop the young person's personal and social confidence and to give them the skills to make responsible decisions that respect their own dignity and the dignity of others. The SPHE Support Service provides support to individual SPHE teachers and also offers school based in-service to support a whole school approach to the principles of SPHE within the context of the Health Promoting School. The report examines the quality and value of SPHE; supports for the implementation of SPHE; the contribution of SPHE to the health and educational experience of Junior Cycle students; the perspectives of stakeholders and the possible introduction of SPHE into senior cycle. The report finds that SPHE is challenging, worthwhile, valuable and helpful and that quality teaching and relevant resources are essential for successful implementation in schools. However, curriculum overload, timetabling pressures and lack of status influence SPHE provision. The report suggests that more emphasis needs to be given to whole-school in-service training in order to create a whole-school approach that will support the SPHE programme. It also states that the HSE plays a pivotal role in assisting schools to link with their local communities. The Support Service is a partnership between the Department of Education and Science, the HSE and the Department of Health and Children and is based in Marino Institute of Education, Dublin 9. -Ends-

Monday, 29 September 2008

NUI Galway and Bank of Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of their new affinity credit card available exclusively to alumni, staff and students. Each time an Affinity Card is used the University will benefit, so Graduates of NUI Galway can show their association with the University and support it financially at the same time. The new NUI Galway Bank of Ireland Affinity Credit Card will be formally launched at a reception held in the Aula Maxima, Quadrangle Building in the University today (Monday, 29 September) at 6.00pm. At the event, Dr James J Browne, President of NUI Galway, will make a presentation to Mr Richie Boucher, Chief Executive, Retail Financial Services, Bank of Ireland, to mark the launch of the card. The launch of the new affinity credit card also coincides with the renewal of Bank of Ireland's exclusive on-campus banking franchise at NUI Galway. Tom Joyce, Galway University Foundation Executive Director, said: "The proceeds from the uptake and use of these cards marks a significant contribution by alumni to the prosperity of their alma mater. It is fitting then that the funds will be directed to the NUI Galway Alumni Fund priority projects". When you become a cardholder, Bank of Ireland will make a donation for every account opened as well as contributing a percentage of the annual spend on your card to the Galway University Foundation at no cost to the cardholder, and without disclosing any confidential account details. For further information and application forms, drop down to your Bank of Ireland, NUI Galway branch or call 091 524555. -Ends-

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The Power Electronics Research Centre at NUI Galway has developed emergency power supplies for North Sea Wind Turbines. Over recent years' researchers at the Power Electronic Research Centre (PERC) in NUI Galway developed novel battery charging and monitoring principles with engineers from Convertec Limited in Wexford, under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme. The newly developed charging regime has been validated and implemented into emergency backup systems for pitch control systems for wind turbines. The new developments play a distinct role in improving the safe and reliable operation of wind turbines in the North Sea. Professor Ger Hurley, PERC Director in the Department of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway explained: "The work in Galway came to the attention of GE Research in Schenectady New York and subsequently a partnership between GE, PERC and Convertec developed the new generation of battery chargers for wind turbines. Initial tests were carried out in Canada and now in the North Sea. This technology is relevant to Wind Farms in Ireland and will lead to more reliable supplies" The underlying basic physical and electrical principles for the development of this backup power supply for wind turbine will be presented at a lecture on Tuesday. 30 September in NUI Galway by Professor Werner Wölfle, who has been Managing Director and head of the design group of Convertec Ltd. in Ireland since 1989. Convertec develops high reliability power converters for industrial applications and renewable energy systems. The aim of the Power Electronics Research Centre at NUI Galway is to foster links with industry by transferring technology from a strong research base in the University to the wider community. The Centre is now involved in a number of areas of research activities: renewable energy systems, automotive electronics; sensor technology; battery management, and power harvesting. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, 30 September at 3.30 pm in the Siobhán McKenna Lecture Theatre, Arts Millennium Building. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Please contact Sara Armstrong at 091-493270 or email sarmstrong@nuigalway.ie -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Dr Diarmuid O'Donovan, Senior Lecturer in Social and Preventive Medicine at NUI Galway and Director of Public Health with HSE West, has been awarded two prizes by the British Medical Association for his book 'The Atlas of Health: Mapping the Challenges and Causes of Disease'. The book charts recent and emerging trends to show how health, poverty and human rights are inextricably linked – and how inequalities are both avoidable and unsustainable. With full-colour maps and graphics, and clear commentary, the atlas covers a wide range of topics, including: life expectancy; malnutrition and obesity; water and sanitation; cancer, heart disease and diabetes; infectious diseases, from malaria to HIV/AIDS; tobacco and alcohol use; mental health; urbanization; climate change; war, violence and abuse; avian flu and pandemic planning; antibiotic resistance. The Atlas of Health was awarded the British Medical Association (BMA) Medical Book award for Public Health. It was also chosen from the winners of all the short-listed books in all award categories for the BMA Board of Science Award for the Public Understanding of Science. BMA Chairman, Sir Charles George, commented: "This is a superbly accessible, beautifully produced, highly informative and well-written compendium of world health statistics. It will be of interest to a wide range of professionals and students in many areas. It is excellent value for money and should grace the book shelf of everyone who cares about human health". NUI Galway's Dr O'Donovan is a medical doctor who has lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa.: "People everywhere are more interconnected than ever before. Yet, as life expectancy and quality of life improve for the rich, millions are still dying for want of food, clean water, and affordable medicines. These gross inequities are unsustainable, and we all have a role to play in addressing them. Health and human rights are inextricably linked". Channel 4's Jon Snow who reviewed the book says: "Brilliant and original, this vividly informative book gives an incredibly holistic account of how our planet is divided by health and wealth, and generates another route into understanding the nature of our supposedly globalised world." Published as part of the multi-award winning Atlas series by EarthScan, the book is a major new graphic profile of global health. -Ends-

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Professor David Watson, historian and Professor of Higher Education Management at the University of London will deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway Thursday, 2 October entitled "The Pearl of Learning: Historical Perspectives on University-Community Engagement". The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway in partnership with Campus Engage will host Professor Watson's visit, whose fields of expertise are strategic management of higher education institutions; higher education and civic engagement; and cross-national comparative study of higher education systems. Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Coordinator is delighted to welcome Professor Watson to the University: "Professor Watson's visit is a great opportunity for NUI Galway to look at its civic engagement strategy and the management of university community partnerships. Civic engagement is an essential component of higher education and through the CKI we are always looking for ways to get the wider community involved in University activities". An accomplished author, Watson's most recent books are Managing Civic and Community Engagement (2007), and The Dearing Report: ten years on (2007). His current project is a book on 'morale' in universities. Having contributed widely to developments in UK Higher Education, he was knighted in 1998 for services to higher education. The lecture will take place at 2.15pm in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) in NUI Galway supports and promotes the ethos of civic engagement; among students, staff and the wider community. Through partnerships with community groups and organisations, CKI helps the University share with, and learn from, civil society. Ends

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Galway has grown and changed dramatically in the past fifteen years, with housing estates, apartment blocks and high buildings eating up space that was once green, public or simply derelict. Who is all this development for and how does the average citizen feel about it? Writer in Residence at NUI Galway, Mary O'Malley believes Galway is at the tipping point and has decided to offer a series of four public talks which she hopes will act as springboards for discussion. "The issue of civic space, from public allotments and parks, to hospitals and railway stations, has become increasingly urgent as such space is privatised, gobbled up or concreted over. Who decides what is happening to our city? What are the effects of the erosion of the civic, both in spirit and space? Who cares? It seems appropriate that the University, the largest civic space in the city, should host this discussion" she said. Artist Aideen Barry will start the programme with a talk on public art while Miles Kennedy will give a presentation on the Poetics of Space. Valerie Ledwith, a human geographer with special interest in the geography of social and demographic change, will discuss the link between housing and social stratification and the implications of such planning. The well known film maker and mountaineer Dermot Somers will discuss wilderness and the city, and after a short presentation the issues arising will be open to the floor. Other speakers to feature throughout the programme include: Irish playwright Marina Carr; Poets Sinéad Morrissey and Maurice Riordan; and writer Peter Sirr. The sessions will be chaired by the Writer in Residence, Mary O'Malley and Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies Professor Kevin Barry. Professor Barry commented in advance of the programme: "This project on civic space is especially important because it is interactive and open to all. Mary O Malley s planned sequence of events will enable new groups of people in the city to understand each other, and will make space for new kinds of thinking about what a city can become and how Galway may change for the better". All readings, discussions and workshops are free and open to the public, particularly those with an interest in community work, planning and the future shape of Galway city. The programme will begin with a writing workshop on Wednesday, 1 October at 7pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. For further information please call 091-495610 -ends-

Monday, 22 September 2008

Executive Director of the American Geological Institute, Dr Pat Leahy, will visit NUI Galway on Thursday, 25 September to deliver a lecture entitled 'Climate Change and Increased Water Demand: A Volatile Mixture?'. The event will take place at 8pm in the Fottrell Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. Water shortages are becoming increasingly common in the east of Ireland, while the west has faced issues with the quality of drinking water and subsequent 'boil water' notices. Globally, similar problems are affecting millions of people, and, with a growing population and the effects of climate change, access to clean water is under threat. Dr Leahy's presentation will provide some international perspectives on these water issues. Dr Sadhbh Baxter, of the NUI Galway Department of Earth and Ocean Science comments: "We are delighted to welcome Dr Leahy to NUI Galway to talk on the water issue, an issue Galwegians are all too familiar with. His expertise could be very influential in resolving issues that are looming towards a water crisis in Ireland". Dr Baxter continued: "Despite the wet weather in Ireland this summer, the country is actually running out of clean, safe drinking water. This has serious implications for our health, the environment, and the economy. The ruling by the European Court of Justice which found that Ireland had broken EU directives on waste water treatment, and RTÉ's 'Future Shock' programme, have meant that water has been a topical issue in the headlines in recent weeks". Dr Leahy, who has been an influential writer on groundwater resources and other geological issues of strategic importance to society, was responsible for implementation of the USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program in the US. His lecture is one of a series that celebrate International Year of Planet Earth (www.planetearth.ie) and is supported by the Geological Survey of Ireland, the Royal Irish Academy and the NUI Galway Earth and Ocean Society. A reception hosted by the NUI Galway Earth and Ocean Society (GEOS) will be held in advance of the lecture from 7.30pm. For further information contact Sadhbh.Baxter@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The Mental Health Commission today published a report - The Economics of Mental Health Care in Ireland - prepared by Eamon O'Shea and Brendan Kennelly of the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology and Department of Economics, NUI Galway, showing the economic benefits of investment in services to deal with mental health problems. Such problems cost the economy over €3 billion a year. The report also contains economic survey results which show the public would be willing to pay more for community based mental health services. The estimated cost to the economy of mental health problems in 2006 in Ireland was over €3 billion, which is more than two per cent of GNP, the report says. The health care system accounts for less than one quarter of the costs. The main economic costs of mental health problems are located in the labour market as a result of lost employment, absenteeism, lost productivity and premature retirement. There are also costs imposed on the prison service, social services dealing with homelessness and informal care costs as well as lost output and productivity. The significant human and social costs associated with mental health problems, including pain, suffering, stigma, reduction in quality of life and suicide are not included in the baseline estimates. The Mental Health Commission strongly supports the implementation of the Government policy on mental health, A Vision for Change. This policy requires substantial investment in the development of community treatment facilities to replace the institutional care approach. "Resources are not infinite, so choices must be made between alternative uses of the same resource or service", said Bríd Clarke, Chief Executive officer, Mental Health Commission. "As the report says, 'economic analysis is therefore a crucial aid to decision making on resource allocation and on priority setting'." While decisions on resource allocation are grounded in values, economics is a central tool in the making of these decisions. The economic reasons for policy makers to invest more in mental health are: (1) The economic cost of poor mental health in Ireland is very significant; (2) The Irish public has expressed a willingness to pay extra taxation for a mental health programme that would enable more people to live in the community; (3) There is a burgeoning economic base of evidence about particular interventions which have a positive effect on the quality of life of people with mental health problems. The authors of the report used a well-known technique in economics – a contingent valuation survey – to estimate how much people would be willing to pay in extra taxation for a particular improvement in mental health services. The results from the survey demonstrated that people would be willing to make significant tax contributions to new community-based services for people with mental health problems. However, the survey also found that people tend to value spending on cancer and ageing programmes more than they do mental health care. The share of total public health expenditure spent on mental health services has fallen in the past twenty years from just under 14% in 1984 to 7.76% in 2007. However in absolute terms there has been a four-fold increase in per capita spending over this period and it has roughly doubled in the past decade. "We have not yet made the connection between increased public spending on mental health care and individual and societal gains", said Dr. Edmond O'Dea, Chairman, Mental Health Commission. "Making mental health a national health priority in Ireland would be an important first step in realising the potential gains associated with increased spending on mental health. As part of that prioritisation, we should set a target of 10 per cent for mental health care expenditure as a proportion of overall health expenditure, to be realised over a five year period." Dr. O'Dea said this study was commissioned because of the need to show the economic, as well as social and personal benefits of investment in mental health care. He said society's decisions to spend money on providing support and services to its more vulnerable members are based on values, not simply on cost/benefit analysis. "But an increased understanding of the economic benefit of spending on mental health care will help ensure it is prioritised. Individuals benefit from increased spending on mental health care, but so do communities, society and the economy. For all of these reasons, mental health must become a national health priority, with specific targets for expenditure, evaluation and outcomes." To download the report, please go to www.mhcirl.ie Ends

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The head of Amnesty International, Ms Irene Zubaida Khan, will deliver a public lecture at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 17 September, at 2.15pm in the Aula Maxima. Ms Khan was appointed Secretary General of Amnesty International in 2001, becoming the first woman, Asian and Muslim to lead the human rights organisation. Her lecture will be entitled 'At sixty, is it time for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to retire?'. Ms Khan has broadened the work of Amnesty International in areas of economic, social and cultural rights. She has led high level missions to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel/Occupied Territories, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Spain, Thailand, the Darfur region of Sudan, and Nepal. Deeply concerned about women's human rights, she initiated a process of consultations with women activists to design a global campaign by Amnesty International against violence on women, which was launched in March 2004. The event is being hosted by the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. Dr Kathleen Cavanaugh, a lecturer with the Centre, says Ms Khan is an inspiring individual: "She brings with her a wealth of experience, both personal and professional, which has helped to shape and direct the movement. There are huge challenges facing the human rights regime in the wake of the so-called 'war on terror'. Despite early criticisms, Irene was steadfast in her arguments that international civil society must not be consumed by the politics of fear, and she has led Amnesty's efforts to recapture this human rights versus security debate". In 1980, Ms Khan joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and worked in a variety of positions at Headquarters and in field operations to promote the international protection of refugees. From 1991 to 1995 she was Senior Executive Officer to Mrs. Sadako Ogata, then UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Appointed as the UNHCR Chief of Mission in India in 1995, Ms Khan was the youngest country representative at that time, and in 1998 headed the UNHCR Centre for Research and Documentation. She led the UNHCR team in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during the Kosovo crisis in 1999, and was appointed Deputy Director of International Protection later that year. Ms Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School, specialising in public international law and human rights. She is the recipient of several academic awards, a Ford Foundation Fellowship, the 2006 City of Sydney Peace Prize, the Pilkington 'Woman of the Year' Award 2002, and the John Owens Distinguished Alumni Award of the University of Manchester. She has been awarded honorary doctorates by Ferris University (Japan) and Staffordshire University (UK). Ms Khan has been voted one of the 100 Most Influential Asians and one of the 100 Most Influential Muslims in the UK. -ends-

Monday, 15 September 2008

Pharmaceutical and biotech business leader, Dr John Kavanagh, has taken over as NUI Galway's Director of Technology Transfer. He will work with the University's Ignite Technology Transfer Office to commercialise and license the work of researchers on campus. Dr Kavanagh will also further develop the University's partnerships with industry and the business community. Dr Kavanagh joins NUI Galway from Bioniche Teoranta, a company based in Inverin, Co. Galway, specialising in sterile injectables, where he was Managing Director for five years. Previously, he occupied senior positions at Abbott Laboratories, Sandoz/Novartis and Schering-Plough. Speaking about his new role, Dr Kavanagh said: "NUI Galway was the first University in Ireland to create a dedicated technology transfer office. I look forward to building on the excellent work that has already taken place." He added: "Never more so, than when there is an economic downturn, does the entrepreneurial approach to business need to be nurtured. The University, with its world-leading research and strong industry partnerships is well positioned to continue its technology commercialisation success." So far this year, the University's Ignite Technology Transfer Office has filed 42 invention disclosures, 15 patents and licensed six technologies to industry. Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research at NUI Galway, welcomed Dr Kavanagh to the University: "John brings with him a wealth of experience in all aspects of technology transfer and the commercialisation of research. He will, no doubt, lead the further development and growth of the Ignite Technology Transfer Office in the coming years." Originally from Dublin, Dr Kavanagh is a graduate of UCD, having completed a B.Sc. degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. He also holds a Diploma in Applied Finance from the Irish Management Institute. -ends-

Monday, 15 September 2008

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) at NUI Galway has issued a call to secondary schools for entries to its fourth annual Schools' Science Essay Competition 2008. Sponsored by Galway-based medical technology company Medtronic, essays are invited on the topic 'Boundaries of Science – is there anything we should not do?'. The competition is open to all students in the senior cycle of secondary schools in the Republic of Ireland and also, for the first time, schools in Northern Ireland. Closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, 31 October, 2008. REMEDI's Schools' Science Essay Competition was launched in 2005 to stimulate discussion among students on the ethical and societal implications of advances in biomedical research. Competition prizes include a laptop, iPOD, crystal trophies and school prizes of science equipment bursaries. Prizes will be presented at the BT Young Scientist Festival in January of 2009. Last year, Catherine Duane of Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf, Dublin took the top prize. Professor Tim O'Brien, Director of REMEDI, explained the motivation for the competition: "The purpose of this project, as with all our secondary school initiatives, is to encourage young people to take an active interest in contemporary scientific research, and to consider a career in this field. Science communication should always be a two way process. While it is important for REMEDI to publicly discuss research taking place in the areas of stem cell and gene therapy, it is equally important for our scientists to listen to the public's views on this research. We have found 16-18 year-olds are more than eager to express their views on some of the questions raised by this research." Noreen Moloney, R&D New Technologies Manager at Medtronic, said: "Exciting our young people about science and engineering is crucial. Giving them the hunger, skills and confidence to tackle the next generation of scientific and technological unknowns is a key challenge. Scientific and engineering knowledge will be the drivers of our future prosperity and I strongly believe that the sponsorship of the REMEDI national essay competition is an excellent initiative which helps promote interest in science among students." Full details of the competition rules, helpful hints and additional information on how to enter are available on the education section of the REMEDI website www.remedi.ie. REMEDI is an SFI funded research institute at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science located at NUI Galway. -ends-

Monday, 15 September 2008

Beidh fáil níos éasca ag mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh ar na healaíona cruthaitheacha ó seolfar clár na nEalaíon Cruthaitheach 2008-2009. Seo an tríú bliain a bhfuil an clár á reáchtáil. Tá an clár deartha go háirithe d'fhochéimithe agus eagrófar imeachtaí agus léirithe Drámaíochta Idirnáisiúnta, Scannán, Ceoil Chlasaicigh, Rince, Ealaíon Traidisiúnta, Amharcealaíon agus Litríochta Gaeilge mar chuid de. Tríd an gclár Ealaíon Cruthaitheach, beidh deis ag mic léinn freastal ar léirithe agus plé leis na healaíontóirí a bheidh rannpháirteach iontu. Tá ainmneacha cáiliúla ar an gclár, ina measc na ceoltóirí Frankie Gavin agus Máirtín O'Connor, na haisteoirí Bríd Ní Neachtain agus Mick Lally, agus an téadcheathairéad clasaiceach ón Rómáin ConTempo. Ar an gclár chomh maith tá an ensemble clasaiceach idirnáisiúnta Gatto Marte agus an Now Dance Company as an gCóiré. I measc na n-imeachtaí drámaíochta atá ar an gclár tá léiriú de The Cripple of Inishmaan le Martin McDonagh, á stiúradh ag Garry Hynes agus an chéad léiriúchán riamh de dhráma Marina Carr, Marble, in Amharclann na Mainistreach. Deir Mary McPartlan, Stiúrthóir an chláir Ealaíon Cruthaitheach in OÉ Gaillimh: "Cuireann an clár nua rogha deiseanna ar fáil le taithí a fháil ar ealaíona d'ardchaighdeán trína mbuailfidh mic léinn le healaíontóirí gairmiúla oilte i ngach réimse ealaíon. Tá sé de chuspóir aige saibhriú a dhéanamh ar a saol siúd uile a bheidh rannpháirteach ann agus intinn agus samhlaíocht na mac léinn a chothú." Chomh maith le léirithe ealaíonta, tá seisiún eolais ar an gclár maidir le deiseanna iarchéime le Scoil Scannán & Meán Digiteach Huston na hOllscoile. Deir an tOllamh Kevin Barry, Déan Choláiste na nDán, na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta agus an Léinn Cheiltigh go gcuireann an clár leis an taithí ar shaol an mhic léinn: "Is cuid thábhachtach den oideachas in OÉ Gaillimh iad na healaíona cruthaitheacha, agus is cuid lárnach iad chomh maith de chroí cultúrtha na Cathrach. Déanann an clár Ealaíon Cruthaitheach, tríd an tacaíocht leanúnach ó lucht gairmiúil na n-ealaíon, saibhriú ar an gcuraclam do mhic léinn. Táimid ag cur deiseanna ar fáil chomh maith dár mic léinn le dul leis na tionscail chruthaitheacha amach anseo." Cuirfear tús leis an gclár an 25 Meán Fómhair in Amharclann na Cathrach, Gaillimh nuair a léireoidh Compántas Amharclainne Druid The Cripple of Inishmaan, a bheidh á stiúradh ag Garry Hynes. - críoch -

Monday, 15 September 2008

Students at NUI Galway will continue to have greater access to the creative arts with the launch of the 2008-2009 Arts in Action programme. Now in its third year, the programme is specially designed for undergraduate students and includes events and performances in International Theatre, Film, Classical Music, Dance, Traditional Arts, Visual Arts and Irish Language Literature. Through the Arts in Action programme, students will have the opportunity to attend performances and interact with the artists involved. Events feature well known names such as musicians Frankie Gavin and Máirtín O'Connor, actors Bríd Ní Neachtain and Mick Lally, and the Romanian classical string quartet ConTempo. The programme also includes the international classical ensemble Gatto Marte and the Now Dance Company from Korea. Theatre events feature the Druid production of The Cripple of Inishmann by Martin McDonagh, directed by Garry Hynes and a world premiere of the Marina Carr play Marble at the Abbey Theatre. Mary McPartlan, Director of the Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway, said: "The new programme offers a series of quality arts experiences stimulating encounters between students and skilled professional artists of all disciplines. The aim is to enrich the lives of all involved and nurture the minds and imaginations of the students." As well as artistic performances, the programme also includes an information session on postgraduate opportunities with the University's Huston School of Film & Digital Media. Professor Kevin Barry, Dean Arts at NUI Galway, says the programme adds to the student experience: "Creative arts are an important part of education at NUI Galway. The Arts in Action programme, through continued support from professionals within the arts world, enriches the curriculum for students. We are also opening up the possibilities of a future in the creative industries among our students." The programme commences on Thursday, 25 September, at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway with the Druid Theatre Company Production of The Cripple of Inishmann, directed by Garry Hynes. -ends-

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Tá an ceannaire cógaisíochta agus biteicneolaíochta gnó, an Dr John Kavanagh, ceaptha mar Stiúrthóir um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta OÉ Gaillimh. Is ag obair in Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite a bheidh an Dr Kavanagh agus é de dhualgas air an obair atá ar bun ag taighdeoirí na hOllscoile a thráchtálú agus a cheadúnú. Lena chois sin, tá sé mar aidhm ag an Dr Kavanagh comhpháirtíochtaí tionsclaíocha agus gnó na hOllscoile a fhorbairt. Roimhe seo bhí an Dr Kavanagh ag obair mar Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta i Bioniche Teoranta – atá lonnaithe in Indreabhán, Co. na Gaillimhe – cuideachta a tháirgeann ábhar steiriúil insteallta. Roimhe sin, bhí poist shinsearacha aige in Abbott Laboratories, Sandoz/Novartis agus Schering-Plough. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Dr Kavanagh agus é ag trácht ar a ról nua: "Is í OÉ Gaillimh an chéad Ollscoil in Éirinn a bhunaigh oifig atá dírithe go hiomlán ar aistriú teicneolaíochta. Táim ag tnúth le cur leis an obair iontach atá déanta ag an Oifig seo cheana féin." Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt sé: "Baineann fíorthábhacht le gníomhaíocht fiontraíochta a chur chun cinn nuair a bhíonn cor chun donais sa gheilleagar. Tá seasamh maith ag an Ollscoil, bunaithe ar thaighde den chéad scoth agus comhpháirtíochtaí maithe tionsclaíocha, leanúint leis an bpróiseas atá mar bhunús lena rath i dtéarmaí tráchtálaithe teicneolaíochta." Cheana féin i mbliana, tá 42 nochtadh idirghabhála comhdaithe ag Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite na hOllscoile, tá 15 paitinn comhdaithe aici agus tá sé theicneolaíocht curtha ar ceadúnas aici leis an tionscal. D'fháiltigh an tOllamh Terry Smith, Leas-Uachtarán um Thaighde in OÉ Gaillimh, roimh an Dr Kavanagh: "Tá an-taithí ag John ar aistriú teicneolaíochta agus ar thráchtálú taighde. Táim cinnte go gcuirfidh sé le fás agus le forbairt Oifig um Aistriú Teicneolaíochta Ignite sna blianta beaga amach romhainn." Is de bhunadh Bhaile Átha Cliath é an Dr Kavanagh. D'fhreastail sé ar Choláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath áit a ndearna sé B.Sc. sa Cheimic agus Ph.D. sa Cheimic Orgánach. Chomh maith leis sin, bhronn Foras Bainistíochta na hÉireann Dioplóma san Airgeadas Feidhmeach air. - críoch -

Friday, 12 September 2008

Record numbers of over 2,000 students are expected to attend the NUI Galway Volunteering Fair on Monday, 22 September. The annual event, now in its seventh year, will have 60 charities and community organisations showcase the wide range of volunteer opportunities available for students. The Fair will signal the start of a week-long celebration of volunteering at NUI Galway, the culmination of which will coincide with the national volunteering 'Give it a Swirl' day on Friday, 26 September. Exhibitors at the Volunteer Fair will include: Rehab Care; Habitat for Humanity; Down Syndrome Ireland; Childline; Galway Refugee Support Group; Simon Community; Enable Ireland; and Positive Mental Health. The Fair will be officially opened by Mayor of Galway City, Councillor Pádraig Conneely and members of the general public are also welcome to attend. The event is part of the University's ALIVE Volunteering Programme which aims to support and promote volunteering on campus. Last year, over 1,300 students registered with ALIVE. Lorraine Tansey is Volunteer Coordinator of the ALIVE Programme at NUI Galway: "Volunteering comes in many forms, whether it its running homework clubs in local schools, fundraising for national charities, befriending people with a disability, or volunteering abroad. Students can volunteer as much or as little time as they can spare and they benefit enormously from getting involved. Our Community Partners really value the enthusiasm and flexibility they bring. The Fair is just one way to harness and encourage this ongoing civic commitment." Through the ALIVE programme, students at NUI Galway can access an online database of volunteer opportunities. The programme also includes a series of workshops to help students make the most of their volunteering experience. At the end of the academic year students can apply for an ALIVE Certificate which is awarded at a special ceremony in recognition of their commitment to volunteering. The Volunteering Fair takes place on campus in Áras na Mac Léinn, from 1-5pm. For further information, please contact the ALIVE office on 091 493823 or email cki@nuigalway.ie. -ends-

Friday, 12 September 2008

Táthar ag súil le líon níos mó ná riamh – breis is 2,000 mac léinn – ag Aonach Obair Dheonach OÉ Gaillimh a bheidh ar siúl Dé Luain, an 22 Meán Fómhair. Is é seo an seachtú bliain as a chéile an t-imeacht bliantúil seo á eagrú, agus beidh os cionn 60 cumann carthanachta agus pobail i láthair ar an lá le léargas a thabhairt ar na deiseanna éagsúla atá ar fáil do mhic léinn tabhairt faoi obair dheonach. Beidh an tAonach ar siúl ag tús na seachtaine chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar na deiseanna atá ar fáil in OÉ Gaillimh obair dheonach a dhéanamh, agus cuirfear críoch le himeachtaí na seachtaine le lá náisiúnta obair dheonach ar a dtugtar 'Give it a Swirl' a bheidh ar siúl Dé hAoine, an 26 Meán Fómhair. I measc na gcumann a bheidh i láthair ag an Aonach beidh: Rehab Care; Habitat for Humanity; Down Syndrome Ireland; Childline; Galway Refugee Support Group; Simon Community; Enable Ireland; agus Positive Mental Health. Is é Méara Chathair na Gaillimhe, an Comhairleoir Pádraig Conneely a osclóidh an tAonach go hoifigiúil, agus beidh fáilte roimh chách teacht chuig an imeacht. Tá an t-imeacht seo á eagrú mar chuid de Chlár Obair Dheonach ALIVE – clár a bhfuil sé mar aidhm leis tacú le hobair dheonach ar an gcampas agus a leithéid a chur chun cinn. Anuraidh, chláraigh de bhreis ar 1,300 mac léinn le ALIVE. Is í Lorraine Tansey Comhordaitheoir an Chláir ALIVE in OÉ Gaillimh: "Is iomaí cineál obair dheonach is féidir a dhéanamh – clubanna obair bhaile a eagrú i scoileanna áitiúla, airgead a bhailiú do charthanachtaí náisiúnta, cabhrú le daoine atá faoi mhíchumas, nó obair dheonach a dhéanamh thar lear. Féadfaidh mic léinn an méid ama a thograíonn siad féin a chaitheamh i mbun obair dheonach agus is iondúil go mbaineann siad fíorthairbhe as obair dheonach a dhéanamh. Is mór an meas atá ag ár gComhpháirtithe Pobail ar an bhfonn oibre agus spéis a léiríonn na hoibrithe deonacha. Níl san Aonach seo ach bealach amháin chun an tiomantas leanúnach seo do chomhpháirteachas poiblí a chothú agus a spreagadh." Trí chlár ALIVE, féadfaidh mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh rochtain a fháil ar bhunachar sonraí ar líne ina bhfuil neart deiseanna chun obair dheonach a dhéanamh liostaithe. Gné eile den chlár é sraith ceardlann a eagraítear le cabhrú le mic léinn an leas is fearr agus is féidir a bhaint as an obair dheonach a dhéanann siad. Ag deireadh na bliana acadúla féadfaidh mic léinn iarratas a dhéanamh Teastas ALIVE a fháil. Bronntar an teastas seo ag searmanas speisialta a eagraítear mar aitheantas ar a dtiomantas don obair dheonach. Beidh an tAonach Obair Dheonach ar siúl ar champas OÉ Gaillimh in Áras na Mac Léinn ó 1-5pm. Má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolais uait ba cheart duit teagmháil a dhéanamh leis an Oifig ALIVE ag 091 493823 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig cki@nuigalway.ie. - críoch -

Thursday, 11 September 2008

An NUI Galway climate researcher has made a major breakthrough in understanding the effect of air pollution and climate change on precipitation. Dr Colin O'Dowd and a team of leading international experts propose a new theory explaining why atmospheric aerosol pollution plays a dichotomous role in increasing and suppressing rainfall under different levels of pollution. Their results are essential to providing an improved understanding of how air pollution and climate change will influence flood and drought patterns in the future. The high-profile article 'Flood or Drought: How do Aerosols Affect Precipitation?' was published in the latest edition of the international journal, Science. The article explains how, in order for clouds to form, there must be sufficient water vapour in the atmosphere to produce supersaturated vapour fields, and there must be nuclei for the vapour to condense on in order to form cloud droplets. Water vapour primarily comes from water evaporation at the Earth's surface, while the nuclei come from atmospheric aerosol particles. In clean clouds with low nuclei availability, the cloud droplets formed are large and coalesce into raindrops that readily rain out. However, this study points out that in polluted convective clouds, where cloud droplets are smaller, they do not precipitate out until they reach altitudes above the atmosphere's freezing level. At that stage the droplets freeze into ice precipitation that then falls and melts, releasing latent heat upward and reabsorbsing heat at lower levels. The result is a greater upward transport of heat for the same amount of surface precipitation. This causes invigoration of the convective clouds, leading to additional rainfall despite the slower conversion rate of cloud droplets into rain drops. According to Dr O'Dowd, Director of the Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies at NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute and Senior Lecturer with the School of Physics, "What this research shows, in very simple terms, is that air pollution not only dramatically effects the type of rain that falls but ultimately how much and where. The smaller type of raindrop being formed when pollution is a factor effectively 'heats up' the cloud system leading to changing weather patterns. This research will lead to a better understanding of and predictions regarding climate change". The scientific article 'Flood or Drought: How do Aerosols Affect Precipitation?' looks at how, as the level of aerosol pollution increases above a critical threshold, aerosol components absorb sufficient incoming solar radiation to warm and stabilize the troposphere. This inhibits convection of cloud parcels, and reduces the amount of energy absorbed at the Earth's surface, thus reducing the release of water vapour. O'Dowd adds, "The net result is that in the most polluted areas, precipitation, and even convective clouds, may not form at all. Given that about 37% of the energy put into the atmosphere by the Earth is as water vapour, this must be balanced by the amount of precipitation returning to the surface. Therefore, disturbance of this balance in one region must be compensated for in another, leading to changes in precipitation patterns." In their study, O'Dowd and colleagues introduce the above phenomena as an aerosol thermodynamic forcing which does not necessarily change the net energy budget, but redistributes it internally. The study highlights the importance of taking account of the aerosol thermodynamic forcing in climate models in order to better predict changes to the hydrological cycle associated with air quality and climate change. O'Dowd and his co-authors comprise the Steering Group developing the international project on Aerosols-Clouds-Precipitation and Climate (ACPC). ACPC is a joint International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme - World Climate Research Programme (IGBP-WCRP) project. O'Dowd represents two IGBP sub programmes on ACPC, namely the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) programme, and Surface Ocean Lower Atmospheres Studies (SOLAS) programme. -ends-

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The economic cost of schizophrenia in Ireland has been estimated at over €460 million for 2006 in an article published today in the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine. This is the first attempt to estimate the economic cost of schizophrenia which affects over 10,000 people in Ireland in any year. The relatively high cost of schizophrenia stands in stark contrast to the relatively low level of resources devoted to mental health care in Ireland. The authors of the article, Dr. Caragh Behan, DETECT, Mr. Brendan Kennelly, NUI Galway and Professor Eadbhard O'Callaghan, UCD, included both direct and indirect costs in their analysis. Direct costs, which refer to the cost of resources used in the treatment of schizophrenia such as inpatient and outpatient care, medication, and community services, were estimated at over €118 million. Indirect costs, which refer to the loss of productivity due to unemployment, absence from work and premature mortality were estimated at over €343 million in 2006. Informal care provided by family members accounted for almost €44 million. Commenting on the results Brendan Kennelly, of the Department of Economics at NUI Galway, said: "While schizophrenia is not a very common condition, it is a very expensive one. This is attributable to a number of factors – the relatively young age when schizophrenia typically affects a person, the high mortality rate associated with the condition, and the very low employment rates for people with schizophrenia." Cost-of-illness studies, which have been widely used for over thirty years, provide very useful information on the burden of an illness and are a useful analytical tool in determining where resources should be employed. Professor Eadbhard O'Callaghan of the School of Medicine, University College Dublin, said that the results highlight the important role that family members play in providing informal care to people with schizophrenia. He added that more effort should be made to improve employment opportunities for people with schizophrenia such as supported employment schemes. Professor O'Callaghan said that in other countries more resources are being devoted to the early detection of schizophrenia because, with the appropriate help, people can and do recover. -ends-

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Cúis áthais d'Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, institiúid náisiúnta cheannródaíoch na hOllscolaíochta trí Ghaeilge in OÉ Gaillimh, a fhógairt go bhfuil Susan Folan ceaptha ina Comhordaitheoir ar an gcúrsa nua M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) – cúrsa a mbeidh tús á chur leis ag deireadh na míosa seo (Meán Fómhair 2008). Is as Cnoc na Cathrach i nGaillimh í Susan Folan ó dhúchas agus tá sí ar dhuine den bheagán daoine atá cáilithe mar ateangaire gairmiúil le Gaeilge; oibríonn sí go rialta i bParlaimint na hEorpa agus in institiúidí eile den chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh mar ateangaire comhdhála. Tá bunchéim B.A. agus M.A. sa Nua-Ghaeilge in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh bainte amach ag Susan chomh maith le Céim Mháistreachta Eorpach san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála ó Ollscoil Westminster i Londain. Roimhe seo, d'oibrigh Susan mar Oifigeach Forbartha ag eagraíocht na gcoláistí samhraidh Gaeilge, CONCOS. Seo a leanas a bhí le rá ag Susan Folan agus í ag labhairt faoina ceapachán nua: "Tá ríméad orm a bheith ag obair le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge anseo in OÉ Gaillimh; táim ag tnúth go mór leis an dúshlán a bhaineann le cúrsaí léinn den chéad scoth a sholáthar i réimse na hAteangaireachta agus go mór mór leis an M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) a fhorbairt." Tá éileamh ar a leithéid de chúrsa, go háirithe de bharr an ghéarghá atá ag an Aontas Eorpach le hateangairí oilte, cáilithe le Gaeilge. Is é seo an t-aon chúrsa M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) dá leithéid sa tír agus ullmhóidh sé mic léinn le slí bheatha a bhaint amach mar ateangairí comhdhála gairmiúla. 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; fágfaidh an cleachtadh a gheobhaidh siad anseo go mbeidh an-seans ag mic léinn ar phoist ghradamúla a fháil mar ateangairí gairmiúla ach a gcríochnóidh siad an cúrsa. Tá an M.A. (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. Feidhmeoidh Susan mar phríomhtheagascóir ar an gcúrsa, agus beidh sí freagrach freisin as riaradh agus eagrú an chúrsa ó lá go lá. Tá iarratais á nglacadh le haghaidh áiteanna ar an M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) faoi láthair agus is féidir teagmháil a dhéanamh le Siobhán Ní Chualáin ag + 353 91 495428 nó ar an ríomhphost ag siobhan.nichualain@oegaillimh.ie má theastaíonn tuilleadh eolas breise ina thaobh. -Críoch-

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, the national institution for third-level education through Irish at NUI Galway, is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Folan as Co-ordinator of the new M.A. Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála/Conference Interpreting programme, commencing at the end of September. Originally from Knocknacarra in Galway City, Susan Folan is one of an elite number of conference interpreters, qualified to interpret to and from Irish, working regularly in the European Parliament and other EU institutions. An NUI Galway graduate with B.A. and M.A. degrees in Modern Irish, Susan also holds a European Masters in Conference Interpreting from Westminster University, London. Prior to her appointment, Susan worked as a Development Officer with CONCOS – the Irish language summer colleges' organisation. Speaking about her appointment, Susan Folan said: "I'm thrilled to be working with Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge here at NUI Galway. I look forward to the challenge of providing first-class academic programmes in interpreting, and especially the development of the M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála)." There is a great demand for programmes of this type, given the EU's pressing need for qualified conference interpreters with Irish. This is the only such course in Conference Interpreting in the country and it will prepare students for a career as professional conference interpreters. The one-year course will focus on the use of Irish and English as active and passive languages of interpretation, and on the use of French as a passive language. The M.A. (Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála) programme is being delivered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge – the University's dedicated institute for the delivery of third-level programmes through Irish – and will be held at An tAcadamh's centre in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway. The programme is sponsored by Údarás na Gaeltachta, which means that no tuition fees are payable by students of the course. Susan will act as the principal teacher on the programme, as well as coordinating the day to day running of the course. Applications are currently being accepted for places on the new course; for further information contact Siobhán Ní Chualáin on + 353 91 495428 or siobhan.nichualain@oegaillimh.ie -ends-

Monday, 8 September 2008

Medieval Irish humour and fantasy is the subject of an international event being held at NUI Galway on Friday, 12 September. The one-day colloquium will focus on one of the classics of medieval Irish literature: Aislinge Meic Conglinne or, as it is known in English, The Vision of Mac Conglinne. The event is being hosted by the University's Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences and will welcome expert speakers from Ireland, Germany, Scotland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway and North America. Aislinge Meic Conglinne, composed around 1100 AD, tells how the king of Munster came to be afflicted by a monstrous parasite because of his gluttony. The tale describes how a poor student's fantasies of food eventually rid the king of this parasite. The work is a satire on the clerical and learned orders of medieval Ireland, on their pieties and sense of privilege. It also parodies the major literary forms of the time, making a play on saints' lives, visions, voyage-tales, prophecies and the New Testament. Professor Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, School of Humanities, NUI Galway, is organising the colloquium. According to her, "Aislinge Meic Conglinne is a brilliant comic masterpiece and one of the great treasures of our Irish-language literary heritage". The original medieval work had various twentieth-century retellings in English, by authors including W.B. Yeats, Austin Clarke, Pádraic Fallon and Peter O'Shaughnessy. There was also a notable Irish-language version by An tAthair Peadar Ó Laoghaire, An Craos-Deamhan (1905), which was well-known to earlier generations of students. -ends-

Monday, 8 September 2008

Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Professor Elie Wiesel, will deliver an address via video link at NUI Galway on Wednesday, 17 September at 7pm. The public event, which will be broadcast live from New York, will be hosted by NUI Galway's Law Society in the O'Flaherty Theatre, Arts and Science Building on campus. Professor Wiesel is an advocate for awareness of past and potential acts of genocide, and has worked on behalf of oppressed people for most of his adult life. Born in 1928 in Transylvania, Wiesel and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz when he was 15 years old. His personal experience of the Holocaust led him to use his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world. "Elie Wiesel is one of the moral compasses of our time. He reminds us, constantly, of the horrors of the Holocaust, but his message is always hopeful and positive and pointed towards the future of humanity rather than its ugly past", said Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. Wiesel's efforts to defend human rights and peace throughout the world have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the Medal of Liberty award, the rank of Grand-Choix in the French Legion of Honour and in 1986, the Nobel Peace Prize. He has received more than 100 honourary degrees from institutions of higher learning. Commenting on the upcoming lecture, Auditor of the Law Society Peter Mannion said: "We are truly honoured to have Professor Wiesel address our society. We know that our members will benefit greatly from his experience and compelling story. It s an inspirational way to start the year and we hope that it will provide a challenge for the students of NUI Galway." In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed Wiesel Chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. He was also a guiding force in the establishment of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In his best known work, Night, Elie Wiesel describes his experiences and emotions at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Professor Gerard Quinn, Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at NUI Galway, has written about Nazi legality and some of the parallels with the Irish Free State. He highlighted the importance of Wiesel's work from a legal point of view: "The Nazis cloaked their naked power in the language of law and used a 'tactic of legality' to take power. It was not for nothing that the Nazis created their own 'League of Nazi Lawyers'. Elie Wiesel's life work reminds us that law, even with order, is nothing if not connected to justice. It is sad but true that this elemental lesson needs to be re-learned from generation to generation. Mr Weisel's work has played an indispensable role in transmitting this warning form history to the present generation. Since law students are the future conduits of power in society they especially need to learn this lesson. By his presence in NUI Galway Elie Wiesel reminds us of the moral depravity of totalitarian regimes and opens hearts and minds to a higher notion of law." For further information about the event contact Louise Hamilton, PRO of the NUI Galway Law Society, on 0860734033. -ends-

Monday, 8 September 2008

An greann agus an fhantaisíocht ba dhual don phobal Éireannach a chleachtadh sa ré mheánaoiseach an téama atá roghnaithe d'imeacht idirnáisiúnta a bheidh ar siúl in OÉ Gaillimh, Dé hAoine, 12 Meán Fómhair. Is ar cheann de mhórshaothair litríocht mheánaoiseach na hÉireann a bheidh an collóiciam lae seo bunaithe: Aislinge Meic Conglinne nó The Vision of Mac Conglinne mar a thugtar air i mBéarla. Is é Institiúid de Móra um Thaighde sna Daonnachtaí agus sa Léann Sóisialta in OÉ Gaillimh atá ag eagrú an imeachta seo agus beidh saineolaithe as Éirinn, an Ghearmáin, an Ísiltír, an Iodáil, an Iorua, Meiriceá Thuaidh agus as an Albain i measc na gcainteoirí. Tugann Aislinge Meic Conglinne, a cumadh thart ar 1100 AD, léargas dúinn ar conas a chrá deamhan ar Rí na Mumhan mar gur craosaire gan náire a bhí ann. Déantar cur síos sa scéal seo ar an tionchar a bhí ag brionglóidí mac léinn bocht faoi bhia cabhrú leis an rí an deamhan seo a ruaigeadh ar deireadh thiar. Aoir bunaithe ar an gcráifeacht agus ar an bpribhléid a bhain leis na hoird chléiriúla agus léannta le linn na ré meánaoisí in Éirinn atá sa saothar seo. Tá scigaithris ann freisin ar na príomhfhoirmeacha liteartha a bhí i réim ag an am; aithris ar shaol na naomh, aislingí, iomramh, tairngreachtaí agus an Tiomna Nua. Is í an tOllamh Máirín Ní Dhonnchadha, Scoil na nDaonnachtaí, OÉ Gaillimh, atá i mbun an collóciam seo a eagrú. Deir sí gur "sárshaothar greann é Aislinge Meic Conglinne agus tá sé ar cheann de na saothair is iontaí d'oidhreacht liteartha na Gaeilge". Is iomaí athinsint Bhéarla a rinne leithéidí W.B. Yeats, Austin Clarke, Pádraic Fallon agus Peter O'Shaughnessy ar an mbunsaothar meánaoiseach seo san fhichiú céad. Scríobh an tAthair Peadar Ó Laoghaire leagan cáiliúil Gaeilge – An Craos-Deamhan (1905), leagan a mbeadh cur amach ag mic léinn a d'fhreastail ar ollscoil san aois seo caite air. - críoch -

Friday, 5 September 2008

NUI Galway has launched a calendar to celebrate the successes of its NUI Galway First Year Schools Competition. The art 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, County and Gaeltacht regions. A record number of over 400 first-year students from 13 Galway secondary schools participated in this years' NUI Galway First Year Schools Competition. Students were asked to express through the media of Art, Music, Drama and Writing why they would like to study at NUI Galway, what it would mean for them and how it would change their future. The academic-year calendar features highlights of the artwork submitted and will be distributed to students of the participating secondary schools. NUI Galway Access School Co-Ordinator, Ashla Ward, says the competition entries were of a very high calibre: "We were very impressed by the aspirations, ideas and effort that the students put into the competition. The creation of a calendar by the University demonstrates the value NUI Galway puts on this marvellous work." The University Trail activities help to build a relationship between the pupils and the university over time by a series of structured fun, interactive and informative activities. Now in its seventh year, the University Trail programme has delivered its activities to over 9,000 students. The University Trail Access Programme is supported by the HEA targeted funding for special initiatives. -ends-

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

A complex and inspiring new art installation is being brought to Galway City by the Arts and Theatre Office at NUI Galway. From 10 September, the University will present an installation called 'it is the wave that cracks the wax...an organization of the memory, 2008'. The performance installation fuses choreography, visual art, the spoken word, dance, music, sounds and symbols. The work is an ongoing collaborative process between the choreographic installation artist, writer, director, dancer and performer Ursula Mawson-Raffalt, and the painting, light, sound, video and media artist Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson. Both are co-founders and artistic directors of the International Platform for Innovation in the Arts. Fionnuala Gallagher, Arts Officer at NUI Galway, welcomes the opportunity to host two pioneering artists: "Ursula and Anthony are breaking boundaries through individual viewpoints and high-level technique, involving the natural and complex processes of life with startling results. The aim of NUI Galway mirrors that of the International Platform for Innovation in the Arts: simply to inspire each individual rather than to entertain the masses. Come see for yourself." The work is accompanied by an installation of paintings by Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson entitled 'dia duit a Gaillimh_b.o.n.j.o.u.r.Galway'. The painting exhibition runs Monday to Saturday, 12-5pm, from 10 September to 8 October, in the University Art Gallery, Quadrangle, NUI Galway. The performance installation runs from 10-13 September in the Bank of Ireland Theatre at NUI Galway at 8.15pm, with admission €10. A lecture on the art work will be given at the public launch at 6pm on Wednesday, 10 September, 2008, in the University Art Gallery, Quadrangle, NUI Galway. For information and bookings call the NUI Galway Arts Office on 091 495098. -ends-

Monday, 1 September 2008

NUI Galway is pleased to announce that Dr Caroline McIntosh has been appointed as Head of Podiatry. Dr McIntosh will manage the School of Podiatry at the University, which offers the first undergraduate programme available in the State leading to a BSc (Hons) in Podiatry. Over 20 students have been accepted onto the popular new course and will qualify in four years as healthcare professionals specialising in the management of disease and disorders of the lower limb and foot. Dr McIntosh joins NUI Galway from the Division of Podiatry at the University of Huddersfield, UK, where she taught a range of subjects since 2003, including research methods, medicine, vascular assessment, diabetes and wound care. Prior to her tenure at the University of Huddersfield, Dr McIntosh worked with the NHS as a Senior Podiatrist with Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale Primary Care Trust in North Yorkshire. Speaking about her appointment, Dr McIntosh said, "With an ageing population, increasing diabetes and obesity, there is a growing demand for podiatrists in Ireland. Podiatry plays a critical role in managing patient health and quality of life. This is an extremely exciting position for me personally and for this area of the healthcare profession in Ireland." Throughout her career, Dr McIntosh has been involved in a number of research studies including two clinical trials investigating the effect of honey dressings on wound healing following toe-nail surgery. She has also contributed to a large multi-centre study investigating different treatments for verrucae. Her PhD, which she completed in 2007, focused on the need to build and disseminate evidence-based wound care. Dr McIntosh has published a number of papers in the field of tissue viability, particularly on the diabetic foot, and has presented at national and international conferences. She recently co-edited the text book 'Lower Extremity Wounds; A Problem-Based Approach'. Dr McIntosh is also a member of the Editorial advisory board for Wounds UK Journal. Plans are currently underway for a Podiatry Clinic which will be developed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) located in the Merlin Park campus of Galway Regional Hospitals but will primarily provide services to community based patients. The Clinic will work in partnership with the University's School of Podiatry to provide for the clinical education and training components of the programme. Dr McIntosh is originally from Cramlington in Northumberland, UK. For more information about NUI Galway's BSc (Hons) in Podiatry visit www.nuigalway.ie/podiatry -ends-

Friday, 31 October 2008

Matters of particular interest to Irish and Irish-American constituencies were discussed at last night's US Presidential Debate at NUI Galway. At the event, Democrat Bruce Morrison, former Congressman and author of the Morrison Visa legislation, went head-to-head with Republican Grant Lally, Head of Irish-Americans for McCain and former President of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform. The debate was organised in the 'Town Hall Meeting' style and pre-submitted questions were posed by members of the audience estimated to number over 700. Deemed to be the largest of its kind ever held in Ireland, the meeting provided attendees with a unique, unfiltered opportunity to deepen their understanding of the complex blend of substance and style that shapes electoral politics in the United States. Under discussion were the plight of the undocumented Irish in the United States and the future of foreign direct investment in Ireland under either a Barack Obama or John McCain administration. Both Bruce Morrison and Grant Lally argued that their candidate cherished the historical ties between the two countries and would endeavour to further strengthen the relationship between Ireland and the United States. Morrison and Lally also traded barbs on all of the key issues that have defined the 2008 campaign, including: the state of the global economy, the Iraq war, the American health care system, the issue of experience, and the enigmatic Vice-Presidential candidacy of Sarah Palin. According to NUI Galway Law Lecturer Larry Donnelly, the Boston native and political analyst who moderated the debate: "The United States is facing an unprecedented economic crisis, is waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no clearly defined exit strategy and has seen its status in the world fall precipitously in recent years. Polls show that most Americans blame the Bush administration and John McCain, as a Republican, is finding it very difficult to escape President Bush's shadow. When that is coupled with the excitement that Barack Obama's candidacy has generated, it seems like 2008 will be the Democrats' year, but as history proves, nothing is certain until all the votes are counted". The debate was co-sponsored by NUI Galway's Law Society and the Literary & Debating Society, with addresses by their respective heads Peter Mannion and Dan Colley. -ends-

Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in Northern Ireland, Gary McFarlane, will visit NUI Galway on Monday, 3 November to deliver a lecture entitled 'Life on earth: connections; co-dependencies and consequences – the case for a new mindset in policy and practice'. The event will take place at 5pm in the Seminar Room on the first floor of the Martin Ryan Institute Annex, NUI Galway. For many policy makers and indeed members of the general public there is, as yet, a poor grasp of the basic links between the impacts of climate change on our society, our economy and our personal health and wellbeing. There is also a misconception that the consequences of climate change will have little impact on the communities that inhabit these islands. Ireland is not just an island within the context of this clear and present challenge. Mr. McFarlane's presentation will provide some global perspectives on these issues. Dr Martina Prendergast, of the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway, comments: "We are delighted to welcome Gary McFarlane to NUI Galway to discuss the global trends and philosophies of climate change. There is a real urgency at his stage to develop and implement relevant policies that address climate change while achieving a high quality environment with effective environmental protection". According to Gary McFarlane: "Climate change is probably the greatest threat to human health, wellbeing, quality of life and perhaps even survival that the human race as a species has ever faced. My talk will outline and explore some of the fundamental linkages between our health and our environment and will outline urgent and critical areas for intervention in order to attempt to secure a future for all who inhabit this planet". As Director of Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, McFarlane is involved in contributing to the development of healthy public policy, working with government ministers and departments, local authorities, universities, non-governmental organisations (NGO) and the private sector. Currently, much of this work seeks to assist in re-establishing the critical links between environment and health within the context of sustainable development and public health. This includes advocacy work with policy makers and politicians as well as working with practitioners, academics and researchers to build awareness, understanding and capacity in this area. Gary McFarlane is currently the co-chair of the Public Health Alliance, he is a board member of Sustainable Northern Ireland, and he also chairs the Advisory Board to the environmental health undergraduate programme at the University of Ulster. The lecture is one of a series of public outreach talks organised by the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway. Members of the public are welcome and a reception will be held before the lecture at 4.45pm. For further information, please contact martina.prendergast@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Optical Society of America (OSA) has announced that Professor Christopher Dainty of NUI Galway has been elected as its 2009 vice president. As vice president, Professor Dainty will automatically become president-elect in 2010 and then the society s president in 2011, followed by a one-year term as past president. Christopher Dainty holds the chair of applied physics in the School of Physics at the NUI Galway and has been active in the global optics community for several decades. He was recently elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "I would like to congratulate Professor Dainty on his election to the post of Vice-President and President elect of the OSA. This is a fitting recognition of his contribution to the science of optics and adds lustre to his own reputation, that of his research group and indeed of the University. NUI Galway is proud to count Professor Dainty as one of its academic staff.' A Fellow of OSA, Dainty has been an OSA member since 1971. With widespread participation in OSA activities, he has been involved with topical meetings, awards and has been a two-time past member of the Board of Directors. In addition, Dainty has provided technical expertise to the organization's initiatives as a member of the Computational Optical Sensing and Imaging Program Committee, Adaptive Optics: Analysis and Methods Program Committee, and the Signal Recovery and Synthesis Program Committee. Dainty also served as the secretary-general and president of the International Commission for Optics, as well as the president of the European Optical Society. He currently is a member of the board of the European Technology Platform "Photonics 21" and is also on the external/scientific advisory boards of The Center for Adaptive Optics (Santa Cruz) and The Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona). His research interests include optical imaging, scattering and propagation. In these areas, he has co-authored or edited six books, approximately 140 peer-reviewed papers and 220 conference presentations. The Applied Optics Group at NUI Galway was established in 2002, under the direction of Chris Dainty, and funded by a major grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The SFI funding was renewed for a further five years in 2007. The Applied Optics Group has significant interaction with industry in Ireland, Europe, United States, and in Japan. Frank Gannon, Director General of SFI commented on the significance of the appointment: "I congratulate Professor Chris Dainty on his election as Vice President of the Optical Society of America for 2009 and President-Elect for 2010, and President in 2011. Since his move to NUI Galway in 2002, Professor Dainty through his dedication and expertise has established a cutting edge world-class Applied Optics research group, which now numbers approximately 25 researchers. The Group s research focuses in four areas: adaptive optics, vision science, imaging and scattering. Professor Dainty has contributed significantly to the development of Optical Engineering in Ireland, in addition he has developed strong collaboration with industry". ENDS