Saturday, 11 February 2006

Academic excellence among the entering class of 2005/6 at NUI Galway has been recognised with a special ceremony to honour the 59 recipients of Entrance Scholarships at the University. The students, from throughout the country, were honoured by the President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, on Saturday, 11 February 2006, at the Aula Maxima, where they were presented with a cheque for €1,450 and a specially designed to mark their achievement. The wide geographical spread of the winners is notable. The winners are drawn from 11 counties from Donegal to Limerick and Mayo to Carlow, including 34 scholars from County Galway. The scholarships have been awarded to students from 39 individual schools highlighting the fact that top academic talent is to be found in a wide range of schools, large and small, throughout the country. The scholarships are guaranteed to all new entrants who reach 560 points (or 590 in Medicine and Health Sciences). Fourteen students of programmes in Arts, Comerce, Law, Engineering and Medicine & Health Sciences, achieved the maximum 600 points, while 32 students attained 590 points or more. The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, welcomed these high achievers, saying "We in NUI Galway are delighted to recognise the academic talent of these 59 outstanding students from all over Ireland. I am delighted to welcome them to our campus and commend them for choosing to undertake their studies at this University. We look forward to nurturing their academic talent and supporting them throughout their years of study".

Saturday, 11 February 2006

Tá Scoláireachtaí Iontrála bronnta ar 59 mac léinn céadbhliana in Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh. Ag searmanas speisialta inniú (Dé Sathairn) tabharfar aitheantas ó bhéal agus ón sparán don fheabhas acadúil i measc lucht chéadbhliana 2005 – 06. Cuid suntais é freisin gur ó aon chontae dhéag a tháinig na buaiteoirí – ó Thír Chonaill go Luimneach agus ó Mhaigh Eo go Ceatharlach – cé gur ó Cho. na Gaillimhe ceathrar agus tríocha díobh. Is fiú a lua go háirithe gur ó 39 scoil ar leith iad, rud a chruthaíonn arís, má bhí aon amhras ann, go bhfuil mic léinn den scoth le fáil in an-chuid scoileanna, idir bheag agus mhór, thart timpeall na tíre. Geallann an Ollscoil Scoláireacht €1,450 a bhronnadh ar gach mac léinn céadbhliana a fhaigheann 560 pointe (590 i gcás an Leighis agus Eolaíochtaí Sláinte) I mbliana, fuair 14 mac léinn na huasphointí (600) agus iad sin sna cláracha Dán, Tráchtála, Dlí, Innealtóireachta agus Leighis and Eolaíochtaí Sláinte, agus fuair 32 díobh 590 pointe nó os a chionn. "Toradh éachtach, gan aon agó" a thug Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh, an Dr Iognáid ÓMuircheartaigh, ar na torthaí sin. Agus é ag déanamh comhghairdeachais leis na buaiteoirí, dúirt an tUachtarán Ó Muircheartaigh gurb aitheantas iad na Scoláireachtaí Iontrála, ní hamháin ar an gcumas acadúil a bhí léirithe acu, ach freisin gur spreagadh é dóibh leanacht leo leis an gcuma sin a fhorbarit an méid is féidir Croílár na hOllscolaíochta é cumas na mac léinn a fhorbairt, go hacadúil agus í dtéarmaí forbartha pearsanta. "Muide anseo in OÉ Gaillimh, arb é an feabhas acadúil an chéad chloch ar ár bpaidrín, cabhróimid libh an méid is féidir linn, ach ag deireadh an lae braitheann gach rud ar an díograis agus ar an ngearradh acadúil ionaibhse," a dúirt sé. Chomh maith le seic €1,450, bronnfar scrolla speisialta ar gach buaiteoir ag an Uachtarán lena bhfuil bainte amach acu a cheiliúradh.

Friday, 10 February 2006

NUI Galway warmly welcomes the passing of the University College Galway (Amendment) Bill through all stages of its consideration by Dáil Éireann. This Bill amends the University College Galway Act 1929, an act the provisions of which have applied to all appointments in NUI Galway since 1929. The University sought an amendment of the Act, as it felt that the restrictions which the Act placed on the recruitment of staff were not helpful in the modern competitive environment in which the University operates. It was also felt that a more positive legislative expression of support and re-enforcement for the University's commitment to Irish, focussing on actions rather than merely recruitment, was desirable. The Bill, approved by the Dáil on Thursday 9th February 2006, addresses both of these concerns. The Bill places a statutory obligation on the University to ensure that one of the principal aims contained in all future strategic plans of the University shall be the provision of education through the medium of the Irish language and further requires that the Governing Authority and the President of the University ensure that that aim is implemented. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway said: "The University welcomes the fact that the Government has recognised, in legislation, the special role and responsibility of NUI Galway in relation to the provision of third level education through Irish. It also embraces the statutory responsibility placed by the Bill on the University to ensure that it fulfils this role. "Yesterday's decision marked a truly historic day for the University, as it looks forward to expanding and developing its long tradition of provision of education through Irish both on the campus, and, latterly, in its Gaeltacht centres in An Ceathrú Rua, Carna, Gaoth Dobhair and (in the course of development) Baile an Fhirtéirigh."

Friday, 10 February 2006

Cuireann Ollscoil na hÉireann fáilte nach beag roimh theacht i bhfeidhm an Bhille Choláiste Phríomh-Scoile na Gaillimhe (Leasú) ag gach céim ar cuireadh san áireamh é ag Dáil Éireann. Is leasú an Bille seo ar an Acht Choláiste Phríomh-Scoile na Gaillimhe 1929. Bhí baint ag ailt san Acht seo le gach ceapachán a rinneadh in Ollscoil na hÉireann Gaillimh ó 1929. Ba mhian leis an Ollscoil leasú ar an Acht a fháil ar an ábhar gur ceapadh nach raibh na srianta a chuir an Acht ar earcaíocht foirne cabhrach sa ré nua-aimseartha, iomaíochta ina mhairimid. Ceapadh go mbeadh dearcadh tacaíochta le béim ní amháin ar earcaíocht ach ar ghníomhartha inmhianaithe chun gealltanas na hOllscoile i dtaca leis an Ghaeilge a chur in iúl. Cuireann an Bille, a fuair cead ón Dáil 9 Feabhra 2006 an dá rud seo san áireamh. Mar thoradh ar an mBille seo beidh sé de dhualgas reachtúil na hOllscoile a chinntiú go mbeidh fáil ar oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge mar phríomhaidhm i ngach plean stratéiseach as seo amach. Cinnteoidh an tÚdarás Rialaithe agus Uachtarán na hOllscoile go gcuirtear an aidhm seo i bhfeidhm. "Is cúis áthais don Ollscoil go dtugann an Rialtas aitheantas reachtaíochta don ról agus dualgas faoi leith atá ag Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh maidir le oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fail. Chomh maith leis sin cuirtear fáilte roimh an dualgais reachtúil a chuireann an Bille ar an Ollscoil féin lena chinntiu go gcomhlíontar an ról seo", arsa an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, Uachtarán Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh . "Ba mhó an cinneadh sin ón lá inné ó thaobh staire na hOllscoile de. Ní amháin go dtugann an Ollscoil aghaidh anois ar oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge a chur ar fail ar an gcampas ach le déanaí sna hionaid Gaeltachta sa Cheathrú Rua, Carna, Gaoth Dobhair agus (i mbun forbartha) Baile an Fhirtéaraigh."

Monday, 6 February 2006

The renowned artist and sculptor John Coll will officially open Múscailt '06, NUI Galway's Spring Arts Festival which runs from 20th – 25th February 2006. For one whole week the campus will be alive with concerts, theatre, dance, exhibitions, readings, film and live performances. A fantasy parade by MacTeo travelling all over campus will herald the opening of the festival. Almost all events are free and everybody is welcome. 'Múscailt' means to awaken/inspire/celebrate. Highlights of this year's festival include an original dance piece by Tanya McCrory to music by Alec Roth performed by Con Tempo, Ensemble in residence; a talk by the renowned performance artist Nigel Rolfe; a two-day film festival in a mobile cinema; a concert by Emer Mayock, flautist and piper, with guests; a performance by sound artist, Danny McCarthy, 10 original one act plays and an abundance of new and exciting art on view indoors and outdoors. "This is the sixth annual arts festival on campus and Múscailt has grown stronger each year," says Arts Officer Fionnuala Gallagher. "Muscailt aims to provide a forum for established and emerging artists including our own artistic community on campus. The creative talents of the student societies have combined to produce a wide range of events; literary, drama, dance, art, photographic, the musical and film festival among others. Comic Art is a strong theme running throughout this year's programme with one of the highlight events being a performance of Neil Gaiman's Sandman by the FanSci society". "This year's festival features several participatory activities with extended visual arts programmes including Kathryn Crowley located by the yellow X, Pat Comer's photosin the Quad and Mary Dempsey's installation in the Archway. "We hope the people of Galway will join with us in this tremendous celebration of the arts." Two major intervarsity competitions will be held during the week with the Literary and Debating Society hosting the grand final of the prestigious Irish Times Debate, while an Cumman Dramaíochta present Féile na gColáisti - the Irish language student drama festival. Múscailt '06 kicks off on Monday February 20th at 1.15pm in front of Áras na Mac Léinn at John Coll Sculpture, Ceiluradh, with MacTeo drummers and refreshments. This year's musical, Little Shop of Horrors, will be staged in the Black Box Theatre until 11th Feb, showcasing the talents of the Galway Univeristy Musical Society (GUMS). Múscailt '06 presents the perfect opportunity to take part in the cultural life of NUI Galway. The festival is supported by Galway University Foundation, the Arts Council, AIB and the Arts Office.

Thursday, 2 February 2006

The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh has welcomed the Government's announcement of a range of new initiatives to support Medical Education and Training. A €200 million initiative for major reform of medical education and training from undergraduate level through to postgraduate specialist training was announced by the Tánaiste and Minister for Health & Children, Mary Harney, T.D. and the Minister for Education & Science, Mary Hanafin, T.D. in Dublin on Wednesday, 1st February 2006. The main reforms include increasing the number of medical places for Irish and EU students over a four year period from 305 to 725, as well as the introduction of a new graduate entry programme for medicine from 2007 as part of the overall expansion of places. Dr Ó Muircheartaigh welcomed the announcement and described the programme of reforms as "highly significant for the education and healthcare sector in Ireland." "On behalf of NUI Galway and the University's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, I wholeheartedly welcome these initiatives. We in NUI Galway look forward to engaging in this planned expansion with the two Government departments as soon as possible." The Dean of Medicine & Health Sciences at NUI Galway, Dr Philip A. Carney, praised the government for the initiative. "We in the Faculty greatly appreciate the work and commitment of both ministers and their departments to the reform of medical education. We look forward to the opportunity of launching our graduate entry programme for students and welcome the proposal that eight new Academic Clinician posts will be created nationally this year." ENDS

Friday, 31 March 2006

Minister for Agriculture and Food, Ms. Mary Coughlan T.D. has attended a special ceremony to mark the signing of a historic Agreement between NUI Galway and St. Angela s College, Sligo that sees the latter become the first independent educational institution to become a College of a Constituent University of the National University of Ireland. Ms. Coughlan, who is a past pupil of the Ursuline Convent in Sligo, was the guest of honour at the College s campus on the shores of Lough Gill, on Friday, 31st March 2006, where the occasion was marked with the Honorary Conferring of a Doctor of Laws on former President of St Angela s Sr. Marianne O Connor. Sr. Marianne presided over the College from 1983 – 2001, during which time she expanded the range of courses on offer to include additional elective subjects such as biology and religious education in the B.Ed degree in Home Economics. She also introduced undergraduate programmes in Nursing and Arts, postgraduate courses in Education and a wide range of Lifelong Learning and Continuing Professional Development programmes designed to meet the educational needs of the north west region. President of NUI Galway, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh congratulated Sr. Marianne on her conferring on what he said was a momentous day for education in the north west. "By honouring Sr. Marianne O Connor on the day we sign this historic Agreement, we are recognising the tradition of service which the Ursuline order have brought to third-level education in Ireland, and in a special way at St. Angela s College. "As we celebrate the long-standing partnership between NUI Galway and St Angela s over many years, we acknowledge that the Agreement we sign today will further strengthen this partnership and bring real educational and social benefits to the north-west and to the Border, Midlands & West region, as well as to the entire nation. " St. Angela s College President Anne Taheny said: "The Agreement is a further strengthening of the longstanding relationship between St Angela's and NUI Galway and such inter-institutional collaboration will further enhance the provision of and access to university education and research on a regional, national and international basis. The linkage will promote learning and will support and contribute to both regional and national economic and social development. " St. Angela s, which was founded in 1952 by the Irish Urusline Union as a training college for teachers of home economics, was designated in 2003 as the sole national centre for the training of Home Economics teachers. The College currently offers programmes at Bachelor, Master, Higher Diploma and Diploma levels in a range of courses from education to nursing. The College also provides an Access course for the socio-economically disadvantaged and co-operates in the delivery of NUI Galway s BA programme in Economic and Social Studies. Students of St. Angela s College are registered as students of NUI Galway and their degrees and other qualifications are awarded by the University. The existing governance structures of the College will remain in place under the Agreement and a joint body has been established to oversee its implementation, including reciprocal use of library, technology and other facilities at both institutions. Ends

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

NUI Galway is to host Ireland s first ever Service Learning Academy to examine civic engagement and service learning in higher education. The project, which is a collaborative effort involving NUI Maynooth, Dublin City University and Dublin Institute of Technology, will bring together academics from around Ireland to explore the link between universities and the wider community. The recent establishment of a Civic Taskforce in Ireland has encouraged higher education institutions to address ways to instil values related to citizenship in academic programmes and to encourage students to use their newly acquired skills to the benefit of the wider community. The Academy, which has been funded by the Higher Education Authority, takes place at the Hodson Bay Hotel in Athlone on the 30th and 31st March, 2006. Service Learning and Community Based Learning are teaching tools that help students take the skills they learn in class and use them in the community. Students assist a disadvantaged sector of society, incorporating theoretical knowledge into practical skills while receiving academic credit. The Academy hopes to establish a network of academics who are interested in embedding community-based learning into higher education. Service Learning has been a core mission for NUI Galway through the Community Knowledge Initiative, a project started in 2001 that hopes to realise the civic mission of higher education institutes. Funded by Atlantic Philanthropy, this project promotes civic engagement between students and community through teaching, research and volunteering. NUI Galway is viewed as a leader in Ireland in terms of offering these community-based learning opportunities to students and hopes to encourage other institutions to formally recognise these approaches to learning and teaching. A representative from the Taoiseach's office will be present at the Service Learning Academy to explore the civic dimension of higher education. ENDS

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

The South African Senior Science and Technology representative in Europe, Dr Mandi Mzimba, called on Irish researchers to develop linkages with their South African counterparts. She was speaking at a workshop in Dublin today hosted by the Irish Universities Association. The event was organised in partnership with ESASTAP – the European South African Science and Technology Advancement Programme. The workshop, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, aims to make important research connections by availing of the European Commission's Framework Programmes. ESASTAP is a Specific Support Action, implemented by the South African Department of Science and Technology and funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Framework programme to facilitate networking between European and South African scientists. Welcoming the South African delegation in his opening address, Paraig Hennessy, Head of Science Policy and International Research Programmes in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment said that, "Irish Researchers have always been very successful participants in EU Framework Programmes. I have no doubt that once they are made aware of collaboration opportunities they could be relied on to use Framework funding to establish long lasting and fruitful linkages with researchers in South Africa." Presentations were made on the research landscapes in South Africa and Ireland with a focus on Food Safety and Quality, Biotechnology, IST and Energy which are national priorities for both countries. Irish researchers from a variety of academic institutions including TCD, UCD, UCC, NUIG, DIAS, RCSI and DIT also had the opportunity for one to one meetings with the South African NCP's to discuss specific collaborative ideas. The Irish Universities Association (IUA) provides a national support service for industry and academia in preparing and submitting proposals to the FP6 programme. Speaking at the event, Siobhan Harkin, Research Officer at IUA said, "There are great opportunities over the next seven years of FP7 for Irish and South African research to form strong links in areas of common interest. The IUA will work closely with ESASTAP to this end." Significant opportunities will exist for research organisations in the Marie Curie Programme in FP7 and the IUA will strongly support potential applicants in industry, universities and institutes of technology to build on the success of FP6. The IUA looks forward to working with South Africa to establish strong research links. Ends

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Tabharfar onóir do dhaltaí ó bhunscoileanna ar leith i gCathair na Gaillimhe a bhí rannpháirteach i gclár 'Sport for Success' OÉ Gaillimh, clár a ceapadh le daltaí i gceantair faoi mhíbhuntáiste a spreagadh le cloí lena gcuid oideachais go dtí an tríú leibhéal. Déardaoin, 23 Márta 2006, ag searmanas speisialta i dTéatar Uí Fhlaitheartaigh, Foirgneamh na nDán/na hEolaíochta ag 7.30pm bronnfaidh John O'Donoghue, TD, an tAire Ealaíon, Spóirt agus Turasóireachta, teastais ar dhaltaí as Scoil Bhuachaillí Naomh Micheál, Muirbheach, as Scoil Chailíní na Tríonóide Naofa, Muirbheach agus as Scoil Bhríde, Seantalamh, atá i ndiaidh an cúrsa a chríochnú. Is tionscnamh ina nasctar an spórt agus obair bhaile é 'Sport for Success,' atá ina chuid de Chlár Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh ó 2002, agus cuireann sé an t-oideachas tríú leibhéal agus luach an oideachais ann féin chun cinn, mar aon le teicnící agus scileanna spóirt a fheabhsú. Tagann daltaí ó rang 4, 5 agus 6 isteach san Ollscoil tráthnóna amháin sa tseachtain i rith théarma an earraigh agus cuireann mic léinn Rochtana agus fochéimithe Rochtana na hollscoile cuidiú agus treoir ar fáil dóibh lena gcuid obair bhaile. Nuair a bhíonn an tasc sin críochnaithe acu bíonn na daltaí ábalta sult a bhaint as uair an chloig de na cluichí a bhfuil an-tóir orthu ar nós an tsacair agus na cispheile. Foghlaimíonn siad spóirt nua ar nós haca, dreapadh sa tobar dreapadóireachta, Tai-Bo, casadh agus lámhchleasaíocht. Dar le hImelda Byrne, Oifigeach Rochtana OÉ Gaillimh: Tacaíonn an clár 'Sport for Success' le Misean Rochtana ginearálta an choláiste arb é is cuspóir dó comhionannas deiseanna níos fearr a chothú do mhic léinn ó chúlraí faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Is deis iontach é le taithí a thabhairt do pháistí, dá dtuismitheoirí agus don phobal go ginearálta, rud atá an-tábhachtach, ar an Ollscoil atá tiomanta do sheans a thabhairt do rannpháirtithe tús a chur lena dturas mar fhoghlaimeoirí fadsaoil." Críoch

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Pupils from a number of selected Galway City primary schools are to be honoured for their participation in the 'Sport for Success' programme in NUI Galway, designed to encourage pupils in disadvantaged areas to continue their education right up to and including third level. Mr John O'Donoghue, TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, will present certificates to pupils from St. Michael's Boys School, Mervue; Holy Trinity Girls School, Mervue; and Scoil Bhríde, Shantalla, who have completed the programme, during a special ceremony at the Ó Flaherty Theatre, Arts/Science Building on Thursday, 23rd March, 2006, at 7.30pm. 'Sport for Success,' part of NUI Galway's Access programme since 2002, is a combined sport and homework initiative that promotes third level education and the value of education itself, as well as improving sporting techniques and skills. On one afternoon each week over the spring term, pupils from 4th, 5th and 6th class come into the University where Access students and Access university under-graduates provide help and guidance with homework. On completion of that task, the pupils can then enjoy an hour of popular sports such as soccer and basketball. They learn new sports such as uni-hockey, climbing on the climbing well, Tai-Bo, spinning and juggling. According to Imelda Byrne, NUI Galway's Access Officer: "The 'Sport for Success' programme contributes to the overall Access Mission of the University which is to support greater equality of opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is an excellent opportunity to introduce children and also, very importantly, their parents and the wider community to the University, which is committed to offering participants a chance to spread their wings in their journey as life-long learners." Professor Ger Hurley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs said: "The University has demonstrated its commitment to advancing the educational, social, economic and cultural needs of the Western region through outreach initiatives such as "Sports for Success". The children are learning the importance of links between health and fitness, of teamwork through sport, and of the importance of good nutritional practices. Most importantly, the children are making connections to the University and are gaining the motivation to continue these activities and their education into adult life."

Tuesday, 21 March 2006

NUI Galway is pleased to announce that Mr Michael D. Higgins, TD, Labour Party President and Galway West TD, has been appointed as Adjunct Professor at the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Announcing the appointment, NUI Galway President Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh said Mr Higgins' impressive record in defense of human rights made his new role at the centre one which would further enhance his long association with the University. Professor William Schabas, Director of the IRCH, welcomed the appointment: "We are thrilled that such an important and influential personality in the area of human rights within Ireland will be working with us so closely", he said. Throughout his career, Deputy Higgins has campaigned for human rights and written extensively about conflicts in many parts of the world, including such areas as Turkey, Western Sahara, Nicaragua, Chile, Gaza, The West Bank, Peru, El Salvador, Iraq and Somalia. His human rights campaigning work was recognized internationally when he became the first recipient of the Seán MacBride Peace Prize of the International Peace Bureau in Helsinki in 1992. A graduate of National University of Ireland Galway, Michael D. Higgins received the University's AIB Alumni Award for Literature, Communications and the Arts and continues to play an active role in campus life. ENDS

Thursday, 16 March 2006

Bhronn an Ghníomhaireacht um Chaomhnú Comhshaoil (EPA) breis is €1 mhilliún ar an Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil, OÉ, Gaillimh ar mhaithe le mórthionscadal taighde a scrúdóidh caighdeán uisce agus an bhaint a bhíonn aige le sláinte an duine. 'Sláinte an Duine a fheabhsú trí Chaighdeán níos fearr Uisce' is teideal don chlár taighde idirdhisciplíneach a thugann le chéile eolaithe, dochtúirí agus innealtóirí ó OÉ, Gaillimh; ó Choláiste an hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath; agus ón Roinn Sláinte Poiblí, Feidhmeannacht na Seirbhísí Sláinte - An tIarthar. Ag 10.30am Déardaoin, 16 Márta 2006, san Institiúid um Athrú Comhshaoil (ECI) a sheolfar an clár. Scrúdóidh an clár taighde, arb é atá ann ná sraith tionscadail idirnasctha, an bhaint atá ag soláthar an uisce óil agus infhabhtú Cripteaspóiridiam in Iarthar na hÉireann, agus tionchar cúinsí séasúracha agus comhshaoil ar chaighdeán an uisce talún. Scrúdóidh ceann amháin de na tionscadail modhanna a thabharfaidh le fios an dramhaíl ón duine nó ó ainmhithe is cúis leis an truailliú, agus tiocfaidh sé ar mhodhanna a dhéanfaidh amach cén uair is dóichí a tharlóidh truailliú i soláthairtí uisce. Scrúdóidh an clár, leis, uisce óil, uisce snámha agus uisce dramhaíola, féachaint an bhfuil iarmhair antaibheathach agus baictéir atá frithsheasmhach i gcoinne antaibheathach iontu. Dúirt an tOllamh Martin Cormican, ó Roinn na Baictéareolaíochta i Scoil Leighis OÉ, Gaillimh agus an príomhthaighdeoir, gur deis mhór é an staidéar le cur lenár dtuiscint ar an gceangal idir an úsáid, nó an mí-úsáid ar uairibh, a bhainimid as uisce agus ár sláinte. "Braithimid ar uisce sna tithe againn, sa tionsclaíocht agus san fheirmeoireacht chun nithe a ghlanadh agus dramhaíl a sciobadh leis agus d'fhéadfadh sé sin dul isteach sa chomhshaol. Ar an láimh eile, le go mbeadh saol fada sócmhar againn, ní mór dúinn tarraingt ar an uisce glan atá sábháilte le hól ón gcomhshaol céanna sin. Má táimid chun an dá thrá a fhreastal, ní mór dúinn córais a chur i bhfeidhm a chinnteoidh nach n-ólfaimid amárach an ní a chaithaimid amach inniu." Agus é ag labhairt ag an seoladh, is é a dúirt Leas-Ardstiúrthóir an EPA, an Dr Pádraic Larkin: "Is tionscadal taighde ríthábhachtach don EPA é an tionscadal seo a thugann le chéile grúpa ilghnéitheach taighdeoirí den scoth ó na heolaíochtaí comhshaoil agus sláinte le hoibriú ar an gceist fhíorthábhachtach seo d'Éirinn. Táim ag súil go mbainfear leas as torthaí an tionscadail seo amach anseo chun an caighdeán is airde uisce is féidir a chur ar fáil in Éirinn." Is é a dúirt an tOllamh Emer Colleran, Stiúrthóir an ECI: "Tá an-áthas ar an ECI gur éirigh leis an maoiniú nach beag taighde seo a fháil ón EPA – gníomhaireacht a aithníonn an buntáiste a bhaineann le saineolaithe a thabhairt le chéile ó réimsí an taighde comhshaoil agus sláinte. Tá gá le cur chuige ildisciplíneach i leith an taighde chun ár n-acmhainn uisce a chosaint agus chun soláthairtí uisce a chur ar fáil. Tabharfaidh an tionscadal seo taighdeoirí le chéile ó dhisciplíní éagsúla i dtionscadal faoi leith a bheidh dírithe ar chaighdeán an uisce in Éirinn a fheabhsú." Ó bunaíodh an ECI, d'éirigh leis an bhfoireann acadúil a bhfuil baint acu leis an taighde maoiniú os cionn €30 milliún a fháil ó fhoinsí náisiúnta agus idirnáisiúnta. I dteannta bheith ag tacú go fadtréimhseach le taighde comhshaoil in OÉ, Gaillimh, tá an ECI ag tabhairt tacaíochta do chúrsaí comhshaoil atá seanbhunaithe agus ag cuidiú le cúrsaí nua fochéime agus iarchéime a chur le chéile. CRÍOCH

Thursday, 16 March 2006

The Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, has been awarded over €1 million in funding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a major research project to investigate water quality and its relationship to human health. 'Enhancing Human Health through Improved Water Quality' is an interdisciplinary research programme that brings together scientists, doctors and engineers from NUI Galway, University College Dublin and the Department of Public Health, Health Services Executive-West. It will be launched by the EPA at 10.30am on Thursday 16th March 2006 at the Environmental Change Institute (ECI). The programme of research, which is a series of linked projects, will examine the relationship between drinking water supply and the occurrence of Cryptosporidium infection in the West of Ireland, and the effect of seasonal and environmental factors on ground water quality. One of the projects will investigate methods to show if contamination of water comes from human or animal waste, and determine methods to predict when contamination of water supplies is most likely to happen. The programme will also examine drinking water, bathing water and waste water for antibiotic residues and antibiotic resistant bacteria. Professor Martin Cormican, from the Department of Bacteriology at NUI Galway's Medical School and lead researcher, said the study represented a major opportunity to improve our understanding of the link between our use, or sometimes misuse, of water and our health. "We depend on water in our homes, in industry and in farming to clean and flush away waste which may end up in our environment. On the other hand, to live long and to live well, we need to draw from that same environment water that is clean and safe to drink. If we want to do both of these things with water, we need to put in place systems to make sure that we do not drink tomorrow what we flush away today." Speaking at the launch, Deputy Director General of the EPA Dr Padraic Larkin said: "This is a key research project for the EPA which brings together a diverse group of leading researchers from environment and health sciences to work on this critical issue for Ireland. I look forward to the results of this project being utilised in the future to deliver the highest possible quality of water in Ireland". Professor Emer Colleran, Director of the ECI said: "The ECI is delighted with its success in attracting this significant research funding from the EPA who recognise the benefit of bringing together experts in the fields of environmental and health research. Protection of our water bodies and provision of water supplies require a multidisciplinary research approach. The project will link together researchers from different disciplines in a unique project focused on the improvement of water quality in Ireland." Since the establishment of the ECI, academic staff associated with the research programme has attracted over €30m in additional funding from both national and international sources. In addition to the long-term support of environmental research at NUI Galway, the ECI is continuing to support existing environmental courses and is contributing to the development of new undergraduate and postgraduate courses. ENDS

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

NUI Galway's Alumni Association has announced a memorial arts award in honour of the late Jerome Hynes, one of the University's most distinguished graduates who passed away last year. The Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play recognises the outstanding contribution Jerome Hynes (BA 1980, HDip in Ed 1981, LLB 1988) made to the Arts both nationally and internationally as Chief Executive of Wexford Festival Opera for 17 years and as a member of An Chomhairle Ealaion/The Arts Council. The award is presented during the University's Springtime Arts Festival, Múscailt. The inaugural Jerome Hynes Award for Best One Act Play, sponsored by the University's Alumni Association, was presented by Alma Hynes, Jerome s widow, to the cast and crew of Basin of Myself, an original play written, directed and performed entirely by NUI Galway students. The play was one of 10 performed as part of this year's Múscailt Festival. The presentation piece was created by the renowned sculptor John Coll, a former winner of the NUI Galway Alumni Award for Literature, Communication and the Arts. The University has also commissioned a larger piece by John Coll in memory of Jerome, which will be unveiled in the Bank of Ireland Theatre later this year.

Monday, 6 March 2006

Signed works by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, Edna O'Brien and Galway writer Ken Bruen are among the many books on sale at the inaugural NUI Galway 'Buy-a-Book Day' which takes place on Thursday 9th March, 2006,from 10.30am to 7.00pm. The general public are invited to the sale in the Aula Maxima, where an exciting and diverse range of books will be available. Other notable authors to contribute to this charitable event include Gerald Dawe, Moya Cannon, Ré Ó Laighléis and Joan McBreen. The proceeds from the event will be donated to international, national and local charities through the University's United Charities Group (UCG), with a portion of the total amount raised being used to purchase an item of interest for the Special Collections department at the James Hardiman Library. Formed in 2004, UCG consolidates the efforts of the three University based charitable committees: the Third World Appeal Committee, the IFUT Charitable Committee and Medicus Mundi. The event is one of the more novel ideas to emanate from the University's Staff Suggestion Scheme – Ursmaointe – and has been generously supported by several businesses throughout Galway. Vice President Mary O'Riordan said: "This is a wonderful initiative, coming from the staff of the University, which allows the University community to respond to the needs of the charities who will benefit." An end-of-day bargain sale will be held on the day to ensure that all stock is cleared, with any remaining stock being donated to local charity shops.

Monday, 24 April 2006

Guidelines to improve the organisation and effectiveness of Student Support Services in all Irish universities have been published by the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) and launched today (Monday 24th April) by the Board's Chair, the Honourable Mrs. Justice Catherine McGuinness. With the increase in the number and diversity of students entering third level education, the role of Student Support Services has become more complex and important as it contributes to the academic, social, financial and personal well-being of students. The booklet – 'National Guidelines of Good Practice in the Organisation of Student Support Services in Irish Universities' - aimed to establish current practice, identify good practice and prepare a national code of good practice, and was the result of inter-university projects conducted by the IUQB in collaboration with the universities. It is intended that each university will take the booklet's agreed statements of good practice into consideration when planning improvements to its own relevant systems. One of a series of booklets from the IUQB, it was funded by the HEA Quality Assurance Programme under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The IUQB was established in 2002 and was incorporated earlier this year as a non-profit making limited company, with its Board of Directors representative of all stakeholders in Irish universities, in addition to nominees from the European and North American university systems. Based at 10 Lower Mount Street, its mission is to play a leading role in developing and fostering a coherent culture of quality in all activities of the Irish universities in line with the highest international standards. Ends

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

NUI Galway Societies came out on top with three major wins at this year s Board of Irish College Societies (BICS) national society awards. Best Society went to The NUI Galway Juggling Society who had an exceptional year under the leadership of auditor Brian McGinley (Phd in Engineering). Best New Society went to the Business Society who in their first year have run a number of events and have made a significant contribution to campus life under the auditorship of David Keane (final year corporate law). Best Society Individual went to Donna Cummins (second year medical student), incoming auditor of the Literary and Debating society who had a very successful year which included hosting the Irish Times final. Donna was also instrumental in forming the new Sláinte Society which ran the Teddy Bear Hospital which saw students of medicine interact with local children. Other winners on the night are as follows. Best Event: Teddy Bear Hospital; Best Improved: GIG(Gay in Galway) Society: Best Fresher: Andrew Murphy, Young Greens Society; Best Poster: Art Soc; Best Website: Juggling Society. Riona Hughes, NUI Galway Societies Officer and Vice-chairperson of BICS described the Universities victory as "a recognition of the high standard of the societies in NUI Galway and the commitment of their very talented and generous members who add immeasurably to the life of the campus and to Galway city." Special guest for the evening was Mr. Pat Cox, former President of the European Parliament, who presented the nine awards to the winners. During his opening speech, Mr. Cox praised the members of third level societies and expressed the opinion that everyone present was a winner by virtue of engagement and that societies offered their members the opportunity to turn the knowledge they have internalsied into good for their communities. The BICS (Board of Irish College Societies) National Awards, was hosted by Cork Institute of Technology on April 13th in the Rochestown Park Hotel. Choral Society Success at International Choral Competition in Riva del Garda, Italy The NUI Galway Choral received a gold certificate for coming second in the Youth Choir section at the International Choral Festival in Riva del Garda, Italy. This entitles them to enter the Choral Olympics - 4th WORLD CHOIR GAMES 2006 Xiamen / China, which will be held in July. The winning choir was from Singapore. The NUI galway beat stiff competition from choirs from Wales, Italy, USA, Germany, Croatia and Cork. Well done to Peter Mannion (Director) and all the singers who made the trip. End

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

NUI Galway students whose performance at their pre-degree examinations in 2004-05 was outstanding were honoured at a special ceremony today (Wednesday) at 11.00 in Áras na Mac Léinn. The President, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, conferred the title 'University Scholar', together with a cheque for €250 and a specially designed scroll, on 391 students to mark their achievement in reaching First-class Honours standard at their examinations. The occasion also marked the award of 155 other Prizes across all Faculties, including 27 NUI Scholarships and Prizes won by NUI Galway students. Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh said that the ceremony highlighted for students the remarkable number and range of opportunities provided by this University for recognition of academic performance – a total of some 546 individual awards in 2004-05. "As an institution dedicated to academic excellence", he said, "the University is happy to mark today in this way the dedication of each of you students to developing your academic potential. The public recognition accorded you by this title of University Scholar will, I hope, encourage you further in that direction without neglecting the many other opportunities for personal development offered you by the University in the social and sporting arenas." He added that they were obviously, also well capable of going on in due course to do postgraduate research here and, for that purpose, to avail of the major research funding won by NUI Galway in recent years in all Faculties. Speaking of the Prizes, he said that the number and variety of these awards were a striking testimony of the support enjoyed by the University from industry and companies and private donors, all of whom he thanked for their generosity. Ends

Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Rinneadh ceiliúradh inniu (Dé Ceadaoin) ag 11.00 in Áras na Mac Léinn ar na torthaí den scoth a bhain mic léinn Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh amach ina scrúduithe réamhchéime in 2004-05. Bronn an tUachtarán, an Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, an teideal 'Scoláire Ollscoile', seic de €250 agus scrolla speisialta ar 391 mac léinn a bhain Céadonóracha amach ina scrúduithe. Chomh maith leis sin, rinneadh ceiliúradh ar 155 Duaiseanna eile a gnóthaíodh sna Dámha éagsúla, ina measc 27 Scoláireachtaí agus Duaiseanna de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann a bhain mic léinn na Gaillimhe amach. Dúirt an Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh gur léirigh Lá na nGradam do mhic léinn go gcuireann an Ollscoil iliomad deiseanna ar fáil le haitheantas a thabhairt dóibh siúd a léiríonn a gcumas acadúil: i mbliana, mar shampla, iomlán de 546 Scoláireachtaí/Duaiseanna i leith 2004-05. "Mar institiúid arb í an feabhas acadúil an chéad chloch ar a paidrín", dúirt sé, "tá áthas ar an Ollscoil aitheantas a thabhairt inniu don díograis atá léirithe agaibhse go léir, a mhic léinn, i leith bhur gcumas acadúil a fhorbairt. Tá súil agam gur spreagadh díbhse iad an teideal seo Scoláire Ollscoile a bheith bronnta oraibh agus an t-aitheantas poiblí seo le coinneáil libh ar an mbóthar sin, ach ar ndóigh go dtapóidh sibh freisin na deiseanna go leor eile a thugann an Ollscoil seo díbh chun forbairt phearsanta a dhéanamh oraibh féin sna réimsí sóisialta agus spóirt." Dúirt sé freisin gur léir go raibh an cumas iontu go léir dul i mbun an taighde iarchéime amach anseo agus, chuige sin, teacht i dtír ar na deontais mhóra taighde atá bainte amach ag OÉ Gaillimh le blianta beaga anuas i ngach Dámh. Ag trácht dó ar na Duaiseanna, dúirt sé gur rí-léir ó líon agus éagsúlacht na nduaiseanna sin leibhéal na tacaíochta a tharraingíonn an Ollscoil chuici féin ón tionscal, ó chomhlachtaí agus ó dheontóirí príobháideacha, agus ghlac sé buíochas leo sin uile as a bhflaithiúlacht. Críoch

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

John Baldessari is one of the best known conceptual artists in the world and has been credited as having invented a new form of photography. The influence of his work on younger artists is far reaching and longstanding and his work may be seen in major art museums across the world. He has been a member of the Advisory Council of Burren College of Art since it opened in 1994 and has visited the college on four occasions since then. On Tuesday April 18th he will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art from the National University of Ireland, as part of the Burren College of Art/NUI Galway MFA Graduation ceremony. Professor Timothy Emlyn Jones, Dean of Burren College of Art said, "It is both an honour and a pleasure to have John Baldessari involved with the Burren College of Art. It is an honour because he is one of the most distinguished artists currently working anywhere in the world, and it is a pleasure since his work connects so well with the ideas-led, enquiry based education at Burren College of Art. He is not only an important artist but also an inspirational teacher who is warmly remembered by those of our students and teachers who have been fortunate enough to have met him. We are delighted that the National University of Ireland, Galway accepted our nomination for the award of an honorary doctorate to honour and celebrate this important artist." John Baldessari was born in National City in 1931. He attended San Diego State University and did post-graduate work at Otis Art Institute and Chouinard Art Institute and U.C. Berkeley. He taught at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia until 1990 and is currently teaching at UCLA. He has been a major influence on several generations of artists. His art has been featured in more than 120 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe and in over 300 group exhibitions. His projects include artist books, videos, films, billboards and public works. His awards include the Governors Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts in California, the Oscar Kokoschka Prize from Austria and the Spectrum-International Award for Photography of the Foundation of Lower Saxony, Germany. Current projects include; solo shows in New York and Europe, books, films, an upcoming project at the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin, and retrospectives at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Vienna, Austria and the Kunsthaus, Graz, Austria, and at the Musee d Art Contemporain de Nimes, France. He has been made an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design of the New School of Social Research, and by San Diego State University and the California State University. END

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

1st Annual Conference on Community Responses The CESI Conference brought together contributors from the fields of science, sociology and politics with campaign advocates to discuss issues of environmentalism and secularisation, in the context of the patterns of social change which impact upon people's lives in an age of accelerated risk or shifting values. The conference included contributions from Professor Emer Colleran of the Environmental Change Institute who called for greater dialogue between the disciplines engaged with environmental research. Drawing from her experiences during the Mullaghmore dispute, Prof. Colleran emphasised the need for increased cooperation between the sometimes competing layers of the environmental lobby. Dr. Liam Leonard, NUI Galway, Chairman of the CESI, discussed the significance of environmental advocates in relation to the maintenance of a pluralistic civil society. Brendan Flynn NUI Galway presented an analysis of environmental complaints and responses amongst EU member states, while Brendan Smith looked at the issue of community engagement with local moves towards community empowerment through increased involvement in green issues such as tree planting and river bank cleanups. The second stream of the conference examined secularisation in both the Irish and international contexts. Vesna Malesevic NUI Galway presented an analysis of the linkages between religious belief and spatial location or demographic age groupings. A study of local mobilisation around secular issues in Galway in the 1970s was presented by Dr. John Cunningham NUI Galway, who included local accounts of student debates from the then UCG as part of his study. The third stream of the conference welcomed our visiting speakers, who returned to environmental themes. The writer Robert Allen gave us an insight into his latest work Ireland Unbound, where he examines themes of an environmental nature. Dr. Mark Garavan of the GMIT, Castlebar discussed the underlying themes of community and risk in relation to the Shell to Sea campaign, which he is spokesman of. Both visiting speakers allowed the conference to consider certain themes surrounding the issue of community responses to perceived intrusion due to infrastructural projects as Ireland continues on a path of accelerated growth. Ultimately, the debates around issues of community responses to change and risk are at the heart of much of what is occurring in an Ireland moving from traditional to post-modernity. The CESI conference brought together competing voices for a day, allowing for an extension of these debates which can move from contest to dialogue when minds are focused. The CESI would like to thank all who took part and contributed as speakers or within the subsequent debates. We look forward to next year's event with renewed confidence that this form of academic dialogue which is interdisciplinary while also reaching out to the wider community of activists and writers is a significant step towards a better understanding of community and environmental issues in a changing context, both nationally and globally. Ends

Monday, 3 April 2006

The President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid ÓMuircheartaigh today expressed his sadness at the death of John McGahern. Mr McGahern had a very close association with the University during his lifetime. Dr ÓMuircheartaigh extended his sympathy to Mr McGahern's family making the following statement: "The entire University community at National University of Ireland, Galway is deeply saddened to learn of the death of John McGahern. On behalf of the campus community, I express our sincere sympathy to his wife, Madeline; his sisters and his extended family. For over 30 years NUI Galway is proud to have had a close association and friendship with John and Madeline McGahern. From his involvement with the University s Writing Programme in the 1970s to his appointment at Adjunct Professor in the Centre for Irish Studies in 2001, faculty and students of this University have been privileged to gain insight into the literary mind and creative process of John McGahern - a writer who is foremost among the great Irish novelists. It is a source of deep pride that John chose the University to be the repository of his literary archive and papers. In holding this valuable archive in the West of Ireland, the University holds in trust a treasure for the world of literary scholarship and for the Irish nation. On the sad occasion of his death we reflect on John McGahern s literary legacy which may be summarised as a deep understanding of the human condition tempered with a genuine care for the world of the imagination and the world of the word." ENDS

Monday, 3 April 2006

A range of postgrad courses will be offered this autumn by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's Irish language college, as part of its continuing development of third-level education through Irish both on the main university campus and in its centres in the Connemara Gaeltacht. The courses include a new M.Sc. research scholarship programme in information technology; an M.A. in language teaching methodologies which is aimed primarily at Irish teachers and primary teachers; an M.A. in translation studies; and Higher Diplomas in information technology, drama, and applied communications. The M.Sc. trí Thaighde sa Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise is offered by the Acadamh in conjunction with NUI Galway's IT department, and is based in Carna. This new research initiative is supported by Údarás na Gaeltachta and aims to develop a new R+D culture in IT in the Gaeltacht, in areas such as information retrieval and filtering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, multimedia, information technology and society, networks and wireless technologies, E-learning, E-commerce, and computational linguistics. The M.A. i Modheolaíochtaí do Theagasc Teangacha (An Ghaeilge) draws on the significant advances in language teaching methodologies in recent years in an effort to promote best-practice teaching of Irish. The course is offered on a fulltime basis over one year or part-time over two years and is based in An Cheathrú Rua. The M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin is a fulltime course over two years and is also based in An Cheathrú Rua. It is designed to capitalise on the rapid growth in the demand for translation services in the public sector following the enactment of the Official Languages Act and aims to prepare students for a career as translators or interpreters with Irish as a target language. The Ard-Dioplóma i gCumarsáid Fheidhmeach is a wide-ranging course in broadcasting and radio and television journalism with a strong emphasis on practical skills and work experience. It is a one-year fulltime course based in An Cheathrú Rua. Subjects covered during the Ard-Dioplóma sa Drámaíocht include writing for theatre, acting, criticism, puppet work and theatre-in-education. This one-year fulltime course in offered in conjuction with NUI Galway's Scoil na Gaeilge and is based in Seanscoil Sailearna in Indreabhán. The Ard-Dioplóma sna Dána (Teicneolaíocht Faisnéise) is a fulltime course over one year and covers a range of issues in information technology including software programming and design. It is a fulltime course over one year and is based in Carna. For more information contact Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 492428. Ends

Monday, 29 May 2006

Henry Glassie, Professor of Folklore and Co-Director of Turkish Studies at Indiana University, will be among the speakers at the First Galway Conference of Irish Studies, which runs from Wednesday until Saturday, 7-10 June, at NUI, Galway. The theme of the conference is 'Orality and Modern Irish Culture', and Professor Glassie will be joined by more than sixty lecturers from Ireland, Britain, Norway, America, and South Africa, including Angela Bourke, author of The Burning of Bridget Cleary, and Gearóid Ó Crualaoich, author of The Book of the Cailleach: Stories of the Wisewoman Healer. Among the topics to be discussed are 'Memory and Memoir', 'Women and Oral History', 'Orality and the Sense of Place', 'Collecting Tradition', as well as aspects of orality in modern Irish literature. Papers will be presented in Irish and in English, with a simultaneous translation facility provided for material in Irish. One of the more innovative features of the Galway conference will be the series of workshops in which Henry Glassie, Angela Bourke, and Gearóid Ó Crualaoich will provide a demonstration of their own working methods through a close reading of selected stories from the Irish oral tradition. The conference will also feature a presentation by Méabh Ní Fhuartháin and the renowned musician Joe Burke on the musical traditions of East Galway. Admission to individual sessions of the conference is free and everyone is welcome to attend. The full conference programme is available on the Centre for Irish Studies website at http://www.nuigalway.ie/centre_irish_studies/. Henry Glassie's Passing the Time in Ballymenone has been described as 'one of the most remarkable pieces of literature of the twentieth century'. His groundbreaking study of the life and work of a rural community in County Fermanagh was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as 'an extraordinarily rich and rewarding book … about the effort of one man to find for himself and us the life's breath of the people of Ballymenone'. It was later included as a notable book of the year by the New York Times. Not surprisingly, Glassie's influence on Irish scholars and writers has been considerable; his first book on Ireland, All Silver and No Brass: An Irish Christmas Mumming provided the inspiration for Vincent Woods' play At the Black Pig's Dyke. His latest book The Stars of Ballmenone revisits the community of Ballymenone at the height of the Troubles, when the people told 'their own tale at night, forgotten, while the men of power filled the newspapers and history books by sending poor boys out to be killed'. - ends – For further details, contact Samantha Williams at Samantha.williams@nuigalway.ie or telephone 091 492951.

Monday, 29 May 2006

A recent research report by NUI Galway on improving the quality of life of older people in long-stay settings in Ireland calls for improvements in both practice and policy in the sector. The study, which was funded and published by the National Council on Ageing and Older People, documents the experiences of residents, relatives and staff of public, private and voluntary long-stay facilities in Ireland. The research is the first comprehensive analysis of the factors influencing quality of life for older people in long-stay care in this country. Over 556 long-stay care facilities were surveyed and 101 older people and 48 staff were interviewed across 8 counties. Dr Kathy Murphy, Head of Nursing Studies at NUI Galway, who led the research, commented, "The report can provide the basis for major changes in the regulation of public and private long-stay care in the future. Our growing population of older people deserve a good quality of life and we need to address the issues in long-stay care which are impacting negatively on this". The results of the research suggest that there are four key domains which impact on a person's quality of life in long-stay care: 1. Physical environment and ethos of care. 2. The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity. 3. Meaningful activities. 4. Connectedness to family, friends and community. Physical environment and ethos of care The research found that physical environment, which impacts quality of life by allowing older people to live their lives with dignity and privacy, was lagging behind in the public sector. Many of the long-stay care public facilities could not provide the residents with single or double rooms and many older people still lived in 6-8 bedded wards. Differences in staffing levels and skill mix between public and private facilities were identified by the report, with public facilities having higher levels of registered nurses and higher staffing levels overall. The report showed that the ethos of care within residential care can help offset some of the negative effects of physical environment and staffing. According to Adeline Cooney, Deputy Head of the Department of Nursing, a member of the research team, "It is very simple. Where care is person-centred and homely, older people do better". The ability to maintain a sense of self and identity The report found that older people wanted to maintain their individuality. Having some personal belongings, living in an environment in which they could have some privacy and being treated as an individual, rather than one of many, was important to them. Meaningful activities Another finding of the report noted residents wanted meaningful activities and opportunities to maintain their independence. They would like to be consulted more on day to day life in the facility and want control over their day, including what time to get up or go to bed and mealtimes. Connectedness to family, friends and community Older people also valued their connectedness to family and friends. Visits from family and friends are very important to older people. Regular visits helped to maintain family bonds and keep the older person in touch with what is happening at home and in the local community. Recommendations The report made many recommendations including: Greater consultation with older people in long-stay care. Uniform national care standards. New investment in public long-stay facilities. Person-centred models of care. Enhanced training and education of staff in all types of long-stay care. Professor Eamon O Shea, Director,Irish Centre for Social Gerontology NUI, Galway, who was part of the research team, commented that, "Older people in long-stay care are more than just patients, they are individuals who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect in an environment that is empowering, enabling and connected". - ends -

Monday, 29 May 2006

The second Annual Summer School on Disability Discrimination law will take place in the National University of Ireland, Galway, from 6-16 June 2006. It is the only such disability event in Europe and is partnered by a similar Summer School on racial discrimination in the University of Maastricht. It is hosted by the Faculty of Law at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and co-financed by the European Commission. Last year it attracted participants from over a dozen countries. The main focus of the Summer School is the European Union Framework Directive on Employment which prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities (among others) in the broad employment sphere. The Summer School appeals to lawyers and legal advisers to non governmental organisations (NGOs) interested in crafting test case strategies under the Directive on the ground of disability. It also makes the information accessible to non-legal audiences and has been successful in attracting NGOs interested in using the law to advance the rights of persons with disabilities. The Director of the Programme, Professor Gerard Quinn of the National University of Ireland, Galway, said, "The issues are interesting and varied and include topics such as medical testing and the law, the interaction of health & safety law with non-discrimination law and the vexed notion of reasonable accommodation." He added that, "The field is likely to grow as there is pressure on Brussels to adopt a much broader Directive covering fields such as housing and education. Indeed, the Directive has already provided the model for drafting the United Nations treaty on the rights of persons with disabilities which should be adopted by the United Nations later this year." The course itself will be taught by leading practitioners in disability law who have experience in litigating the issues before a variety of courts including the US Supreme Court (Professor Peter Blanck, Syracuse University), the House of Lords (Robin Allen, Queen's Counsel), the Canadian Courts (Patricia Bregman, Attorney), the European Court of Justice (Professor Marc De Vos, Ghent University) and the European Court of Human Rights (Professor Olivier De Schutter, Catholic University of Louvain). A highlight of the course is a moot court competition organised around practical issues that are likely to confront the European Court of Justice when dealing with disability discrimination issues. Further information is available from the Summer School website at: www.eusummerschool.info - ends - For further information contact Rachel Stevens, Faculty of Law, NUI Galway, Tel: + 353 (0)91 492085 Email: disability@eusummerschool.info

Monday, 29 May 2006

June 8th – 9th, 2006 The topic of NUI Galway's 4th Annual Conference on Teaching & Learning in Higher Education is 'The Challenge of Diversity: Teaching, Support & Student Learning'., Speakers from around the world will focus on the key issue of student diversity and how approaches to teaching, learning and assessment can take into account an increasingly varied student population. The emphasis will be on practical, real world solutions and include an examination of international experience and best practice. The conference is being hosted by the Centre for Excellence in Learning & Teaching (CELT), NUI Galway. "The needs of non-traditional students are different to those of the traditional student body and teaching methods must adapt to provide the best level of education possible," according to CELT's Director, Dr. Iain MacLabhrainn. He added, "There is an increasing emphasis on widening participation in third level education and we must prepare for the new challenges that presents". Non-traditional learners include socio-economically disadvantaged students, mature students, students with a disability, part-time students, students who are members of the Traveller community or other minority ethnic groups, and international students. This conference brings together the leading minds and practitioners in the field of third-level education to share knowledge, experience and methods. "The time has come to extend the focus from widening access towards the facilitation of full participation, engagement and success in higher education of all students. This requires an examination and reconceptualisation of teaching, learning, assessment and student support practices, and our conference will address these key issues", added Elaine Keane, the Conference Organiser and CELT's Researcher in this area. Keynote speakers will include: Dr. Mary-Liz Trant, the Head of National Office for Equity of Access to Higher Education; Dr. Liz Thomas, Senior Adviser for Widening Participation at the Higher Education Academy (UK); Dr. Kerri-Lee Krause from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education (University of Melbourne, Australia); Professor Alan Hurst (University of Central Lancashire), Professor Dai Hounsell ( University of Edinburgh) and Dr. Janette Ryan ( Monash University, Australia). The conference has proved to be extremely popular and is over-subscribed, with over 250 individuals registered from educational institutions in countries including South Africa, England, Scotland, the USA, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, and, of course, Ireland. The conference is in association with the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and the Dublin Institute of Technology. For further information contact Elaine Keane, Conference Organiser at 091 493621 or elaine.keane@nuigalway.ie - ends -

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NUI Galway, launched the new part-time Bachelor of Commerce, at NUI Galway on Monday, 22 May. This programme was developed by the Faculty of Commerce and has run in successive cycles for over twenty years. The programme has dramatically changed and will now be delivered using 'blended learning' techniques to accommodate mature students with work and family commitments. The new part-time Bachelor of Commerce aims to provide an educational experience in the key areas of business, leading to an internationally recognized qualification. Blended learning is a combination of face-to-face classroom lectures/tutorials, self-instructional learning materials, online discussions and activities, e-mail and telephone support. Participants will have access to course details and content at all times, from any location in Ireland. "Throughout my business career I have always argued that success comes from carefully listening to our customers and adapting what we offer them to their changing needs and preferences. The new programme we are launching here this evening is an excellent example of this principle in action. Through careful listening to its customers and to the business community, the Faculty of Commerce has identified emerging needs which it is now responding to. The result is a new format for the part-time Bachelor of Commerce degree." commented Senator Feargal Quinn, Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway. According to Éilis O'Regan, Programme Co-ordinator, Blended Learning NUI Galway, "Using the tools of blending learning we have tailored this programme to meet the needs of mature students. Students will attend six weekend workshops per year. In between workshops students will use their study packs and online support to progress through programme material. With the high level of off-campus support and the reduced time on campus, we hope to encourage students from all over Ireland to participate". The closing date for applications is June 23rd 2006, and the course will commence in September 2006. Prospective students are invited to attend a further information evening on 30 May, at 6.30pm in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway. Please email eilis.oregan@nuigalway.ie or call 091 493104 for further details. - ends -

Tuesday, 23 May 2006

A unique book of short stories and poems by the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group has just been published by the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, NUI Galway. 21 – An Anthology is edited by well-known Irish author Michael Gorman and contains the work of twenty-one senior writers from all over Ireland who have lived, worked in or retired to Galway. "The book encapsulates, in their own words, the vivid memories and experiences of a talented group of writers now in their senior years. It has been a precious opportunity to retrieve a rich written heritage from this talented group. The stories and poems are of a high quality, yet retain an authenticity and rawness in style which will delight readers," commented Michael Gorman, a Programme Director at NUI Galway's International Summer School for Writers, who facilitated and compiled the book. 21 – An Anthology has originality and range which is unusual for a publication of this kind as the group of writers originate from all over Ireland and have lived all over the world. NUI Galway's Adult and Continuing Education Centre has been involved in working with and supporting Active Retirement groups in Galway city and county for the past ten years. Under the tuition of writer Márie Holmes, the Salthill/Knocknacarra Active Retirement Writers Group developed their writing skills over the course of many years. The culmination of these efforts has been the publication of 21 – An Anthology. Seamus O'Grady, Director of the Adult and Continuing Education Centre, commented on the book, "This anthology is a wonderful and tangible example of the talent among older people that NUI Galway has been working with and developing. The poignant part is that some of the authors have passed away since the time of writing and the book is dedicated to their memory. 21 – An Anthology therefore becomes an even more and precious collection of work". 21- Anthology is published by NUI Galway and can be purchased in local Galway bookshops and at Áras Fáilte, NUI Galway, for €10. - ends -