Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Tá Ionad nua Spóirt OÉ Gaillimh, ar chostas €22 milliún, oscailte do mhic léinn, don fhoireann agus don phobal. Tá achar 6,500 m² san ionad ina bhfuil 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, giomáisiam an-mhór agus balla dreapadóireachta ann chomh maith. Is ar an gcampas atá an t-ionad in aice leis an droichead, agus beidh sé á rith ag an Kingfisher Fitness Group. Chuir Mary O'Riordan, Leas-Uachtarán um Sheirbhísí do Mhic Léinn agus Acmhainní Daonna, OÉ Gaillimh fáilte roimh oscailt an Ionaid: "Cuidíonn spórt le sláinte, leas agus oideachas na mac léinn anseo in OÉ Gaillimh. Is iomaí cineál spóirt a bheas ar fáil san ionad nua, idir chaitheamh aimsire agus spórt iomaíochta. Tá sé iontach é a bheith ag oscailt anois freisin mar gurb é seo tús na bliana acadúla 2008-2009. Beidh mic léinn ag filleadh ar an Ollscoil agus mic léinn eile ag tosú anseo agus iad araon ag baint tairbhe as an Ionad nua Spóirt." Is cuid é an tIonad seo de chlár caipitil €400 milliún, 'Campas na Todhchaí', chun na caighdeáin is airde d'infreastruchtúr fisiciúil a éileamh ar mhaithe le tacú le feabhas sa teagasc agus sa taighde. Mhaoinigh mic léinn OÉ Gaillimh cuid den ionad, nuair a vótáil siad in 2003 tobhach mic léinn a mhéadú chun tacú leis an tionscadal. Faigheann mic léinn lascaine mhaith ar bhallraíocht san ionad. Dúirt Uachtarán Chomhaltas na Mac Léinn in OÉ Gaillimh, Muireann O Dwyer, go bhfeabhsóidh an t-ionad nua saol an champais do mhic léinn: "Léiríonn an áis nua seo comhoibriú maith idir na mic léinn agus bainistíocht na hOllscoile. Tá 40 club spóirt ar an gcampas agus féadfaidh siad úsáid a bhaint as an ionad nua. Gheobhaidh mic léinn agus alumni lascaine mhaith freisin. Tá spórt agus fóillíocht go maith don intinn agus don chorp, mar sin feabhsóidh an tIonad nua Spóirt saol an champais ar bhealach eile chomh maith." Dúirt Greg Power, Oifigeach Pleanála agus Tionscadal OÉ Gaillimh, go bhfuil an struchtúr seo éiceabhách: "Is foirgneamh glas é seo sa chiall gur beag dochar atá á dhéanamh aige don chomhshaol. Leis an teicneolaíocht atá in úsáid san Ionad tá leictreachas á ghiniúint agus á athchúrsáil le húsáid 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. Dúirt Joe Cosgrove, Stiúrthóir Bainistíochta Kingfisher Fitness Group, a bhfuil sé ionad áineasa acu cheana féin sa tír: "Tá an-áthas orainn freastal ar champas OÉ Gaillimh agus ar mhuintir an cheantair seo. Má fhaigheann tú ballraíocht bliana nó más fearr leat Íoc-mar-a-Úsáidtear, feilfidh an tIonad nua seo duit. Freagróidh an fhoireann anseo ceist ar bith faoi bhallraíocht agus tá fáilte roimh an bpobal breathnú ar na háiseanna anseo am ar bith. " 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

Monday, 25 August 2008

Intel's senior executive responsible for all government negotiations associated with site selection will address an international conference at NUI Galway on Thursday, 4 September. Nanci Palmintere, who is currently Vice-President of Finance and Enterprise and Director of Global Tax and Trade for Intel Corporation, will visit NUI Galway to deliver the keynote address entitled 'Tax and Business Aspects of Site Selection' at the 17th Annual Tax Research Network (TRN) Conference. The TRN is an interdisciplinary organisation set up to encourage research into all aspects of taxation. Its annual conference, which is being held in Ireland for the first time, will run from 4-5 September at NUI Galway's J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business and Public Policy. The event will bring together academics engaged in taxation research, as well as representatives from the accounting professional bodies, tax practitioners, tax executives in industry, the Irish and UK Revenue Authorities. Speaking ahead of the event, conference organiser Dr. Emer Mulligan, Department of Accountancy and Finance, NUI Galway, said: "Corporation tax is an important source of revenue for government and in times of global economic downturn issues surrounding taxation become ever more pertinent. The Irish government has made a guarantee that the 12.5% rate of corporation tax will remain. Consideration must be given however to how best the tax system can encourage economic activity, while funding necessary public services and assisting government in meeting its social objectives." Dr. Mulligan added: "Nanci Palmintere is an internationally recognised expert in taxation and will, I expect, deliver a very rich and thought provoking presentation. She is responsible for a broad range of activities including negotiation with the IRS and foreign tax authorities, tax planning for mergers and acquisitions, and negotiating with governments for tax incentives associated with site selection for Intel." Frank Daly, who heads up the recently formed Commission on Taxation in Ireland, will speak at the conference dinner. Areas being investigated by the Commission include the role of the tax system in encouraging long term savings to meet the needs of retirement, and fiscal measures needed to protect and enhance the environment. Other papers at the conference will cover a range of topics including tax avoidance, dividend tax capitalisation, the impact of a changed capital gains tax regime on dividend policy, procedural justice principles and tax compliance in Ireland, the plant/building distinction, and the impact of education and regulation on the quality of services offered by tax agents. For further information on the conference visit conference.ie Ends

Monday, 25 August 2008

The latest neuroscience research into diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis will be discussed during the 2nd National Meeting of Neuroscience Ireland at NUI Galway. The conference takes place from 28-29 August and will bring together leading neuroscientists, post-doctoral researchers and graduate students from all over Ireland, Britain and Europe. The organisation Neuroscience Ireland was set up to advance research and education in the neurosciences in Ireland. Conference organiser, Dr Karen Doyle, lecturer in the Physiology Department and Head of the Neuroscience Cluster within the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway, commented: "Neuroscience is an emerging discipline of great strength in Ireland. The main themes of this conference are very topical and reflect areas of research strength within NUI Galway, and Ireland as a whole. For example, the first session focuses on the mechanisms of cell death in neurons, which may underpin the development of devastating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease." Professor Aviva Tolkovski from the University of Cambridge will present a paper on the mechanisms of neurodegeneration. The conference will also look at strategies to promote regeneration of neurons, which may advance the discovery of new therapies for degenerative diseases, enhancing the quality of life for huge numbers of patients and their families. Another session focuses on pain, which affects millions of people world-wide and has major implications to quality of life and economics. Dr Doyle added, "The conference also looks at emerging areas of neuroscience such as that of glial cells, which have been linked with the development of Multiple Sclerosis. Professor David Nutt from the University of Bristol will lead a discussion on the psychopharmacology of psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia and the mind altering effects of drugs. NUI Galway has a long association with the postgraduate training of neuroscientists. Its Neuroscience Graduate School enhances the international profile of neuroscience in NUI Galway. The Neuroscience Ireland conference will provide a focus for global neuroscience research within Irish research institutions. Ends

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

NUI Galway has created a special website to support the thousands of students accepting places at the University via the CAO. The 'Firstinfo' Web site (http://firstinfo.nuigalway.ie) provides information on topics including accommodation and registration. In addition, the NUI Galway Alumni Association is hosting its ninth annual series of information evenings for parents and students in counties Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, Clare and Westmeath. At the evening sessions, NUI Galway Alumni Association Board Members and Students' Union representatives will advise students on what to expect when arriving at NUI Galway and will answer any questions relating to university life. The topics covered will include Accommodation, Finance and the Students' Assistance Fund, Safety, Careers, Counselling, Clubs and Societies, and the Students' Union. Information evenings or 'Student Send-Offs' will take place at 7pm in the following venues: Sligo, Tuesday, 26 August: Sligo Park Hotel, Pearse Road, Sligo Town. Clare, Wednesday, 27 August: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. Galway, Thursday, 28 August: Lecture Theatre MY001, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. Donegal, Monday, 1 September: Pier One, Donegal Town. Mayo, Tuesday, 2 September: TF Royal Hotel & Theatre, Old Westport Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Westmeath, Wednesday, 3 September: Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Galway, Thursday, 4 September: Lecture Theatre MY001, Áras Moyola, NUI Galway. JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations at NUI Galway, says an information evening can prove a valuable introduction to the University: "For many, this will be their first time leaving home, making it an exciting and anxious time for both students and parents. This is an ideal opportunity to get first-hand advice on those first days of term and become familiar with the University's many student support services. It is also a chance to find out about the University's 85 societies and 40 sport clubs, which are a great way to meet new people with similar interests." For more information on the information evenings phone Emma Goode on 091 492721. -ends-

Monday, 18 August 2008

Beijing has welcomed the world to the Games of the 29th Olympiad. Among athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees to compete over the coming weeks are NUI Galway students and alumni, Paul Hession, Cormac Folan, Alan Martin and Olive Loughnane. Dr. Jim Browne, NUI Galway President, commented: "We are delighted and honoured to have students and alumni of NUI Galway representing Ireland on the world stage at the 2008 Olympic Games. On behalf of the University, I would like to wish Paul, Cormac, Alan and Olive the very best of luck and every success in Beijing". Paul Hession, Ireland's fastest man is a medical student at NUI Galway. Twice a World Student Games medallist, Paul was awarded an NUI Galway Sports Scholarship for Athletics in 2000 and is still an integral part of the scheme. Paul received the NUI Galway Sports Awards for Athletics four years in a row from 2002 – 2005. For the past couple of seasons he has taken the Athletics world by storm with world class performances in the three major sprints; the 60m dash, 100m & 200m. Last month Paul, a native of Athenry, produced a stunning double at the Cork City Sports recording the fastest 100m run in this country (10,21) before eclipsing a star- studded field in the 200m at the Mardyke. Paul also collected the American Trophy for the Outstanding Athlete at the meeting. Cormac Folan is a graduate in Engineering and will form part of the crew for the Men's Four Rowing team. Cormac, from Barna, was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2003 to 2007. He was an outstanding member of the successful Men's Wylie Cup team here at NUI Galway winning the Intervarsity Championships between 2003 and 2007 completing four-in-a-row victories. Alan Martin, also a graduate in Engineering was awarded an NUI Galway Rowing Sports Scholarship from 2001 – 2006. He was also successful with NUI Galway Rowing Club capturing the Intervarsity Title Wylie Cup on no less than four occasions from 2002 to 2005. The Salthill rower was selected as the fifth member (substitute) of the Irish Heavyweight Coxless Fours in Beijing. Olive Loughnane is from Loughrea, Co. Galway and also a graduate of NUI Galway. Olive represented NUI Galway Athletic Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. She also represented the Irish Universities on numerous occasions and was a member of the National Race Walking Squad. Olive became the first female Irish walker to win a senior title at the British Triple A's in Birmingham. Her times have continuously improved over the years and this is her third Olympic Games. Mr Tony Regan, Sports Officer, NUI Galway proudly said, "These people are world class athletes with outstanding talent and are the current generation of Irish Sporting Stars. They are wonderful role models and are an inspiration to us all and we are proud and honoured to have them as students and graduates of NUI Galway. We wish them the very best in their endeavours in Beijing over the next couple of weeks". The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games commenced on 8 August with the opening ceremony and will continue until 24 August, 2008. Schedule Rowing: Cormac Folan - 9, 13, 14 August Athletics: Paul Hession - Friday, 15 August – 100m. Monday, 18 August – 200m, 19 August – 200m. Athletics: Olive Loughnane - Thursday, 21 August – 20k Walk ENDS

Thursday, 14 August 2008

NUI Galway Dramsoc members and friends acted as a wedding party for the recent episode of Fáilte Towers. In the RTÉ reality show, celebrities are running a hotel while raising money for charities of their choice. The 17 members of the Dramsoc team played the roles of bride, groom and wedding guests, descending upon the hotel and its unsuspecting celebrities. According to Riona Hughes, Societies Officer at NUI Galway: "The Dramsoc was delighted to be invited to participate in this charity event. NUI Galway Societies are no strangers to charity fundraising as in the last six years they have raised almost one and a quarter million euro for charity. With over 85 active societies here on campus there is literally something for everyone. As part of a society students can learn new skills, explore their interests, create a community of friends with similar interests and goals and of course have great fun." NUI Galway is also home to around 40 active and vibrant sports clubs. From Archery to Windsurfing, all sporting interests are covered and a brand new sports centre and swimming pool due to open shortly. Another integral part of student life at NUI Galway is volunteering. Over 1300 student volunteers registered with the University's ALIVE volunteering programme at NUI Galway during the last academic year. "Our students contribute significantly to the social fabric here in Galway - whether it's running homework clubs for local schools, fundraising for charities, or befriending people with a disability", says Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator of ALIVE. To find out more about participating in societies, clubs and volunteering at NUI Galway, new and returning students should remember the following dates: Monday, 22 September, Volunteering Fair (www.nuigalway.ie) Tuesday, 23 September, Clubs Day (www.sports.nuigalway.ie) Wednesday, 24 September, Societies Day (www.socs.nuigalway.ie) -ends-

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, is delighted to announce the appointment of actor and director Diarmuid de Faoite as its new performing arts executive. Diarmuid is well known to the general public through his television work with TG4 (Ros na Rún), RTÉ, STV (Scotland) and through his stage work with The Town Hall Theatre, Druid, An Taibhdhearc, The Peacock, Project Arts Centre and his own company, POC productions. The performing arts unit of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge at NUI Galway runs two part-time courses and one full-time course as well as providing support and teaching services for other departments. The courses include the Diploma in Arts (Acting), a Higher Diploma in Theatre Studies, and the Diploma in Arts (Arrangement and Staging of Traditional Irish Music). De Faoite is a multi-award winning actor, writer and producer and has received many plaudits for his work in the field of theatre, television and performance. Most notably, he received: The Stewart Parker Trust/BBC NI Award for his play about Irish language writer, 'Pádraic Ó Conaire'; ESB Dublin FRINGE Best Production for POC productions' stage adaptation of 'Paris, Texas'; and most recently, Best Feature Documentary with Johnny White (Seanchas Productions) at the Celtic Media Festival 2008, for the documentary, 'Padraic Ó Conaire, An Fear'. De Faoite has taught drama from primary through to third level and on to the professional theatre and television industry for almost twenty years. He was education officer for Na Fánaithe theatre company for a number of years, organising and delivering workshops in Gaeltacht schools as well as national workshops. He worked with Trevor Ó Clochartaigh on 'Lasair', intensive residential theatre workshops in Ireland and Scotland and has provided acting, writing and personal development training for Learning Waves, Solas, Ros na Rún, Pléaráca, NUI Galway as well as various other interest groups and organisations. Diarmuid has provided various forms of performance training for Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge since its foundation, having taught many classes for visiting students, radio drama classes for the Diploma in Radio Skills and drama writing on the Higher Diploma in Drama. Since Diarmuid began performing in 1988 there has been great growth in the performing arts in general but especially in the West of Ireland and in Irish language arts. He sees huge potential for further growth in the areas of research, scripting, theatre in education and personal development. "If we look at drama as an example, said Diarmuid, it is now part of the primary schools' curriculum, and its use in the areas of linguistic development, therapy, the building of self-esteem and confidence, and the vast fields of social analysis is widely recognized. Drama can be communicative, participatory, creative and often transcendent, all in the one instant and, as a creative mirror, is one of the most powerful social tools we possess in our evolutionary arsenal." Diarmuid goes on to say that, "Aonad na dTaibhealaíon (Centre for Performing Arts) wishes to focus on the performing arts in this wider context so that greater opportunities can be made available to our students, not only in the traditional performing arts sectors but also in the academic, therapeutic and corporate sectors". Marianne Ní Chinnéide, the performing arts unit administrator, "Aonad na dTaibhealaíon is in continual contact with professional performing arts companies, Ealaín na Gaeltachta, funding bodies, art therapists and a host of individual musicians, dramatists, designers and performers to ensure that we provide the best possible service in terms of both education and employment opportunities to our students. Diarmuid's appointment further encourages this relationship". Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is confident that Diarmuid's appointment will provide a major boost to arts and educational development within the University. Further information about any of these courses may be obtained by contacting Diarmuid on 091 869859 diarmuid.defaoite@oegaillimh.ie or Marianne on 091 869103 marianne.nichinneide@oegaillimh.ie ENDS

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Tá an t-aisteoir cáiliúil, Diarmuid de Faoite, ceaptha ina fheidhmeannach drámaíochta ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh. Bhain Diarmuid cáil amach lena pháirt 'Jack' sa sobalchlár Ros na Rún, ar TG4, chomh maith le tréimhsí fada a bheith caite aige le RTÉ, STV (Albain), Amharclann na Cathrach, Gaillimh, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe agus lena chomhlacht féin, POC Productions. Go deimhin, shílfeá gur beag comhlacht drámaíochta in Éirinn nár chaith Diarmuid seal ina dteannta agus é ag plé leis an aisteoireacht ghairmiúil ó 1988 i leith. Ag obair as lámh a chéile a bheas Diarmuid de Faoite agus Riarthóir Aonad na dTaibhealaíon, Máire Áine Ní Chinnéide, agus trí chúrsa faoina gcúram: Dioplóma san Aisteoireacht (cúrsa páirtaimseartha bliana); an tArd-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht (cúrsa iarchéime, páirtaimseartha, thar dhá bhliain); agus an Dioplóma i gCóiriú agus Stáitsiú an Cheoil Thraidisiúnta (cúrsa nua lánaimseartha bliana). Ní mar aisteoir amháin atá cáil bainte amach ag Diarmuid. Mar scríbhneoir, bhuaigh a leaganacha stáitse agus teilifíse de shaol Phádraic Ó Conaire Gradam Stewart Parker/BBC NI, 2001, agus an 'Gnéchlár Faisnéise is Fearr', Féile na Meán Ceilteach, 2008, faoi seach. Anuas air sin, bhuaigh sé an 'Léiriú is Fearr' dá leagan stáitse de 'Paris, Texas' lena chomhlacht POC Productions, ESB Dublin Fringe Fest 2003, chomh maith le Duais Aitheantais an Oireachtais, 2002. Ní haon strainséir é Diarmuid don mhúinteoireacht ach an oiread. Agus é ag feidhmiú mar oifigeach oideachais leis an gcompántas dramaíochta, Na Fánaithe, reáchtáil sé cúrsaí drámaíochta sna bunscoileanna i gConamara agus i Maigh Eo Theas, chomh maith le ceardlanna lae do gach aoisghrúpa ar fud na tíre. Mhúin sé drámaíocht ar na dianchúrsaí aisteoireachta 'Lasair' in Éirinn agus in Albain agus tá ceardlanna drámaíochta agus forbairt phearsanta cumtha agus stiúrtha aige do Learning Waves, Ros na Rún, Solas agus POC, chomh maith le comhlachtaí agus eagraíochtaí eile. Deir Diarmuid go dtaispeánann an fás agus forbairt iontach atá tagtha ar chúrsaí drámaíochta trí Ghaeilge na deiseanna ollmhóra a bhaineann leis na healaíona chun athruithe dearfacha a chur i bhfeidhm sa tsochaí. "Má thógtar an drámaíocht, mar shampla", deir sé, "tuigtear anois a éifeachtaí is atá sí chun forbairt phearsanta, cumas teanga, cumarsáid agus féinmhuinín an duine a fheabhsú." I dtuairim Dhiarmada, "Trasnaíonn an ealaín gach teanga, inscne, aicme agus teideal; ach oiread leis an mbás, tá sí thar a bheith daonlathach!" "Is ar mhórphictiúr forbartha agus fostaíochta atá Aonad na dTaibhealaíon, OÉ Gaillimh, dírithe", a deir Diarmuid. "Úsáidtear eilimintí drámaíochta go rialta anois i gcúrsaí forbartha agus san earnáil chorparáideach chun smaointeoireacht úr a spreagadh. Freisin, tuigtear sa chóras bunscoile tábhacht na drámaíochta mar áis teagaisc agus foghlama agus é ar an gcúrsa léinn anois" a dúirt sé. Deir Máire Áine Ní Chinnéide, Riarthóir Aonad na dTaibhealaíon, OÉ Gaillimh, go mbíonn teagmháil leanúnach ag an aonad le gach ceann de na "comhlachtaí drámaíochta Gaeilge, le hEalaín na Gaeltachta, le féilte agus comhlachtaí léiriúcháin, chomh maith le healaíontóirí agus ceoltóirí aonaracha, lena chinntiú gur cúrsaí den chaighdeán is airde atá á soláthar againn agus deiseanna fostaíochta dá réir. Nasc breise leis an tionscal é ceapachán Dhiarmada". Tá gach dóchas ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge gur céim mhór ar son na healaíne agus cúrsaí oideachais tríú leibhéil i gcoitinne é ceapachán Dhiarmada. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 14 August 2008

NUI Galway will hold a special examination in Mathematics on Wednesday, 20 August for students who have not achieved the required Leaving Certificate grade in this subject for entry to Undergraduate Engineering and Information Technology Degree Courses. The exam is aimed at students who have already applied for a degree at NUI Galway and have the points but who do not have the maths requirement. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and will then receive an additional CAO offer at Round 2. For more than 20 years, NUI Galway has provided this special entrance examination to help applicants who did not attain the required honours level in their Leaving Certificate. The normal entry requirement to accredited engineering degree programmes requires that students have a C3 or better in higher level maths. Passing the special exam allows students fulfill the requirement for entry to 1st year Engineering. The option of taking the special entrance examination has also been available to students applying for the B.Sc. Degree in Information Technology, which is also an accredited software engineering degree. The minimum entry requirement in maths is either: a C3 in higher level; an A2 in ordinary level; or a pass in the special entrance examination. The exam applies to all Engineering courses except the B.Sc. in Project and Construction Management. Professor Padraic O'Donoghue, Dean of Engineering and Informatics at NUI Galway reminded students: "This exam is in keeping with NUI Galway's policy of providing additional entry opportunities to students. In this instance, students have the points, but may have fallen short on the day in the Leaving Cert maths exam. The special exam provides students with a valuable second opportunity to achieve the mathematics requirement and may be particularly relevant this year with the difficulties in Leaving Certificate mathematics experienced by many students". The standard of the syllabus for the examination is relatively similar to that of the Leaving Certificate higher level but it is focused more on the mathematics that is required for Engineering/IT programmes. The examination will take place in the University on Wednesday 20th August. Further details and application forms may be obtained at http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/ or by calling the Admissions Office on 091 492199/492137 The Application form and past papers are available from the College of Engineering and Informatics website at: www.nuigalway.ie Applications will be accepted at the admissions office reception desk up to 9.00am the morning of exam. ENDS

Friday, 8 August 2008

On Saturday, 23 August David O'Leary, an NUI Galway Law student will have the honour of singing "The Star Spangled Banner" live on television and before a sell-out crowd of 55,000 people. In one of the last games at Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets baseball team, the young Irish tenor will sing the American national anthem at the last "Irish Night" before the Mets move to their new home at Citi Field. It is the second time David has had the honour of singing for the New York team, the first having taken place last September, just as he was beginning his LLB at NUI Galway. A graduate of Legal Science and French, the 24 year-old Wexford man is spending his third summer in New York studying voice with internationally renowned vocal coaches and accompanists and, despite his impending conferral with the LLB, intends to pursue a professional career in opera. "It s a huge privilege for me to have the opportunity to perform the American national anthem for the Mets at one of the biggest games of the year. To be a small part of an historic evening will be a humbling experience". David successfully auditioned for the Irish Youth Choir and has been a guest soloist at many performances on radio and television with the NUI Galway Chamber Choir and with the Irish Sopranos. He also sings with the renowned Galway Baroque Singers. ENDS

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms. Mary Coughlan T.D., has today (Tuesday 5th August 2008) announced the re-appointment of Professor Patrick Fottrell as Chairperson of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Chairman of SFI since 2003, Professor Fottrell is a former Professor of Biochemistry at NUI Galway, serving as President of the University from 1996-2000. Announcing the reappointment, Minister Coughlan said "Since becoming Chairperson in 2003, Professor Fottrell has spearheaded SFI's operations in helping to establish a world-class research environment in Ireland. His dedication and expertise have been an integral part of the major strides achieved to date by SFI. The range of research programmes and supports provided by SFI has expanded significantly under Professor Fottrell's tenure as Chairperson, and I am delighted that he has agreed to serve another 5 year term". Minister Coughlan added "The Government remains committed to placing the development of our knowledge-based economy at the very heart of Ireland's economic and social policy, and under Professor Fottrell's stewardship, SFI has been a key player in achieving this objective. I look forward to working with Professor Fottrell in further implementing the Government's Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (SSTI) 2006-2013. Professor Fottrell is a Board Member of Teagasc, the Irish Agriculture and Food Development Authority and Chairman of the Teagasc Research Committee, he is also a Board Member of Safefood, the Irish Food Safety Promotion Board. He has served as Chairman of the Dublin Institute of Technology, the Irish Council of Bioethics and the Ireland-USA Fulbright Commission. Prof. Fottrell is currently Chairman of Westgate Biological. He is a member and former Vice-President of the Royal Irish Academy. Professor Fottrell has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from University College Cork, a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, and a D.Sc. from the National University of Ireland. He is a recipient of the Conway Medal from Ireland s Royal Academy of Medicine, and has been a visiting Professor at Harvard, as well as in Germany and Japan. Ends

Monday, 4 August 2008

Roisín Shortall, T.D., Labour Spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs recently presented a group of Ballymun-based students, who participated in an NUI Galway law course through an interactive video link, with Certificates of Attendance at the Ballymun Civic Centre, Dublin. The Housing Law & Policy course was developed and presented by Dr Padraic Kenna of the Faculty of Law, NUI Galway in conjunction with the Ballymun Community Law Centre (BCLC). The lectures were video linked in real time to community volunteers, welfare staff, local authority tenants and their representatives, and other interested parties living in Ballymun. Over 12 weeks, the Ballymun group gathered in the Council Chamber Civic Offices to link via video with some 60 Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Civil Law students at NUI Galway for the interactive weekly classes. Dr Padraic Kenna, law lecturer at NUI Galway is the author of the definitive work Housing Law and Policy in Ireland. According to Dr Kenna; "An innovative use of the latest technology has enabled law students at NUI Galway to interact in their learning with people who are at the heart of a Dublin community, where housing law and policies have had such an impact". The course covered the traditional housing and property law areas, private rented housing, social housing and modern approaches to social inclusion in housing. There was also a significant focus on preparing presentations with proposals for a Housing Bill. Part of the course involved a field trip to BCLC and Ballymun Regeneration Project where students could assess at first hand the relevance of the course. This innovative link-up was facilitated by the Mr Pat Monaghan and the University Audio-visual unit. It was supported by NUI Galway's Community Knowledge Initiative, which promotes civic engagement among academics, students and the wider community. Since its inception, the Ballymun Community Law Centre has consistently sought to empower the residents and community workers of Ballymun. BCLC Solicitor Frank Murphy, a law graduate of NUI Galway, said at the presentation, "Dr. Kenna and the Law School at NUI Galway are to be congratulated on their continuing commitment to bringing law into the community. They have broken new ground by video linking their wonderful housing law and policy course direct from the groves of academe in the magnificent Galway campus into the heart of Ballymun. Through the years Ballymun has been deprived of access to justice, and indeed, access to law and legal education, but Padraic and NUI Galway are bringing legal education straight to the community. Once again the interactive participation of the students in Galway and in Ballymun was first class. Their joint contributions live on air to a new Housing Bill were breathtaking in their range, imagination and understanding. This was in no small part due to the inspirational delivery and content of Dr Kenna whom BCLC would wish to thank most sincerely." ENDS

Monday, 4 August 2008

Winners of an Inter-College Technology Development Competition led by NUI Galway were recently announced and presented prizes sponsored by Kernel Capital Partners. The HEA Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) project between NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Cork (UCC) included multidisciplinary and cross university teams working together on the commercialisation of research and technology transfer. The aim of the HEA SIF programme is to enhance the commercialisation of research and other knowledge-based activity in an academic environment. As a core component of this programme a competition was set up to improve existing entrepreneurship and innovation training programmes through the intercollegiate exchange of approaches, materials, case studies, specific events, and workshops. Ms Fiona Neary, Business Development Manager, Ignite Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, said: "This programme provides for the embedding of entrepreneurship education and training with technology programmes, while establishing tangible links between academic schools, incubation centres and technology transfer offices. This premise and the willingness of students to increase their business skills and become an entrepreneurially minded graduate makes this a very worthwhile national collaboration". Ms Neary added: "The expert panel judging the competition made reference to some of the technology concepts submitted having a high probability of becoming a commercial success and programmes such as this one is exactly what is needed to encourage student's to think entrepreneurially". The competition winners from each campus were: Joseph Mackle, best NUI Galway presentation from the NCBES and REMEDI Research Centres; Suzanne Cloonan, best TCD presentation; and Ken Reynolds, best UCC presentation and overall winner. ENDS

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 -