Monday, 17 November 2008

Osclóidh Príomhfheidhmeannach Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Peadar Mac an Iomaire, deireadh seachtaine ceiliúrtha 10 mbliana Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim i gCarna ar an Aoine, 21 Samhain, 2008. Ionad for-rochtana de chuid Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh é Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim. Cuireann an tIonad raon deiseanna ollscolaíochta ar fáil do phobal na Gaeltachta agus do Ghaeilgeoirí ó cheantair eile, mar aon leis an Ghaeilge a chothú mar phríomhtheanga pobail sa Ghaeltacht. View in English "Is cúis mhór áthais dúinn an sprioc seo a bheith sroichte againn" a dúirt Riarthóir an Ionaid Séamas Ó Concheanainn. "Ag tógáil ar mhisean bunaithe an Ionaid deich mbliana ó shin tá clár ollscolaíochta, tacaíochta teanga agus tionscnamh forbartha pobail idir lámha ag an Ionad ar mhaithe le forbairt inbhuanaithe phobal na Gaeltachta agus na Gaeilge". Tá sa bhreis ar 580 mac léinn tar éis cáilíochtaí Ollscoile a bhaint amach faoi scáth an Árais trí chúrsaí réamhollscoile, fochéime agus iarchéime a dhéanamh i dTeicneolaíocht na Faisnéise agus sa Riarachán Gnó; sa Ghaeilge; sa Bhéaloideas; i gCúram Sóisialta agus i bFhorbairt Phobail. Tá forbairt á déanamh ar an gclár cúrsaí atá á thairiscint ag an Ionad ar bhonn leanúnach le freastal ar riachtanais spriocghrúpaí agus an mhargaidh. Tá pobal forleathan tagtha faoi thionchar chláir shealbhaithe agus bhuanaithe Gaeilge an Ionaid freisin. "Tá cúrsaí an Ionaid ag cabhrú lenár mic léinn fostaíocht mhaith a aimsiú mar aon le deis a thabhairt dóibh leanacht leis an oideachas fadsaoil gar do bhaile ina dteanga dúchais" a deir Ó Concheanainn. Tá clár forbartha agus taighde á chur chun cinn ag an Ionad freisin a nascann nuálaíocht teanga agus nuálaíocht teicneolaíochta i réimsí a áiríonn an tIdirlíon agus an Chartlannaíocht. Tá an tAcadamh dóchasach go gcothóidh na tionscnaimh taighde agus forbartha seo tuilleadh deiseanna ardoiliúna agus fostaíochta sa Ghaeltacht. Tá obair an Ionaid ag tacú le cur chun cinn an bhonneagair oideachais, eacnamaíochta agus seirbhíse ar fud na Gaeltachta. Tá comhoibriú láidir ar siúl le heagraíochtaí stáit agus leis an bpobal ar mhaithe le cur ar chumas an phobail a bheith páirteach i sochaí agus i ngeilleagar an eolais, mar a léiríodh leis an bhfeachtas ar éirigh leis le gairid córas leathanbhanda ardluais HEAnet a sholáthar i gCarna agus i gceantair Ghaeltachta eile. "Tá an tacaíocht atá á fháil ag an Ionad ón Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta agus ó Údarás na Gaeltachta fíorthábhachtach ó thaobh timpeallacht a chothú atá báúil do chur chun cinn bonneagair Ollscolaíochta sa Ghaeltacht" a deir Ó Concheanainn. Tá idir léachtaí, taispeántais, ceardlanna agus ceolchoirm oíche Dé Sathairn ar chlár imeachtaí an deireadh seachtaine comórtha in Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim. San áireamh tá léacht ar shaothar Shorcha Ní Ghuairim féin a thabharfaidh an Dr Ríonach Uí Ógáin tráthnóna Dé hAoine, 21 Samhain ag 8.00i.n. Tugtar cuireadh don phobal freastal ar imeachtaí uile an deireadh seachtaine. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais maidir le himeachtaí an deireadh seachtaine a fháil ag: www.acadamh.ie CRÍOCH

Monday, 17 November 2008

On Friday 21 November, Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge will launch a weekend of events at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim, Carna to celebrate the Centre's 10-year anniversary. Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim is an outreach centre of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway. The Centre offers a range of third level educational opportunities through the medium of Irish to Gaeltacht communities and to Irish speakers elsewhere, in addition to endeavouring to sustain the Irish language as the primary community language in the Gaeltacht. Leagan Gaeilge Séamas Ó Concheanainn, the Centre's Administrator, commented ahead of the celebration: "It is a great sense of joy for us that we have reached this important milestone. Building on the centre's founding mission 10 years ago, we are offering a programme of third level education, language support and community development initiatives geared towards the sustainable development of Gaeltacht and Irish-speaking communities". To date, in excess of 580 students have achieved third level qualifications through Access, undergraduate and post-graduate level programmes in Information Technology and Business Administration, Gaeilge, Folklore Studies, Social Care and Community Development under the aegis of the Centre. The Centre's programme of courses is being developed on an ongoing basis to meet target group and market needs. A widespread community has also come under the influence of the Centre's Irish language acquisition and sustainment programme. Ó Concheanainn continued: "Our programmes assist our students in attaining high quality employment as well as enabling them to pursue lifelong learning opportunities close to home in their native language. The Acadamh Centre is developing a programme of research and development that integrates linguistic and technological innovation in areas encompassing the Internet and archiving. We are confident that these research and development initiatives will create further higher-education and employment opportunities in the Gaeltacht". The Centre's work is also contributing to the development of the educational, economic and services infrastructure in the Gaeltacht. There is strong co-operation with state bodies and with the public to enable communities to participate in the knowledge society and economy. This is evident in the recent successful campaign to attain the HEAnet high-speed broadband service at Carna and in other Gaeltacht areas. "The support received by the Centre from the Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta and from Údarás na Gaeltachta is paramount in nurturing an environment conducive to the development of a third level education infrastructure in the Gaeltacht" says Ó Concheanainn. The weekend programme of events at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim includes lectures, exhibitions, workshops, and a Saturday night concert featuring sean-nós singers and dancers, musicians and other artists from near and far. Dr Ríonach Uí Ógáin will give a lecture on Sorcha Ní Ghuairim's career and accomplishments on Friday, 21 November at 8.00pm. The public are invited to attend all events through the weekend. Further details regarding the weekend's events can be found at: www.acadamh.ie ENDS

Thursday, 13 November 2008

NUI Galway is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Terry Eagleton as Adjunct Professor of Cultural Theory based at the Moore's Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Professor Eagleton, who is of Irish descent, is regarded by many as arguably Britain's most influential living literary critic. His specialities are literary and cultural theory and the English-language literature and culture of Ireland, on which he has recently completed a trilogy of works. Eagleton's books of literary criticism include Literary Theory: an Introduction (1983) and After Theory (2003). He is also the author of the novel Saints and Scholars (1987) and The Gatekeeper: a Memoir (2001). His latest books are How to Read a Poem (2006); The Meaning of Life (2007); and Trouble with Strangers: a Study of Ethics (2008). Announcing the appointment, Professor Kevin Barry, Dean of the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies at NUI Galway, said: "We warmly welcome Terry Eagleton to the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies where he will join the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies. Eagleton, as adjunct Professor of Cultural Theory, will provide each semester master-classes for doctoral students and junior staff, in addition to open lectures and seminars on modern literature". "Without doubt Terry Eagleton is one of the most distinguished and recalcitrant public intellectuals of his time. He has on many occasions been a celebrated visitor to Galway, receiving an Honorary Doctorate from this University some ten years ago. He has continued, whether in his writings on culture, critical thinking, economic inequality, or the politics of terror, to rough up the edges of the mainstream , as he calls it. He remains (and his time may have come again) a defender of Marx's analysis of power and its discontents. He is a famous and fabulous communicator and one of the rare articulate, persuasive critics of contemporary liberalism. His presence on campus will bring exciting benefits to our students, and we are delighted he will be sharing with them his time and the energy of his arguments." Terry Eagleton was recently appointed to a Chair in English Literature at the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and has previously held the positions of Thomas Wharton Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford (1992-2001), and until recently the John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at the University of Manchester. Eagleton commented on his appointment to NUI Galway: "I am delighted to be appointed to a chair in the most beautiful of all the Irish campuses, a college which honoured me with a Degree of Doctor of Letters some years ago. Coming to Galway is particularly exciting for me since I have many old friends in the town and college. In fact, the Eagletons come from Headford and Shrule and there are still members of my family in the borderlines of Co. Galway and Co. Mayo. I am particularly grateful to Professor Kevin Barry who took the initiative to bring me to Galway and I look forward to meeting the students very soon". Professor Eagleton will deliver his Inaugural Lecture at NUI Galway on 10 December entitled 'The Death of Criticism'. -Ends-

Thursday, 13 November 2008

- Scientists report major steps towards 1st Census of Marine Life - Research from the Martin Ryan Institute at NUI Galway will headline the latest report from the 2,000-strong community of Census of Marine Life (CoML) scientists from 82 nations tomorrow (Tuesday, 11 November, 2008) announcing astonishing examples of recent new finds from the world's ocean depths. As more than 700 delegates gather for the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity (Valencia, Spain, 11-15 November), organized by the Census's European affiliate program on Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning, the report details major progress towards the first ever marine life census, for release in October, 2010. Antarctic ancestry of many deep-sea octopuses worldwide Principal Investigator Dr Louise Allcock from NUI Galway, and her colleagues from Cambridge University, Queen's University Belfast and British Antarctic Survey, will report the first molecular evidence that a large proportion of deep-sea octopus species worldwide evolved from common ancestor species that still exist in the Southern Ocean. Octopuses started migrating to new ocean basins more than 30 million years ago as Antarctica cooled and large icesheets grew. These huge climatic events created a "thermohaline expressway," a northbound flow of deep cold water, providing new habitat for the animals previously confined to the sea floor around Antarctica. Isolated in new habitat conditions, many different species evolved; some octopuses, for example, lost their defensive ink sacs – pointless at perpetually dark depths more than two kilometres below the surface. This revelation into the global distribution and diversity of deep-sea fauna, to be reported on 11 November in the journal Cladistics, was made possible by intensive sampling during Census International Polar Year expeditions. Dr Allcock commented: "It is clear from our research that climate change can have profound effects on biodiversity, with impacts even extending into inaccessible habitats such as the deep oceans". In the fourth highlights report issued since the global collaboration began in the year 2000, Census scientists say their work is compiling an unprecedented number of "firsts" for ocean biodiversity: Advancing technology for discovery; organizing knowledge about marine life and making it accessible; measuring effects of human activities on ocean life; and providing the foundation for scientifically-based policies. According to Ian Poiner, chair of the Census's International Scientific Steering Committee and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Institute of Marine Science: "The release of the first Census in 2010 will be a milestone in science. After 10 years of new global research and information assembly by thousands of experts the world over, it will synthesize what humankind knows about the oceans, what we don't know, and what we may never know – a scientific achievement of historic proportions". "Dedication and cooperation are enabling the largest, most complex program ever undertaken in marine biology to meet its schedule and reach its goals. When the program began, such progress seemed improbable to many observers". -Ends-

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

One of the most successful road cyclists of our time Mr Seán Kelly will today (Friday, 7 November, 2008) officially open the new €22 million Sports Centre at NUI Galway. The state-of-the-art facility is available to students, staff and the general public. The 6,500 sq.m. sports and leisure complex includes a 25 metre 6-lane swimming pool with moveable floor, squash and racquetball courts, a three-court basketball hall, multipurpose studios, a substantial gym and a high-tech climbing wall. The NUI Galway Sports Centre is part of a €400 million capital development programme, 'Campus of the Future', to provide the highest standards of physical infrastructure to support excellence in teaching and research. The President of NUI Galway, Dr James J Browne commented: "The opening of the Sports Centre represents a milestone in the history of NUI Galway. This state-of-the-art complex will make a significant contribution to the health, well-being and education of our students and staff and underlines the central role sport plays in life at NUI Galway". Funding for the new facility came partly from the student body at NUI Galway, who voted in 2003 to increase their student levy to support the project. Student membership rates are significantly discounted for this facility. Atlantic Philanthropies made a major capital grant towards the project, arranged through Galway University Foundation. The official opening takes place just days after student athletes at NUI Galway received over €100,000 in scholarships to help them to continue to develop their sporting excellence. A previous recipient of such scholarships, NUI Galway medical student and Olympic athlete, Paul Hession, welcomed the elite facilities: "This is a fantastic new facility for NUI Galway and will transform the range of sporting opportunities available to students here. The new elite sports gym, in particular, will provide excellent training facilities for professional sports people like myself". The building incorporates significant 'green energy' initiatives giving it a relatively low carbon footprint. Technology used includes a Combined Heat and Power unit, generating electricity for the facility and recycling the heat for re-use in the building. The team that worked on the building project included world-renowned architects Faulkner Browns, in conjunction with Holohan Design, and local builders Glenman Corporation. The facility is operated by Kingfisher Fitness Group who already run six successful leisure centres across the country. To contact the NUI Galway Sports Centre call 091 570 800 or email nuigalwayinfo@kingfisherclub.com. For further information visit www.kingfisher.com -ends-

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

NUI Galway has partnered with the 'Chicago Irish Project', an initiative designed to improve the quality of life for Irish-born older adults living in the Chicago metropolitan area. Students from NUI Galway's M.A. in Social Work will be offered the opportunity to carry out their work placement in Chicago, supporting older Irish people who may be vulnerable, feel isolated or live alone. Representatives of the Chicago Irish Project will be in Galway from 18-19 November to meet with students and staff of the M.A. in Social Work. The full-time master's degree is run over two years and includes two 14-week fieldwork placements, which can be undertaken in Ireland or in selected sites in South Africa and the US. The metropolitan Chicago area is home to a very vibrant group of Irish born older adults who are dedicated to the preservation and celebration of their Irish heritage in America. While the most visible older adults benefit from social networks formed through existing cultural centers, the growing concern is for the unmet needs of older people who may have limited mobility, or may have lost those social connections. The Chicago Irish Project was established by the Chicago Immigrant Support Center in conjunction with Wellsprings Personal Care, the Chicago-based private home care company. Marguerita Mc Govern is Practice Learning Co-ordinator on NUI Galway's M.A. in Social Work: "The work placement element of the M.A. is a critical part of the course and we like to choose the best partners possible for our students to work with. There has been a long synergy between Chicago and Galway, which was formalised in 1997 when the two became twinned cites. The fact that NUI Galway social work students can now support older immigrants in Chicago, by casework and groupwork methods, will be of huge benefit to all involved". By visiting Galway, the Chicago Irish Project also hope to raise awareness of the project in the West of Ireland, in an effort to reach out to people living in the region who may have elderly relatives in Chicago. -ends-

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

'The Politics of the 2008 Election: How America Has Changed' NUI Galway Law Society will host American political commentator and columnist Mark Shields on Thursday, 20 November, for what promises to be an informative and entertaining evening. He will deliver an address entitled 'The Politics of the 2008 Election: How America has Changed', at 8pm in the Cairnes Theatre, NUI Galway. Named by the Wall Street Journal as the 'wittiest political journalist in America', Shields will share his opinions of the 2008 election, the victory of President-Elect Barack Obama, and his past experiences in a career spanning eight presidents. Mark Sheilds has worked as a political analyst on 'News Hour with Jim Lehrer' for nearly two decades and appearing frequently as a commentator on CNN. In 1979, he began writing his column on national politics for The Washington Post, a column which is now distributed nationally. Peter Mannion, the current Auditor of the Law Society at NUI Galway, met Mark Shields when he spent the summer as an intern for Barack Obama: "Meeting Mark Shields was one of the high lights of my summer in Washington. He offers a unique insight in to American politics with his wealth of experience and hilarious wit. It promises to be a great night at NUI Galway". Peter was in the US as part of the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP) which is sponsoring Mark Sheilds' visit to NUI Galway. WIP brings outstanding university students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to Washington DC for summer internships and leadership training. Students gain valuable practical experience by completing internships in US government, media, business and non-profit organisations. Over 380 students have participated in the WIP program since its foundation in 1995, including 12 students from NUI Galway. Mark Shields is also the author of On the Campaign Trail, a narrative account which documents the 1984 presidential race. Prior to becoming a journalist, Shields worked on a number of political campaigns including Robert Kennedy's campaign in 1968 where he acted as Kennedy's California State Director. In 1988 he contributed to the political coverage that won a Peabody Award for 'The News Hour'. He has also provided election analysis for CBS and NBC. For further information on the event contact Louise Hamilton of the NUI Galway Law Society, on 086 0734033 or email nuiglawsociety@gmail.com -ends-

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Business and knowledge management expert Professor Larry Prusak, of Harvard Business School and Babson College, will be in NUI Galway for a public lecture on Thursday, 20 November. Entitled 'The Future of Knowledge', the lecture will be hosted by the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway in conjunction with InterTradeIreland. The event takes place at 6pm in Room CA118, 1st Floor, Cairnes Building, NUI Galway. Larry Prusak is a leading authority on Knowledge Management and has authored six books in the area. He was the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Knowledge Management, a global consortium engaged in advancing the practice of knowledge management. Professor Prusak's lecture will look at the organisational roles, design processes, incentives and strategies that work best for knowledge management. He will address changes that are taking place globally which put a premium on knowledge for organisations and nations. In particular, he will focus on the impact of the break-up of the monopoly on 'useful' knowledge that was held by the US and Western Europe for the past century, and the concurrent extreme drop in information transaction costs brought on by the IT revolution. Professor Prusak will discuss how these two movements have changed the way we need to think about how wealth is created and how work is organised. According to Willie Golden, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change at NUI Galway: "Knowledge, how it flows and how it is managed, has a huge impact on organisations and on society. While we all understand the word economy, as Ireland seeks to become a 'knowledge economy', there is still much to be understood about knowledge. Professor Prusak can provide us with insights into how current organisational models might be changed to harness this knowledge more effectively". Professor Prusak has been studying knowledge and learning in organisations for the past two decades. He has extensive experience in helping organisations with their information and knowledge resources, these organisations include Novartis, McKinsey, NASA, World Bank, and the United Nations. For further information or to confirm your attendance, please email cisc@nuigalway.ie or telephone Angela Sice on 091 492817. -ends-

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Senior representatives from the European Commission's Directorate General for Interpretation visited NUI Galway recently to discuss the University's M.A. in Conference Interpreting. The first course of its kind in Ireland, the M.A. has been designed in direct response to demand for qualified interpreters since Irish became an official language of the European Union. Leagan Gaeilge The Directorate General for Interpretation is the European Commission's interpreting service and the largest of its kind in the world. While it does not train interpreters, the Directorate General cooperates with a small number of universities internationally to develop professionally focused training of the highest quality. In Ireland, it is working closely with NUI Galway's Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge to ensure the new M.A. in Conference Interpreting is of the highest international standards. The new M.A. in Conference Interpreting is delivered by the Acadamh in An Cheathrú Rua where the first intake of students commenced the course in September. Until now, potential interpreters of Irish had to travel to London to complete their training. The select group of existing professional Irish interpreters include two lecturers on the M.A. programme, Susan Folan and Seán Maitiú Ó Carraidh, both of whom have worked as professional interpreters for all of the European Institutions. The Directorate General for Interpretation was represented at NUI Galway by Brian Fox, Director of Interpreters, and David Smith, Head of English and Irish Interpreting. They gave a presentation to students and staff highlighting the merits of an interpreting qualification with Irish, given the current demand for such a qualification in European Institutions. According to Susan Folan, Course Co-ordinator of the M.A. in Conference Interpreting at NUI Galway: "Fact replaced fiction during the visit of the Directorate, who pointed out the official figures regarding the cost of multilingualism and Irish as an official European Language. The total cost of interpreting of all 23 languages costs 21 cent per citizen per year". The M.A. in Conference Interpreting at NUI Galway is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. -ends-

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Thug ionadaithe sinsearacha ó Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh cuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh le deireanas le plé a dhéanamh ar an M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála atá á thairiscint ag an Ollscoil. Tá éileamh ar ateangairí cáilithe san Aontas Eorpach anois de bharr an stádais oifigiúil atá ag an nGaeilge ó 2007 agus cuireadh an cúrsa M.A. seo, an chéad chúrsa dá leithéid in Éirinn, ar bun chun freastal ar an margadh seo. View in English Seirbhís ateangaireachta an Choimisiúin Eorpaigh is ea an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta agus tá sí ar an tseirbhís is mó dá leithéid ar domhan. Cé nach gcuireann an Ard-Stiúrthóireacht oiliúint ar ateangairí, comhoibríonn sé le líon beag ollscoileanna go hidirnáisiúnta le cinntiú go mbíonn an oiliúint atá á cur ar fáil ar ardchaighdeán. In Éirinn, tá sé ag obair go dlúth le hAcadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh le cinntiú go mbaineann an cúrsa nua M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála na caighdeáin is airde amach. Tá an cúrsa nua M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála á chur ar fáil ag an Acadamh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus tá an chéad ghrúpa mac léinn i mbun staidéir ó mhí Mheán Fómhair. Go dtí seo b'éigean do dhaoine a bhí ag iarraidh a bheith ina n-ateangairí le Gaeilge taisteal go Londain le hoiliúint a fháil. Tá Susan Folan agus Seán Maitiú Ó Carraidh, beirt léachtóirí ar an gcúrsa M.A., i measc an ghrúpa bhig ateangairí gairmiúla Gaeilge agus tá tréimhsí caite acu beirt ag obair mar ateangairí gairmiúla in Institiúidí na hEorpa. Tháinig Brian Fox, Stiúrthóir na nAteangairí, agus David Smith, Ceannaire Ateangaireachta Béarla agus Gaeilge, ar cuairt chuig OÉ Gaillimh ón Ard-Stiúrthóireacht Ateangaireachta. Rinne siad cur i láthair do mhic léinn agus d'fhoireann na hOllscoile ag tarraingt aird ar leith ar an tábhacht a bhaineann le cáilíocht ateangaireachta sa Ghaeilge de bharr an éilimh atá ar cháilíocht den chineál sin in Institiúidí na hEorpa i láthair na huaire. Deir Susan Folan, Comhordaitheoir an chúrsa M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála ag OÉ Gaillimh: "Cuireadh fírinne an scéil i láthair le linn chuairt na hArd-Stiúrthóireachta, agus léiríodh na fíorchostais a bhaineann leis an ilteangachas agus leis an nGaeilge mar theanga oifigiúil de chuid an Aontais Eorpaigh. Is é 21 cent in aghaidh an tsaoránaigh in aghaidh na bliana an costas iomlán a bhaineann leis an ateangaireacht do 23 teanga an Aontais". Tacaíonn Údarás na Gaeltachta agus an Roinn Gnóthaí Pobail, Tuaithe agus Gaeltachta leis an M.A. san Ateangaireacht Chomhdhála atá á thairiscint ag OÉ Gaillimh. -Críoch-

Monday, 10 November 2008

"Are we too posh to push?" A 'science café' organised by NUI Galway's Environmental Change Institute, in association with the Galway One World Centre, will explore attitudes to the environment and climate change on Thursday, 20 November at 7.30pm. The discussion will be led by science writer and broadcaster Mary Mulvihill, whose new book on sustainable living, Drive like a Woman, Shop like a Man, will by published by New Island in early 2009. The public are invited to this free event which takes place in the King Head's Ruby Room on Quay Street, Galway. Transport will be one of the topics up for discussion at this unusual pub evening. How will people be travelling in 1,000 years time? Will there still be boats, cars, horses, trains and planes? Will we be using bicycles which offer cheap, efficient and time-saving transport, combined with healthy exercise? How can we persuade people to get on their bike and act more sustainably? Or are we too posh to push? Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer for the Environmental Change Institute at NUI Galway says: "We are delighted to be hosting Mary Mulvihill at NUI Galway, and know that the people of Galway will welcome the opportunity to discuss, with Mary, environmental topics of real-life relevance in this slightly unconventional platform". 'Science cafés' are popular in cities around the world, providing an informal space where people without a specialist background can take part in scientific discussions, and this will be the first such event sponsored by NUI Galway. According to Mary Mulvihill, climate change can be an overwhelming topic: "My goal for the discussion will be to stimulate the flow of thoughts, ideas, and conversation, in a relaxed atmosphere. Questions that might be discussed include: How do we respond to the enormous scale of the climate change problem? What is the best way to motivate people?". Mary Mulvihill added: "When the subject first reached mainstream media 20 years ago, people in Ireland welcomed 'global warming' as something that might bring warm summers and a grape-growing climate! Does it matter what we call the problem: is climate change too benign a term?". Admission to the science café is free, but as space is limited attendees are advised to arrive on time. For further information please visit Mary's blog at http://thelitmuspaper.blogspot.com/ or contact Sarah Knight, Outreach Officer for the Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway on 091 495061. -ends-

Friday, 7 November 2008

University of Memphis psychology expert Dr Rick Dale is to give a public lecture at NUI Galway on his experiments using the Nintendo Wii to investigate how people think and make decisions. The event will be hosted by NUI Galway's School of Psychology on Wednesday, 12 November, at 7.30pm in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building. Apart from being a popular videogame entertainment device, the Nintendo Wii has also been adapted to use for physical therapy and as a form of exercise. Dr Dale and his team took the Nintendo a step further to begin to explore the relationship between the mind and the body. He says: "The Wiimote is in fact the perfect interface to perform these kinds of experiments. As the game itself is already designed to absorb a person's body into the videogame experience, we just have to hook the Wiimote into a lab computer, and we can enjoy the rich streaming data that videogames typically use, but this time track them in experiments". Until recently, many psychologists concluded that thinking and acting were managed by relatively separate subsystems in the human mind. This was reflected in the way that when we make decisions, most of us feel like we think and then act. Dr Dale's research shows the systems that control thinking and those that control action are actually deeply intertwined. He explains: "We often begin to act before we think, even when making relatively simple decisions. Some might say that we even think through our actions". One of the experiments at the University of Memphis showed that people have a 'bias toward truth' in that there is a natural tendency to believe things are true. Participants in the experiment used the Wiimote to answer Yes or No to questions such as 'Can a kangaroo walk backwards?'. The results showed that it took longer for participants to decide that a statement was false, rather than true. In many cases, the cursor travelled first toward the yes, and then curved over to no. For the researchers, this indicated two things. Firstly, the body was in motion before the cognitive processing was completed. Secondly, the participants really wanted to believe most of the statements were true, even though they decided quickly that some of them were not. Dr Dale's visit to Ireland is hosted by NUI Galway and supported by the Irish Research Council on the Humanities and the Social Sciences. For further information on the public lecture contact Denis O Hora at the NUI Galway School of Psychology on 091 495126. -ends-

Friday, 7 November 2008

Is é an rothaí cáiliúil Seán Kelly a osclóidh an tIonad Spóirt nua in OÉ Gaillimh inniu (Dé hAoine, 7 Samhain 2008), Ionad Spóirt a chosain €22 milliún. Beidh cead ag mic léinn, ag comhaltaí foirne agus ag an bpobal úsáid a bhaint as an áis iontach seo. Tá achar 6,500 m² san ionad spóirt agus áineasa seo lena n-áirítear linn snámha 6-lána 25 méadar. Is féidir an t-urlár a ardú agus a ísliú inti. Tá cúirteanna scuaise agus raicéadaíochta, halla ina bhfuil trí chúirt cispheile, stiúideonna ilchuspóireacha, giomnáisiam an-mhór agus balla dreapadóireachta ann chomh maith. Is cuid é Ionad Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh de chlár forbartha caipitil €400 milliún, 'Campas na Todhchaí', chun na caighdeáin is airde d'infreastruchtúr fisiciúil a sholáthar ar mhaithe le tacú le feabhas sa teagasc agus sa taighde. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, An Dr James J. Browne: "Baineann suntas faoi leith le hoscailt an Ionaid Spóirt i stair OÉ Gaillimh. Cuirfidh an t-ionad nua-aimseartha seo go mór le sláinte, le folláine agus le hoideachas ár mac léinn agus ár gcomhaltaí foirne mar aon le léargas a thabhairt ar an ról lárnach atá ag an spórt i saol phobal OÉ Gaillimh". Mhaoinigh mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh cuid den ionad, nuair a vótáil siad in 2003 tobhach na mac léinn a mhéadú chun tacú leis an tionscadal. Beidh lascaine shuntasach le fáil do mhic léinn ar mian leo áiseanna an Ionaid Spóirt a úsáid. Thug Atlantic Philanthropies deontas mór caipitil don tionscadal trí shocrú a rinneadh trí Fhondúireacht Ollscoil na Gaillimhe. Cúpla lá ó shin anseo san Ollscoil bronnadh scoláireachtaí spóirt ar fiú os cionn €100,000 iad ar lúthchleasaithe atá ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh le cabhrú leo a gcumas spóirt a fhorbairt. Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag Paul Hession, ar bronnadh scoláireacht spóirt air roinnt blianta ó shin, ar mac léinn leighis in OÉ Gaillimh é agus ar lúthchleasaí Oilimpeach é: "Áis den chéad scoth é seo in OÉ Gaillimh a chinnteoidh go dtiocfaidh athrú iomlán ar na deiseanna spóirt a bheidh ar fáil anseo do mhic léinn. Beidh áiseanna traenála den scoth le fáil sa ghiomnáisiam nua, don lucht spóirt gairmiúil cosúil liom féin". Is foirgneamh glas é seo sa chiall gur beag dochar atá á dhéanamh aige don chomhshaol. Sampla den teicneolaíocht atá in úsáid san Ionad is ea aonad Cumhachta is Teasa in Éineacht, a ghineann leictreachas don ionad agus a dhéanann athchúrsáil ar an teas lena úsáid san fhoirgneamh arís. D'oibrigh na hailtirí cáiliúla Faulkner Browns ar an tionscadal, i gcomhar le Holohan Design, mar aon leis na tógálaithe áitiúla Glenman Corporation. Is é Kingfisher Fitness Group a bhfuil sé ionad áineasa acu cheana féin sa tír atá i mbun an Ionaid a rith. Glaoigh ar Ionad Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh ar 091 570 800 nó seol ríomhphost chuig nuigalwayinfo@kingfisherclub.com. Tá eolas breise le fáil ar www.kingfisherclub.com -críoch-

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

NUI Galway wishes to announce a donation of €340,550 ($459,000) it has received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The donation takes the form of a research enhancement grant to the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies designed specifically to assist researchers on three of the Institutes' current projects to internationalise their efforts. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant will provide support over a four-year period (2008-2012) to three strands of the research agenda 'Texts, Contexts, Cultures at the Moore Institute' already being funded by the Higher Education Authority under its Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, Cycle 4 (PRTLI4). These strands are: The Life and Legacy of Columbanus directed by Conor Newman and Dr Mark Stansbury; Transmission and Cultural Exchange directed by Daniel Carey and Professor Jane Conroy; and Globalisation, Empire and Culture, directed by Dr Lionel Pilkington. The enhancement grant to these three interconnected research strands, with their associated graduate training, will enable the scholars and students engaged on these projects to bring a series of international scholars to the Moore Institute to provide specialist seminars and master classes; to support researchers and research students while they engage in short study visits to major research libraries and institutes abroad; and to arrange major international conferences relating to the subject of their research. Professor Nicholas Canny, Academic Director of the Moore Institute at NUI Galway, said: "The donation from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will enable the Institute to further engage an international community of scholars in its research and graduate training mission which has always been transnational, multi-disciplinary and inter-institutional. It also brings credit to all who have worked in this vibrant research community over the past eight years". Since its inception in 2000, the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies has enabled humanities researchers across a range of disciplines to situate their work in a global context, bringing best practice in international scholarship to the Irish research community. The Moore Institute also caters for the mentoring of early stage researchers and for the transmission to them of transferable skills that promise both to develop their capacity for employment in the public sphere and to develop Ireland s knowledge economy. The Institute is called after the Moore family of Moore Hall in County Mayo whose members, in successive generations, sponsored such change in the west of Ireland over the course of four centuries. -Ends-

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Tá scoláireachtaí spóirt ar fiú os cionn €100,000 iad bronnta ar lúthchleasaithe atá ag freastal ar OÉ Gaillimh le cabhrú leo a gcumas spóirt a fhorbairt. I mbliana tacóidh Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh le 80 mac léinn atá ag díriú ar spóirt éagsúla lena n-áirítear Lúthchleasaíocht, Cispheil, Peil, Liathróid Láimhe, Iománaíocht, Dreapadóireacht Aille, Rámhaíocht, Rugbaí, Sacar, Snámh agus Leadóg. Bhronn Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, an Dr James J. Browne, scoláireachtaí ar na mic léinn ag searmanas speisialta a bhí ar siúl san Ollscoil ar an 3 Samhain. Bronnadh 16 scoláireacht nua i mbliana – scoláireachtaí ar fiú €2,000 sa bhliain iad go dtí go mbeidh na mic léinn críochnaithe lena gcuid staidéir in OÉ Gaillimh. Ciallaíonn sé sin go bhfuil 25 mac léinn as OÉ Gaillimh anois ag baint tairbhe as scoláireachtaí spóirt. I measc na mac léinn ar bronnadh Scoláireachtaí Spóirt orthu i mbliana tá: an reathaí Orla Ní Mhuircheartaigh, na himreoirí cispheile James Loughnane agus Paul O'Brien; na peileadóirí Úna Carroll agus Gareth Bradshaw; an t-iomróir Niall Kenny; an snámhaí Dairne Ryan; agus an t-imreoir leadóige Marion Hanley ar de bhunadh Chontae na Gaillimhe iad. I measc na mbuaiteoirí eile bhí: an t-iománaí Séamus Hennessy agus an peileadóir Ciarán McDonald as Tiobraid Árann; an t-imreoir sacair Michael Creane agus an t-imreoir rugbaí Keith Farry as Sligeach; an t-imreoir liathróid láimhe Diarmuid Nash agus an t-iománaí John Conlon as An Clár; an dreapadóir aille Joan Mulloy as Co. Mhaigh Eo; agus an t-imreoir rugbaí Jeffrey Neville as Luimneach. Lena chois sin, bronnadh sparánachtaí ar fiú €1,000 an ceann iad ar 50 mac léinn. Bronnadh na sparánachtaí seo ar mhic léinn atá i mbun cineálacha éagsúla spóirt, tonnmharcaíocht agus clársheoltóireacht ina measc, spóirt a bhfuil tóir ag go leor daoine in Iarthar na hÉireann orthu le blianta beaga anuas. Bronnadh dhá sparánacht eile ar fiú €1,000 iad, trí Scéim Scoláireachtaí CLG Cadbury mar chuid de Chraobhchomórtas Peile CLG Cadbury Faoi 21, ar Pheileadóir Idirchontae na hIarmhí, John Connellan as Baile Átha Luain, agus ar Imreoir Idirchontae Mhaigh Eo, Chris Barrett as Béal an Mhuirthead. Deir Tony Regan, Oifigeach Spóirt agus Áineasa OÉ Gaillimh go bhfuil tús á chur le ré nua i gcúrsaí spóirt in OÉ Gaillimh: "Tarraingíodh aird ar chúrsaí spóirt anseo in OÉ Gaillimh in 2008. I measc mhic léinn agus alumni OÉ Gaillimh a ghlac páirt sna Cluichí Oilimpeacha i mBéising i gcaitheamh an tsamhraidh bhí Paul Hession, Olive Loughnane, Alan Martin agus Cormac Folan. Ag an am céanna, tá áiseanna den scoth ar fáil anois san Ionad Spóirt nua ar an gcampas - linn snámha 25 méadar, cúirteanna scuaise agus raicéadaíochta, cúirt cispheile idirnáisiúnta, giomnáisiam den chéad scoth mar aon le balla dreapadóireachta". Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt sé "Is mian linn tréaslú leis na buaiteoirí cumasacha seo ar fad agus gach tacaíocht a thabhairt dóibh lena chinntiú go n-éiríonn go breá leo amach anseo. Is iad buaiteoirí na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt seo an chéad ghlúin eile dár laochra spóirt". Cuid lárnach de mhisean OÉ Gaillimh é feabhas a bhaint amach i gcúrsaí spóirt, agus spreagann an Ollscoil mic léinn nua a bhfuil luí ar leith acu le spórt éigin le hiarratas a dhéanamh ar Scéim na Scoláireachtaí Spóirt. Is é an spriocdháta do Scéim Scoláireachtaí Spóirt na bliana seo amach romhainn an 31 Márta 2009. Tá sonraí le fáil ó mhúinteoirí gairmthreorach nó trí ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig ellen.kelly@nuigalway.ie - críoch -

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Student athletes at NUI Galway have received over €100,000 in scholarships to help them to continue to develop their sporting excellence. This year, the NUI Galway Sports Scholarship Scheme will support almost 80 students in sports such as Athletics, Basketball, Football, Handball, Hurling, Rock Climbing, Rowing, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming and Tennis. At a special ceremony in the University on 3 November, students were presented with the awards by Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway. A total of 16 new scholarships were awarded, each to the value of €2,000 per annum for the remainder of the students' studies, bringing to 25 the number of students currently on sports scholarships. The new Sports Scholarship Awardees include athletes from county Galway: runner Orla Ní Mhuircheartaigh, basketball players James Loughnane and Paul O'Brien; footballers Úna Carroll and Gareth Bradshaw; rower Niall Kenny; swimmer Dairne Ryan; and tennis player Marion Hanley. Other counties represented included: from Tipperary, hurler Séamus Hennessy and footballer Ciarán McDonald; from Sligo, soccer player Michael Creane and rugby player Keith Farry; from Clare, handball player Diarmuid Nash and hurler John Conlon; from Mayo, rock climber Joan Mulloy; and from Limerick, rugby player Jeffrey Neville. In addition, bursaries to the value of €1,000 were awarded to 50 students. These bursaries cover a wide range of sports and include surfing and windsurfing which are growing in popularity in the West of Ireland. Two further awards of €1,000, sponsored through the Cadbury GAA Scholarships as part of the Cadbury GAA U21 Football Championship, were made to current Westmeath Inter-county footballer John Connellan from Athlone and current Mayo Inter-county player Chris Barrett from Bellmullet. Tony Regan, NUI Galway Sports and Recreation Officer, said the University is entering a new era in terms of sport: "2008 really has thrown a spotlight on sport at NUI Galway. Our students and alumni, namely Paul Hession, Olive Loughnane, Alan Martin and Cormac Folan flew the flag with distinction in Bejing. Meanwhile, the new Sports Centre enhances sports facilities on campus with a 25-metre pool, squash and racquetball courts, an international basketball court, a state-of-the-art gym, specialist elite gym, and a high-tech climbing wall". He added, "We would like to congratulate our awardees who represent a cross section of outstanding talent and offer them every support in taking their talents further. This year's Sports Scholarship Awardees are the next generation of sporting heroes". The pursuit of sporting excellence is part of the mission of NUI Galway, and the University encourages all school leavers who have a particular sporting talent to consider applying to the Sports Scholarship Scheme. The closing date for next year's Sports Scholarships Scheme is 31 March 2009. Details are available from career guidance teachers or by emailing ellen.kelly@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Monday, 3 November 2008

Michael Keeney, a postgraduate researcher at NUI Galway, has been awarded a fellowship, at a prestigious University in the Netherlands, to advance his work in the area of tissue engineering. His focus is on the latest science which aims to persuade the body to heal itself by increasing cell repair in degenerated tissue. Michael Keeney, who is originally from Donegal Town, will spend three months working at Radboud University, Nijmegen, which has a long history of bone and tissue engineering research. He is excited about the opportunity: "This fellowship will allow me a unique opportunity to test our functional biomaterial in one of the best research labs in Europe. The three months should prove invaluable to my research career". At NUI Galway, Michael Keeney is an Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology (IRCSET) scholar and is in the final year of his dissertation under the supervision of Professor Abhay Pandit. In November 2007, Professor Pandit and his team were awarded €4.3 million for the development of a Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering research cluster at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, NUI Galway. According to Professor Pandit: "NUI Galway is developing critical mass in the area of next generation biomaterials. Each individual researcher is playing an important part in our work and Michael is a perfect example. He has been an exemplary student and scientist since he came to the University in 2001. His research is advancing the field of tissue engineering and will have possible applications in bone and cartilage regeneration following injury of damage due to disease". Michael Keeney will be based in the Netherlands from January to March of 2009. The fellowship was awarded by the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO). -ends-

Monday, 3 November 2008

Protecting the rights of the world's 650 million persons with disabilities was the focus of a conference on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York which was addressed Professor Gerard Quinn of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, NUI Galway. The conference followed on from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol, which entered into force on 3 May 2008. It was composed of States that have ratified the convention and was the first time they met as a Conference of States Parties. In his presentation, Professor Quinn underscored that the Convention's success would be determined by whether it could ignite a new dynamic of change at a national level, cautioning that people must "resist the temptation of its elegance", and not allow it to substitute for the hard work that would be needed to change domestic laws. Professor Quinn was joined by a distinguished panel by invitation of the Chair of the Conference of States to reflect on implementation. The Conference will meet annually to share experiences and make recommendations with respect to the implementation of the treaty. Members of the new UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will be elected today. The Committee will monitor compliance with the convention. Professor Quinn said: "It is an honour to be asked to address the first formal gathering of States that have ratified the treaty. We all hope and expect that Ireland will ratify soon. Unfortunately, since Ireland has not yet ratified, it will not be able to take part in the election to the new UN Committee. This does not diminish the importance of the event for the 'world's largest minority'. Several of our students have participated in the drafting of the treaty and our PhD programme in disability law follows relevant events closely". The Convention, one of the fastest treaties ever negotiated at the United Nations, and one of the fastest to enter into force, has been hailed as a landmark achievement. While the Convention itself does not create any new rights for persons with disabilities worldwide, it ensures that their existing rights are promoted, protected and ensured. The first new human rights treaty of the twenty-first century, it has been signed by 136 countries since 30 March 2007, and ratified by 41. The Optional Protocol has gathered 79 signatures and 25 ratifications so far. This would allow individuals and Groups to lodge complaints against their Governments in the new UN Committee. -ends-

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T.D., has announced substantial awards totalling €45.7 million over five years, through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). This investment provides second term funding for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway as well as two other world-class research Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs). Funding will be supplemented by an additional contribution from industry of €14.5 million, bringing the overall investment to over €60 million. At NUI Galway, DERI is researching technologies that will underpin the next generation of the World Wide Web – the Semantic Web. Announcing the awards, the Tánaiste said: "From its inception, the SFI CSET programme has been designed to facilitate the creation of internationally-competitive, large-scale research centres that support high-quality collaborations between higher education institutes and industry-based researchers. All three centres have been playing a pivotal role in contributing to the Government's goal of building a world-class research base in Ireland, and developing our human capital to support economic competitiveness. Today is an endorsement of this achievement to date, and marks the beginning of the next chapter for each individual researcher and their respective teams". Michael Turley, CEO, DERI, said at the announcement: "The receipt of this second term funding from SFI will enable DERI to execute on its strategies. These include world class research and the creation of fourth level human capital for Ireland s knowledge economy. This funding will give DERI the opportunity to exploit the commercialisation and job creation opportunities that will arise through DERI s industry partnerships and NUI Galway's technology transfer programmes. The University's education and outreach programme with schools and communities will also play a vital part in attracting third level students to the Engineering and Science disciplines". DERI's industry partners include: Nortel Networks (Ireland) Ltd, Cisco Systems Internetworking (Ireland) Ltd, FISC-Ireland Ltd, L M Ericsson Ltd, Storm Technology Ltd, Celtrak Ltd, Cyntelix Corporation Ltd, OpenLink Software (UK) Ltd. Stefan Decker, Scientific Director, DERI, NUI Galway, said: "DERI s mission is to create the foundation for interlinking the worlds knowledge. We are not only aiming for academic excellence, but together with our industry partners we want to change the way how people interact with the computers when using the Web or Desktop software. Starting from a basis of strength enabled by SFI s funding, we are confident that we are able to help shape Ireland s future." Also attending the announcement, Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Jimmy Devins T.D. said: "A total of 12 distinct indigenous and multinational companies will partner with these CSETs, and SFI funding will be bolstered by these industry partners' contribution of an additional €14.5 million in the form of funding, personnel and equipment. The funding announced today will directly support almost 200 researchers, graduate students and others in a well-structured and wholly-collaborative environment between now and 2013". The two other funding awards under the SFI CSET Programme announced today are for: Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) based at University College Cork which is focusing on research in gastrointestinal health; Director: Professor Fergus Shanahan, Industry Partners: GlaxoSmithKline and Alimentary Health. Other Partners: Teagasc CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices which is hosted by Trinity College Dublin and is working in the area of Nanotechnology; Director: Professor John Boland Industry Partners: Hewlett-Packard and Intel Commenting on the awards, Professor Frank Gannon, Director-General of SFI stated: "SFI CSETs have led our portfolio of initiatives that are steadily moving Ireland towards a truly knowledge-based economy. These CSETs have been independently verified as playing an important role in building a world-class research system in Ireland, as well as linking successfully with major multinational companies and providing an attractor for multinational investment in research in Ireland. Funding for the three CSETs announced today was approved by the SFI Board following a rigorous, multi-faceted assessment process. This encompassed international scientific peer review, 31 international experts participated in the postal review process and 28 international experts participated in the four on-site reviews. In addition, a 'Strategic Value to Ireland' assessment was performed by key Government agency stakeholders, including IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Forfás, the Higher Education Authority and the Health Research Board. Ends

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Dr Martin Mansergh T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works has announced broadcast details of this year's Winter Solstice at Newgrange, County Meath. Minister Mansergh said: "Last year, for the first time ever, the Office of Public Works (OPW) broadcast a live internet web stream of the iconic sunrise in the 5,000 year old chamber at Newgrange, County Meath. Many thousands of people all around the world tuned in to enjoy coverage and I am delighted, this year, to announce that we are providing a similar live stream of the event on our Heritage Ireland website, www.heritageireland.ie. In addition, Free to Air coverage will be available to any television outlets who wish to broadcast the event". The Minister continued: "This year also sees an exciting collaboration between my Office and the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). Ireland will be the first country in the world to mark the start of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 with this special event and we are happy to work in partnership with IYA2009, Discover Science & Engineering and NUI Galway, the main sponsoring bodies of the Irish node of IYA2009". The International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) is a global celebration of astronomy and its entirely peaceful contribution to society and culture. 2009 is the 400th anniversary of the first use of an astronomical telescope by Galileo, in reality the beginning of the modern age in astronomy. The aim of IYA2009 is to stimulate a worldwide interest and encourage participation in astronomy and in science amongst students at all levels, and among the general public. In Ireland, a programme of events for IYA2009 is being organised by the Irish Node of IYA2009, headed by Professor Michael Redfern, Centre for Astronomy, NUI Galway. According to Professor Redfern, who lectures in Astrophysics, the Newgrange event is the perfect way to mark the coming year: "The Solar new year actually begins with the winter solstice, so in terms of astrophysics we will already be entering 2009. Newgrange is an extraordinary structure, demonstrating what a deep understanding of astronomy and what great precision in building the passage tomb was shown by our Irish ancestors, some 5000 years ago. It is a most moving event to witness for oneself the first rays of sunlight entering and lighting up the inner chamber where they placed the cremated remains of their ancestors, as it must have been for them. The hope for 2009 is that initiatives throughout the year will encourage participation in science, will provide a modern gender-balanced view of science and scientists, and will encourage cooperation between astronomers in the developed and developing world. We are very grateful to the Office of Public works for the opportunity to work in partnership with them on this world-renowned event". In order to see the live webcast, viewers should log onto www.astronomy2009.ie -Ends-

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

The Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway has announced the winners of a competition run in conjunction with boards.ie. The competition brief was to produce an interesting creation based on a data set reflecting ten years of Irish online life from boards.ie, Ireland's largest discussion forum website. boards.ie is one of Ireland's busiest websites, with 1.7 million unique visitors a month. The site has recently won a Golden Spider Award for Best Social Networking or Community Site, and Irish Web Awards for both Best Discussion Forum and the Grand Prix. 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). For the competition, the data from boards.ie (approximately 9 million documents) was represented in the Semantically-Interlinked Online Communities (SIOC) open data format developed by DERI. Dr John Breslin, a researcher with DERI and co-founder of the boards.ie site said: "The competition had about sixty registrants and there were eight final submissions of very high quality that demonstrated really interesting usages of the Semantic Web data. There has been huge interest in the winning entries from many communities (developers, researchers, designers) and the winners have agreed to release the code for others to use". The winning submission was entitled "SIOC.ME: A Real-Time Interactive Visualisation of boards.ie Semantic Data within a 3-D Space". The entry illustrated how 3-D visualisations may be harnessed to not only provide an interactive means of presenting or browsing data but also to create useful data analysis tools, especially for manipulating the "semantic" (meaningful) data from online communities and social networking sites. Submitted by Darren Geraghty, a user interface and interaction designer from Co. Galway, the entry was praised by the judges for the huge amount of effort that went into creating it. In second place was a visualisation application called "boardsview" by Stephen Dolan of Trinity College Dublin. This interactive, real-time animation where one can watch the historical content from many discussion forums changing in real or compressed time. In the application, viewers can zoom into a particular forum to see individual users posting messages or to see threads being created and destroyed. Third prize was awarded to the "Forum Activity Graph" by Drew Perttula from California. This entry was a visualisation showing the popularity of forums on boards.ie as represented by coloured rivers of information, which were then rendered and displayed using Google Maps. The competition was judged by an independent panel of three experts: Ian Davis, Chief Technology Officer with Talis; Harry Halpin, researcher at the University of Edinburgh and chair of the W3C GRDDL working group; and Peter Mika, researcher at Yahoo! Research Barcelona and author of the book Social Networks and the Semantic Web. First prize was an Amazon voucher worth $4000, with a second third prize work $2000 and $1000 respectively. -ends-

Monday, 15 December 2008

NUI Galway today formally launched its new Energy Research Centre. The newly established Centre has already attracted significant research funding in the region of €5 million, and plans to fill up to 20 new research and development positions in 2009. External participants include indigenous and multi-national industries, researchers from Teagasc, the Marine Institute, partner Universities and other international collaborators. The Energy Research Centre will take a holistic approach by focusing not only on cutting-edge research, but also on education and outreach. The first of its kind with such wide-ranging scope, it will build on NUI Galway's strong reputation in areas such as bioenergy, energy efficient technologies, renewable resources and energy policy. The aim is for the Centre to become an international centre of excellence, as well as a central hub for energy research in Ireland. According to Professor Vincent O'Flaherty, Director of the Energy Research Centre, "From electricity-producing micro-organisms to smarter wind power, there are possibilities for new approaches to energy generation all around us. The challenge is to integrate science-driven understanding with engineering-based implementation and, to do this, Ireland needs a holistic approach to energy research. For future economic growth, this is one of the few areas where a positive outlook is guaranteed. If we can upscale our energy research and take a more co-coordinated approach nationally, there is a clear opportunity for Ireland to take a leadership role in this critical field". At NUI Galway, the Energy Research Centre is being hosted by the University's Environmental Change Institute. Over 100 researchers from NUI Galway's Colleges of Science; Engineering and Informatics; Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies; Law; and Commerce are affiliated with the Centre. -ends-

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Minister for Education and Science, Batt O'Keeffe T.D. last night announced that the Government has given the go-ahead for NUI Galway to commence work on a new €50 million Engineering Building on the Galway city campus. Leagan Gaeilge Speaking at NUI Galway, Minister O'Keefe said: "I am glad to be able to announce that the Government has sanctioned tendering for the development of a new Engineering School for NUI Galway. The new Engineering Building will be funded through a combination of exchequer funding under the National Development Plan 2007-2013, resources realised by NUI Galway, as well as donor funding". This 14,200 square metre building will accommodate the College of Engineering and Informatics, which is currently spread across 13 separate locations, both on and off-campus. It will include 'green-building' initiatives, and will itself be utilised as a teaching tool for the students. The building will house 110 staff and approximately 1100 students. Dr James J. Browne, President of NUI Galway, welcomed the announcement: "This is fantastic news for the future of Engineering at NUI Galway. We have always had a strong reputation for the quality of our Engineering programmes and this new development will transform the facilities and the quality of experience on offer to our students. The new building will also bring benefits to Galway city and the surrounding region - not only will it create jobs in the short term, it will enable us to continue to produce top quality Engineering graduates for the future". Designed by award-winning architects RMJM (Scotland) in partnership with Taylor Architects of Castlebar, Co Mayo this building will be the largest building constructed in one development on the NUI Galway city campus and will be situated to the north of the Quincentennial Bridge. The building contract will go to tender on Friday, 12 December, with a view to commencing construction in April 2009 and completing the project in March 2011. During peak construction period up to 300 people will be employed on the project. Minister O'Keeffe added: "Institutions such as NUI Galway have an essential part to play in enabling the State to face these demands and challenges as we move closer to realising our vision of a knowledge economy". ENDS

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

D'fhógair an tAire Oideachais agus Eolaíochta, Batt O'Keeffe T.D. aréir go bhfuil cead tugtha ag an Rialtas do OÉ Gaillimh tús a chur leis an obair ar an bhFoirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua ar champas Chathair na Gaillimhe – foirgneamh a chosnóidh €50 milliún. View in English Bhí an méid seo a leanas le rá ag an Aire O'Keeffe le linn dó a bheith ar cuairt ar OÉ Gaillimh: "Cúis áthais dom a fhógairt go bhfuil cead tugtha ag an Rialtas do OÉ Gaillimh Scoil Innealtóireachta nua a fhorbairt. Maoineofar an Foirgneamh Innealtóireachta nua trí mheascán de mhaoiniú státchiste faoi Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2007-2013, cistí airgid a bhaileoidh OÉ Gaillimh, mar aon le maoiniú ó dheontóirí". Beidh achar 14,200 méadar cearnach san fhoirgneamh seo ina mbeidh Coláiste na hInnealtóireachta agus na Faisnéisíochta; coláiste atá scaipthe i 13 fhoirgneamh éagsúla i láthair na huaire, idir fhoirgnimh ar an gcampas agus fhoirgnimh lasmuigh den champas. Áireofar tionscnaimh 'ghlasa' i dtógáil an fhoirgnimh seo, tionscnaimh a úsáidfear mar uirlis teagaisc amach anseo freisin. Beidh thart ar 110 comhalta foirne ag obair san fhoirgneamh nua seo agus beidh áiseanna ann do thart ar 1100 mac léinn. D'fháiltigh an Dr James Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, roimh an dea-scéala: "Cabhróidh an foirgneamh nua seo go mór le cur chun cinn na hInnealtóireachta anseo in OÉ Gaillimh sna blianta amach romhainn. Tá dea-cháil orainn le blianta fada anuas as caighdeán ár gclár Innealtóireachta agus cinnteoidh an fhorbairt nua seo go dtiocfaidh athrú iomlán ar áiseanna agus ar chaighdeán na gclár a bheidh á dtairiscint againn dár mic léinn. Bainfidh cathair na Gaillimhe agus an ceantar máguaird tairbhe as an bhfoirgneamh seo freisin – ní hamháin go gcruthófar poist sa ghearrthéarma, cuirfidh sé ar ár gcumas céimithe Innealtóireachta den chéad scoth a fhorbairt". Is iad na hailtirí clúiteacha RMJM (Albain) i gcomhar le Taylor Architects, Caisleán an Bharraigh, Co. Mhaigh Eo a dhear an foirgneamh seo – an foirgneamh is mó a thógfar mar chuid d'aon fhorbairt amháin ar champas na hOllscoile i nGaillimh agus is ó thuaidh de Dhroichead na gCúig Chéad a bheidh an foirgneamh suite. Cuirfear an conradh tógála amach ar tairiscint Dé hAoine, 12 Nollaig. Tá sé beartaithe tús a chur leis an tógáil i mí Aibreáin 2009 agus an tionscadal a thabhairt chun críche in 2011. I rith na tógála fostófar 300 duine ar an tionscadal seo. Chomh maith leis sin, dúirt an tAire O'Keeffe go mbeidh "ról lárnach ag institiúidí cosúil le OÉ Gaillimh i gcabhrú leis an Stát déileáil leis na héilimh agus na dúshláin a bheidh le sárú mar chuid den iarracht geilleagar eolasbhunaithe a chruthú". CRÍOCH

Monday, 8 December 2008

NUI Galway is to offer a new Electronic Engineering degree, via the CAO, called the B.E. in Engineering Innovation – Electronic. The new four-year course, with the option of a fifth year to achieve a Masters, will deliver graduates with the skills and capabilities to start up their own company to design niche electronic products for world-wide markets. Established companies will also benefit from the availability of a new type of Electronic Engineer who has the capability to stimulate and support innovation and growth in those organisations. The multi-disciplinary programme will educate and train students in three distinct areas: Electronic Engineering, Business & Finance, and Design & Innovation. While innovation and entrepreneurship are traditionally seen as innate skills, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin, Head of Electronic Engineering at NUI Galway, says a cross-disciplinary approach to education can provide a massive boost. Professor Ó Laighin, said: "At NUI Galway, we are constantly seeking new ways to expand the horizons of our engineering graduates. The new course will ensure that in designing new electronic systems and devices, engineers will be equipped to consider both the technical and financial considerations associated with successful product design. This multidisciplinary aspect of the programme will create adaptable engineers with a new skills set capable of anticipating market demands and of responding to the developing needs of our changing society". Modern day electronic engineering solutions are integral to a wide range of devices including laptops, MP3 players, pacemaker devices, life-support systems, sustainable energy devices, automotive electronics, mobile phones, robotics, etc. At NUI Galway, Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin is confident that graduates from this new programme will be key contributors in the design of the next wave of niche electronic devices, creating new Irish companies in the process. "The current economic climate heralds in a new age of the indigenous entrepreneur, particularly the technologically savvy entrepreneur. Ireland's economic future requires the creation of Irish owned companies led by engineers who can who through invention and innovation will create economic success". For admission to the BE/MEngSc in Engineering Innovation - Electronic, applicants must satisfy the Matriculation requirements of NUI Galway in six subjects including Irish, English, Mathematics and a Laboratory Science subject. The minimum requirements are the same as for the other engineering degree programmes at NUI Galway and include at least a C3 in Higher Level Mathematics, or a pass in the NUI Galway Special Entrance Examination in Mathematics. -Ends-

Sunday, 7 December 2008

An NUI Galway student could expect to save over €400 a year thanks to a home-made device he invented which measures domestic power use. Gerard Gallagher, a student of the new programme in Science and Technology Studies, was awarded the Project Prize for his idea entitled 'Domestic Energy Monitoring'. Using off-the-shelf components, he created a device which revealed a considerable wastage of power, particularly overnight. Originally from Easky, Co. Sligo, Gerard says the idea of the domestic energy monitor arose from the need to be able to monitor real-time energy usage in the home. He wanted to examine the hypothesis that, in doing so, energy wastage can be identified and eradicated. According to Gerard, "A facility is already in place in the form of the ESB meter, but this only measures cumulative rather than real-time usage. The prototype measures current usage, and with the aid of a microprocessor, formats and displays results on an LCD display, and also outputs results to a serial port for PC or network connection. This allows a monitoring station to log and save both real-time and historical usage which can be further processed or examined as required". He added: "If I can pinpoint the potential energy saving it could contribute to a significant decrease in domestic carbon emissions, not to mention ESB bills. My current estimate for savings is €409 for the household per annum". Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony, the Science and Technology Studies programme co-ordinator, Dr Niamh Nolan, complemented Gerard on the originality and relevance of his project: "The judges were exceptionally impressed with the overall standard of the projects and noted that this bodes well for the success of the programme and its future graduates". The modular programme in Science and Technology is a new programme targeted at working adults and delivered under the auspices of the Atlantic University Alliance; a collaboration between NUI Galway, University of Limerick and University College Cork. The blended delivery of the programme enables participants to adjust study times to suit their lifestyle and to spread the programme out over a suitable time frame. Participants engage with the programme through custom written course books, online and at Saturday tutorials. The project module provides participants with an opportunity to actively apply their learning and skills to a particular work or life scenario under the supervision of a programme tutor. The prize was generously donated by ULearning Skillnet, a network of industry representatives and academics dedicated to providing flexible programmes of benefit to enterprise and enterprising individuals. For more information on the programme please visit www.modularbsc.ie -ends-

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Climate change will transform Ireland sooner than we think according to a new book by NUI Galway's Dr Kieran Hickey. Aimed at the everyday reader, Five Minutes to Midnight? Ireland and Climate Change sets out the causes of climate change and its implications for Ireland. According to the author "this book is meant to be wake-up call for the average Irish person and for our politicians". The book describes some disturbing scenarios for Ireland by the end of this century and beyond, depending on how we respond to climate change. Based on the careful projection of current trends, and up-to-date climatological research, Ireland's future might well contain scorching summers, parched lawns, water rationing, escalating rates of skin cancer, mosquitoes and great white sharks off in our seas. Winters will be muggy and wet, with flooded streets and sodden lawns due to some 15% more rainfall. Ireland will see fewer, but bigger and more deadly storms. With a changing climate, many native plants and animals will be lost. Salmon will disappear from our rivers, cod from our seas and potatoes from our fields. Exotic new crops and species will replace them. Rising sea-levels will lead to beleaguered and uninsurable seaside villages. City centres, perhaps even parts of Dublin, may have to be abandoned. Beaches, farms and golf links will be swept away as large swathes of the coastline taken over by rising seas. According to Dr Hickey: "The reference to five minutes to midnight means that its crunch time for climate change in Ireland. By 2080, within our children's lifetimes, Ireland will be vastly changed. Our forty shades of green will have given way to forty shades of yellow. Combating climate change is a global issue, but we cannot throw our hands in the air and wait for the US or China to take steps to save the day. Like charity, combating climate change begins at home". Dr Hickey added: "The first step is for each and every citizen to make it their responsibility to understand what is happening to the climate and to our country. We must comprehend the legacy we are leaving for our children and grandchildren and give ourselves a harsh wake-up call. As citizens, we can then shape political will and manage our country's future. We can influence events. But if we are to do so we must act decisively, and act now". The book has praise for some of the ways in which Irish industry has adapted to the carbon economy, which is likely to be worth 500 billion dollars annually by 2050, and will create tens of thousands of new Irish jobs. The book also examines 'doomsday scenarios' which include runaway global warming, runaway sea-level rise, and the 'turning off' of the Gulf Stream. Dr Kieran Hickey is a lecturer in Geography at NUI Galway. His book Five Minutes to Midnight? Ireland and Climate Change is available in most book shops and is published by White Row Press, Belfast. For further information, visit www.whiterowpress.com -ends-

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday, 10 December, with a series of events on campus. Film screenings, a public lecture, a photography exhibition and a concert, will mark the signing in 1948 of one of the most prominent and enduring foundational documents of international human rights law. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains the most important document of modern international human rights law", said Professor William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. "Although it is now 60 years old, it remains fresh and inspiring, and speaks to the world as if it was written yesterday. It stands as a monument to the common values of people around the world, and to their commitment to equality, freedom, justice and peace". To begin the day of celebration, the Irish Centre for Human Rights will screen a film created by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The film, Stories on Human Rights by Filmmakers, Artists and Writers, consists of 20 short movies from filmmakers around the world poignantly reflecting the many themes contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Following this, the final seminar in a lecture series examining the European Union as a force for the promotion of human rights, will feature Dr. Georges Christou from the University of Warwick. The focus of Dr Christou's research to date has been on the EU as a conflict resolution mechanism, and in the lecture he will address this broad issue in the specific context of the Cyprus conflict. His seminar is entitled 'The European Union and the Cyprus Conflict: Towards Open Frontiers?'. In the evening, a photography exhibition created by the first cohort of students undertaking NUI Galway's new BA Connect with Human Rights will officially open. The exhibition will contain images taken by the class which reflect the meaning and place of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their own lives and in the lives of people around the world today. To conclude the day of celebration and commemoration, the Irish Centre for Human Rights will hold a live music session with Philip Fogarty and his band playing an eclectic mix of rock, pop, dance, alternative, classical and traditional music. The Irish Centre for Human Rights is one of the world's premier university-based institutions for the study and promotion of human rights and humanitarian law. Since its establishment in January 2000, the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway has developed a global reputation for excellence in the field of human rights teaching, research and advocacy, which has enabled the institution to attract high quality students to its acclaimed Masters programmes and to build a thriving community of doctoral researchers and undergraduate students. Admission to all events on 10 December is free of charge. For a full programme of events click here, call Tara Smith on 091 493798, or email T.Smith2@nuigalway.ie -ends-

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

30 January 2007 The Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway is pleased to announce a seminar by leading human rights lawyer Bryan A. Stevenson on Tuesday, 6 February, at 1.00pm at the centre in Earls' Island. Mr Stevenson, who represents disadvantaged people and death row prisoners in America, is in Ireland as part of a week-long nationwide tour in conjunction with Amnesty International. Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Professor William Schabas welcomed Mr Stevenson to Galway, describing him as "one of the most iconic figures in the US campaign against capital punishment." "Bryan Stevenson is one of the pre-eminent lawyers in the United States whose work is devoted to challenging the death penalty," said Prof. Schabas. "His work takes on heroic proportions, as he battles to defend those subject to execution at trial and in post-conviction proceedings. His visit to the Irish Centre for Human Rights gives us an occasion to reaffirm our own, and Ireland s, opposition to capital punishment. He is also a fabulous role model for young human rights activists contemplating careers in the field. For some people, meeting Bryan Stevenson and hearing him speak will transform their lives." Prof. Schabas will speak alongside Mr Stevenson at a public session in the Galway City Library, St Augustine Street, later on Tuesday evening. A Professor of Law at New York University and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, Mr Stevenson and his staff have been successful in overturning dozens of capital murder cases and death sentences where disadvantaged people have been unconstitutionally convicted or sentenced. He has been recognised as one of the top public interest lawyers in the US and his efforts to confront bias against the poor and people of colour in the criminal justice system have earned him dozens of awards. A spokesperson for Amnesty International, which campaigns for an end to executions and the abolition of the death penalty everywhere, said; "The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment - it violates the right to life. It is irrevocable, can be inflicted on the innocent and has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments. Progress has been dramatic. In 1977, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Today the figure stands at 88." Mr Stevenson will visit Limerick, Galway, Cork and Dublin as part of the Amnesty International tour. -ENDS- For further information please contact Jacqueline Hogge, Press Office, NUI GalwayTel: 00353 91493361

Monday, 29 January 2007

The Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway has announced the appointment of Micheál Ó Cuaig to the position of Sean-Nós Singer in Residence for the current year. A native of Cill Chiaráin, Micheál qualified as a primary school teacher in 1970 and was principal of Scoil Naomh Ciarán for sixteen years before his retirement last year. Throughout his teaching career, he organised classes and workshops in sean-nós singing for his pupils. Having fallen under the spell of Joe Heaney at a young age, he has organised an annual festival, Féile Joe Éinniú, which celebrates Heaney's legacy, for the past fifteen years. In order to further commemorate Heaney's contribution to Irish music, Micheál recently presented a copy of the Joe Heaney Archive held at Washington University, Seattle to NUI Galway and that material is now located at Áras Shorcha Ní Ghuairim in Carna. Micheál Ó Cuaig is also the author of two highly regarded collections of poetry in Irish Uchtóga (1985) and Clocha Reatha (1986) which critics have applauded for their emotional delicacy and scrupulous use of language. He is married to Mairéad Ní Chonghaile and they have seven children. During the period of his residency, Micheál will participate in a series of performances and workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies and other venues throughout Connemara and the Aran Islands. He will also record his own work and that of other singers. The workshops at the Centre for Irish Studies will commence at 7.00pm on Tuesday 13 February . This project is funded by Ealaín na Gaeltachta, Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Chomhairle Ealaíon in association with the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway. For further details, contact Samantha Williams: Tel: 091 49 2051; email: samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie ENDS