Wednesday, 5 July 2006

The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) will host a 'Conference in Regenerative Medicine' at NUI Galway, in conjunction with US academic partners Georgia Tech and the Mayo Clinic, from 11-12 July. The conference will feature over twenty speakers advancing the latest thinking and developments in orthopaedic, neurological and cardiovascular regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine approaches the repair or replacement of tissues and organs by incorporating the use of cells and genes to regenerate healthy tissues. Themes addressed at the event will include cellular therapy, gene therapy, biomaterials science, immunology and tissue engineering. "One of the central elements of this new technology is the transplantation of stem cells for the repair or regeneration of tissues damaged by trauma or disease. Progress in this field is dependent upon close alliances between scientists, clinicians and engineers. Our conference will seek to advance these research ties and expand our shared knowledge base", commented Frank Barry, REMEDI Scientific Director. NUI Galway has worked closely for many years with Georgia Tech, which recently opened its first applied research facility outside the United States in Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Professor Anthony Windebank, leading expert in regeneration of the nervous system at the prestigious Mayo Clinic is currently based at REMEDI as part of a Science Foundation Ireland E.T.S Walton Fellowship. REMEDI Director, and Chair of Medicine at NUI Galway, Timothy O'Brien, commented, "This conference comes just weeks after the Irish government announced its Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. The strategy points out that Ireland must underpin its lead in the biotechnology arena and we seek to advance this by forging ever stronger links with our US counterparts such as Georgia Tech and the Mayo Clinic." The conference runs from 11-12 July and will be attended by representatives from US and Irish universities, industry partners and government agencies. -ends- Notes to editors: The Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) is a world-class biomedical research centre focusing on gene therapy and stem cell research. In state-of-the-art facilities, researchers at REMEDI work together to combine the technologies of gene therapy and adult stem cell therapy with the aim of regeneration and repair of tissues. The unique feature of the research carried out at REMEDI is the novel integration of both therapies in a complementary research and development programme. Based in the National University of Ireland, Galway, REMEDI was established in 2003 through a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Centre for Science Engineering and Technology (CSET) award, and industry funding. The institute is located at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science and incorporates the National Cell and Gene Vector Laboratory, a GMP grade vector and cell production facility. REMEDI is a partnership involving scientists, clinicians, and engineers in academic centres and in industry. It is a unique cluster of talented and committed individuals who share a vision in developing new and successful treatment options for patients. For further information contact: Ita Murphy MSc Communications and Outreach Manager Regenerative Medicine Institute (REMEDI) & National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) National University of Ireland Galway Phone: +353 (0)91 495198 Mobile: Phone: +353 (0)91 495198 Email: ita.murphy@nuigalway.ie

Monday, 3 July 2006

NUI Galway has announced it is to sponsor Cumha go Hora, a new musical research and performance project based at the University. The project will seek to retrieve and revive old Irish folk songs and support the creation of new ethnic material. Cumha go Hora takes its title from Cumha, meaning parting sorrow in Irish and Hora, meaning elation or celebration in Romanian. The first output of the project will be a concert at Galway's Augustinian Church on 18 July at which traditional Irish songs, both new and old, will be set to new string arrangements by Garry O'Briain and played by Romanian quartet, ConTempo, Galway Ensemble in Residence. The concert, also called Cumha go Hora, will include performances by Mary McPartlan, well-known traditional and contemporary singer, musicians Garry O'Briain, Dave Carty, Seamie O Dowd and Eddie Lynch and the award-winning NUI Galway Choir. Songs on the night will include Elizabeth Cronin's version of Lord Gregory as interpreted from a collection edited by her grandson, Professor Dáibhi Ó Cronín, NUI Galway. New songs include Cumha, written by Padraig O hAoláin and translated into English by Tim Dennehy, which is a song of sorrow for the changing lifestyles in deepest Connemara. Kiss the Moon and Sanctuary, written by Vincent Woods and set to music by Máirtín O Connor, will be featured along with Seanfhocal by Douglas Gunn, a specially commissioned piece for NUI Galway Choir. Mary McPartlan, recent graduate of NUI Galway and artistic director of the project, commented, "We are creating a new sound by experimenting with ethnic culture and giving a new richness to traditional folk music. Through the project, artists such as ConTempo, who are Romanian classical musicians, will be able to perform some of this country's most precious and previously unheard musical heritage in a revolutionary classical format." The Cumha go Hora project will see a true merging of styles to produce a new dynamic sound that will enrich and extend the experience of traditional music. The Arts Office at NUI Galway is plans to further develop the research part of the project with students, staff, ConTempo and traditional musicians all collaborating. The new and rare material will be documented and there will be future concerts at NUI Galway. Cumha go Hora, the concert, will be performed in a special event during Galway Arts Festival 2006 on Tuesday 18 July at 8.30pm in the Augustinian Church, Augustine Street, Galway. Tickets:€15/12 from Arts Festival box Office at 091-566577 or www.galwayartsfestival.com -ends-

Monday, 3 July 2006

The Irish Environmental Movement - from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five This week sees the publication of 'Green Nation: Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport Five , by Dr. Liam Leonard, the Galway-based writer and lecturer in Environmental Politics and Social Movements at NUI Galway. Green Nation examines community-based campaigns over the past thirty years that have become the basis for Ireland's grassroots environmental movement. Starting with the 'No Nukes' protests at Carnsore in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Green Nation traces the emergence of a nascent ecopopulist movement that has witnessed a number of campaigns including anti-mining protests at Tynagh, Donegal and Croagh Patrick, anti-toxics activism in Cork and the heritage dispute at Mullaghmore. The book also looks at the campaigns against incineration in Galway, Meath and Cork, the anti-roads protests at the Glen of the Downs, Carrickmines and Tara/Skryne and the ongoing campaign of 'Shell to Sea' in Mayo which gave rise to the 'Rossport 5', who were imprisoned for seeking justice for their community in North Mayo. Green Nation examines the mobilisation and agenda setting undertaken in these disputes, locating them in the context of a wider rural identity that has shaped grassroots environmentalism in Ireland. According to Green Nation's author Dr. Liam Leonard, Environmental Change Institute, NUI Galway, "Ireland's recent social history has been characterised by a series of environmentally based community challenges. Throughout the decades of state-sponsored, multinational-led development and infrastructural expansion in Ireland, the voice of the grassroots environmentalist has always been heard. Local communities have proven themselves to be adept at mobilising responses, framing arguments and establishing the networks and alliances that become possible in a populist society." Green Nation addresses a relative gap in literature about environmentally based community social movements which have emerged since the 1970s. These campaigns have been primarily rural, with campaigns in cities such as Cork and Galway still retaining a rural perspective as local communities came to identify themselves with the surrounding hinterlands in the face of modernisation. The book is available from www.choicepublishing.ie. Title: Green Nation: The Irish Environmental Movement from Carnsore Point to the Rossport 5 Author: Liam Leonard Publisher: Choice Publishing, Drogheda ISBN: 1-905451-11-3 - ends-

Tuesday, 29 August 2006

29 August 2006: The academic year at NUI Galway will commence with public lectures from two guest lecturers, both prestigious international human rights experts, on 5th and 6th September. The visits by Professor Conor Gearty, London School of Economics and Political Science, and Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights Law Network, will set the scene for another stimulating and eventful year at the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway. According to Professor William A. Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, "Since its inception in 2000, the Irish Centre for Human Rights has developed a global reputation as a centre of expertise in humanitarian law and has become the focal point of human rights activity in Ireland. We are delighted to commence the 2006/2007 academic year with a visit to Ireland by such distinguished guest lecturers who are willing to share their expertise with the public." The free public lectures will take place in the Siobhan McKenna Theatre, Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway: Tuesday, 5 September 2006 at 9.30am - 'The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights' 'The Challenge of Social and Economic Rights' is the title of the lecture to be given by Colin Gonsalves, Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Network and a pioneer in public interest law in India. The HRLN is India s first association of legal professionals providing support to those who have little or no access to law. Mr Gonsalves has also developed the Indian People s Tribunal on Environment and Human Rights (IPT), an independent organization directed by retired Supreme Court and High Court Judges which investigates human rights violations and environmental degradation. Its work has sparked public interest litigation, formed social movements, and led to concrete policy changes. Wednesday, 6 September 2006 at 5pm - 'Can Human Rights Survive?' 'Can Human Rights Survive?' is the topic being covered by Conor Gearty, Rausing Director of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights and Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The event in Galway is the culmination of a series of lectures, delivered in the UK and Northern Ireland as the 2005 Hamlyn Lectures, since published by Cambridge University Press. Professor Gearty will confront the fundamental concept of human rights and question whether human rights have the resilience to stand firm against such contemporary challenge as the 'war on terror', the revival of political religion, and the steady erosion of the world's natural resources. For further information please contact the Irish Centre for Human Rights on 353 (0) 91 494575. -ends-

Monday, 28 August 2006

Beidh iarcheannaire RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Tomás Mac Con Iomaire, ag teagasc ar an gcúrsa Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió, a bheas ag tosú go luath in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge ar an gCeathrú Rua, Co. na Gaillimhe. D'éirigh Tomás Mac Con Iomaire as a phost mar cheannaire RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta mí Eanáir seo caite. Bhí sé ag obair leis an stáisiún ó 1974 i leith agus ceapadh ina cheannaire é sa bhliain 2000. Chaith sé tréimhsí roimhe sin ina eagarthóir stiúrtha nuachta, ina eagarthóir stiúrtha cláracha agus ina leascheannaire. Ar na teagascóirí eile ar an gcúrsa beidh na hiriseoirí Norita Ní Chartúir agus Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill. Tá taithí na mblianta ag Norita Ní Chartúir mar chraoltóir le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta agus tá taithí ag Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill mar iriseoir leis an Irish Times, le Nuacht TG4, agus le heagrais eile. Cúrsa leathan a bhfuil béim ar obair phraiticiúil ann agus a leanann ar aghaidh ar feadh bliana is ea an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió. Pléitear gnéithe éagsúla den obair raidió lena linn, ón iriseoireacht go dtí an chraoltóireacht. Tugtar oiliúint do mhic léinn an chúrsa sna scileanna praiticiúla a bhaineann le cúrsaí raidió i stiúideo a bhfuil trealamh fuaime den scoth ann. Tá tréimhse taithí oibre mar chuid de chomh maith. D'oibrigh mic léinn an cúrsa le RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, RTÉ Lyric FM agus BBC Thuaisceart Éireann roimhe seo agus tugadh cuireadh do chuid acu leanúint lena gcuid oibre ann. Tá gné den iriseoireacht chlóite mar chuid den chúrsa, agus chuir mic léinn na bliana seo caite forlíonadh le chéile a foilsíodh in Foinse. Oiliúint mhaith phraiticiúil a bhí ann, dar le mic léinn a bhain an dioplóma amach níos luaithe i mbliana. "Bhain mé an-sásamh as na cláracha nuachta, mar bhí brú orainn agus d'airigh muid cén chaoi a mbeadh sé bheith ag obair i stáisiún raidió," a dúirt Micheál Ó Braonáin. Bhí an file Rita Ann Higgins ar an gcúrsa chomh maith. "Bhí deis iontach agam sa chúrsa," a dúirt sí. "Ní raibh a fhios agam cén chaoi an ndéanann tú clár, agus tá a fhios agam anois." Cúrsa an-iomlán a bhí ann, dar le Seán Leainde. "Chlúdaigh sé go leor rudaí, ní hamháin an chraoltóireacht raidió ach chlúdaigh sé iriseoireacht agus cúrsaí fuaime agus teicniúla. Do mo leithéide, a d'fhág an scoil tar éis na Meánteiste, thug sé deis domsa a thíocht ar ais agus blaiseadh den oideachas tríú leibhéal a fháil." De bharr tacaíocht Údarás na Gaeltachta ní bhíonn táille ar an gcúrsa agus íocann an tÚdarás liúntas seachtainiúil do na mic léinn. Tháinig forbairt mhór ar na deiseanna fostaíochta atá ar fáil do dhaoine in earnáil na cumarsáide Gaeilge le blianta beaga anuas. Tá éileamh mór ar dhaoine a bhfuil na scileanna cuí craoltóireachta, teicniúla agus fuaime acu, ag eagraíochtaí ar nós RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, stáisiúin raidió eile, TG4, Telegael, Abú Media agus neart comhlachtaí eile. Tá roinnt áiteanna fós ar fáil ar an gcúrsa. Is féidir a thuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Norita Ní Chartúir ag 091 595101. - críoch -

Monday, 28 August 2006

28 August 2006: The former head of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Tomás Mac Con Iomaire, will be among the tutors of NUI Galway's Arts Diploma in Radio Skills. The course, taught entirely through Irish, will focus on radio production and presentation, and starts this September in An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway. The one-year, full-time 'Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió' is offered by Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway's Irish-language college. During the year students will cover a broad range of subjects including journalism, broadcast skills, sound production, post-production, ethics, law, and communication skills. In addition, the course has a strong emphasis on practical skills, and aims to prepare participants for a career in radio, either in front of the microphone as a presenter or behind the sound desk as a technician or producer. A key part of the Diploma will be a four-week work placement. Tomás Mac Con Iomaire retired as ceannaire of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta at the end of January. He worked with the station since 1974 and held the post of ceannaire since the year 2000. At different times he also served as Head of News, Head of Programming, and Deputy Director. Tutors from NUI Galway's Acadamh will include Norita Ní Chartúir, formerly of RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and Uinsionn Mac Dubhghaill, former Irish language editor of the Irish Times who also worked as a journalist with Nuacht TG4. Course fees and a weekly training allowance will be provided by Údarás na Gaeltachta. A limited number of places are still available. More information will be available at the Acadamh's Open Night for New Students in An Cheathrú Rua on September 6th or by contacting Norita Ní Chartúir on 091 595101. - ends -

Tuesday, 22 August 2006

NUI Galway Information Evenings in Dundalk, Castlebar, Galway, Ennis, Sligo, Athlone and Donegal Town Following the excitement of the Leaving Cert results and the CAO offers, many students are now preparing to embark on the next phase of their education at university. For some it will mean leaving home for the first time and this can be an anxious time for both students and parents. The NUI Galway Alumni Association, incorporating Cumann Céimithe na Gaillimhe, is hosting the seventh annual series of information evenings for parents and students commencing their third level education in September 2006 at NUI Galway. An information evening or 'Student Send-off' as these events are called, will take place on: Tuesday, 22nd August in the Fairways Hotel, Dundalk from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Wednesday, 23rd August in Lough Lannagh Village, Castlebar from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Thursday, 24th August in the Aula Maxima, NUI Galway from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Monday, 28th August in the Old Ground Hotel, Ennis from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Tuesday, 29th August in the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Wednesday, 30th August in the Prince of Wales Hotel, Athlone from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. Thursday, 31st August in Pier One, Donegal Town from 7.00 – 9.00p.m. 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 & Societies and the Students' Union. "This is an ideal opportunity for both parents and students to get advice on finding one's way around campus during those first days of term; find out about the University's student support services; and the benefits of becoming involved in the University's many Clubs and Societies," says JB Terrins, Director of Alumni Relations. Admission is free to the information sessions and refreshments will be served. ends Information from: Emma Goode, Alumni Project Manager, NUI Galway. Tel. 091-493750 Email: alumni@nuigalway.ie

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

NUI Galway will hold a special examination in Mathematics on Wednesday 23rd August for students who have not achieved the required Leaving Cert grade in this subject for 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 don't have the maths requirement. Students who pass this examination will be deemed to have satisfied the maths requirement and will then receive a 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 fulfil the requirement for entry to 1st year Engineering. For the past two years, 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. "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 may be particularly relevant this year with the difficulties in Leaving Certificate mathematics experienced by many students," commented Prof. Padraic O Donoghue, Dean of Engineering, NUI Galway. The standard of the syllabus for the examination is relatively similar to that of the Leaving Certificate 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 23rd August. Further details and application forms may be obtained at http://www.nuigalway.ie/engineering/ or by calling the Admissions Office on 091 492199. -ends-

Friday, 11 August 2006

Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway, is to offer a new part-time diploma in acting through the medium of Irish. The course begins in September 2006 and takes the form of Saturday workshops on the Ceathrú Rua campus in Connemara. The diploma course is open to all with an interest in acting, whether on a professional or amateur basis. Students will study physical acting, script-based acting, puppetry and devising (creating drama without a script). The course also aims to promote team skills, which are valuable in any area of work. Previous experience is not required, only a passion for drama and the Irish language. Participants may consider employment opportunities in the areas of stage and screen acting. A maximum of 20 people will be taken on the course so early booking is advisable. For more information please contact Nora Nic Con Ultaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, NUI Galway at 091 495381 or e-mail nora.nicconultaigh@oegaillimh.ie -ends-

Friday, 11 August 2006

Beidh dioplóma nua páirtaimseartha á reáchtáil ag Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge i réimse na haisteoireachta an bhliain seo chugainn. Cuirfear tús leis an gcúrsa i Meán Fómhair 2006 agus déanfar ceardlanna aisteoireachta á reáchtáil gach Satharn ar an gcampas sa Cheathrú Rua. Tá an dioplóma seo feiliúnach do dhaoine a bhfuil spéis acu san aisteoireacht ghairmiúil, do dhaoine atá ag plé leis an drámaíocht phobail nó do dhaoine a bhfuil spéis acu san aisteoireacht ar bhonn pearsanta. Is cúrsa an-phraiticiúil a bheidh ann a thabharfaidh oiliúint san aisteoireacht agus sa phuipéadóireacht agus beidh deis ag baill an chúrsa a gcuid scileanna a chur i bhfeidhm nuair a chruthóidh siad dráma le chéile. Cothóidh an cúrsa scileanna foirne chomh maith. Is scileanna iad seo atá luachmhar in aon réimse oibre. Ní gá taithí aisteoireachta a bheith ag iarratasóirí. Fáilteofar roimh iarratais ó aon duine a bhfuil suim acu sa drámaíocht agus a bhfuil an Ghaeilge ar a dtoil acu. Beidh an rogha ag baill an chúrsa deiseanna fostaíochta a ghlacadh i réimse na haisteoireachta stáitse agus i réimse na haisteoireachta teilifíse. Glacfar suas le fiche duine ar an gcúrsa. Ní mór iarratas a dhéanamh roimh an 16 Lúnasa le d'áit a chinntiú. Le haghaidh tuilleadh eolais a fháil faoin gcúrsa cuir glaoch ar Nora Nic Con Ultaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh ag 091 495381 nó seol ríomhphost chuig nora.nicconultaigh@oegaillimh.ie.

Friday, 4 August 2006

Ireland's recently launched research centre on economic and social ageing, the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology (ICSG) at NUI Galway, has announced details of its first education initiative, the Diploma in Social Gerontology. The part-time, two year programme for mature students, commences in September 2006 and the closing date for applications is Friday 18 August. Classes and workshops will be held on Saturdays to accommodate the work and family commitments of prospective students. The diploma covers a broad range of economic, social and political theories relating to ageing and examines public policy for older people across a number of fields. It is designed to equip students with the professional and analytical skills necessary to understand age and ageing in an economic, social and policy context and to enhance and develop their careers in age-related fields. The course is aimed at those working with older people in health or social care settings, and governmental, non-governmental, or voluntary organisations. Members of active retirement groups, older volunteers, members of community groups and people with an interest in ageing issues would also be candidates for the course. Professor Eamon O'Shea, Director of the ICSG, commented, "This course is designed so that participants can bring their own life experiences to bear on the programme, enabling students to contribute to debate and discussion, which is an important part of the learning process". The Irish Centre for Social Gerontology is the first of its type in Ireland which will examine the economic and social aspects of Ireland's ageing population across multiple disciplines including: social gerontology, economics, sociology, psychology, law, nursing and medicine. According to Professor O'Shea, "The Centre aims to develop social gerontology as a subject at diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate levels, educating future policy makers, public servants and leaders of private industry on ageing issues. The new diploma for mature students is the first step in that process". Students on the Diploma course will attend classes at NUI Galway on six Saturdays in Semester 1 and six Saturdays in Semester 2 in each year. Classes run from 9.00am-12.00pm and from 2.00pm-5.00pm, with opportunities for lecturer consultation and library visits in between. The programme is offered on a two-year cyclical basis. Further information can be found at http://www.icsg.ie/education.html -ends –

Thursday, 28 September 2006

28 September 2006: NUI Galway today (Thursday) showcased Hazard IQ, a suite of software products for accurate, rapid identification and quantification of materials, including illegal narcotics, explosives and medicines. The technology can be used in many different practical applications such as airport security screening, poison testing at accident and emergency departments, and on-the-spot forensics analysis. The intelligent software has been developed at NUI Galway by Dr. Michael Madden, Department of Information Technology, and Dr. Alan Ryder, Department of Chemistry and the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science. Hazard IQ was presented at the Enterprise Ireland Informatics Technology Showcase in Dublin, an event designed to connect Ireland's finest technology researchers with entrepreneurs, industrialists and companies who can participate in the commercialisation process for mutual commercial gain. Michael explained the technology, "If, for example, suspicious materials are discovered at an airport, they can be analysed where they are found and Hazard-IQ can identify the substance in a matter of seconds. This is much faster than dispatching samples to a central laboratory for standard testing, which can take several days. Likewise, in a hospital environment, the identification of hazardous materials ingested by patients can be made rapidly, speeding up diagnosis, and leading to faster treatment times." Hazard-IQ automatically learns to identify hazardous and illicit substances, by examining a wide variety of samples that have been prepared in a lab. Hazard-IQ has been 'trained' to recognise different categories of drugs, poisons, explosive and corrosive materials, and estimate their concentrations accurately. It can then recognize new samples within milliseconds. "The basis of the project is about using the Raman spectra of drugs as molecular fingerprints", explained Alan. "These molecular fingerprints are unique to different drugs and materials and so can be used for unambiguous identification. Portable Raman detection equipment is smaller than a shoebox and can test bulk samples of a variety of materials, including drugs, explosives and hazardous industrial chemicals." Hazard IQ identifies the components of mixtures and estimates their concentrations, by combining Raman Spectroscopy – which is a laser-based method for 'chemical fingerprinting' of materials – with Machine Learning, which is a family of analysis techniques that automatically improve with experience. Drs. Madden and Ryder developed the novel technologies and software with support from Enterprise Ireland as part of the Commercialisation Fund for Technology Development. -ends-

Monday, 25 September 2006

Innovation is to be the subject of a free public lecture at NUI Galway, for business and industry professionals, by a leading Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor. Dr. Richard Lester, Director of the Industrial Performance Centre at MIT, will deliver a lecture entitled 'Innovation – the Hidden Dimension', on Thursday 28th September, at 6.00pm. The venue will be room BS118, J.E. Cairnes Graduate School of Business & Public Policy, NUI Galway. The event is hosted by NUI Galway's Centre for Innovation and Structural Change (CISC), where Director, Dr. William Golden, commented: "The prosperity of our economy hinges on the ability of businesses to continually introduce new products and services. This innovation can be difficult to sustain in the long term and a strategic approach must be adopted by companies and organisations. Professor Lester will be able to give insights to the local business community as to how best channel innovation within their organisations". Professor Lester will discuss two fundamental processes at the heart of every successful innovative organisation; rational problem-solving and interpretation (creative problem solving). These two processes are radically different from each other in almost every respect, and require vastly different managerial approaches, yet both are needed to sustain the creative output of both individual firms and entire economies. Drawing on research at the MIT Industrial Performance Centre into various sectors from mobile phones to medical devices to fashion, Professor Lester will show how innovative companies have managed to prevent vital interpretive processes from being crowded out by the insistent demands of problem solving. He will also provide examples of how the two processes have been successfully combined within the same organisation. Professor Lester's visit to Galway is part of the Queen's University, Belfast First Trust Bank Innovation Lecture Series, a unique initiative supported by First Trust Bank and Invest NI which brings international expertise in innovation to Queen's and the wider Northern Ireland Business Community. - ends -

Monday, 25 September 2006

NUI Galway is to be the venue for the 5th Annual Irish Universities Association Human Resources Conference, from 27-29 September. The conference, entitled An Bóthar Romhainn – The Road Ahead', will focus on a wide range of Human Resources (HR) issues facing Ireland's universities. Danuta Gray, CEO, O2 will deliver the keynote address on 'The challenges of leading in an ever changing and competitive environment'. Further input from eminent industrial relations and human resource management experts, trade unionists and policy makers will include presentations by: Brendan McGinty, Director of HR & Industrial Relations, IBEC Kieran Mulvey, Chief Executive of the Labour Relations Commission Tom Boland, Chief Executive, HEA Elspeth MacArthur, Director of HR, University of Edinburgh Jack O'Connor, General President, SIPTU Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway and the Irish Universities Association, who will give the welcome address at the conference commented, "There are seismic changes underway in our sector, the net results of which will benefit the entire nation as we support moves toward the progression of the knowledge economy. We value the input and expertise from the private business and industrial relations experts will bring to this event". The conference is being hosted by the Human Resources Department at NUI Galway, whose Director, Chris McNairney, commented, "The strategic importance of 4th level (post-graduate) skills to developing Ireland as a knowledge economy is widely accepted and is a challenge to which the university sector rises. HR professionals within the sector have a critical role to play in supporting this challenge and accommodating the changes 4th level brings. This conference is an opportunity for management and unions to explore and discuss the best way forward". More information about the event can be found at www.conference.ie - ends -

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Nearly 40 community organisations will come together at NUI Galway on Wednesday the 27th of September for the annual Volunteering Fair, which promotes the voluntary sector, showcases community organisations and encourages volunteering opportunities. Launched by NUI Galway's Registrar Jim Browne and the Galway City Mayor Niall Ó Brolcháin at 1.30pm in Áras na Mac Léinn, the fair will be aimed at promoting partnerships with communities locally, nationally and internationally. The Volunteer Fair brings together students and community who in the past have taken this opportunity to successfully share experiences and engage. The Volunteer Fair is a joint initiative between the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI), the ALIVE programme and Student Services at NUI Galway, and will be an opportunity for students to share experiences and broaden their horizons beyond the sphere of academia. It addresses three areas, volunteering within the University, volunteering with local and national organisations, and volunteering with international organisations. Last year over one thousand students mingled with community organisations and this year even more are expected to attend. Attendees will receive a Volunteering Fair Booklet, which describes the organisations' aims and objectives and provides information to support volunteers and community organisations. The Volunteering Fair Booklet is a resource distributed by ALIVE, not only at the event but also throughout the year. Additionally, candy floss will be made and distributed to all attendees of the fair. ALIVE (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience) was established by the CKI to harness, acknowledge and support the contribution that NUI Galway students make by volunteering. The Volunteering Fair is the highlight of the first semester for the ALIVE programme. "The Volunteering Fair provides a space for community and students to engage and an avenue for developing mutually beneficial experiences. These experiences not only enhance academic learning and motivation but also make a very positive impact on the University, local and national community," said Lorraine Tansey, Student Volunteer Coordinator of ALIVE. "This is a great event for charging the student body with excitement for volunteering and meeting community partners." For further information, please contact Lorraine Tansey, ALIVE Student Volunteer Coordinator at 091 495346 or email lorraine.tansey@nuigalway.ie.

Monday, 18 September 2006

The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has launched a new website that enables students to register as volunteers, at the same time allowing community organisations to recruit student volunteers. The amalgamation of registration for both students and community organisations will make volunteering an effortless process with minimal hassle. The Online Volunteering Opportunities Database allows volunteers to easily browse through a variety of volunteering opportunities and lets community organisations post volunteering opportunities to be browsed through. At the click of a button, students can then easily register to volunteer with their chosen organisation and the organisation can recruit them. The new website also offers educational links for research in community, volunteering, civic engagement and service learning/community based learning. In addition, it highlights video and audio webcasts that have been produced with national and international experts in the field of university-community partnerships. The CKI is a project established in 2001 by NUI Galway in order to place communities at the centre of debate and educate students for their role as citizens in democratic society. The website aims to be an informational resource for students and staff at NUI Galway, as well as those in the wider community. "We created a site that offers students, academics and community a gateway into volunteering and the possibilities university-community collaboration poses in modern society; we envisage that the CKI site will enable students to volunteer and learn about their civic responsibility through community," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. Contact: Lorraine McIlrath, Community Knowledge Initiative, NUI Galway, Phone: 091 495234 ENDS

Monday, 18 September 2006

Burns victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers could benefit from the latest research into hyper-resistant bacteria, often known as superbugs, at NUI Galway. The research, carried out by postgraduate Paul Mc Cay under the supervision of Dr Ger Fleming of NUI Galway's Microbiology Department, looked at the cross-resistance of a particular strain of bacteria to both antibiotics and disinfectant. The three-year study focused on Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic pathogen often associated with burn wound sepsis or sufferers of cystic fibrosis and is frequently connected with hospital acquired pneumonia. The University team developed a highly resistant strain of the bacteria and mixed it with the original strain, and a very low level of either antibiotic or disinfectant. The research found that when low levels of antibiotic or disinfectant were present, the ordinary strain of the bacteria was significantly disadvantaged and the superbugs became dominant. The superbugs were also found to be more readily resistant to other types of antibiotic or disinfectant when they were subsequently introduced. Furthermore, superbugs with antibiotic resistance also had resistance to disinfectant, even though the disinfectant had never been present, suggesting a strong link between the development of resistance to antibiotics and disinfectant. "This could have major implications for those administering antibiotics. Firstly, for burn victims and cystic fibrosis sufferers, infections can be long-term. While treatment with antibiotics is the obvious solution this approach is sometimes quite broad and if one antibiotic does not work, we switch to another. However, we may in fact be selecting for resistance and developing an even stronger pathogen. Secondly, disinfectant - tolerant bacteria are emerging more often and this may contribute to antibiotic cross resistance", commented Dr. Fleming. With funding from Research Frontiers Programme, administered by SFI, and the Embark initiative, Paul Mc Cay is one of only a few researchers in Ireland or Britain that utilises long-term selective chemostat cultures for investigations. Using a chemostat culture system, which mimics a natural environment, a highly resistant strain of the bacteria can be grown and in theory grow indefinitely. This better mimics how bacteria behave in the natural environment while allowing bacteria to mutate, evolve and "adapt" to selective agents such as antibiotics and disinfectants. Dr. Fleming and Mr. Paul Mc Cay presented their work at the Society for General Microbiology's 159th meeting, in York on Wednesday 13 September 2006. -ends-

Monday, 11 September 2006

11 September 2006: A postgraduate student from NUI Galway is the first university researcher in Ireland to receive payment for a 'brainwave' from Technology from Ideas Limited (TfI), the technology commercialisation company. Robert Healy, from the Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department, has a radical new idea in the field of renewable energy which potentially offers significant enhancement to existing technologies. Robert's initial idea was analysed by TfI looking at its market, technical and intellectual property merits. TfI expanded upon the idea turning it into a novel technology concept which would enhance current and proposed wave power generation devices. An added bonus of the technology is that it would also strengthen the structural integrity of a device allowing it to withstand more severe sea conditions. The technology involves the use of novel materials coupled with innovative structural modifications. The finer details regarding Robert Healy's idea remain top secret while under development; all he can reveal is that the idea came to him while "watching the surf in Galway". TfI will now commit time and resources to developing, demonstrating and protecting the idea, with the aim of selling or licencing a proven technology onto an end customer. The returns from future sales will be shared with both NUI Galway and Robert. In May of this year, NUI Galway signed a technology commercialisation agreement with Irish company TfI. Under the agreement, TfI will source certain categories of technology ideas from NUI Galway researchers for development and sale to industry. Dr Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, NUI Galway, said: "Robert's idea is an innovative solution to a problem he observed with current renewable energy devices. It is outside of his core area of expertise and requires further market-focused technology development before being ready for commercialisation – which is where TfI comes in. Our partnership with TfI offers NUI Galway a much needed alternative commercialisation route for our intellectual property and this idea is the first fruits of our relationship since signing our initial agreement with TfI". Commenting on today's announcement, Dan Richardson, TfI's Managing Director, said: "This award demonstrates our belief in the potential of this idea and in our ability to develop it into a valuable technology. This is the start of a potentially long commercialisation process for Robert's idea with the real returns for him and the University coming when there is a sale or licence deal. We expect further awards over the coming year as we take more ideas into our development pipeline." The agreement with TfI forms part of an ongoing strategic initiative for the Technology Transfer Office at NUI Galway in the development, commercial exploitation, industrial partnering and spin-out of technologies under development by a number of research teams at the University. - ends - Notes for editors Technology from Ideas (TfI) Technology from Ideas (TfI) is a new Irish technology commercialisation company partnered by key players in universities and industry. TfI locates unrealised ideas from university researchers, develops them into investment ready technologies, and sells them to customers worldwide for subsequent development into products. This is achieved through commercially focused development in our own laboratories and together with sales through established technology development company partners. For more information please visit www.technologyfromideas.com. Tel Dan Richardson, Managing Director on +353 86 172 4623. NUI Galway For more information please contact: NUI Galway, Dr. Daniel O'Mahony, Director Technology Transfer Office, 091 492147

Monday, 11 September 2006

Professor Gerard Quinn, of NUI Galway's Law Faculty, has been re-appointed by the Government to serve another five year term on the Irish Human Rights Commission. An expert in Disability Law, Prof Quinn is the only person based in the West of Ireland on the Commission, which has made its mark domestically and internationally - where it is a member of the European Coordinating Group of National Human Rights Institutions Professor Quinn took a leading role within the Commission over the past five years on the drafting of the new United Nations treaty on disability as well as in the general field of social justice. He led the delegation from the Human Rights Commission to the United Nations on the drafting of the disability treaty which was finally agreed in New York in August. Speaking of his re-appointment to the Human Rights Commission, Prof Quinn said, "This is a great honour for me and for my Faculty. I intend using my next term on the Commission to help co-ordinate human rights commissions worldwide in implementing the disability treaty in domestic law where it counts most. I will continue to build research alliances worldwide on the challenging issue of disability law reform". Professor Quinn also co-directs a major legal Research Network for the European Commission on EU discrimination law which provides the Commission with a wide range of research on issues such as disability as well as age and race. He recently stepped down as First Vice-President of the European Committee of Social Rights (Council of Europe, Strasbourg). The Irish Human Rights Commission, which was established by statute in accordance with the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, is an independent statutory body mandated to ensure that Irish law and practice are in line with highest standards as set out in the Constitution and in international human rights agreements to which Ireland is a party. - ends -

Monday, 11 September 2006

Den chéad uair riamh tá cúrsa bunchéime á reáchtáil in ionad Gaeltachta de chuid Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh i mbliana. Tá an B.A. sa Chumarsáid ar siúl in Ionad Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, Áras Mháirtín Uí Chadhain ar an gCeathrú Rua agus tá mic léinn an chúrsa tar éis triall ar an áit. Is cúrsa ceithre bliana atá ann agus cuirfear oiliúint ar mhic léinn san iriseoireacht, i léiriú teilifíse agus raidió agus sna hilmheáin chun iad a ullmhú don ré úr dhigiteach sna meáin. Chomh maith leis an gcúrsa B.A. tá mic léinn ar an gCeathrú Rua ar feadh na bliana ag freastal ar chúrsaí lánaimseartha eile an Acadaimh – an tArd-Dioplóma sa Chumarsáid Fheidhmeach, an Dioplóma Iarchéime/M.A. i Léann an Aistriúcháin, an Dioplóma i Scileanna Raidió agus an Cúrsa Scileanna Ríomhaireachta agus Dioplóma sa Ghaeilge. Tá urraíocht fhlaithiúil á fáil ó Údarás na Gaeltachta chun na cúrsaí seo a rith agus is borradh mór do cheantar na Ceathrún Rua é iad a bheith ar fáil agus an 70 mac léinn atá ag cur fúthu sa cheantar dá bharr. Bhí ócáid fáiltithe eagraithe ag foireann an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua Dé Céadaoin seo caite, an 6 Meán Fómhair chun fáilte a chur roimh na mic léinn ar fad. Orthu siúd a bhí ag caint leo bhí Peadar Mac an Iomaire, Príomhfheidhmeannach an Acadaimh agus Treasa Uí Lorcáin, Riarthóir Ionad an Acadaimh ar an gCeathrú Rua agus thug an t-iriseoir aitheanta Rónán Mac an Iomaire caint dar teideal "Saol an duine óig ar an gCeathrú Rua". Bhí eolas ar fáil freisin do na mic léinn faoi chlubanna sóisialta, spóirt agus na háiseanna eile atá ar fáil dóibh ar an gCeathrú Rua. Bhí ionadaithe ó Aontas na Mac Léinn ar an láthair freisin chun labhairt leis na mic léinn. Cuireadh críoch leis an lá le BBQ agus ceol. Is féidir tuilleadh eolais a fháil ach glaoch ar Chassie Ní Chathasaigh in Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, OÉ Gaillimh, ag 091 869022 nó ríomhphost a sheoladh chuig aistriuchan@oegaillimh.ie -críoch-

Monday, 4 September 2006

The Irish Forum for Global Health is to host a two-day conference in conjunction with NUI Galway entitled "Equity Challenges in Global Health", on September 7th and 8th. The event, which is supported by Irish Aid, will bring together experts to debate the global challenges of addressing inequities in health and aims to identify ways in which Ireland can respond both globally and locally. The conference is an opportunity to connect individuals and organisations involved in relevant education, research and policy. Diarmuid O'Donovan, a Senior Lecturer in NUI Galway's Department of Health Promotion, and Chairperson of the Irish Forum for Global Health, commented, "Despite dramatic improvements in certain areas, on a global level, the gap between the rich and poor in terms of healthcare is widening. HIV, AIDS, TB and malaria are huge problems for developing countries. This is an opportunity to debate the issues surrounding these problems and identify practical ways in which Ireland can help". The conference, which is the Second Biennial Conference on this theme, will feature local and international presenters and include a series of workshops. The workshops will feature, among others, representatives from Ethiopia and South Africa, with the aim of establishing how individuals and organisations can work together more effectively to address healthcare issues. Speakers will include leading figures in global health policy, research and advocacy: Dr Irene Agua Agyapong (Alliance for Health Systems & Policy Research) Dr Odile Leroy (European Developing Country Clinical Trials Partnership) Andrew Chetley (Healthlink International) Dr Hani Serag (People's Health Movement) Dr Vincent O'Neill (Irish Aid) The aim of the Irish Forum for Global Health is to contribute to improvement in the health of individuals and populations globally by creating networks that will promote research and education and advocate for investment in global health. For more information on the conference please visit http://www.conference.ie/index/index.asp or telephone 086 3166388. -ends–

Friday, 1 September 2006

September 1, 2006: Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and the National University of Ireland, Galway have agreed a new strategic collaborative research partnership in the humanities and bioengineering. The TCD Provost, Dr John Hegarty, and NUI Galway's President, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, together signed the bilateral agreement this week, which will enable their respective institutions to build collaborative and complementary strengths. The primary focus of this initial collaboration concerns research in the arts, humanities and areas of social studies. It paves the way for the creation of an East-West Arts and Humanities Research Corridor in Ireland, linking Trinity's Long Room Hub initiative with the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies at NUI Galway. The other element of the agreement builds upon existing bioengineering partnerships between the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science (NCBES) at NUI Galway and the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering. Speaking on behalf of NUI Galway, Dr Ó Muircheartaigh stated that: "At a time when significant investment has been made by the State in research, both universities agree that we should work together to maximise efficiency at fourth level to deliver added-value in these key research areas. Furthermore, I hope that that this initiative will serve as a platform with which relevant research clusters in other Irish universities will establish links." Commenting on the significance of the agreement, TCD's Provost, Dr John Hegarty said: "This is the second strategic agreement in a series of key bilateral collaborative partnerships which Trinity College is advancing with other institutions in Ireland. I am particularly pleased to see the balance between the humanities and the sciences in this agreement. The role of the humanities in our society cannot be overstated." In addition to collaboration in these specific research areas, Trinity College and NUI Galway will work to develop and implement further complementary research strategies and graduate school programmes. - ends -

Friday, 1 September 2006

Actor Martin Sheen has registered as an arts student at the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, taking classes in English Literature, Philosophy and Oceanography. Star of the acclaimed TV series 'The West Wing', and of many memorable movies including Apocalypse Now and Badlands, Sheen will take a break from his illustrious acting career to immerse himself in campus life. Martin Sheen is amongst the first of 15,000 students who will register over the coming weeks at NUI Galway. Around 1,500 international students travel to Ireland each year to study at the University, with almost half of those hailing from North America. The rich multi-cultural ambience on campus provides a dynamic backdrop to the student-centred and research-intensive university. Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh President of NUI Galway warmly welcomed the actor, "We welcome Martin as a student at NUI Galway and the city extends to him a heartfelt Céad Míle Fáilte. Martin joins the thousands of students we welcome at this busy and exciting time of year on campus. We hope he will enjoy being part of our friendly, vibrant and diverse community and wish him well in his academic endeavours." Apart from the academic subjects he has chosen, Martin Sheen will find other areas of academic discipline in NUI Galway which fit in with his own particular interests such as the work of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, and the Irish Centre for Human Rights which will touch a chord with his own interest in social justice and civil liberties. Earlier this year, Martin Sheen was conferred with an honorary degree, by the National University of Ireland (NUI) in recognition of his acting talent and work as a champion of the poor and vulnerable in society. Throughout his life, his actions of non-violent civil disobedience and consistent opposition to war have been the cornerstone of his character. - ends - About NUI Galway Established in 1845, NUI Galway is one of Ireland's foremost centres of academic excellence. With over 15,000 students, it has a long established reputation for teaching and research excellence in each of its seven faculties – Arts, Science, Commerce, Engineering, Celtic Studies, Medicine & Health Sciences and Law. Firmly established in the top tier of research-intensive universities in Europe, NUI Galway attracts internationally-renowned academics, as well as researchers and students of the highest calibre. NUI Galway is situated in Galway City on the west coast of Ireland. The 250 acre river-side campus is in close proximity to the Connemara Gaeltacht, the largest Irish-speaking area in the country, which provides a unique dimension to the campus. The regular use of the Irish language is an established part of social and academic life, while the city and university reflect the rich cultural ambience of a bilingual, multi-cultural environment. About Martin Sheen The star of the popular show 'The West Wing', Martin Sheen was born Ramon Estévez, in 1940, in Dayton, Ohio to immigrant parents: Francisco Estevez from Spain and Mary Ann Phelan from Terryglass, Co Tipperary. Martin was the seventh of 12 children and still has relatives in Ireland. In 1961, as he began to enjoy the success of his burgeoning career, Martin met Janet Templeton, an Ohio art student studying in New York whom he later married. Together now for over 40 years, they have four children Emilio, Ramon and Renée Estévez and Charlie Sheen, all four of whom have followed in their father's acting footsteps. Martin Sheen has played more than two hundred screen roles including memorable performances in Badlands, Apocalypse Now, Gandhi, Wall Street, The Missiles of October, Dead Zone and The American President.

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: The Dean of Engineering at NUI Galway, Professor Pádraic O Donoghue, has predicted very high demand for engineering graduates in the coming years. However, he cautioned that there will be major problems ahead for the Irish economy if there is a shortage of graduates to support the vital high technology industrial sector. Professor O'Donoghue made his comments during a week in which NUI Galway conferred accredited engineering degrees on 240 graduates. In addition, a further 40 postgraduates were also conferred. He pointed to the attractiveness of engineering as a career given the exciting technical challenges that now exist in addition to the fact that remuneration has increased significantly in recent years. The Professor commented, "A report published by Forfás earlier this year indicated that starting salaries for engineering graduates are already amongst the highest of all professions. Engineering and Information Technology students who graduate in the next few years can expect to be in very high demand and consequently will receive very attractive salary packages." According to statistics recently published by Engineers Ireland, engineering salaries in some disciplines have climbed by almost a third in just two years and that the starting salaries are currently on par with those for dentists and doctors. NUI Galway has been very proactive in delivering the good news message on engineering directly to second level students. The Faculty of Engineering has an extensive school visit programme and places strong emphasis in engaging with these students. The Faculty feels that this is a very important activity and the faculty members will be on the road again over the next few weeks to make these connections. Schools are invited to contact the Faculty at 091 492101 to arrange such a visit. -ends-

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

31 October 2006: Building on the success of last month's Volunteering Fair, the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway has organised a series of discussions entitled 'Conversations with Community' in order to continue to foster communication and partnership with community organisations. Kick starting this discussion series will be a seminar discussing the experience of asylum seekers in Galway on Wednesday the 8th of November from 3.00pm – 5.00pm at NUI Galway. Hosted by the CKI, this first discussion will take place with Brendan Smith, of the University's Digital Enterprise Research Institute and members of the Eglington Centre who will talk about their experiences working with asylum seekers in Galway and what asylum seekers experience here. This seminar is part of a series of informal discussions and talks with community organisations and is organised by the CKI in order to generate more discussion and communication with community. The CKI will also host: Linda Keane, Galway Association and Kathy Heffernan, NAD on Wednesday the 10th of January, 3.00pm – 5.00pm - Barriers & Opportunities facing the disabled in Ireland. Sean Regan, Community Worker Wednesday on the 7th of February, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Community work in Ireland - managing poverty and injustice or working for social change? Colin McIlrath, Irish Wheelchair Association and John Hannon, Careers Services, NUI Galway on Wednesday the 7th of March, 3.00pm - 5.00pm - Careers in the Community Sector - Insights from Professionals . The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) is a project at NUI Galway that promotes partnership with communities and endeavours to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. Information from Christina McDonald Legg, christina.legg@nuigalway.ie - ends -

Friday, 27 October 2006

27 October 2006: A full week of conferring ceremonies concludes today at NUI Galway with President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh awarding degrees, diplomas and certificates to over 4,770 graduates, in the largest ever conferring ceremony held at the campus. From the Arts Faculty, the largest faculty in the University, with over 6000 students, a total of 2059 students graduated. From the Faculty of Commerce 639 students graduated, with 570 from the Faculty of Science, 280 from the Faculty of Engineering and 427 from the Law Faculty. Further conferring ceremonies will take place on 28 November from the Medical and Health Sciences Faculty. Among those conferred were 795 adult learners, reflecting the University's commitment to life-long learning opportunities. There were also a number of graduates who had come through the Access and Foundation courses for both school leavers and mature learners, especially for less advantaged students. The international nature of the campus was reflected by the many graduates from around the world, including Brazil, Kenya, Moldova, Nigeria and Russia. Commenting on the graduation, NUI Galway President Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, said: "It is always a proud moment to witness students who have spent some of their formative years here with us at NUI Galway being honoured with such high accolades. I wish them every success in their future careers and am confident that they will be proud to call NUI Galway their alma mater and will remain instrumental in supporting and celebrating the continued success of our University." Among the highlights of the week was the conferring of eight academic staff with Postgraduate Certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, which highlights the importance to the University of continually improving the quality of teaching and the student learning experience. Dr. Ó Muircheartaigh added: "NUI Galway aims for excellence in teaching, the promotion of world-class research, commitment to and engagement with our region, support for third level education through Irish, and above all ensuring the University places the student at the centre of all its activities." During the week, a Master of Arts (honoris causa) was conferred on John Cunningham, Editor, Connacht Tribune Newspapers and a Master of Literature (honoris causa) on Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. - ends -

Friday, 27 October 2006

Tháinig deireadh le seachtain iomlán de shearmanais bhronnta céime in OÉ Gaillimh inniu, seachtain inar bhronn Uachtarán na hOllscoile, an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh céimeanna, dioplómaí agus teastais ar bhreis is 4,770 mac léinn – an líon is mó mac leinn riamh a bhain dindiúirí amach le chéile. Is í Dámh na nDán an dámh is mó san Ollscoil, a bhfuil 6000 mac léinn cláraithe léi, agus bronnadh cáilíochtaí ar 2059 mac léinn díobh sin. Bronnadh céim ar 639 mac léinn as Dámh na Tráchtála, ar 570 mac léinn as Dámh na hEolaíochta, ar 280 mac léinn as Dámh na hInnealtóireachta agus ar 427 mac léinn as Dámh an Dlí. Reáchtálfar searmanais eile bronnta cáilíochtaí an 28 Samhain a bhainfidh le Dámh an Leighis agus na nEolaíochtaí Sláinte. As na mic léinn sin ar fad ar bronnadh céim orthu, b fhoghlaimeoirí fásta 795 duine díobh, rud a léiríonn a mheáite is atá an Ollscoil ar dheiseanna foghlama ar feadh an tsaoil a chur ar fáil do dhaoine. Bhí roinnt mac léinn ina measc freisin a raibh cúrsaí Rochtana agus Fondúireachta do lucht fágála scoile agus d'fhoghlaimeoirí fásta déanta acu, go háirithe cúrsaí do mhic léinn atá faoi mhíbhuntáiste. Chonacthas a idirnáisiúnta is atá an campas le líon na gcéimithe ó áiteanna i gcéin, lena n-áirítear an Bhraisíl, an Chéinia, an Mholdóiv, an Nigéir agus an Rúis. Agus é ag trácht ar bhronnadh na gcéimeanna, is é a bhí le rá ag an Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh: "Is cúis bróid i gcónaí é mic léinn a chaith laethanta múnlaithe a saoil anseo linn in OÉ Gaillimh agus céimeanna den scoth á mbaint amach acu le bród agus le mórtas. Gúim gach rath orthu le pé gairm a roghnóidh siad amach anseo agus táim cinnte gur cúis bhróid dóibh alma mater a thabhairt ar OÉ Gaillimh agus go mbeidh siad páirteach linn i gcónaí ag tacú agus ag ceiliúradh rath leanúnach na hOllscoile seo." I measc bhuaicphointí na seachtaine bhí bronnadh Teastas Iarchéime i dTeagasc agus i bhFoghlaim an Ard-Oideachais ar ocht mball foirne acadúil, rud a léiríonn an tábhacht a chuireann an Ollscoil le feabhsú leanúnach chaighdeáin an teagaisc agus na foghlama don mhac léinn. Dúirt an An Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, freisin: "Tá OÉ Gaillimh meáite ar scoth an teagaisc a bhaint amach, ar thaighde ar chaighdeán domhanda a chothú, ar a cion a dhéanamh don réigiún agus páirt a ghlacadh ann, ar thacú leis an oideachas tríú leibhéal trí Ghaeilge, agus, thar aon ní eile, ar dheimhin a dhéanamh de go mbíonn an mac léinn i lár gach gníomhaíochta de chuid na hOllscoile." I rith na seachtaine, bronnadh Máistreacht sna Dána (honoris causa) ar John Cunningham, An tEagarthóir, Connacht Tribune Newspapers agus Máistreacht sa Litríocht (honoris causa) ar Dhónall Ó Luanaigh, iarchoimeádaí na mBailiúchán le Leabharlann Náisiúnta na hÉireann. - críoch -

Thursday, 26 October 2006

26 October 2006: Following a competitive process administered by the Higher Education Authority, the Minister for Education and Science has announced the award of 14 projects, across the third-level sector, to a total value of over €42m. NUI Galway has been awarded one of the largest individual amounts, a significant €7.3m, and is an active partner in eight of the other successful projects. Minister Hanafin's announcement is part of the Government's new €300m Strategic Innovation Fund aimed at supporting restructuring and reform in the Irish Third Level Sector in order to enhance the quality of higher education teaching and research. The funds awarded to NUI Galway are earmarked to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in the University; to enhance the infrastructure underlying post-graduate education and research; to support the restructuring of academic units underway in the University; to enhance the successful access programmes; and to further develop innovative service learning and student volunteering activities. Speaking following the announcement by the Minister, Dr. Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway, said, "I am delighted to welcome the announcement by Minister Mary Hanafin. NUI Galway's success in this competition reflects well, and indeed vindicates, the approach this University has taken to reform and restructuring at both third level and fourth level. Our ability to work effectively as a team inside the University and to develop strong, enduring and effective collaborations with partner institutions in the University and Institute of Technology sectors has been rewarded with our success in this programme. In particular, we welcome the success of our partnership with the Institutes of Technology in the BMW region, which will greatly expand our already successful and innovative access programme." -ends-

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

Galway, 24 October 2006 – A series of high profile keynote speakers will address issues that are facing Ireland's communities today during a keynote seminar series at NUI Galway. Set to occur between November 2006 and September 2007, this keynote series will focus on themes related to civic engagement and active citizenship. Organised and sponsored by the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) at NUI Galway, this keynote series is a response to the increased alienation and declining social commitment that is common in today's communities and will host high profile people who are knowledgeable in these areas. Members of the public are invited to attend the free seminars and tickets will be available from CKI. KEYNOTE SEMINAR SERIES SCHEDULE: Dr Garret Fitzgerald, Ret. Leader and Chancellor of the NUI, Tuesday, November 14th, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on Civic Republicanism and Public Morality Mr. Alan Kerins, Alan Kerins African Projects, Thursday, 25th January 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Cheshire House, volunteering and how important it is today. Mrs. Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, Thursday, 22nd February 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, the Special Olympics and active citizenship in Ireland today Mr. Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the Guardian, Friday, 9th March 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the Guardian, as well as Journalism, New Media and Democracy. Mr. Maurice Mullard, University of Hull, Reader in Social Policy, Thursday, 19th April 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on his work with the University of Hull, citizenship, social policy and the war on terror. Ms. Caroline Casey, The Aisling Foundation, Thursday, 27th September 2007, 3.00pm - 4.00pm. Speaking on her work with the Aisling Foundation and active citizenship, as well as the role that volunteering plays in community. The Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) was launched at NUI Galway in June 2001 as a project to promote partnership with communities and to enhance social commitment within communities. Funded by philanthropic donations, the CKI hopes to reinvigorate the civic mission of higher education in Ireland, putting communities at the centre of debate. "We very much hope that this keynote seminar series will serve as a means of reinvigorating the civic mission of universities as well as promote the concept of civic responsibility and service within higher education," said Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator. For further information, please contact Lorraine McIlrath, CKI Project Coordinator at 091 495234 or email lorraine.mcilrath@nuigalway.ie. Information from Christina McDonald Legg, christina.legg@nuigalway.ie - ends -

Monday, 23 October 2006

23 October 2006: NUI Galway will confer Honorary MA degrees this week on John Cunningham, editor of the Connacht Tribune, and Dónall Ó Luanaigh, former Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland. The ceremonies will take place Monday 23 October and Tuesday 24 October 2006, in conjunction with the Autumn Conferring Ceremonies which will see the graduation of over 4,750 students. John Cunningham will be recognised for his contribution to civic society through regional and national journalism and for his role as a lecturer of journalism. Since joining the Connacht Tribune as a reporter in the sixties, and as Editor since 1984, John Cunningham has been a consistent and steady presence in Irish journalism. He has also contributed to broadcast journalism as a commentator on RTE current affairs programmes. For the last 18 years, John has been a lecturer on the MA in Journalism programme at the University, recently adding a module on Government and Politics. According to Bernadette O'Sullivan, Department of Journalism, NUI Galway, "There aren't many who can compete with John Cunningham, and his particular brand of journalism teaching excellence. John is a passionate and gifted media practitioner. He is also a passionate and gifted teacher. Few have that dual talent: the talent for doing the job, and in equal measure, the talent for teaching the profession of journalism." Dónall Ó Luanaigh will be honoured for his immense contribution to research and scholarship in his role as Keeper of Collections at the National Library of Ireland (NLI). Born and educated in Galway, where he graduated with a Masters in French, Dónall went on to join the staff of the NLI in 1968, until his retirement this year, following 43 years of service. He was the acknowledged expert on the library's collections, and will be particularly remembered for his work on the 'Union list of current periodicals and serials in Irish libraries', and his editorial work on the three-volume 'Supplement to Manuscript Sources for the History of Irish Civilization', published in 1979. Marie Reddan, Librarian, James Hardiman Library, NUI Galway said, "Dónall has a particular interest in Franco-Irish relations and has published widely on the topic. His attachment to his native city has never waned and he has contributed many articles of Galway interest, in Galway Roots and other publications. He has always been supportive and generous to the James Hardiman Library with his time and specialist knowledge of archives and special collections." - ends -